I don’t know much about Polish food. That’s the thought that drove my interest for “Fresh from Poland: New Vegetarian Cooking from the Old Country” by Michal Korkosz. I also didn’t know much about Korkosz to begin with, and had no idea he won the 2017 Saveur Blog Award for best food photography (both Editors’ and Readers’ Choice) at the ripe age of… 19!
So it stands to reason that the photos in this book are lovely. There’s a lot of natural lighting, cozy backgrounds, and the overall feeling of finding pleasure in home cooking.
The main chapters are:
- My Polish kitchen
- My Polish pantry
- Breads and Baked Goods
- Main Dishes
- Side Dishes
- Perogi and Dumplings
- Preserves, Jams, and Pickles
Things I’d like to try… when I’m not following Stay-At-Home/Self-Quarantine orders because of a pandemic:
- Parsley root and walnut spread
- Rye crumble with honey fruit
- Creamy oatmeal with kajmak, apple and walnuts
- Whole wheat challah with almond streusel
- Sweet blueberry buns with streusel
- Almond soup with floating clouds
- Lentil, butternut squash, and zucchini stew
- Buckwheat stir-fry with kale, beans, and goat cheese
- Pierogi with buckwheat, bryndza, and mint
- Pierogi with lentils and dried tomatoes
- Blueberry pierogi with honeyed sour cream
- Yeast rogaliki with rose petal preserves
- Yeast-buttermilk cake with berries and streusel
But I am doing my best to stay indoors because of covid-19 which means that I was very limited in what I could make.
The first recipe I made was for oatmeal buns. The main ingredients are quick cooking oats, butter, all purpose flour, instant yeast, old fashioned oats, and honey. These were all things that I already had in my pantry. Having said that, the all purpose flour I was using was of mysterious background. Some months ago, I transferred it from its original bag to a Cambro bin, and put it in the freezer. I didn’t label the bin with the brand of flour. Not long after, I wasn’t baking much and forgot about the flour in the freezer.
Like… really forgot about it. When I started making sourdough bread again back in January, I bought some King Arthur Flour all-purpose and had been using that for all my cooking/baking.
Anyway, long story short, I had some trouble working with this recipe most likely because of my flour. But I managed to bake something closely resembling the photo. (Except that my oatmeals buns lack color. I forgot the egg wash. *sigh*) And I liked them! I gave some to my mom to share with my grandmother, and they both approved.
The second recipe I tried was the tomato apple soup with poured noodles. The main soup ingredients are butter, garlic, dried marjoram, a sweet apple, vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and sour cream. The poured noodles are made from egg, sour cream, and all purpose flour. I enjoyed this too, and it was quick to put together. It’s less decadent than the creamy tomato soup recipe that I like from Jill Winger (which makes it a better “everyday” recipe), and the use of marjoram was new to me. I’ve only used basil in the past for tomato soup. I’m not sure the apple did much for the recipe but maybe it’s because New England is not in apple season. (Translation, my Gala apple did not taste like much to begin with.)
As for the “poured noodles, I like the idea but my execution was lacking. And by lacking, I mean I only made about 5 or so solid pieces of “noodles” (they’re more like dumplings) and the rest just disintegrated into something looking like soft scrambled eggs. I’m not sure if I perhaps mis-measured something or if maybe I just needed extra flour. But I’m willing to give it a go one more time as I really like the idea of putting dumplings in tomato soup. (Ooh, maybe I should do a recipe mashup next time. This tomato soup with Gena Hamshaw’s chickpea dumplings. It should work.)
I think what surprised me most about this book was that I forgot it was technically a vegetarian cookbook. The variety and appeal of the recipes don’t leave you wanting for meat recipes.
Overall, yes, I recommend this book, and I can’t wait for stay-at-home orders to end so that I can explore this book better.
Disclaimer – I kindly received this book from The Experiment Publishing for this review. I’m not getting paid for this post. The views and opinions expressed are purely my own.
With COVID-19 self-quarantine in effect, my scope of recipe testing was limited. Some modifications may have been made.