Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Lenten Filet of Sole - Polish Style

Witamy!
It is Lent and time for meatless meals. Polish cuisine is not just about kielbasa, pierogi, or stuffed cabbage rolls.  Polish comfort food is loved around the whole world, but in fact there are a great many traditional dishes in our repertoire that are healthier, lighter, and just as delicious.  For this year’s Lenten season, we’re sharing with you a delicious fish preparation from Peter's Mom, first posted a few years ago, that will please the whole family and especially the healthy eaters around the table.   

This recipe features filet of sole which is pretty easy to find in better grocery stores.  But it can also be substituted with any lighter and thinner white fish such as flounder or tilapia.  We like Basa quite a bit, which is actually a Vietnamese cousin to the catfish but often sold in thinner filets.  

In Virginia we see Basa, both fresh and frozen, in Asian grocery stores so we like to make a special trip and buy a larger quantity for the freezer.  It’s one of our favorite fish and much cheaper than sole or flounder. 

Filet of Sole with vegetables - Polish Style
Serves 6
1 ½ tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
¼ small head of savoy cabbage, chopped
1 leek, finely sliced  (just the white part)
1 large carrot, finely sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 parsley root, finely sliced
3 tablespoons water
2 pounds filet of sole, or any white fish filets
Salt to taste

Sauce
1 ½ tablespoons butter
1 ½ tablespoons flour
2 bouillon cubes, vegetable or chicken
1 cup hot water
Salt & pepper to taste
3 tablespoons sour cream

In a large skillet, heat the butter, add the vegetables and the 3 tablespoons of water,  sauté over medium heat until soft - about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the fish lightly with salt.  Place on top of the vegetables and simmer until the fish is just cooked through – about 5 to 10 minutes depending on thickness.  To test for doneness, pierce the filet lightly with a fork, turn it a bit to see if the fish is no longer opaque in color.  When done the fish should be somewhat flaky under your fork. 

To prepare the sauce,  heat the butter, add the flour, sauté while mixing until well blended.  Dissolve the bouillon cubes in hot water and add the broth to the pan.  Bring to a boil.  Stir until slightly thickened.

To serve, transfer the fish filets gently to a warm serving platter.  Add the sauce  to the vegetables. Remove from heat.  Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste.  Finish by stirring in the sour cream.  Pour over the fish.  
Serve with Polish dumplings, rice or egg noodles
                                                image courtesy of w.spodnicy.pl
Smacznego!  

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Chicken In Lemon Sauce From Warsaw

Witamy!  Best wishes for the New Year!


We’ve been eating a lot more chicken lately, its lean, healthy, budget-friendly, and generally easy to prepare.  One of the smartest ways to get a chicken on the table these days, especially for dual wage-earner families, is to buy a rotisserie chicken from your neighborhood grocery store.  

Our challenge though, is that Peter really hates dried out white meat and he’s not a big fan of left overs.  Since there are only two of us most evenings, we can’t finish a whole chicken.  That means that Laura has to work hard to reinvent the leftovers into something delicious.

One of our favorite preparations is this “Chicken in Lemon Sauce from Warsaw.”   This was Peter’s Great-Grandfather’s favorite dish and for years it would always put him in a good mood.  However, Great-Grandmother used it for that purpose a little too often because over time he became suspicious, expecting bad news to follow after each time he saw Chicken In Lemon Sauce on the table.  


We love this recipe and not just for left-overs.  Often we will roast our own chicken, or buy one, specifically to debone and let the pieces swim in this awesome, light & bright lemon sauce.  We like to serve it over rice with fresh veggies and a salad on the side. 

Serves 6
One 3-pound chicken, cooked, skinned, de-boned, cut into pieces.
2 tablespoons soft butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons cold water
1 ¾ cups of chicken broth 
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped dill
Salt & pepper to taste.


Bring the broth to a boil.  In a separate pan, mix the butter with the flour well.  Stir in 5 tablespoons of the hot broth, one at a time.  Add this mix back to rest of the boiling broth.  Remove from the heat.  Add the egg yolks beaten with the cold water. Stir in half of the lemon juice. Taste.  The sauce should be bright and clearly lemony but not so tart that it puckers your lips.  Add more lemon juice if desired.  Sprinkle in the dill.  Taste again.  Season as needed but be careful with the salt since dill can add a salty back note to the sauce. 
Smacznego!