Polish Salmon the Yellow Way – Łosoś na żółto po królewsku
Discovering the XVII century Polish cuisine – Polish Salmon the yellow way (Łosoś na żółto po królewsku from: Compendium ferculorum)
Salmon royal the yellow way is the first recipe from the chapter dedicated to fish dishes from the first Polish cookery book “Compendium Ferculorum” by Stanisław Czerniecki from 1682 year. The book was recently recalled and newly edited by Jarosław Dumanowski in “Monumenta Poloniae Culinaria” series. The author went further and issued together with two chefs the small cookery book “Sekrety kuchmistrzowskie Stanisława Czernieckiego” with modern recreation of 30 recipes (10 from each chapter) from the Czerniecki’s book.
As I am a happy owner of the series I allowed myself both to learn something and have some fun playing in the historical reenactment and reconstruct some dishes the old way.
I used, however, my modern kitchen so the real reenactors wouldn’t be really satisfied as they are knowledgeable and careful picky to the last detail people. It is enough to visit some historical forums of reenactors to gather a big respect and admiration for them. (in Polish, see e.g.: in this forum, in universal language of music and picture, to have some fun and idea watch e.g. now
Cooking from old recipes means for me fun but as well discovering the Polish cuisine roots, finding our culinary heritage, restoring the forgotten flavours; it is like traveling in time. You need to try it!
The Polish state formation reaches X century but throughout history Poland both created with Lithuania one of the most powerful nation in Europe – Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and was non-existent on the European map. Thus, the Polish cuisine is so diverse with so many influences that sometimes it is difficult to say what is originally Polish. Meat, fish, barley, millet, mushrooms, lentils, chickpeas, cabbage? It seems that we have been living in the global village since ages. Czerniecki, the author of Compendium Ferculorum and chef of Lubomirski family at the Wiśnicz castle, however, was promoting Polish dishes forgetting sometimes that he was not free from the foreign influences in his kitchen, too.
A characteristic of the XVII century Polish cuisine was spices, especially saffron and black pepper but as well canella, cloves, ginger, mace, nutmeg, sugar, etc. Love to the sour and hot taste, common in Middle Ages in Europe, survived and was strong in XVII century Poland despite the big renaissance in French cuisine promoting mild and natural flavours. This love, changed a bit over the ages, survived even longer, to the present day. Sour taste was one of the first taste I was missing in Brazil where everything at the beginning seemed to be too salty and too sweet. Many dishes, in particular meat dishes across Europe that are similar or the same to Polish ones, seemed bland to me and black pepper addition was needed. So, the love continues I presume 😉 It is worth mentioning that Compendium Ferculorum is divided only in three chapters concerning meat, fish and other dishes. Each chapter has 100 recipes + some additions and secrets. It is clearly to see that Polish XVII century kitchen was rich in fish, especially the freshwater fish that were in abundance as well as the fasts in those ages.
*Stanisław Czerniecki, Compendium ferculorum albo zebranie potraw, editor: Jarosław Dumanowski and Magdalena Spychaj, foreword: S. Lubomirski, „Monumenta Poloniae Culinaria” series (editor-in-chief: J. Dumanowski), Vol I, Publisher: Muzeum-Pałac w Wilanowie, Warszawa 2012
*Jarosław Dumanowski, Andrzej Pawlas, Jerzy Poznański, Sekrety kuchmistrzowskie Stanisława Czernieckiego, Publisher: Muzeum Pałac w Wilanowie, 30 marca 2012
Polish Salmon* the Yellow Way – Łosoś na żółto po królewsku
800 g salmon fillet
2 root parsley (Petroselinum crispum)*
100 ml dry white wine
1 Tablespoon of white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
a few raisins
1 lime (cut in thin slices)
a pinch of saffron
a pinch of canela
sauce (gąszcz cebulowy)
- Soak a saffron in the small amount (1Tbsp) of water
- Cut one parsley root in cubes, second one in sticks
- Salt the salmon and parsley and steam them in water vapour around 10 minutes
- Prepare the sauce: peel and cut the onions finely, cook them and rub through a sieve
- Mix the onion sauce with wine, vinegar, dissolved saffron, canella, raisins (I cooked it a little to evaporate alcohol because of my daughter’s age)
- Arrange the parsley and salmon carefully on the plate, cover with the sauce mixture and decorate with lime slices
- Served with brown or white rice and cucumber salad with dill (mizera z koperkiem)
*The author of Compendium Ferculorum was writing that the Polish salmon is of the most subtle taste. It must be true for this recipe since the Chilean salmon I bought here was a bit of too intense taste. I would suggest wild salmon or freshwater fish like zander or catfish.
*Root parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is not a parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)! The taste is different. I am not a big fan of parsnip but probably it is the best substitute for this. I would add less of it however.
*The dish in the “Sekrety Kuchmistrzowskie…” is adviced to be served in the heatproof pot. The final preparation instruction is not really clear so you have mine interpretation. Be careful with the acidity of wine and vinegar – just taste while cooking.
You can mix your rice with the yellow sauce, you will have an interesting kind of risotto, not bad at all.