Saturday, 11 June 2011

Duel & two dinners - flashbacks from Poland

I dedicate this post to my friends thanks to whom I am never bored in Poland. Thank you very much!


This was a dinner, in a fact, two dinners the same night cooked by my friends Guzik and Staszek (remember his name as he might be famous poet one day). They had an argument in a club one night, in the front of me, who can cook better. So they decided they are going to cook a dinner for me and I will decide which one of them is better cook. We agreed to meet on Friday night and my best friend Ela and I were judges in this culinary duel.

Ela (my friend for last 25 years) is brilliant judge as she works in food business and she tasted many, many things in her life, as she does it for living. She has excellent taste buds. She came especially to see me, as she lives far away from my Mum's place at the moment. Therefore I asked her to join my judging panel. We got some alcohol and went to Guzik’s flat.

He was already busy in his tiny kitchen, preparing chips. Handmade, homemade, oven baked – I love them. His girlfriend was taking care of music; his friend was wandering around the flat. I have to mention two cats: Cinnamon and Behemoth, they were quite interested of what was happening in the kitchen. We had lovely, relaxing time, waiting for Staszek, who soon joined us.

First dinner cooked by Guzik was: baked salmon (he has done something to it before pan frying and baking, he used some secret marinade), steamed broccoli, oven baked chunky chips and homemade pesto of rosemary, anchovies and some other tasty ingredients. It was light, tasty, well presented. I was impressed, however happy I am not full yet and I could enjoy second dinner, cooked by other lad.

When he starter with peeling the potatoes we thought the dinner will be served around 1 am, and we weren’t much wrong. Never mind, tasty food is worth waiting for. He was busy! Washing, chopping all the ingredients, typically Polish: potatoes, cabbage, bacon, sausages. Finally he layered them in a big pan lined with cabbage leaves, covered and braised for about 1 hour. He was carefully listening what noises it makes, the pan was alive! It remains me something very tasty and made over an open fire on picnics or camping in a cast iron pan – it is very popular in Poland along the BBQ. 

Dinner was served! Very filling, tasty, very aromatic one pot dish. Perhaps not as good looking as the first one, but what the hell – it was so tasty! And then we had to choose a winner. You can imagine it was very difficult. They both done very well, and quite honestly they have cooked dishes that were completely different and we simply could not judge them in the same competition. Therefore we decided to go for a draw and have another round when I am next time in Poland. Second round will be different – they will have to cook dinners from a list of ingredients chosen by me.  I cannot wait! 


Thanks very much lads for this lovely nigh and great food. I genuinely enjoyed it. Also great thanks to Ela who came despite all the kilometres and rushing to the other part of Poland to see her parents.

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