In my search on Twitter a few days ago for fellow Poles and other Slavs and Eastern Europeans who blog, I discovered Liv from Dine & Write. Her blog is about cooking, her background is Polish and Danish, and she also speaks English. All in all, she's very interesting to talk to and of course, a member of Ze Bloc Blog.
Here is her guest post:
The ultimate Slavic comfort food
There are some heavy hitters in terms of Slavic comfort food: perogies, cabbage rolls, nalesnyky... These are all very well and good, but for me, nachinka trumps all of these. Nachinka, for those who are yet uninitiated, is a thick, baked cornmeal pudding. It may be thought of as the Slavs' answer to polenta, and many versions exist. My version is traced to my maternal grandmother's mother. As I write this, I just finished eating the last few bites of the nachinka I prepared earlier in the day, taking care to scrape up the delicious browned bits at the bottom of the pot. It's remarkably easy to prepare; detailed instructions follow. Smacznego!
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup yellow cornmeal
5 cups warm milk
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
4 eggs, well-beaten
1/2 whipping cream or half-and-half
1 tsp baking powder
Scrape cornmeal mixture into a deep, well-buttered casserole. Pour reserved egg-cream mixture over the top. Bake at 325 deg F for 45-60 min, or until nicely browned.
Enjoy as a stand-alone dish or as an accompaniment to ham or chicken.
And that, dear readers, is nachinka. Each golden forkful is a trip to my grandmother's sunlit kitchen, where a well-worn gravel road runs past the sizable garden, something always smells delicious, and peace is found.
After reading this recipe, I recall having this as a child and cannot wait to go to the store to buy cornmeal and whipping cream, my two missing ingredients. Smacznego is right!