Sunday, March 15, 2020

Polish Pork Cutlets and Apple Raisin Cake - Polish Heaven


Polish cuisine often means delectable comfort food, but we can’t survive just on our beloved kielbasa, pierogi or stuffed cabbage rolls.  The days would get boring quickly.  So to help you mix things up, we’re sharing again two of our absolutely favorite heritage dishes which are guaranteed to please everyone at your table - Polish Pork Cutlets and Apple Raisin Cake. 
Pork Cutlets – Polish Style

Have you noticed how store-bought pork has changed over the last few years?  Center-cut boneless pork chops are lean and devoid of flavor compared to what we used to enjoy.  That’s why the safe cooking temp was lowered by the USDA to 145 °F - a full 15 degrees less than before.  And now the USDA says it’s OK to eat your pork slightly pink.  So we no longer buy boneless chops, opting for bone-in, with a nice layer of fat around the edges (great for cooking…it gets cut off before eating). 

Pork has always been an important part of the Polish diet.  This classic cutlet is a tasty choice anytime and anywhere in Poland.  Quite similar to Viennese Schnitzel, the Polish version is often served with boiled potatoes, dill pickles or Brussel sprouts & carrots. 

Serves 4
4        thin, center cut pork chops
3        tablespoons flour
1        egg, beaten
½       cup bread crumbs 
1        teaspoon marjoram finely chopped
          salt and pepper to taste
2        tablespoons olive oil

Use bone-in or boneless chops, either will work.  Trim most of the excess fat from the chops.  Pound the meat to tenderize until about 1/4 inch thick.  (Hint:  pound the chops under a plastic freezer bag to make the process easier and cleaner).  Cutlets may be cut into smaller pieces to better fit your skillet.  Season generously with salt and pepper.
Mix bread crumbs and marjoram.  Dredge the cutlets in flour.  Dip in the beaten egg.  Roll in bread crumb mixture and press in to make bread crumbs stick to the cutlets.

Pre-heat the oil in a large skillet and sauté the cutlets until golden on both sides, until the pork is just barely pink - about 5 to 7 minutes per side. 

Garnish with fresh chopped dill.  Serve with your favorite vegetables, boiled baby potatoes, and slices of dill pickle.

Apple Raisin Cake

There are few better combinations of flavors than apples, cinnamon and walnuts.  This is one of our absolutely favorite desserts and one that we often prepare for sampling at book signing events.  Laura makes it in a mini-cupcake size and it works beautifully.  It’s very easy to prepare and it’s super popular with all our friends.

½ pound butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ cups raisins
4 cups cooking apples, peeled & coarsely shredded
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Beat the butter with the sugar until creamy. A standing mixer is perfect for this job but a hand mixer will work just as well.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat five more minutes (less if using a standing mixer).  Add the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and beat three more minutes.  Fold in the fruit and walnuts. 

Butter and flour a high 10-inch round spring form cake pan.  Pour in the finished batter and shake it around for even distribution.  Bake at 350 degrees for an hour to an hour and a half (60 to 90 minutes).  Test at 60 minutes for doneness with a toothpick.  The cake is done when the toothpick comes out dry.  Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes before releasing the pan.  Yields 12 to 16 portions, depending on size of slices and how hungry your guests are.

 For our beautiful collection of heritage Polish recipes, check out our two globally acclaimed cookbooks, above.  If you purchase them on our site, we will autograph and personally dedicate each book to whomever you’d like in the U. S.  They’re also available from any online book seller such as Amazon – world-wide.


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