Taste of Polonia event info, recipe

September 1, 2011 3:43:55 AM PDT
Enjoy live music and tasty Polish delicacies at Chicago's ''Taste of Polonia'' this Labor Day Weekend.

Now in its 32nd year, the festival takes place at the Copernicus Center on the city's Northwest Side. Chef Michael Niksic of Jewel-Osco, will offer a free Polish cooking class, but he's here Wednesday to make Stuffed Duckling & Ham Bell Peppers.

Taste of Polonia
September 2-5
Copernicus Center
5216 W. Lawrence Ave
$7 regular admission
$3 Seniors
Children under 12 FREE

RECIPE: Stuffed Duckling & Ham Bell Peppers (or Sandwich filling )

  • 1/2 small diced cooked Duckling (Roasted or Grilled)
  • 1/2 cup fine diced Krakus Polish Ham?
  • 1/4 cup fine diced onion
  • 1/2 cup pureed roasted bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup fine diced celery
  • 1 whole x-large egg
  • 1/2 cup fine diced carrot
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms fine diced
  • 3/4 cup Farmers Cheese (or cream cheese)
  • 2T Fresh Marjoram
  • 1t Sea Salt
  • 2T Fresh Oregano
  • 1t Black Pepper


In a saute pan with just enough corn oil to prevent sticking, cook celery & carrots, followed by onion, ham and the onion in about two minute intervals. Pull from fire and cool off quick, out of pan. In a food processor, puree roasted peeled red bell pepper with cheese. When smooth and evenly mixed, add fresh herbs, egg, and seasonings. Blend well. Remove from machine, add to a mixing bowl. Mix in roast duckling, cooled vegetables and ham. If you stuff bell peppers choose peppers from market that can stand upright without falling over. Make sure they are the same size. Red & yellow peppers will be sweeter. Cut the top off the peppers, fill with mix, stand on end in roasting pan. Bake at 375 until peppers soften a bit and stuffing is at least 160 degrees if temperature is taken. They can be garnished by sprinkling chopped parsley on top, paprika, seasoned breadcrumbs, grated cheese, nuts, etc.

This Mix is also great when spread between layers of thick rye bread, tomato bread, French bread, and baked or toasted for a hearty sandwich. Even open faced on pita! Can be used inside of pirogie's, too.

Polish Potato Chowder


  • 1 1/4 cups diced onion
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushroom
  • 1 1/2 cup short sliced cabbage
  • 2T chopped garlic
  • 3+ cups cooked mashed potatoes
  • 1 pound small dice- red potatoes
  • 1/4 pound diced raw bacon-trimmed
  • 1/2 pound cooked sliced Kielbasa sausage
  • 1/2 pound diced Krakus Polish Ham
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 6T cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1T dried marjoram
  • 1t sea salt
  • 1/2 t white pepper
  • 1T dry mustard
  • 4oz corn oil or canola oil

(makes about 2 1/2 quarts)


In a 1 gallon soup pot sauteé the celery, bacon, ham and sausage first. When bacon is about 1/2 done add onion and bell pepper. When onions start to turn translucent add mushrooms. Several minutes later add garlic. After another minute or so add the diced potatoes to the pot. In a small bowl mix cornstarch with just enough water to make a runny mix with it. Add milk and chicken stock to pot. Add seasonings, when soup simmers for several minutes whip into the soup while stirring the cornstarch mix and mashed potatoes. When the soup simmers again for several minutes add cabbage, simmer for another 5-6 minutes until cabbage wilts and diced potatoes soften. Add chopped parsley last and mix in before serving. Thicken or thin as you see fit. Can be served with bread, crackers, croutons or biscuits. When cooled, store in clean container, sealed air tight at 40 degrees or less in refrigerator.

(RELEASE) Celebrate Labor Day weekend with live music, food and fun for all ages at the 32st Annual Taste of Polonia at 5216 W. Lawrence Ave. in Jefferson Park. (Lawrence & Milwaukee Aves.)

Once you've indulged in your Polish favorites like polska kiebasa, pierogies, potato pancakes, and imported beer, visit one of five stages for an exciting variety of nonstop entertainment and music for every taste -- from local artists to internationally renowned musicians.

This year's exciting musical line-up includes performances by Chicago's own: Bad Medicine, Libido Funk Circus, Gentlemen of Leisure, Rico!, Polkaholics, Polka band The Knewz and more! Also performing are 4 popular bands all the way from Europe including Lombard and Sztywny Pal Azji. And don't miss Polish-American rapper "Funky Polak" whose unique, award-winning lyrics are based on his experiences as an immigrant in Chicago. Plus there's a great line-up of Club DJs on the Dance Stage every night beginning at 8 p.m.

A special Kids' Stage offers theater, dancing, live game shows, fashion shows, face painting and crafts. Kids can play carnival and arcade games or visit with the Fairytale Princesses while Moms shop for old-world treasures at the Festival Marketplace!

Escape the heat indoors to enjoy classical performances by the Paderewski Symphony Orchestra and the Chopin Choir in the theater. Once inside, try a free Polish cooking class hosted by Chicago celebrity chef, Michael Niksic (a.k.a. The Food Mercenary); or test your luck at Big Nick's Casino.

Festival hours are: Friday, September 2: 5-11 PM; Saturday & Sunday, September 3-4 : 12-11 PM; and Monday, September 5: 12-10 PM. Regular admission: $7.00; Seniors: $3, children 12 and under: Free. For more information and a complete performance schedule, visit: copernicusfdn.org, or visit our "Taste of Polonia" event page on facebook!

The Copernicus Center is conveniently located one block from the Jefferson Park CTA and Metra lines.

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