Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Polish Feast for Saint John Paul II

This post was written by Catholic Cuisine contributor, Charlotte from Waltzing Matilda
Today is the feast day of the newly canonized Pope Saint John Paul II and my youngest daughter's baptismal anniversary so we want to celebrate in a big way with a Polish feast. I plan on making Polish Meat and Potatoes for dinner, a combination of cabbage and kielbasa served over garlic mashed potatoes and Piernik for dessert. I will post pictures when I take them later, but for now, here are the recipes to get you started: (Updated… pictures of our feast!)

Polish Meat and Potatoes
1 Tbl. olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
4-5 cups of cabbage leaves, chopped
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional… I leave it out or let people add it to their serving)
1 pkg. kielbasa, cut into rounds
3-4 green onions (opt.)
And supplies to make your usual mashed potatoes...

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add kielbasa slices and cook for about 10-15 minutes. I like to see a little crust show up in the sides of the sausage. Add garlic and cook for just another 30 seconds until the garlic is fragrant, but not burned. Add cabbage and green onions and stir frequently for the next 10 minutes until cooked. We like our cabbage lightly sautéed but if you like yours more well done, cook it longer, just keep stirring so the garlic doesn't  burn. Add pepper (and salt) to taste.
I serve this over regular mashed potatoes seasoned with garlic salt.

For dessert, I am making Piernik (Polish Honey Bread). It's baking in the oven right now and smells amazing! In fact, my 10 year old son just walked into the kitchen saying, "Mmmmmmm…. what is that smell?"


1 C. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves (I substituted nutmeg)
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
4 eggs
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 C. honey
4 C. all purpose flour
1/2 C. raisins (optional… my kids don't like them)
1/2 C. walnuts (optional… my husband can't eat them so I didn't add them)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a bunt pan. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, spices and eggs. Add in the milk, oil, baking powder and baking soda. In a small pot, heat the honey to boiling and then add to mixture. Mix in the flour and stir until blended well. Fold in the raisins and walnuts if you'd like them. Pour into pan and bake for about an hour until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack and turn out after 20 minutes. Dust top with powdered sugar.

I only had a little honey so I made a half batch, that's why my bread is shorter.

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  1. You know I can't resist a good feast day feast, even if it means an extra trip to the store.

    What a beautiful, landmark day! John Paul II, we love you!!

  2. Yay JPII Day!! Thanks for these! I may be a little late with them but I think we'll try these soon. How neat to be able to celebrate a saint we all knew "personally"!