Krokiety z kapustą i grzybami (English: sauerkraut and mushroom croquettes) are one of the staple dishes in Poland for Wigilia (English: Christmas Eve). Krokiety are savory Polish pancakes which are usually made by rolling a naleśnik (closer to a French crêpe than an American pancake) that has been stuffed with some kind of filling. As they are popular all over Poland, there are different versions, for example, the filling can be made of vegetables or meat as well. But the latter one will rather not be served for the Christmas Eve dinner.
When eaten for Christmas Eve dinner, the krokiety must be vegetarian and are stuffed with sauerkraut and various type of mushrooms. It is a tradition that people add wild mushrooms, but you can also go to a supermarket if you haven’t succeeded in mushroom picking in autumn.
Puzzling origin of krokiety
While doing your online researcg in order to find answers for some culinary mysteries and to get to know more about the origin of a certain dish, you can get really puzzled. There are plenty of versions of pancakes, the same goes for crêpes. In some cases, krokiety are described in English as croquettes, some other time they are called crêpes, but you can also encounter the name pancakes. The history of krokiety is mysterious, and judging by questions commonly asked on the Internet, it is a great mystery for many.
Where did the krokiety come from?
Legends say that the Polish krokiety were derived from the French centuries ago. The word krokiety is a derivative of croquette which means ‘to crunch’. However, the Polish krokiety are a bit different. Nowadays, the French don’t use a dough batter when preparing croquettes, but the Polish still do.
While traditional croquettes consist of a filling that’s breaded and fried, a Polish croquette consists of a filling that’s rolled in a thin crepe called naleśnik. Only then is it breaded and fried. Sometimes, there are no breadcrumbs at all, and simply the stuffed naleśnik is fried.
Recipe for krokiety
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 egg
- 2 cups of milk
- a pinch of salt
- 1- 2 cups of water
- 500 g of sauerkraut
- 200 g of dried forest mushrooms
- 1 onion
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 allspice seeds
- salt and pepper
- 1 egg
The day before the big preparations, place wild mushrooms in a bowl and cover it with water. Leave overnight for rehydration.
The day before you can also cook sauerkraut. Chop it and place in a jar. Cover it with water, add bay leave, allspice and pepper. Bring the mixture to boil and simmer till it becomes soft, for about 40 minutes. Having colled the sauerkraut, place it on a sieve. Squeeze it thoroughly, preferably with your hands.
When the big day comes, chop an onion, heat a pan, place some oil on it and sauté an onion. Afterwards, add soaked and chopped forest mushrooms, and sauté for few more minutes. Add sauerkraut so that all the flavors are mixed. Season the filling with salt and pepper.
Mix flour with an egg and milk in by using a hand mixer or manually with a fork. Sprinkle with salt. Add water as much as necessary, between 1 and 2 cups. You should achieve batter consistency.
Place some oil on a medium size frying pan and pour in some batter after it has become hot. Make them as thin as possible. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side. From those ingredients you should get about around 12 crêpes.
Place sauerkraut and mushroom filling on the crêpe. Use about 2 tablespoons of filling on each crêpe, spread it over and form a krokiet. Fold the sides toward the center and roll it. Repeat with all the remaining filling and crêpes. Optionally, you may prepare the coating and fry the krokiety after having soaked them in the coating first. If you don’t feel like doing it, you may simply fry them without coating until they become golden brown on both sides.
How to prepare the best crêpes?
You can add a few spoons of sparkling water to the dough to make it fluffier.
What mushrooms should be used for Christmas krokiety?
In order to prepare the best Christmas krokiety with unforgettable taste and smell, use king bolete, borowik, porcini, or bay bolete mushrooms for the filling.
What to serve krokiety with?
Krokiety can surely be eaten on its own. However, the dish can also be served with sour cream, red borscht, or chicken rosół soup.