Chef Michael Niksic will also conduct Polish cooking classes twice daily. The festival draws nearly 35,000 people every Labor Day weekend.
33rd Annual Taste of Polonia
Copernicus Center, corner Lawrence & Milwaukee Aves in Jefferson Park
Friday, 8/31 at 5 PM - 11 PM
Saturday, 9/1 at 12 PM - 11 PM
Sunday, 9/2 at 12 PM - 11 PM
Monday, 9/3 at 12 PM - 10 PM
Regular Admission is $7, Kids are free!
Polish Potato Pancakes
First, in a mixing bowl (4 qts. or larger), mix: 3 x-large eggs ½ cup all purpose Jewel-Osco® flour ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ½ teaspoon white pepper 1 & ½ teaspoons of salt 18 oz. cleaned onion (Spanish or Vidalia recommended) 4# potatoes (Idaho or Russet recommended)
Optional additional ingredients: Krakus ham®-mushrooms-sun dried tomatoes-bell peppers-olives-bacon-various cheeses-sausage-smoked salmon-ham-spinach-roasted garlic-squash
In a food processor with blade attachment, chop white onion, small in size. (This is about 3 cups.) Do not puree. Add onion in small pieces and use short bursts to mince them. The water they release is what the batter needs. Peel and shred the potatoes and place in a strainer. Run cold water over them, while stirring until the water flushes through all of them crystal clear, so no starch is left. Drain well for several minutes, as little water as possible. The potatoes will bleed water in the mix as time goes on, making the batter thinner. Mix into the batter. If batter appears thin after all is mixed, add flour slowly and, in small amounts, stir in only enough to soak up any loose liquids into a batter consistency. Test cook & taste a small scoop first before cooking the whole batch.
Fresh Cinnamon Applesauce
(may be used as Polish Potato Pancake Toping)
8 medium-large sized apples (Granny Smith recommended)
24 oz. Jewel-Osco® apple juice
1/4 lb. light brown sugar
2.5 T quality ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground nutmeg
2 oz. honey, 2 oz. salted butter
Simmer juice, add brown sugar and seasonings. Then, add peeled and cut-up apples in wedges. Simmer until the apples fall apart. Add optional honey and/or butter at the end when ready to cool off. The thickness of the sauce will depend one you. Longer cooking=thicker sauce. It can be removed at any time once the apples fall apart. Stir with a whip and this process will quicken. Use a food processor for a smoother end result. This is very shelf stable in sealed refrigerated container 40 degrees or lower. It can also be frozen. Great straight up, cold or warm, on pancakes, ice cream, fruit, cereal, French toast, between cake layers, made into ice cream, hot oatmeal or in crepes.
Krakus Polish Ham, Caramelized Onion & Buckwheat Pilaf
First dice 3 cups of onions and add:
1/2 t English/dry mustard
1t fresh rosemary
1t granulated onion
1 bay leave
Sauté the onions in whole butter (enough to prevent sticking) until they caramelize & turn brown, not black so stir regularly. Season the onions with Sea Salt and black pepper to taste. Then set the onions to the side. In a 3 quart or larger pot, simmer 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock, or water salted to taste. If broth is thick, thin down with a little water till the buckwheat has enough moisture to absorb.
Then add 2 cups roasted buckwheat and adjust water proportion if needed as per manufacturer directions. Simmer until water is absorbed. Fold in onions and cubed Krakus® Polish ham. Many other ingredients may be added to taste: nuts-peppers-vegetables-cheese-etc. Pilaf can be used as a side, entrée or filling for pirogies, peppers, cabbage, poultry etc.
Polish Honey Meade & Raspberry Ice Cream
For Raspberry Puree:
3ea. 1/2 pints of raspberries in 6oz. of apple or white grape juice
Add 2t lemon juice and 2T sugar
Simmer berries until soft after a few minutes and easily fall apart when stirred with a whip remove from stove. Add to a food processor or blender. Puree and strain out pips. Cool and store in clean container, sealed, in refrigerator. Freezes well and can be used for sauces, salad dressing, marinades, glazes, jam, icing or fillings. Simmer longer for a thicker sauce/puree.
For Ice Cream:
12 oz Raspberry puree
12 oz whole milk
7 yolks from large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1T fresh lemon juice
4 oz Polish Honey Meade (alcohol boiled out)
Bring milk to a simmer in a pot. In a mixing bowl, add the yolks, sugar, extract and lemon juice. Mix well with whip. When milk simmers, whip into the egg mixture quickly and evenly, pouring the milk slowly into the bowl. Cook in a hot water bath over a medium hot heat. Stir evenly and consistently until the mixture thickens, and changes color from a translucent yellow to an opaque yellow. When done cooking, pull from heat, cool slightly and whip in the pureed berries. Pour into container (shallow and spread out will slow down cooking, avoid curdling problems, and cool quickly) in your refrigerator or freezer.