Saturday, April 14, 2018

Let's Get "Saucy" - Polish Style


In Polish cuisine, sauces are not quite so prolific or complicated as in France.  This image is of a beautiful flounder recipe with a light lemon sauce, found on Page 50, of our cook book: Polish Classic Recipes.  The right Polish sauce can elevate your cooking to the next level.  The key to success is in the right proportions of fat, flour, liquids, flavorings, and patience.  Always cook your sauces on low heat, always stir vigorously.  Today’s immersion blenders are super for getting the lumps out.

Here are a few important tips:
Instant flour, such as Wondra, can be a big help because it yields a smoother and less lumpy texture with less mixing  It's not always easy to find, but worth a spot in your pantry.
Never add flour to a hot sauce but do add sauce to the flour, a spoon at a time while constantly stirring.

Never boil a sauce with sour cream because it will separate.  And if it does separate, you can often save it by cooling it down and adding some more sour cream to the sauce.

Chicken or beef stocks are easiest to work with; bouillon cubes can be dissolved and used but watch the saltiness.  Base stock (highly concentrated stock in a jar – beef, chicken, mushroom) is great for kicking up flavor but use it very sparingly because it can be very salty. 

Here are a few traditional Polish sauces with great versatility.

Dill Pickle Sauce
1 ½ tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup beef stock
½ cup pickle juice from the jar
3 large dill pickles, shredded
½ cup sour cream
                                        Salt to taste
Heat the stock.  Mix the butter with the flour over low heat.  Stir in the hot stock gradually. Stir in the pickle liquid. Bring to a low boil while stirring constantly.  Add the pickles.  Add the sour cream very slowly while stirring.  Heat but do not let it boil.  Season with salt.   Serve over beef roast and boiled potatoes.

Dill Sauce
1 cup chicken or beef stock
3 tablespoons flour
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped dill (fresh has more flavor)
½ cups sour cream
Salt to taste
Put the flour in a small saucepan.  Stir in the stock (room temperature) into the flour gradually, while stirring. Bring to a low boil stirring constantly.  Add the dill and remove from heat. Add sour cream. Season with salt.  Serve warm over braised meats and dry casseroles. 

Dried Mushroom Sauce
1 ounce dried mushrooms
1 cup water
3 ½ tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons cold water
Salt & pepper
½ cup sour cream
Rinse the dried mushroom very thoroughly.  Rehydrate them by soaking in 1 cup hot water for about an hour.  Bring the soaking mushrooms in their water to a low boil for another 45 minutes, or until they are soft.   Rough chop the mushrooms. Combine the broth into the flour mixed with 4 tablespoons cold water.  Fold in the chopped mushrooms and bring to a low boil while stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool a bit and add the sour cream very slowly while stirring constantly.  Serve over meatloaf, meat balls or any braised meats.  

Cold Mustard Sauce
2 tablespoon prepared (yellow) mustard
Salt to taste
1 cup sour cream
¼ teaspoon sugar
Mix all the ingredients well; serve over cold ham, kielbasa, cold pork loin, or boiled eggs.  This sauce is very popular at Easter. 

Cold Green Onion Sauce
1 cup sour cream
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
4 tables finely chopped green onions (scallions) 
¼ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients well; serve over cold ham, kielbasa, cold pork loin, or boiled eggs. 

Cold Horseradish Sauce
5 ounces prepared horseradish
1 large apple, peeled & shredded
1 cup sour cream
Salt to taste
¼ teaspoon sugar
Mix the horseradish with the apples. Add the sour cream. Season with salt and sugar.  Serve with fish, cold cuts, hard-boiled eggs. 


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