Polish Polenta Cakes with bacon

I don’t have a lot of experience with polish food, but one of my favorite writers is Lily Brett, an Australian-American woman with polish roots. Her parents are both Auschwitz survivors, a recurring topic in her books, nonetheless written with such a subtle humor which is just wonderful.  Food is another constant theme in the books, especially in ‘Uncomfortably Close’ (or ‘You gotta have balls’), which even includes half a dozen mouth watering polish recipes at the end. Unfortunately none for breakfast, so here is another one, which I found doing some research. It is easy to make, easy to prepare and tastes really good. The salsa is optional of course!

·         5 oz. (140g) sliced bacon
·         5 oz. (140g) corn (not sweet)
·         2 oz. (50g) Parmesan cheese
·         18 oz. (500g) curd
·         2 eggs
·         5 oz. (140g) polenta
·         4 oz. (100g) flour
·         5 oz. (120ml) oil
·         salt
·         sweet pepper
·         black pepper

Preheat the oven to 430°F (200°C).
Cut the bacon in small pieces and fry in a dry skillet. Remove the bacon and use the fat to grease a baking form of 7x10-in.
Grate the cheese and stir together with the curd in a bowl. Beat in the eggs and add the bacon. Finally add the polenta, the flour and the oil and stir to get a smooth texture.
Season with salt, sweet and black pepper.
Pour the batter in the baking form and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the corn.
This part can be done the evening before. In this case cover the form with cling foil and put in the fridge. Take it out the next morning, while heating the oven.
Bake in the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes.
Serve warm, optional with the salsa below.

Serves 4-6

Cucumber‑Red Pepper Salsa

·         1 medium cucumber, partially peeled and chopped
·         ½ c red pepper bell, chopped
·         ½ small red onion, chopped
·         1 clove garlic, minced
·         ¼ c fresh parsley, chopped
·         dash of salt
·         fresh or dried chili, chopped (optional)

Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl and salt to taste.
Cool in the refrigerator for at least fifteen minutes before serving.

Orange Marmalade

This slightly bitter marmalade is perfect for scones or sweet rolls.
In my head bitter Orange Marmalade, as well as Grapefruit Marmalade is somehow associated with English breakfast or old fashioned tea ceremonies, but I am not sure about the true origin. If anyone knows more, please to let me know!

  • 12 small oranges (organic!!), peeled
  • 13 c water
  • 4,4 lb. (~2kg) sugar*
  • juice of 1 freshly squeezed lemon
Cook the oranges in the water in a large covered pot for about an hour. Drain, but keep the cooking water.
Cut the oranges open, remove the stones very thoroughly.
Then cut the oranges into very small pieces. Put the cooking water together with the sugar in a pot on medium heat. Stir frequently until the sugar is completely dissolved. 

Turn the heat up to high and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the orange pieces and the lemon juice. 

When the whole mixture is boiling, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 30 to 60 minutes, until it gets the right texture. If some foam builds up while you cook, just remove it. 

Fill the jam in sterile warm glasses and brush a little of alcohol (Rum, Gin, whatever) onto the lids, just in order to make sure they are sterile. Close, put them upside down for a couple of minutes and then turn them around.

A note on how to sterilize glasses: the easiest way is to wash the glasses and lids in the dishwasher, remove them while still hot and then fill a little bit (some tablespoons) of alcohol in, close them and shake thoroughly so as the alcohol can spread everywhere. Then drain and put them upside down on a tea towel, so that the rest of the alcohol can dry out.

*I use special sugar for cooking jams and marmalade (see picture), but this is not necessary. I would have something to thicken the marmalade with though, just in case!

Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieur is a classic french dish and can be served at any time of the day. 
One of the reasons it is such a favourite might be that it is so easy to prepare, yet tastes so good.
In this version, which is from the wonderful Nigella Lawson's 'Nigella Express', you do a little preparing in the evening, and the rest is baking in the oven the next morning and voilà: a wonderful breakfast or brunch for the family without any effort! 

  • 6 slices multigrain brown bread
  • Dijon mustard
  • 125g or 6 slices of Gruyère
  •  70g or 3 slices ham
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 80 ml milk
  • 4 tbsp. grated Gruyère, Emmental or Cheddar
  • Worcestershire sauce
Spread each slice of bread with mustard. Make sandwiches by putting each slice of cheese against the mustardy bread, with a slice of ham between them. Cut each sandwich in half to make triangles. 
Put the sandwiches into an ovenproof dish (approx. 27x21x6 cm) and squish them together. 
Beat together the eggs, salt and milk and then pour this over the breads. 
Cover the dish with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight. 
The next morning, all you have to do is preheat the oven to 200°C, take the dish out of the fridge and remove the clingfilm. 
Sprinkle with the grated cheese and a good dose of Worcestershire sauce and bake for 25 minutes.  
You will be the hero as everyone will think that you have been up early in order to prepare breakfast! Enjoy!!
Serves 4-6

Blogger Templates by Blog Forum