Lots of you have been very busy making recipes from my book, Wild Honey and Rye: Modern Polish Recipes. Here are a few of my favourite ones:
From the ‘Seasonal and Raw Salads’ Chapter:
(This salad also goes very well with the Polish meatballs below)
Margot is a Polish blogger based in Brighton and so I was super-keen to receive her feedback on my Polish recipes. How would they compare to her own family recipes or to the recipes she has tried in Poland? Luckily, Margot was excited to find lots of recipes that she wanted to try out and was pleased to find a buckwheat recipe that immediately appealed to her. Margot’s husband, who does not usually enjoy buckwheat or beetroot, also enjoyed it.
Margot says: “Being Polish, the recipes all seem quite familiar to me but at the same time so different from what I’m used to. Ren has taken traditional Polish dishes to a completely new level, adding international ingredients and modern methods of preparation. It would unquestionably make a great gift to anyone interested in Polish cuisine.”
From the ‘Seasonal Soups and Market-Inspired Sides’ Chapter:
Claire at FoodieQuine in Scotland shares her impressions on Wild Honey and Rye. The Forest Mushroom Soup immediately caught her eye, so she set about making a batch, served with some delicious pearl barley.
Claire says: “It seems that the contemporary Polish food scene is striving at both street food, home cooking and Michelin star level. In addition to inspiring me to recreate her recipes at home, I’ve also been inspired by Ren to add a visit to Poland to my ever increasing travel bucket list.”
From the ‘Food for Family and Friends’ Chapter:
Ceri had taken a trip to Poland in 1998 and whilst the trip itself was full of fun for Ceri as she travelled with her youth orchestra, the food didn’t leave much of a lasting impression. Prompted by the book, Ceri had a longer than usual peruse of the Polish food aisle at her local supermarket and was happy to find roasted buckwheat under its Polish name of Kasha or Kasza. In the end, Ceri chose to make the Potato Pancakes in Mushroom Sauce (definitely a staple in our house) and served them with her own carrot and cucumber salad with caraway seeds.
Ceri says: “The book is such a wonderful memoir of a cuisine that I think perhaps could do with a bit of redefining on the world stage. Ren explains in the book that the Poland of today is probably a bit different to the Poland we think of. I’d love to go back and find out.”
Kellie has been reading my blog, and I hers, since the very beginning of my journey into food writing and I was thrilled that as a cancer health educator, Kellie found a recipe that she was very happy to make and blog about from Wild Honey and Rye. Kellie’s blog is mainly vegan and plant-based and the earthy image of a Millet ‘Kaszotto’ with Wild Mushrooms immediately took her fancy. Although Kellie often cooks risotto-type dishes with buckwheat, barley or rice, she had never cooked with millet, which in Poland is known as kasza jaglana, hance the name ‘kaszotto’ given to the dish. Kellie also shares her two favourite restaurants in London – Baltic Restaurant and Bar and Ognisko Restaurant at The Polish Hearth Club (which, incidentally, are mine too) and selects some of her favourite recipes and chapter highlights from the book.
Kellie’s recipe verdict: “This cosy, satisfying dish is staying in our repertoire of easy weekday suppers, occasionally adding our own touches – flecks of goat’s cheese one time; sauteed tempeh another.”
I couldn’t write a Polish cookery book without including a recipe for my Mama’s Bigos recipe, which makes an appearance during every buffet and celebration in our house and is devoured every time. I was thrilled that Nicky over at Kitchen Sanctuary chose to make this dish, not least because it is known as Poland’s national dish, but also because it encouraged her to cook with ingredients, key to the Polish kitchen, which she hadn’t brought together before – sauerkraut and Polish sausage. Nicky’s dish looks absolutely delicious and it’s great to hear that the whole family enjoyed it.
Nicky says: “Slow cooked pork with mushrooms and stock is exactly the kind of comfort food I love. The stew starts off on the hob and is finished in the oven. A little under 3 hours from start to finish, it’s the perfect meal to cook in the oven on a drizzly Saturday afternoon. I loved the tender, fall-apart pork, the tangy bite of the cabbage, and the sausages added lots of meaty flavour (the kids’ loved the sausages the most).”
I hope you enjoy checking out some of the recipes above. Let me know if you’ve cooked from the book by tagging me @foodren on social media or by using the hashtag #wildhoneyandrye