Tuesday, March 30, 2010

“Nightmare” dish - Łazanki


You will find below a quick list of my few favorite “nightmare” dishes, which I could not stand when I was a kid:

- Scrambled eggs with veal’s brains (which I still hate)
- Milk soup (I still hate it now)
- Cooked spinach (I like now)
- And łazanki (which I now like).

Do you have any food nightmares from your childhood you want to share?

Łazanki. The “prototype” of this old pasta dish with square noodles was probably brought to Poland in the 16th century by Bona Sforza, the Italian wife of King Zygmunt Stary (the dish is known under the same name in Belarus as well).
As a child, I did not have any idea about the Italian origins of łazanki, but this was not the reason why I did not like it.
To me, the dish was synonymous of something overcooked, sticky, gluey, greasy, too salty or on the contrary not salty enough. I was a cantina kid and łazanki were usually served once a week in my school, prepared in the manner that I describe above. “Łazanki” were usually served with overcooked (or not cooked enough) sweet or sour white cabbage, pork back grease and pieces of sausage or ham. Sometimes some sour cream was added.
This is how I remember the dish. The only worse food was veal’s brain served with scrambled eggs, which I still hate nowadays.

Now I can eat łazanki, but it took me years. And, sorry guys! I only like the dish when I prepare it on my own – traumatic memories still work. I would rather cook the version without any bacon, although it is not so traditional.

There are my keys to my favorite and only łazanki dish I eat:

First of all, I use Savoy cabbage, instead of white cabbage. This preparation is quite well known, but is not so common. I do not like cooked white cabbage, although I like it raw or soured. On the other hand, I love cooked Savoy cabbage, which is more delicate and tender. I never use pork grease; instead, I use olive oil, butter or even goose grease.

Secondly, I make my own square noodles. They taste so much better in comparison to łazanki noodles you can buy in stores. Instead of all purpose flour, like in my recipe, you can try to use buckwheat flour, organic rye flour, but then you will have to be careful, as usually organic flour takes more liquid. This is why I give you the recipe for those simple square noodles.

Thirdly, I like to add bryndza and/or “oscypek-like” cheese to the dish, if I have them handy of course. If not, I add some fresh tomme, or gruyere, or nothing. Traditional łazanki usually is not served with any cheese.

Fourthly, I add a lot of fresh forest mushrooms. Surely you can use frozen ones, as you would do it now because the mushroom season is over.

Fifthly, I grill the whole dish in the oven before serving. Et voila!

You might remember that I wrote about oscypek a few weeks ago. Today I mention bryndza which is another cheese that may be used in the recipe. You probably do not know this cheese, and I owe you a few words of explanation.
Bryndza podhalańska is a Polish variety of the soft bryndza cheese, which is known in other countries of the region (for example, Slovakia). The name of the cheese probably finds its origins in the Romanian term “brinze”. The first written recipes for bryndza come from the XVIth century (confirmed in documents issued by landowners and in Royal decrees. Bryndza is made from sheep’s milk and it has a strong, salty or slightly salty taste, sometimes even sour. The cow’s milk content, if any is used, should not exceed 40 % of the total amount of milk used in production. Now it has a geographical indication under European Union law. Bryndza is produced only from May to September. You can buy industrial “substitutes” in markets or, from local farmers, all year round (usually both add more cow milk).
Bryndza usually is eaten as a topping on tartines, with addition of fresh, sliced tomatoes, sour cucumber and fresh herbs. It also is a wonderful filling for some types of pierogi, noodles, Polish-style gnocchis, button mushrooms and a variation of potato pancakes.

One last good thing about łazanki: it tastes even better the next day, after a night in the fridge.

Łazanki

Serves 4

Ingredients
400 g square noodles (recipe below)
500 g Savoy cabbage, washed and finely chopped
350 g fresh ceps or bolets
100 g bryndza and / or oscypek cheese (optional, you can use your favorite cheese or just omit it)
200 ml vegetable broth
2 onions, peeled, washed and finely chopped
4 tablespoons goose grease
2-3 tablespoons butter
2 bay leaves
2-3 grains allspice
Salt
Pepper

Preparation
Delicately clean the ceps from the leftovers of the forest.
Scratch the stems to remove soil.
Rinse the mushrooms delicately under cold water.
Dry them with a paper towel and cut them into parts of equal sizes. If the mushrooms are small you do not have to slice them.
In a hot saucepan, melt butter and cook onions until gold, for around 10 minutes, over a small flame. Do not let onions burn.
Add mushrooms and fry over a medium flame, mixing often, until the mushroom juice evaporates completely.
Simultaneously, in a second saucepan, melt the goose grease and cook the cabbage with bay leaves and allspice over a medium flame, until slightly soft.
Then add mushrooms and onions, pour the broth and cook slowly until the broth evaporates. Add cooked noodles. Salt and pepper generously and mix.
Place the dish in a backing pan, sprinkle with cheese and place into the oven preheat to 180 degrees.
Bake for 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly grilled.
Remove from the oven and serve hot.


Home made square noodles - łazanki

Serves 4

Ingredients
250 g flour
2 eggs
A pinch of salt
Eventually 2 tablespoons, water

Preparation
Sift flour on your working table.
Form a well in the centre.
Place eggs and salt in the well.
You can add 2 tablespoons of water at room temperature.
Mix all the ingredients with a plastic scraper and then knead the dough energetically.
After 10 minutes your dough should be elastic and ideally smooth.
Divide the dough into two equal parts.
Place one part on your working table.
Wrap the second half in a plastic film and put aside.
Sprinkle some flour on your station and start rolling out the dough until it is between 1 and 2 millimeters thick.
Occasionally, flip the dough and sprinkle some flour over it so it does not stick to the table.
When the dough is rolled out, let it dry out a bit for about 10 minutes.
After that time sprinkle a bit of flour over the dough and cut oblong strips of dough (about 1.5 cm wide). Then cut the strips across cut across to obtain squares of dough. Mix the noodles so they will not get sticky; they may even get a bit dry.
Repeat the actions with the second half of dough.
In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil and add some salt and a bit of oil.
Place the noodles into the boiling water by small batches at a time and cook between 6-8 minutes, depending on their thickness.
Strain the noodles. Rinse them under running cold water and use according to your recipe. You may also keep the noodles in the refrigerator for a few days before using them with your favorite recipe.

21 comments:

Polka said...

O tak owsianka i zupa mleczna ciepła na słodko... FUJ!
A dziwne bo mleczna na słono z ziemniakami i makaronem mi smakuje :)
Piękne łazanki Magda zrobiłaś. Wpis jak zwykle inspirujący...

Uściski!

Konsti said...

O rety, lazanek w takiej luksusowej wersji to ja jeszcze nie jadlam:) To musi byc pyszne...
Pozdrawiam.

Magoldie said...

Jajecznica z mozdzkiem to jest wlasnie moj koszmar. Nigdy tego nie lubilam a dowiedzialam sie dopiero majac 28 lat ,ze w dziecinstwie tato faszerowal ,mnie tym.
Lazanki podane iscie krolewsko!
Te akurat zawsze lubilam tylko nikt mi nie podal ich w takiej fanatastycznej formie :)

Karolina said...

I have to admit I have never tried it with savoy cabbage, always with sourkraut. It looks great.

Dominika said...

A ja myslalam, ze nie lubisz klusek w zupie, bo ponoc tym Cie faszerowano... A lazanki wygladaja pysznie!

Szalony Kucharz said...

Did you use a ruler to cut these beautiful lazanki so evenly? When we make it at home (which happens probably once or twice a year) we just roll out the dough, cut it into stripes, gather them into a bunch, and just chop away roughly, for that "rustic" feel. Served with sauerkraut, braised white cabbage, fried onion and wild mushrooms: all minced into sour and sweet paste, seasoned as desired.

buruuberii said...

Chce lazanek i niewazne, ze robilam je za namowa An-ny 2 tygodnie temu :-))

Fajnie piszesz Magda, bardzo to dla mnie nowe doswiadczenie czytac ciekawe opowiesci i polskiej kuchni po angielsku - tak trzymaj!

Mam wrazenie, ze mam dziwne zywczaje zywieniowe, no moze mozdzku w jajecznicy bym nie lubila, ale poza tym mniam!

Pozdrawiam Cie cieplo :-)

Magdalena said...

Polko, zupa mleczna kojarzy mi sie jeszcze z plywajacymi kozuchami. Dodatkowo to mleko w szkole bywalo czesto i gesto przypalone. Owsianke natomiast zjem z checia, tylko musi byc doprawiona. Odkrylam jakis czas temu pare przepisow wg KPP - z mysla o dziecku, a chcac nie chcac zaczelam zajadac sama i raz na jakis czas robie.

Konsti, no moze malo lazankowe te lazanki albo inaczej – taka osobista wariacja wersja rutykalno – regionalna, bez sloniny i bialej kapusty, ktorej w lazankach zwalszcza nie cierpie.

Magoldie, fajnie, ze podobaja Ci sie te moje lazanki....i dobrze, ze nie jestem jedna, jak sie okazuje, ktora nie cierpi mozdzku. Nawet w wersji najbardziej wykwintnej bym nie zjadla wiedzac, ze to mozdzek. Oczywiscie moze sie zdarzyc, ze jezeli mnie ktos podstepem podejdzie i zatai co jem, to zjem. Dzieki za uwage o lazankach.

Karolina: Try one day to use savoy cabbage, if you like it. It tastes great braised.

Dominika: dzieki ! pewnie znalazlo by sie jeszcze pare produktow i dan, ktorych nie lubie. Kluski zawsze lubilam, ale nie w zupie (np lane kluski, ew lane ciasto). Kazdy ma jakies kulinarne „zboczenia” i uprzedzenia. Natomiast makaron w zupie jak najbardziej. Zwlaszcza pomidorowa z duza iloscia makaronu nitki.

Kucharz: Hi ! How are you ? Thanks for visiting the blog again, but maybe you should rather relax on the beach, or in a bar ?? For your info: no, I did not use any ruler. I do not have any, by the way. I cut noodles on my own, using just my knife and my eyes, as described in the recipe. Should I buy a ruler? Maybe next month!

Buruuberii, to naprawde mile, ze uwazasz, ze te opowiesci sa choc odrobine ciekawe, gdyz ciagle zastanawiam sie, kto moze zainteresowac sie opowiesciami z nutka Perelu w backgroundzie? A moze zaczac pisac o innych kuchniach? Rozkrecam sie, „ze tak powiem”, duzo mnie jeszcze pracy czeka, aby osiagnac to, o czym i w jakis sposob chce pisac, zwlaszcza po angielsku, aby choc minimalnie zainteresowac to moglo nie tylko polskojezycznych, ale i anglojezycznych czytaczy. Tutaj na dodatek mam zbyt czesto za malo materialow, aby rozwinac temat (np w sprawie sosu tatarskiego), czeka mnie nadrabianie zaleglosci i szukanie literautury podczas najblizszej wizyty w Polsce.

buruuberii said...

Hmm, kazdy pewnie musi odnalezc to o czym chce najbardziej pisac, o czym najbardziej lubi, ulubiona kolorystyke czy kadr... Obecna formula bardzo mi sie podoba, ale zdade sobie sprawe ze nie ejstem medianowym czytelnikeim, sa mnie wiem czego najbardzjei mi potrzeba w internetowych przepisach, opowiasciach? CZasem wytarczy ciekawe zdjecie, czasem znow ciekawe zdjecie nie wystarczy :) A czasem nawet grzyb nie jest w stanie pomieszac szykow, tak to smiesznie czasem bywa...

Tilianara said...

Magdo, witaj moja Imienniczko :) Czyta się Twoje opowieści wspaniale - powoli poznaję Twojego bloga i przy okazji szlifuję swój angielski :)

A łazanki wyglądają tak smakowicie, że nie wyobrażam sobie jak można by ich nie lubić ... choć jak przypomnę sobie makaron pewnej mojej cioci - paćkę o nieokreślonej konsystencji, smaku i kształcie - to chyba zaczynam rozumieć :)

A moje "nightmarowe" danie hmmmm wciąż niestety wątróbka, choć staram się do nie przekonać. Móżdżku nigdy nie jadłam, ale żołądki też mnie odrzucają, więc ja chyba po prostu nie jestem bardzo podrobową osobą :)

No, idę dalej czytać Twoje opowieści, a Tobie życzę wspaniałej Wielkanocy :)

Katie@Cozydelicious said...

This is lovely! I adore dishes that are even better the next day, and since I so enjoy every one of these ingrediants I'm psyched to try it! I do have many memories of foods I refused to eat as a child. The funniest, I think, is jam. I hated all kinds of jams and preserves, but I now adore them and come summer I'm a jam-making machine!

Bea said...

Hmmm... Lazanki niestety byly na mojej liscie 'I hate' i od tej pory nie probowalam ich wiecej :/ Ciekawe, czy moglabym sie do nich przekonac? ;)

Pozdrawiam Cie serdecznie i zycze radosnych i pogodnych Swiat!

Magdalena said...

Buruuberii: to nie jest tak, iz ja nie chce polskojezycznych czytelnikow. Przeciwnie, tylko z drugiej strony zastanawiam sie, jak dotrzec rowniez do tych, ktorzy z polska tradycja kulinarna nie maja nic wspolnego. To bedzie trudne, czasem ogarniaja mnie watpliwosci, tak wiec tym bardziej doceniam Twoje slowa. Pozdrawiam.

Tilianara: a hej, Magda! Dziekuje za wizyte na blogu i mile slowa, choc nie jestem taka pewna, czy na moich tekstach wyszlifujesz sobie angielski, gdyz co rusz znajduje jakies bledy, ktorych nie zauwazam przy pisaniu tekstu. Co do watrobki – tez nie przepadalam za nia, chociaz jadalam i jadam (teraz z wieksza checia, gdy moge sobie doprawic porto i korzeniami). Natomiast inne podroby: zoladki, serca, cynaderki, grasice, flaki i ozory jak najbardziej. Lubie podroby co do zasady bardzo. Mam nadzieje, ze wypoczelas podczas Swiat. Pozdrawiam!

Katie, hello again! It would be great if you could try this Polish dish one day. You know, my husband did not like jams when he was a kid, too. And he could not swallow butter… Regards!

Magdalena said...

Beo, mnie udalo sie przekonac do lazanek, ale odkad robie je sobie sama w domu - to nie jest taka klasyczna wersja, wariacja raczej, ale chyba nadal moge je nazywac lazankami?

buruuberii said...

Magda, przes mysl by mi nie przemknelo, by odczytac z Twego bloga, ze nie chcesz pisac dla polskojezycznych odbiorcow! W moje komentarze zazwyczaj (90%) wkrada sie usmiech, nie mam w naturze krytykowania, stronie od niego, chociaz sie zdarzy, ale unikam.
Milam na mysli, ze pewnie odnajdziesz w pisaniu to co Ci odpowiada, myse ze wazne by robic to co sie lubi :)
Sciskam!

Magdalena said...

Buruuberii, absolutnie nie przeszlo mi przez mysl, ze mnie krytykowalas :) Natomiast prawda jest, ze w jezyku pisanym trudniej wyrazac "skryty" dowcip; . sie czlowiek musi nauczyc pisac.

Pille said...

I love milk soup - even blogged about it few months ago ;)

Magdalena said...

I will have a look at your milk soup in a minute....!

maninas said...

The name of this pasta caught my attention. In Croatia/Dalmatia, we have a type of pasta called 'lazanje', pronounced like the Italian 'lasagne', but in no way similar. Our lazanje are (because they're plural) short, fat tagliatele, basically. Interesting to hear there's sth like that in Belarus, too. I do wonder where ours came from. Italy, too? But then Italians are not the only ones in the world (I'm thinking Chinese, Indian and many other) to produce some dough, boil it up and eat it. Interesting stuff. I think I might go and read a bit more on pasta later! :)

Magdalena said...

Maninas, thanks for visiting the blog. Answering your question: the name of those noodles come from Italian langauge - exactly lasagne. I was not sure about that is why I did not mentioned this in the post; however, my father have just told me that for sure it comes from Italian "lasagne".

Iwona said...

I stumbled across your blog looking for a recipe for fancy/different filling for pierogi. I almost died laughing reading this post about the milk soup. I too, have this on my "nightmare" list of food I ate when growing up in Poland. I remember one morning, seating over the milk soup with the fat coating settling all over the noodles and complaining that I did not want to eat it. My mom, out of frustration, poured the soup over my head. Interestingly, my mom has never made this for our kids, here in Canada...

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