Swięcone – Polish Easter feast

Baranek Swiecony

SHARING EGGS
(dzielenie sie jajkiem):

The shells should be removed from blessed Easter eggs and either burned or buried to enrich the soil. Cut each egg into 4 wedges and place on a plate. They may be sprinkled with the blessed salt & pepper. Then, either the host goes round and offers a wedge to each person present or the dish is passed round. When each participant, preferably standing, has their wedge on their fork, everyone wishes everyone else ‚Wesolego Alleluja’ and consumes their piece of egg. This ceremony may be prefaced by grace before meals: ‚Panie Boże wszechmogący, poblogoslaw nas tu zebranych i to swiecone, które spozywac bedziemy na pami1tke chwalebnego Zmartwychwstania Syna Twojego, Jezusa Chrystusa, który z Toba ?yje i króluje na wieki wieków. Amen.’

EASTER SOUR RYE SOUP
(żur wielkanocny): 
BarszczIn pot combine 3 c degreased kielbasa stock (water in which your fresh or smoked kielbasa has been boiled) with 2 c water in which a heaping T flour has been dissolved and bring to boil. Stir in 1 c or so sour-rye liquid (home-made or store-bought, such as Vavel or Krakus brand), bring to boil and simmer several min. Taste it before adding salt & pepper as the kielbasa water may have already seasoned it sufficiently. Season with several pinches marjoram if desired and serve over sliced hard-cooked eggs (allowing 1 egg per serving).

 

 

 

 

 

WHITE EASTER BARSZCZ
(bialy barszcz wielkanocny):

    This is the Eastern Polish version of zur. Proceed as above but do not dissolve flour in water. Instead, fork-blend 1/2 – 3/3 c. sour cream with a heaping T flour until smooth, add 1 c hot soup a little at a time, stirring constantly and return to pot. Simmer several min. Besides eggs, provide cubed farmer cheese, diced ham, stale rye-bread cubes and prepared horseradish for your guests to add to their bowls.

EASIER EASTER SOUP
(zur lub bialy barszcz latwiejszy):

If you have not fermented your own rye-sour and cannot find any on sale, here is an alternative. Simply proceed as above, but sour your soup to taste with 2 – 4 pinch citric-acid crystals (available at Polish delis) or 2 – 3 T vinegar. Note: You can also get zur and bialy barszcz in soup-mix form imported from Poland, but I wouldn’t recommend them. Once in a while maybe, but not for Easter!

HARD-COOKED EGGS
(jaja na twardo):

Provide bowls or platters of hard-cooked eggs (with shells removed) — either whole or halved. Furnish one or more sauces and urge your guests to use them to dress their eggs. The same sauces can be used with the cold meats below. Variation: You can also place egg halves (cut side down) on lettuce-lined platter and dress each with a dollop of sauce just before serving.

CREAMY HORSERADISH SAUCE
(sos chrzanowy smietankowy):

  Fork-blend 1/3 c prepared horseradish with 1/2 c whipping cream. Season to taste with salt, sugar and lemon juice or vinegar. Variation: The well-chilled cream may first be whipped before stirring in remaining ingredients.

HORSERADISH-SOUR CREAM SAUCE
(sos chrzanowy na smietanie):

 Combine 1 c sour cream with 1 heaping T or more prepared horseradish. Season to taste with salt, sugar and lemon juice or vinegar. Variation: Replace 1/2 c sour cream with an equal amount of mayonnaise.

DEVILED EGGS
(jaja nadziewane):

Peel 6 hard-cooked eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out yolks and set aside whites. Mash the yolks and combine with any of the following:
— 1/2 c ground ham or skinned smoked kielabsa or a combination of both;
— 4 – 5 well-drained smoked Baltic sprats (canned fish) or sardines, mashed well;
— 1/2 c fresh mushrooms sautéed in 1 T butter and ground;
— 2 chicken livers sautéed in 1 T butter and ground.

To mixture add 1 small grated onion, 1 t lemon juice and stir in 3 T or so mayonnaise. Salt & pepper if required. Mix well and fill whites with mixture. Garnish with radish slices, capers or strips of mild fresh or pickled red peppers. You may first top each egg half with a dollop of any of the above sauces before garnishing.

HOT STUFFED EGGS IN SHELLS
(jaja faszerowane na cieplo):

Tap cold, hard-cooked egg against cutting-board lengthwise with a sharp, thin-bladed (non-serrated-edge) knife. Cut through to cutting-board shell and all. Carefully scoop out yolk and white and side aside, taking care not to break the shell. Gently remove and discard any loose, jagged shell fragments round the rim of shells. Set shells aside. Simmer 2 finely minced onions in 2 T butter until tender and golden. Grind, process or finely chop eggs and combine with onion. Add 1 – 2 heaping T finely chopped fresh dill 1 heaping T finely chopped chives and salt & pepper to taste. (Optional: 1 T sour cream may be stirred into mixture.) Fill shells with mixture pressing it down very gently so as not the damage them. Sprinkle tops generously with bread crumbs, pressing them in gently. These can be refrigerated until ready to serve. To serve, fry stuffed eggs, open-side down in 2 T butter or margarine until a golden crust forms on the bottom and top of shells are hot to the touch. Serve at once.

BEET & HORSERADISH RELISH
(cwikla):

In pot combine 2/3 c 6% distilled, cider or wine vinegar, 1/2 c water, 1 t salt, 2 T sugar, 1 t caraway, 2 grains allspice and 1 crumbled bay leaf and 8 peppercorns. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 min. Scrub 4 beets but do not peel. Bake in pre-heated 350F 90 – 120 min. or until a fork goes in easily. Plunge into cold water and, when cool enough to handle, peel. Grate coarsely, toss with 2 – 3 heaping T prepared horseradish. Pour strained, slightly cooled marinade over beet mixture, seal and refrigerate overnight.

BEET & HORSERADISH RELISH, EASY
(cwikla latwa):

Combine 2 c coarsely grated canned, drained pickled beets with 2 – 3 T prepared horseradish and 3/4 c apple sauce. Season with salt, pepper, ground caraway, sugar and vinegar to taste. Cover and chill overnight.
COLD-MEAT PLATTER
(zimny pólmisek):

 Use your artistic flair to arrange an assortment of sliced cold meats on lettuce-line serving platter. Decorate it with a pisanka (Easter egg), sprigs of boxwood, curly parsley, pickled mushrooms, radishes or radish roses. The platter might include: different types of ready-to-eat smoked kielbasa, baked fresh kielbasa, poledwica (similar to Canadian bacon), hunter’s sausage (mysliwska), Kraków sausage (krakowska), thin dry sausage (kabanosy), cold sliced roasts (pork loin, veal, beef), boiled beef tongue, smoked turkey breast, stuffed veal breast and pâté (pasztet).

KIELBASA, FRESH HOME-MADE
(biala kielbasa domowa):

 Coarsely grind or chop fine 9 lbs pork butts. Sprinkle 2 lb raw hamburger or ground round steak or ground veal with 5 – 6 T salt, 2 t ground black pepper, 2 t marjoram and 6 – 12 buds crushed garlic and work seasoning into ground meat. Then combine with chopped or ground pork. Work by hand, gradually adding 1 c cold water and continue working until liquid is completely absorbed. Stuff hog casings with mixture, twisting into 12″ – 13″ links and tying them with white twine.

KIELBASA, FRESH BOILED
(biala kielbasa gotowana):

    Place 3 lbs fresh kielbasa in pot of cold water which should cover it by at least 1″. Add 1 bay leaf, 1 beef bouillon cube, 3 sliced buds garlic and 1 large quartered onion and bring to gentle boil. Simmer on low covered 30 – 40 min. Let stand in hot liquid another 10 min before serving. Pork must be fully cooked so make sure it is no longer pink inside; it’s better to overcook than undercook it.

KIELBASA, FRESH BEER-BAKED
(biala kielbasa zapiekana w piwie):

 Place 3 lbs fresh kielbasa in single layer in baking pan. Drench with 2 c beer and enough water to barely cover the sausage. Bake in pre-heated 375F oven 20 min. Smother with 4 thinly sliced onions and bake another 45 min. Cut into 4 to 5-inch portions and serve.

KIELBASA, FRESH BAKED
(biala kielbasa pieczona):

Pre-heat oven to 390F. Place 2-1/2 lbs fresh kielbasa in one layer in baking pan greased with 1 T lard or butter. Cut 2 onions into quarters and slice each quarter quite thin, spreading onions on and around the kielbasa. For a more garlicky taste, add 2 – 3 buds crushed garlic. Pop into 400F oven and bake 15 min, then reduced heat to 350° and bake another 40-45 min. With toothpick, occasionally prick sausage to releases excessive fat.
VEAL ROAST
(pieczen cieleca):

Slice 2-5 cloves garlic into 4-6 vertical slivers. In a 6-7 lb veal rump, loin or boneless shoulder roast make as many incisions as you have slivers of garlic. Sear the meat all over in hot fat until a brown crust forms on the outside and place in uncovered roasting pan on rack in a preheated 350F- 375F oven. Place several thin strips of pork fatback on meat and roast about 3 hr or until done. Serve hot or cold.