Ukrainian Garlic Liver Pancakes
by Kuchnia Polska (Warszawa, 1956)
For the cake bit:
300g “krupczatka” flour*, 200g butter, 100g icing sugar, 3 egg yolks (boiled), “vanilla” (says the book: I used vanilla sugar). You will need a baking tray or tin – preferably one with removable sides (if round) or only three sides (if square), because it is a shortbread-like crumbly pastry, and thin. You can also use one of those fairy cake trays, and make mini-mazurki
*a coarsely-ground white flour (500 in the German system, as far as “whiteness” goes, and less powdery than normal flour, more “grainy” in texture – the caster sugar to normal flour’s icing sugar. Still, anything good for shortbread will probably do.)
For the orange bit:
2 lemons, 1/2 kg oranges, 1/2 kg sugar (imho the browner the better), 1/8 litre water, 100g flaked almonds (I’ve only ever used them for decoration)
Making the cake bit:
Separate out the yolks from their whites and boil them for ten minutes (go ask the Frozen Gnome for tips, all I can suggest is lots of water, very gently boiling, and sort of swirl the yolks in. Or try a slotted spoon.) Rub the yolks through a sieve. Sieve the flour onto a work top. Chop it up with butter, add the icing sugar (sieved!), yolks and vanilla, and quickly make the pastry. Put it somewhere cool, or the fridge, for 20-30 mins.
Cut off about 1/4 of the pastry. Roll the rest out to 3/4 cm, and fit onto the bottom of your tray(s). Smear egg white around the edge. From the reserved quarter make a long sausage about the thickness of a finger, and use it to make a rim. I am happy if it is about even, but Real Cooks should make an ornamental edge using a knife blade or some such. Slime some beaten raw egg (white and yolk) over the edge. Prick the base densely with a fork. Bake in a well-heated oven until it is golden (it bakes quickly!). Take it out and remove it from the tin while it is hot.
Grate the oranges. (Yes, that’s right.) Put the mush into a (preferably thick-bottomed, wide pan – a big heavy frying pan is ideal). Add the juice from the lemons, water and sugar (I usually use a bit less than the recipe says). Cook very very slowly for hours (2 to 3) until the mass is thick and transparent.The recipe says to add the almonds at this point and mix them in, but I’ve not tried that yet.
Spread the orange marmalade over the pastry base. Use a knife dipped frequently into very hot water to get a glassy finish on the top, and/or decorate with flaked almonds (or anything you like).
Suggested order of work: prepare the topping and put it on to cook, prepare the pastry and put it in the fridge, prepare the tins, wash up (and optionally – make silver cake or something else quick that uses up the whites and bung it in to bake – some need to be put into a cold oven, which is doubly handy), roll fit and bake the pastry, put it all together.
The one on the right is topped with what the Poles call “kajmak” (not what the Turks etc. call kaymak!): most easily made by boiling a tin of condensed milk until it goes all thick and brown.
Smoked Mackerel and Potato Gratin
Potatoes, smoked mackerel, cream/sour cream(milk/yoghurt/etc), pepper, mustard, poss. butter and breadcrumbs (make your own if you’re in the UK, the bought kind are nothing like the real thing: let a bap or some French bread dry, and grate it)
Peel the potatoes, and slice them very thin. Put a layer of potatoes into an ovenproof dish (about half of all the potatoes), then a layer of mackerel (picking it off the bones), and pepper it well (if not already peppered). Put over the rest of the sliced potatoes. Mix up the cream and the mustard (I added a little water and quarter of a stock cube both times I’ve made this so far) and pour it in, about enough to cover the first layer of potatoes and the mackerel. You can cover the top in breadcrumbs and dot with butter if you want a crunchy crumby top. Bake the whole thing for about an hour (secundum source, at 200 C, but my oven does hot or a bit less hot, and it all came out nicely.)
Recipe from here. It’s gorgeous.
Ultimate Macaroni Cheese
by Good Housekeeping’s Cookery Book (revised edition of 1959) and bat Ionah.
2 oz macaroni, 1 oz butter, 1 oz flour, 3/4 pint milk, piquant sauce [e.g. Tabasco], mustard, salt, 4 oz grated cheese, freshly crushed cardamon seeds (that is the “ultimate” bit).
Cook the macaroni.
Sauce: Meantime, melt the butter, stir in the flour, ad the milk: bring to the boil, add the sauce, mustard and salt, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cheese and stir till quite melted (save some if you are one of those freaks who likes burnt crispy cheese on top of your macaroni cheese, lasagne and so on). Somewhere along the line chuck in the crushed cardamon seeds (you can probably perfectly well use ground cardamon, it just happened that in the house we had whole seeds).
Magic moment: drain the pasta, mix it in with the sauce, put it in An Ovenproof Dish, put on An Ovenproof Lid, and bake it for a wee bit. (Come to think of it, I have no idea why it is necessary to bake it.) For Freak Version, sprinkle the reserved grated cheese on the top and bake (or grill) without a lid till it goes all horrible and crunchy with that burnt cheese taste. You could go for the full school dinners effect and add a couple of slices of tomato. (For this version you definitely have to bake or grill it, unless you want to attempt Macaroni Fromage Brulee).
Black Goose (an eighteenth-century Polish court recipe)
Honey, ginger, vinegar (I think, it’s been a couple of years)
Cooking apples (peeled, cored, cut into segments)
Burn the straw. Mix the ashes with the ginger, honey, vinegar, and anything else you think is a good idea – it will come out looking like something you drained from a tractor engine. Stuff the goose with the apples. Cover it in the black stuff. Roast it, scooping out the excess fat regularly. This is a highly recommended recipe!
Easy Pumpkin Soup
You need: pumpkin, onion, butter, water, seasoning (sweet papryka, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, ground black pepper, bay leaf – or get hold of this tripe seasoning). Chop onions, fry till transparent, or till sweet, if you have the patience. Add some water, and chunks of pumpkin, and butter. Cook slowly. Add seasoning and put through the blender.
Fresh white beans, tomatoes, a (I used red) pepper, bay leaf(-ves), oregano, olive oil. Salt, if you like. Chop up the tomatoes and pepper into small cubes/squares. Mix it all up, but leave enough tomatoes to have a layer of tomato on the top. Bake it. Eat it.
Tomato and Cucumber Salad
You need tomatoes, cucumbers-in-brine, olive oil. The cucumbers should be well pickled – have that dark green transparent look – and not be the “lightly salted” kind that are eaten quite fresh. If you are somewhere where these things only come in tins, they will do very nicely.
Here’s where it gets tricky. Chop the cucumbers and tomatoes into very small cubes, in about equal quantities. Mix them together and add lots of very strong olive oil.
Traditional Polish Hot Beer Milkshake
You need beer (well, lager), sour cream (though ordinary cream will probably do), egg yolks(s) and sugar or honey. Optionally – dry crumbly fresh white cheese (drained cottage cheese will do).
Mix together the cream and egg yolks in a cup. Heat the beer, and add the sugar or honey. Add the cream&egg, whisking all the time. Drink, or – pour over cheese in a bowl and eat. People add spices.
Traditional Polish Hot Beer Lentshake
This, like the non-fast version, is a breakfast dish. You need beer, butter, and bread. Heat the beer. Add the butter. Pour it over bread. Enjoy!
You need herrings, potatoes, onions, fat and nutmeg.
Soak out the salt from your herrings. Slice them into small pieces. Peel and slice the potatoes. Chop the onions and fry them a bit. Put layers of potato, herring and onion into an oven-proof dish, finishing with potatoes. Sprinkle generously with nutmeg, cover with a layer of breadcrumbs and dot with butter, or oil if it’s Lent. Bake for a while covered (?20 mins?) and then the same time again uncovered. Eat.
Poached Frozen Striped Catfish
Frozen catfish fillets, an lemon, olive oil, flat-leaf parsley (if you can get it; it has much more flavour than the curly kind)
Put slices of lemon on the bottom of a frying pan, the fillets on top, smear them with olive oil and a little salt, cover with vast amounts of chopped fresh parsley. Cover and poach slooooowly. Eat with millet or, at a pinch, cous cous.