Polish Village Meals

A few weeks ago, I was offered the chance to try and review some Polish cuisine. I’m heading to Warsaw next month and I must admit I’ve never tried Polish cuisine before. So when The Polish Village Bread got in touch with me asking me to try some of their food, I was excited to try something new which would prepare me for my upcoming trip.

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I got home from work one Friday and found a bulging bag of goodies on my doorstep and the amount stuffed into the bag was more than generous – I must admit I was pretty excited to find it as it meant I didn’t have to try and create dinner out of scraps in the fridge.

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I adore dumplings and in my goody bag I found three different types of pierogi: potato and soft cheese, sauerkraut, and pork and onion. Piregois are little plump dumplings, which are crimped into sun shapes. Dumplings are little heavenly packages which can be either sweet or sour. They’re so tasty and they don’t really deserve insulting ‘dump’ syllable at the start.

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I simply boiled them for a couple of minutes and then finished them off in a frying ban with some butter to give them a beautiful crisp shell. All the flavours were so good, but the pork and onion ended up being my favourite. I served up all the dumplings with a side salad of rocket and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, which my mum and brother tucked into and thoroughly enjoyed.

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Next came the chicken escalopes, which were served with cheese and mushrooms on top, sort of like a chicken pizza. Now you can’t go wrong with melted cheese but this is a dish I’ve made a fair few times and is incredibly easy to make. If you want to try Polish cuisine that you can’t make yourself, I’d opt for the peirogi any day.

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The next day we feasted on a lunch of pancakes, or krokiety, as they’re called in Poland. They’re not pancakes as I know them, I’d describe them more like a croquette with a crunchy exterior. We sampled three different flavours which included, spinach and cheese,  mushrooms and cheese, and spicy chicken and mixed vegetable. The spinach and cheese was a firm favourite, and I’ll definitely be ordering myself a portion of these babies when I head to Warsaw. (I’m afraid to say I forgot to take a photo of these as I wolfed them down too quickly).

I also received a couple of portions of sauerkraut, which I’ve only had a handful of times. It was a bit too tart for me but my dad just tipped into into a bowl and ate the whole thing and was singing its praises for days afterwards.

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The only sweet thing in the bag was the fruit cake, which hardly lasted a couple of seconds in my house. It’s a polish fruit cake, so it’s not one of those dense cakes with dried fruit packed in – instead it’s more of a fluffy sponge with fruit on top. It was so light and heavenly, I’d definitely be ordering that again.

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If you’re interested in tasting some Polish cuisine for yourself, you can try the whole range here.

 

 

 

 

 

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A Grecian Feast at The Real Greek

Growing up in North London has meant I’m pretty familiar with Grecian cuisine (and I’ve been known to eat whole tubs of Taramsalata in one sitting, oops). The Real Greek are launching a cookbook in mid-July, and I was invited along to their Shepherds Bush branch to taste some dishes. It’s got a prime location on the Southern Terrace of Westfields shopping centre – and on a nice sunny day it’s so easy to forget that you’re still in England.

Tonia Buxton is one of the brains behind the book. She’s incredibility personable and she’s so passionate about Greek culture and cuisine – it was a real pleasure to meet her.  She went all out and put on a complete feast for us, and my god, it was delicious.

One of the things that I love about Grecian cuisine is that you’re almost always guaranteed as atmosphere. It’s centred around the family, everything is shared, and dinner is never rushed.

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We started off with a range of cold and hot Mezes. One of the dishes that really stood out for me was the Tiropitakia. It’s a filo pastry parcel stuffed with a creamy leek, spinach and feta filling and it was simply divine.

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Make sure you get the Grilled Octopus, it’s such a simple dish but it’s done so well wasn’t chewy at all. When it comes to sides, a Greek Salad is obligatory to help balance all the flavours.

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If you’re still hungry after all that food, you absolutely have to try the Bougatsa – a filo custard pie. It’s the perfect end to a fantastic meal.

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One of the things I love about the menu is that the calories are noted next to every dish, which is great for someone like me who meticulously tracks everything they eat.

I’ll definitely be spending some sunny summer evenings cooking my way through this book and I can’t wait to share  some of these dishes with you. The book comes out on the 14th July and you can pre-order it here.

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The Real Greek, Southern Terrace, Westfield Shopping Centre
London, W12 7GB

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