Hot!Polish food, in Connecticut and elsewhere

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ChrisOC
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Re: Polish food in Connecticut 2016/11/19 11:54:44 (permalink)
I think I'll make a big pot of Bigos!! 
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Ketteract
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Re: Polish food in Connecticut 2016/11/20 09:43:15 (permalink)
Bigos was another thing that I'd never heard of until moving here.  My first experience with it was when a coworker (not the same one mentioned earlier) brought a huge crockpot of it for a potluck.  The very definition of comfort food.
 

#32
HollyDolly
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Re: Polish food in Connecticut 2016/11/29 14:35:08 (permalink)
Looks interesting as I've never had polish food. There was a polish restaurant in San Antonio,,but it's long gone.Now my mother would make  stuffed cabbage rolls sometimes. She was hungarian and i don't know where she got the recipe but they were good.I've had pierogis but only the frozen ones in the box at the supermarket. If I ever get a chance to go to New York to see my sister maybe they can take me to a polish festival.Seem to recall her and her husband stopped by one in the area. 
#33
mar52
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Re: Polish food in Connecticut 2016/11/29 16:37:38 (permalink)
HollyDolly,  Take a trip to West, Texas on I35 where you can try Czech dishes which are quite similar in Eastern European roots.
 
My favorite restaurant there is:
 
Picha'sCzech-American Restaurant
220 N Main St
West, Texas 
This was a favorite of Al Bowen and what I've had there was delicious.
 
This is their stuffed cabbage and Czech sausage plate that I had there last.  The town is a Czech town with lots of offerings.  Could be a fun day trip for you.
 


 
#34
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Re: Polish food in Connecticut 2016/11/29 20:26:12 (permalink)
I grew up in an area, western PA, where Polish, Serbian, Czech, Hungarian, Greek, Russian and Italian foods were common.  Those folks immigrated to the US and settled in the Pittsburgh area to work in the coal mines and steel mills.  They brought their food with them and they were very prevalent in local festivals and church suppers.  Really good food.   
#35
Ketteract
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Re: Polish food in Connecticut 2016/12/11 10:45:28 (permalink)
Dropped by the Roly Poly Bakery in New Britain yesterday.  Don't let the name fool you - this is a full grocery store, with every Polish meat and cheese you can think of, shelves of brands you never knew existed, a sandwich counter, and ready-to-serve hot foods.  I'd gone there for rye bread before, but decided to try their golabki.
 

 
The filling was better than what I had at the Polish National Home a while ago, bursting with porky flavor and spice ...
 

 
... and the tomato sauce was definitely the thinnest I'd had anywhere.  Tasty, but difficult to actually combine with the food and enjoy.  I'm not sure if there's a preparation of sauce that's considered the most traditional, or if it's one of those things where there's no one "right" way.
 
There were many, many other hot dishes to try, and the true Polish nature of the store's clientele showed through here: there were no labels!  At Roly Poly, you either know what you want by sight, or you know Polish names (which were on all the meats and cheeses), or you're SOL, unless you have someone to help you.  I didn't, and I also didn't feel like holding up the line asking the counter clerk to explain everything to my ignorant self, so I took my stuffed cabbage and ducked out.  I'll have to return with one of my Polish coworkers.
post edited by Ketteract - 2016/12/11 10:47:39
#36
leethebard
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Re: Polish food in Connecticut 2016/12/11 12:29:15 (permalink)
Looks delicious.....!
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Ketteract
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Re: Polish food in Connecticut 2016/12/28 19:26:50 (permalink)
My first day back in Connecticut, and already I have Polish leftovers!
 
This was from the same kindly coworker who once brought me sour rye soup.
 

 

 
His mom had cooked up several buckwheat golabki and a big pot of kapusta for Christmas.
 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapusta_kiszona_duszona
 
Wikipedia
Kapusta kiszona duszona, known to many Polish people simply as kapusta [kah-POOS-tah] which is the Polish word for "cabbage", is a Polish dish of braised or stewed sauerkraut or cabbage, bacon, mushroom and onion, or garlic. It is seasoned with salt, pepper and sometimes bay leaf, sugar, paprika and apples. The dish may be served at picnics, festivals, etc. where it is served as an accompaniment for meatballs, pork cutlets, kielbasa, other pork dishes, veal and game meats. In some homes, kapusta is served very thin, almost like a soup. In others, its ingredients are cooked until it becomes nearly as thick as mashed potatoes. It has been described as less sour in flavor compared to German sauerkraut.
 

 

 

 
This was perhaps the tastiest, most comfort-foodiest thing he'd ever given me.  It came up one day while we were discussing bigos, and he resolved to have me try it.  Compared to the bigos, it had a milder yet richer, deeper taste.  I would go so far as to call this the Polish equivalent of mac and cheese, although this seems to be more of a special-occasion dish - he said his mom only ever made it once a year, for Christmas.
 
Once again I feel privileged.
post edited by Ketteract - 2016/12/28 19:29:23
#38
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Re: Polish food in Connecticut 2016/12/28 19:33:57 (permalink)
Love your posts.  I am part Ukrainian so we make the same foods, with different names.
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Re: Polish food in Connecticut 2016/12/28 19:52:49 (permalink)
Privileged is right!  What a gorgeous meal!
#40
Ketteract
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Re: Polish food in Connecticut 2017/01/28 19:16:07 (permalink)
I've been fortunate enough to be gifted again by my reliable and generous coworker, this time with his mom's rendition of what's either kopytka (Little Hooves) or kluski leniwe (Lazy Noodles), I'm not sure which.  Both of them are similar to gnocchi.

It's the same dough, I'm told, that she uses for her legendary pierogi.  These were originally cooked with butter and caramelized onions, and I was advised to heat them in a pan with more butter.  And so I did.



This dough is, quite simply, amazing - "firm yet yielding to the touch," as they say. Something about that texture makes it completely addictive.  I hadn't planned to eat all of what he'd given me, but sometimes that's just how it goes.

I added a kielbasa patty from Martin Rosol's for protein, along with some Rosoff sauerkraut, and, on the side, Rosol's horseradish, Boetje's mustard, and Pulaski mustard.  What can I say, I like my condiments.



Between this, Sally's, and the British excursion... the weekend has been spectacular for food. 
post edited by Ketteract - 2017/01/28 19:17:09
#41
lleechef
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Re: Polish food in Connecticut 2017/01/28 19:53:14 (permalink)
YOU'RE KILLIN US!!
#42
Michael Hoffman
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Re: Polish food in Connecticut 2017/01/28 21:03:35 (permalink)
lleechef
YOU'RE KILLIN US!!


I'll say!
#43
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Re: Polish food in Connecticut 2017/01/29 00:07:37 (permalink)
Oh, YUM!  Love the variety of mustards.
 
I want those Little Hooves!
#44
Ketteract
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Re: Polish food in Connecticut 2017/01/29 08:33:39 (permalink)
Michael Hoffman
lleechef
YOU'RE KILLIN US!!


I'll say!




He'll be pleased to hear that.  I think it's been interesting from his perspective: for decades, all this cooking and the enjoyment of its results have been confined to mostly his close family, and now I'm sharing it with the Internet at large.  He shows this thread to his mom sometimes, I believe. 
 
I also stopped by Roly Poly recently to have another go at their hot food selection.  Note: these two photos are maybe a quarter of what they have.
 

 

 
They greet you in Polish, and the language you answer in determines the rest of the conversation. Efficient, no?   I was still a bit intimidated, but I did ask if the reddish stew was bigos, which it was, and got a small container of it.  (The gray-green stew behind it looked very similar to the kapusta I described a few posts ago, but I didn't confirm.)  Also snagged a couple of very attractive pierogi, and another golabki, because why not?  These were all eaten at home.
 

 

 
The young counter staff drew smiley faces on two of my containers.  Love little touches like that!
 

 
I didn't show the third container, but the bowl of bigos, the pierogi, and the golabki all came to less than $7.  A very sensible purchase when one considers that an equivalent amount of food at the esteemed restaurants in Little Poland would run you two or three times that much (though I don't doubt that they're excellent)!
post edited by Ketteract - 2017/01/29 08:35:31
#45
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Re: Polish food in Connecticut 2017/01/29 09:22:33 (permalink)
Ketteract
Michael Hoffman
lleechef
YOU'RE KILLIN US!!


I'll say!




He'll be pleased to hear that.  I think it's been interesting from his perspective: for decades, all this cooking and the enjoyment of its results have been confined to mostly his close family, and now I'm sharing it with the Internet at large.  He shows this thread to his mom sometimes, I believe. 
 
I also stopped by Roly Poly recently to have another go at their hot food selection.  Note: these two photos are maybe a quarter of what they have.
 

 

 
They greet you in Polish, and the language you answer in determines the rest of the conversation. Efficient, no?   I was still a bit intimidated, but I did ask if the reddish stew was bigos, which it was, and got a small container of it.  (The gray-green stew behind it looked very similar to the kapusta I described a few posts ago, but I didn't confirm.)  Also snagged a couple of very attractive pierogi, and another golabki, because why not?  These were all eaten at home.
 

 

 
The young counter staff drew smiley faces on two of my containers.  Love little touches like that!
 

 
I didn't show the third container, but the bowl of bigos, the pierogi, and the golabki all came to less than $7.  A very sensible purchase when one considers that an equivalent amount of food at the esteemed restaurants in Little Poland would run you two or three times that much (though I don't doubt that they're excellent)!


Don't know most of these dishes, but they look delicious, and I'd have fun here,trying them all. The only polish food we have on a regular basis are pierogi's, and they're from Costco,so I doubt you's say they are authentic. The price for what you got was great. I would consider this a tasty learning experience for me!
#46
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Re: Polish food in Connecticut 2017/01/29 13:07:07 (permalink)

#47
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Re: Polish food in Connecticut 2017/01/29 14:10:40 (permalink)
Ketteract
I've been fortunate enough to be gifted again by my reliable and generous coworker, this time with his mom's rendition of what's either kopytka (Little Hooves) or kluski leniwe (Lazy Noodles), I'm not sure which.  Both of them are similar to gnocchi.

It's the same dough, I'm told, that she uses for her legendary pierogi.  These were originally cooked with butter and caramelized onions, and I was advised to heat them in a pan with more butter.  And so I did.



This dough is, quite simply, amazing - "firm yet yielding to the touch," as they say. Something about that texture makes it completely addictive.  I hadn't planned to eat all of what he'd given me, but sometimes that's just how it goes.

I added a kielbasa patty from Martin Rosol's for protein, along with some Rosoff sauerkraut, and, on the side, Rosol's horseradish, Boetje's mustard, and Pulaski mustard.  What can I say, I like my condiments.



Between this, Sally's, and the British excursion... the weekend has been spectacular for food. 


I want that bad! Those Little Hooves look awesome.
#48
Ketteract
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Re: Polish food, in Connecticut and elsewhere 2017/04/15 11:42:12 (permalink)
I've loved Martin Rosol's ever since a coworker introduced me to it - and I duly stocked up on their special Easter kielbasa ("special" because they change up the recipe a bit) a couple of weeks ago, squirreling it away in the freezer - but while I was at BAR in New Haven yesterday enjoying their mashed potato pizza, I overheard a fellow at the bar talking about standing in line to get his Easter kielbasa, and made a new discovery. 

"Martin Rosol's?" I called over.
"Nope - Czapiga!" he replied.

It took a few more moments of conversation to get both the spelling and the location.  Armed with this valuable information, I drove down to Meriden this morning.  I arrived at 9:00 sharp, their opening time.



Possibly they had stretched their hours for the holiday.  



Their kielbasa came in two sizes, "medium" and "large".  I snagged one large, taking note of the display fridge as I stood in line: a delightful old beast with a badge that read "Friedrich Floating Air."  



Impulse purchases included a jar of homemade relish and some rye.





They also had a small sandwich menu that looked like it would be worth diving into at some point.



I sped on home, anxious to try out this new meat-marvel.



Looks very different from Martin Rosol's, as you can see.  The casing has a more shriveled appearance.  Perhaps someone more educated in the art of meat preparation than I can speak to what causes that.



It's more loosely packed than Rosol's, and a bit leaner and saltier.  As expected it went wonderfully with the relish.



I couldn't begin to tell you what was in that.  Allspice?  Nutmeg?  Mustard seeds?  Whatever the case, this was one of very few sweet relishes that I've liked.  

... and now I have about eight pounds of Rosol's and Czapiga's combined kielbasa to get through.  Yikes.  All I know to do with it so far is to eat it straight, in eggs, in sandwiches, in fried rice, or with some root veggies.  Hmmm.  Maybe pizza...
post edited by Ketteract - 2017/04/15 11:44:13
#49
Uncle Groucho
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Re: Polish food, in Connecticut and elsewhere 2017/04/15 12:20:31 (permalink)
Very nice.
#50
Michael Hoffman
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Re: Polish food, in Connecticut and elsewhere 2017/04/15 12:50:41 (permalink)
If kielbasa is a turn-on for you, next time you're anywhere near Old Saybrook stop in at Walt's Market and get some of their fresh kielbasa. My daughter used to run into the late Katharine Hepburn there quite often.
 
http://www.shorelinetimes.com/lifestyle/best-butcher-walt-s-food-market-old-saybrook/article_dda92baf-1fb5-5e62-a553-c4736a1635f1.html
#51
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Re: Polish food, in Connecticut and elsewhere 2017/04/15 12:55:59 (permalink)
Kielbasa with green beans and red potatoes and I'm fine.
#52
Michael Hoffman
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Re: Polish food, in Connecticut and elsewhere 2017/04/15 13:39:10 (permalink)
Fry up five or six rashers of bacon, then drain it and chop it up. Saute some sliced onion in the bacon fat. Combine the chopped bacon and the onion in a Dutch oven, add a bag of sauerkraut and mix. Next pour in a 16-ounce can of beer to cover and place the Dutch oven in a pre-heated 350 degree oven. Bake for three hours, mixing every hour and adding water if necessary. After three hours put a one pound piece of kielbasa, whole, into the Dutch oven and push it down into the kraut. Bake for one more hour. Serve it with a good, grainy mustard (I use Pommery Moutard de Meaux), rye bread and a good beer or ale.  
#53
Ketteract
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Re: Polish food, in Connecticut and elsewhere 2017/04/15 16:45:47 (permalink)
Thanks for mentioning Walt's again!  I think you brought it up when I first started rambling on about kielbasa in another thread, and I had forgotten to bookmark it.  Done.  I haven't been down to that corner of CT in a while, either, so I'd say I'm about due.
 
And that recipe sounds like something even I could do, although the closest thing I have to a Dutch oven is a crock-pot.  How did you develop it?
#54
Michael Hoffman
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Re: Polish food, in Connecticut and elsewhere 2017/04/15 16:51:41 (permalink)
You're right. I'd forgotten about having posted about Walt's before. As to not having a Dutch oven, that's not a problem. Any casserole dish deep enough to hold it all works just fine. It's what I used to use. I didn't actually develop it. Someone told me about a similar dish and I just made a couple of changes, adding the bacon and the onions.
#55
Foodbme
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Re: Polish food, in Connecticut and elsewhere 2017/04/15 17:17:12 (permalink)
When I think of Easter, I think of Polish food and vice versa.
I'm going to print the pages of this thread and eat them!
Hard to find Polish food in the Valley.
 
#56
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Polish food, in Connecticut and elsewhere 2017/04/15 18:35:48 (permalink)
Ketteract
"Martin Rosol's?" I called over.
"Nope - Czapiga!" he replied.

For a brief moment did you feel insulted? 
#57
Heartburn
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Re: Polish food, in Connecticut and elsewhere 2017/04/15 20:02:54 (permalink)
If in or near Clearwater Fl,Try try the Pierogi Grill & Deli,
Best Poilsh food I have found.
#58
Ketteract
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Re: Polish food, in Connecticut and elsewhere 2017/04/17 15:13:59 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
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"Martin Rosol's?" I called over.
"Nope - Czapiga!" he replied.

For a brief moment did you feel insulted? 




Ha!  Nah.  As a wanderer from out of state, I'm more egalitarian about my grocers and restaurants.  I'll happily go to Noack's or Czapiga, but try telling that to a lifelong New Britain resident who would never think of going to some damn place down in Meriden.    
post edited by Ketteract - 2017/04/17 15:15:13
#59
Ketteract
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Re: Polish food, in Connecticut and elsewhere 2017/04/18 17:08:41 (permalink)
Another Easter, another helping of żurek from my kindly Polish coworker.  This time, his mom made the broth, instead of his aunt.



Here were the other ingredients.





Some Roly Poly light rye.



And horseradish for grating.  It's a little like Blue Apron, isn't it?



Behold.







I had an exceedingly rough day, so I really, really needed this comfort food.



As before, the best part was the horseradish-heavy broth at the bottom.  I can't emphasize enough what a wonderful soup this is.  If you ever get the chance to try it, do so. 
post edited by Ketteract - 2017/04/18 17:13:32
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