Sunday, April 27, 2014

Chow Down to Eurovision 2014 - Poland

Dobry wieczór, after a 2 year absence from Eurovision this is Poland calling.

This is Poland's first entry in Chow Down to Eurovision, so please let's make them feel welcome.

The inspiration for this entry came after listening to a talk by the amazingly brilliant Magda Szubanski on reclaiming fear. (It's a must listen)

During the talk Magda speaks of family history in Poland so of course while tweeting her it was magnificent, I had to ask her for a Chow Down to Eurovision Dish! (never miss a trick)

If you don't follow her on twitter yet, you most certainly should! @MagdaSzubanski She is one of the world's good guys and I'm very thankful for her suggestion though she may not recognised the final dish. (Did I avoid crazed fan territory? I tried so hard)

I have played around with the idea of the pierogi and it became almost like a porcini potato gem, the best of Poland and Australia.
Continuing today's Magdalena theme, Magdalena Tul sang Jestem for Poland in 2011 and while it has a touch of the single ladies about it, she came last in the Semi Final.

Perhaps next year they could send Magda Szubanski for guaranteed douze points
(I'm calling shot gun on back ups ok?)


Like languages with multiple dialects there seems to be endless variations of this soup, some that are allowed to infuse for days and even ferment.
My homage is  perfect for when you need a super changed hit of vegetables, ok so the gems are deep fried, but think of the antioxidants!
Polish Beetroot Soup with Porcini Potato "Gems"
  • 3 beetroots
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 swede
  • 1 turnip
  • 2 brown onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks, with leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. peppercorns
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Big pinch of salt
Gem ingredients (about 15 gems)
  • 2-3 potatoes boiled, cooled
  • 50g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 egg
  • 3-4 tbs. fine semolina flour
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • oil to fry
  • Salt and pepper
  • Add beetroot to a baking dish, splash with olive oil and salt and cover with foil
  • Roast in a 160°C oven for about 1 hour till tender
  • Make the stock in a heavy based pot.
  • The stock will be strained so the vegetables can be quartered and added whole
  • Heat a splash of oil to coat the vegetables and brown for about 2 minutes
  • Cover with boiling water and simmer for 2-3 hours (can be left overnight to develop)
  • Strain the stock
  • When the beetroots are cool, cut into fine strips (remember one man's fine is another man's chunky so don't stress, just cut)
  • Add beetroot back to stock, the colour will be a brilliant purple
  • Heat slowly
  • Season to taste
  • Serve topped with parsley or herbs of your choice, mine is a bit light on herbs due to my love of purple, I don't want to cover any of it up!
To make the gems
  • Cover the mushrooms in cold water, let sit for 30 minutes
  • Pass the cooked cooled potatoes through a ricer (medium holes)
  • Drain the mushrooms and roughly chop (liquid can join the soup or be saved for later)
  • Add egg, mushrooms, pinch of salt/pepper and flour
  • Gently combine, the lighter the touch the lighter the gem
  • Shape into desired shape and coat in breadcrumbs
  • Deep fry in hot oil for 1-2 minutes
  • If not too big they will float when ready like gnocchi

Will they twerk their way into the final?

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