52 Dinners - Week 14: Pierogi Party

52 Dinners Place Setting Inspiration

A couple of couples came over last night for a very special Polish dinner!
Magda & Nate own Burlington-based Brio Coffee. They’re a lot of fun, and they roast some damn good coffee.
Keith & Lisa own Flatlander Farm over in Starksboro, VT, where they raise chickens, ducks, geese, and meat goats. You can find their beautiful duck eggs for sale at Hunger Mountain Coop in Montpelier and both City Markets in Burlington.
I knew that Magda was Polish. We were hanging out with them a couple of years ago and she pulled out a box of delicious sausages that her uncle had just sent over from the homeland.

But I hadn’t realized until last night that she actually lived there until she was nine. If I had known that, I may have been a bit intimidated to serve her these “traditional” Polish dishes. 
Luckily, it was all very well received, and I loved getting her feedback and hearing all about her mother and grandmother’s cooking.
It was my first time making pierogi, so I kept them pretty traditional. And I accidentally made about 100, so I’m glad they they freeze well.
The next course was Sałata Jarzynowa, made of boiled and diced parsnip, potato, and carrot with apples, pickles, and hard boiled egg (Magda grew up eating this salad as Christmas morning breakfast!).

Bigos is referred to as Hunter’s Stew, and is considered one of the national dishes of Poland. It’s a dry stew made with lots of meat, sauerkraut, and apples, which are simmered for many hours with caraway, peppercorns, and red wine.
It was probably one of the tastiest things I’ve ever made, and was perfect with a good crusty loaf of Red Hen Baking rye bread.
For dessert I served Piernik, a heavily spiced celebratory gingerbread-like loaf cake with cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
It gets cut in half, filled with jam, and covered with a dark chocolate ganache. I grated some fresh nutmeg into the ganache, making it a Silky Nutmeg Ganache. Yes, Silky Ganache.

What's next?
A friend from Transylvania is coming to dinner on Friday, so I plan to spend this afternoon reading about goulash.

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