Kasza And Her Daily Glory…

Reading all lovely comments from you Dear Readers I decided that some of Polish cusine is needed πŸ™‚ of course the way we eat in Poland nowadays isn’t much different from other European countries: we have Italian restaurants, French restaurants, sushi and chinese restaurants, fast foods and kebab bars. Of course we tend to cook internationally, as we are highly influenced by what we read and watch, still tough there are products which are only avaliable in Poland and nowhere else. So is kasza. Kasza can be translated into English as grits or millet or pearl barley. It used to be very popular in Poland before the arrival of potato (which was some time in XVIIth century) and is still nowadays. Grits is good for you, as it’s easy to digest plus it works for insides a little bit like a tiny broom, so it helps digestions in general. In Poland we have at least dozens of different kinds of grits, all to your liking. I prefer the pearl barley or millet, as my stomach seems not to agree with buckwheat grits, which my parents adore.

Grits is nuticious but low in calories and high in proteins. The avarage grits to water ration is 1:2 – so per one cup of grits one should take two cups of water, so easy peasy. As rice it has tendency to get bigger when it soaks the water, so make sure your pot is big enough for that bugger.

When I was thinking about grits I had to think about the history of Polish cusine. My country is located in a very interesting spot of central Europe. One one side we always had Russians, on the other Germans and Czech. Through Poland the armies and cultures seem to roll back and forth, we had Germans helping us build the cities, Italian Queen, French King, Swedish robbing the country naked, Tatars and Turks and all other goodies. This all had a huge influence on our food. Funnily enough Polish cusine isn’t the same in the whole country, but varies from region to region, and from family to family. My family comes originally from Eastern Border – from the town called Vilnus, which now belongs to Lituania, but used to be Polish. Simply because back in XIV/XVth century, when Teutonian Knights were pain in the neck Poland and Lituania signed the act of Union, and ever since we had one king. So food from my father’s family is closer to the Russian food, but still very Polish. Oh did I mention that I’veRussian surename? Here you go – father of my grandfather was Russian, but married a Polish Nobel woman and they lived happily ever after. Maybe that’s why everyone thinks I look exotic, as my face has certain eastern features – black almondy eyes. No I’m not an alien πŸ˜‰

This dish was inspired by chats I had with my dear friend who’s historian of polish cusine. She’s so amazingly talented and introduced me to the world of historical food and history of food. When I lived abroad she sent me a book on Old Polish Cusine which was highly inspiring for someone who felt derooted at times. It’s the simplest idea of grits with sauce, made on similar principle as risotto, but still different. Feel warned as it’s very meaty but we are carnivores, and since my Dad’s and mine blood groups are type O we eat lots of meat… otherwise we get anemic (and I’m not kidding you) Unfortunately it does take time to make, but it’s worthy πŸ™‚ I assure you, as everyone took seconds and thirds πŸ™‚ plus it’s really good for you…

Grits with Meaty Sauce Old Polish Way

(feeds 4-6)

1 cup of grits

2 cups of water

1 tb spoon butter

1 stock cube

250g smoked cooked ham diced

4 frankfurters sliced thinly

5 young stems celery sliced

250g frozen peas

1 red pepper diced

2 onions diced

3 cloves garlic chopped

1 tb sour

1/2 tb flour

4 tea spoons Ajvar

4 junipers

pepper

In the frying pan add olive oil, onion and garlic and give it a fry. Add ham and frankfurters and brown nicely. Then add 1/2 liter of water and simmer slowly for 20-25 minutes. Add celery and simmer for another 15. Add a bit more water and add diced pepper. Let simmer for 10-15 mins and add few junipers and Β Ajvar . In the meantime in the bigger pot melt the butter, rinse the grits and give it a fry. Add water and broth cube and let simmer for about 20-30 mins with a lid on, until ready. In the bowl pour hot water over the peas and allow 3-5 mins for them to cook, rinse. In the mug mix sour cream and flour, add some of the broth from ham/veggie mix and stir until smooth, poor into the mix and stir until smooth and let simmer for 5 mins. Remove the grits from stove. Now add the sauce to the cooked grits, and give it a stir, add peas, stir and put the lid on and let mingle for 10 mins. Now it’s ready to serve πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

 

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About ladymorgiana

I'm a redhair girl witch to some scientist to the others... I love cooking and baking.... what else would you like to know?
This entry was posted in ajvar, celery, cream, food talk, frankfurters, grits, ham, peas, pepper, recipe and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Kasza And Her Daily Glory…

  1. This is fantastic recipe, love the beautiful photos! So, are you Polish? I thought for sure that you are Latino!:)

  2. Okay I just read from top to bottom slowly :)) That is great, I am originally from Europe too(ex-Yugoslavia), but now in US..Your English is fantastic, you are amazing writer!

  3. carebear says:

    hiya, this looks fantastic. never had grits before. looks good and healthy though.

  4. ladymorgiana says:

    Hey Sandra πŸ™‚ Yay! Yes I’m Polish, was born in Poland but travelled the world πŸ™‚ thank you for all the kind words, they made me speechless and very happy πŸ™‚ Former Yugoslavia? Wow amazing how long are you in US?

  5. ladymorgiana says:

    Yay it is CareBear πŸ™‚ Very goot for you!

  6. Claudia says:

    I love reading the histories of food – all countries have been influenced by so many. A great deal of my Italian recipes (from my grandmother) have their origins in Spain and much of the Arab world. It is so heartening to come together via food.

  7. ladymorgiana says:

    Thank you Claudia πŸ™‚ Indeed food has been influenced by many πŸ™‚ and so had POlish food, we have Arabic influences as well – for instance Old Polish food was very spicy πŸ™‚

  8. i was born in Romania and there are parts of the country where they eat lots of buckwheat. I do like it too but prefer barley.
    thanks for the background story, it’s always a pleasure to read about other countries’ cuisines.
    Hope you’ll have a wonderful Monday

  9. ladymorgiana says:

    Thank you πŸ™‚ I’m more a barley person as well! I didn’t know that they eat buckwheat in Romania! Fantastic πŸ™‚ thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

  10. The Mom Chef says:

    So very good to hear of your background. I’m going to have to find out where my mother’s parents are from in Poland. I have read Michener’s “Poland,” which taught me so much about the country and gave me a deep respect for all that the people there have gone through. Thank you for the wonderful recipe. The Armenian side of me is used to to cracked wheat, which we call bulgar.

  11. Jessica says:

    This looks awesome! Yum!

  12. ladymorgiana says:

    Thank you guys πŸ™‚

  13. Julie M. says:

    What a gorgeous dish you put together here! This would be a huge hit in our house. My husband is a big meat eater and I love a hearty one dish meal. thanks for sharing!

  14. This kasza looks totally yummy, love the smoked ham addition here! I’m originally from Ukraine πŸ™‚

  15. Cakewhiz says:

    Hand me a spoon and I would be digging into this delightful dish without a second thought πŸ˜‰

  16. grace says:

    yum! i LOVE that you included peas in your batch of creamy comfort food–i love the pop of flavor they supply!

  17. Kristen says:

    This was so much fun to read. I hope you post a lot of traditional Polish recipes…with stories, too. I bookmarked this. I have millet that gets boring. This will give it a little sparkle!

  18. ladymorgiana says:

    Thank you all for kind words πŸ™‚ Yes Kristen I would try to write quite a lot about POlish food coz I know that you guys are interested πŸ™‚ Grace, isn’t pea the best – the little green balls which pop when you bite on them πŸ™‚

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