Polish MayFest

April 30, 2012

Chicago's Polish community comprise of more than 1 million people. May Fest celebrates the first democratic constitution in Europe and the second in the world only to the United States Constitution. The weekend festival offers something for all ages including activities for kids to 2 stages of music by award-winning bands from Poland. Of course, there is also plenty of Polish food and beer! Chef Michael Niksic shows us what types of food guests will enjoy.

9th Annual Polish May Fest
May 5-6th
Copernicus Center: (corner of Lawrence & Milwaukee Aves.)
5216 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago IL, 60630

Saturday, May 5: 2 pm-9:30 pm
Sunday, May 6: 12 pm-9:30 pm
$5 admission before 5 pm; kids 12 & under are free


Grilled Mushroom, Goose & Tomato Soup

1/4 bunch celery diced in 1/2 inch pieces, 3-4 stalks.
1 boneless Goose breast skinned
1 large Spanish onion diced same size
1 pound white mushroom cleaned, whole
1 portabella mushroom, large, cut in quarters, use the stem, cleaned

Mix in a bowl 5-6 oz of Canola oil, 1 teaspoon marjoram, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt, add the mushrooms and toss well coating the mushrooms as evenly as possible.
Season and grill the Goose breast the same as the mushrooms
Grill mushrooms till almost done. Place in a pan or bowl whole and let cool as is in the bowl. Do the same for the Goose breast.
Add diced onion first into a 1-gallon soup pot, then celery in 3 oz. olive oil. (This is reverse of the norm.) The purpose is to caramelize the onions without overcooking the celery.
Add one tablespoon chopped garlic when celery is done.
Stir and add:

1 22 ounce can diced tomatoes or 6 small diced fresh plum tomatoes
1 pint tomato juice
1 quart chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon ground powdered mustard-Colemans
1 small bay leaf
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon marjoram or herbs de province

Run mushrooms through food processor slicing blade and add everything to soup including juices. Slice Grilled Goose breast into fork size pieces and add to soup. Bring to a boil and serve. This will make about 2 1/2 quarts of soup.

Buckwheat & Forrest Mushrooms
1 cup Buckwheat kernels
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (Colemans)
Salt broth to taste before boiling.-Recommended sea salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 T Marjoram – dry
1/2 T Chervil-dry or 2x fresh chopped parsley
1 large shallot minced. 2oz white mushrooms (#1's) 2 oz Portabella Mushroom diced
1T porcini mushroom powder or several dried porcini mushrooms.
Canola or Olive oil to sauté with


In a 1-quart pot sauté mushrooms until ½ done, then add shallot. When shallot begins to brown add chicken stock and seasonings. Bring to a boil, add buckwheat. Most manufacturers suggest 2 to one liquid to buckwheat as a cooking ratio. Reduce to a simmer, stir regularly to prevent sticking. There is no gluten so unless the buckwheat is severely overcooked it will not turn into a paste. After a few minutes remove a few kernels and check the consistency. When they are a little form still for your liking, remove from burner (When most all liquid is absorbed and cooled). Add anything (or not) to your liking to the buckwheat. Roast Goose, drippings, grilled meat, shrimp, more vegetables, cheese, etc. This recipe can be used as a side dish, bed to rest an entrée, stuffing for cabbage leaves, bell peppers, tomatoes, tortillas, filo dough, pita bread, and so on. Enhance with fresh herbs or roasted garlic, sun dried tomatoes, olives or nuts as you please.

Pan Seared Goose & Garden Greens Salad

Skin, trim, and season with sea salt & white pepper one medium sized boneless Goose breast.

In a large sauté pan brown in 2oz of olive oil the Goose - crispy on both sides until well done and remove from the pan. Add a shallot minced & brown it lightly. Add 4 oz. of Honey Meade, de-glaze the pan stirring and mixing drippings. Boil off alcohol. Add 2 ounces of olive oil, 1 oz. of apple cider vinegar, and 1 oz. fresh lemon juice, Fresh marjoram to taste, sprinkle in a touch of black pepper and ¼ tsp. powdered ginger or ½ T powdered mustard. Mix well with a whip and check flavor to make sure it's to your liking.

Slice or dice the goose meat, and arrange in a bowl with your favorite mixed greens & vegetables like spinach, Boston lettuce, Bibb, endive, cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, tangerine, pecans, green onion, buckwheat, pine nuts. Pour dressing over salad when warm out of pan for best flavor results.

Honey Meade Grilled Goose Marinade

Boil the alcohol out of 2 cups of Honey Meade. Cool. Add 1/4 cup loose marjoram leaves-fresh or 1 & ½ T dry marjoram, 1T sea salt, 1/2 T Black Pepper, 1/4 T ginger, 1/2 T English-powdered, 1T granulated or powdered onion. Mix well.

Soak the Goose meat (drained of all blood as possible and excess juices) in this mix in the refrigerator for 1 day prior to grilling for best results. Turn the goose over several times at least to insure a more even flavor while soaking. The thicker the meat the longer the soaking process needed. Splitting the meat into thinner pieces is always a good option when using marinades.

Use the marinade to baste the meat as needed while grilling and after when served. This can also be used for roasting and basting. Meat and grill should be lightly oiled before cooking process begins.

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