BAKED POTATO WITH COTTAGE CHEESE
(PYRA Z GZIKIEM)
- 3 large potatoes (Russet are best)
- 5 oz. of farmer’s cheese
- a handful of chives
- salt and pepper for flavoring
- 5 tablespoons of rapeseed oil blended with a ½ teaspoon each of dried lovage leaves, cumin and marjoram, or the herbs and spices of your choice. You can also use olive oil or melted butter in place of the rapeseed oil.
If you’ve seen episode 9 of Flavor of Poland, you’ll know that the Greater Poland region is known not only as the birthplace of Poland, but also the capital of Poland’s potato production. For many years, this region has been hailed for making the best potatoes in Poland and you can bet they’re a popular item on the local menu. Locally, called “pyry” they’re incorporated into many of the region’s favorite dishes. Perhaps one of the most iconic recipes is a quick baked potato dish with a farmer’s cheese topping called “Pyra z Gzikiem.” It’s a very easy dish but one that is popular and frequently enjoyed among the locals of Greater.
To prepare the potatoes…
- Cut a square piece of aluminum foil for each potato.
- Place each potato over the top of the foil, salt and pepper over the top.
- Drizzle the oil blended with herbs over the potato.
- Wrap the potato in the foil and place in a heat-proof, glass baking dish.
- Do this for each potato.
- Set your oven to 350º Fahrenheit and place the potatoes in to bake for an hour.
Prepare the “Gzik” (Cottage Cheese topping) & Serve…
- Flavor the farmer’s cheese with a flat teaspoon of salt and a bit of pepper. Stir and mix thoroughly.
- Remove the baked potatoes from the foil and cut a quarter-inch off one of the far ends. Stand the potato up on this flat end and make two slices at the top, lengthwise in the shape of a cross, cutting in pretty deep into the potato to allow it to open up.
- Place each potato in a small serving dish.
- Scoop a generous tablespoon of farmer’s cheese and place in the middle of the potato.
- Sprinkle, chopped chives over the top and enjoy!