Polish Open-Faced Toasted Sandwiches {Zapiekanki}

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Polish Open-Faced Toasted Sandwiches {Zapiekanki}

Polish “zapiekanki” [zah-pyeh-khan-kee] are somewhat a legend, somewhat of a culinary symbol of post-communistic Poland. In the early 80s, when some food items were still a bit hard to get and the influences of western “fast food” were limited, we came up with our own “food-on-the-go”. This open-faced sandwich, topped with sautéed mushrooms and cheese and a variety of favorite toppings was always a hit. Now, in virtually unchanged form, they still exist and are doing just fine – even though there are plenty of other, “western” fast food options available.

Other than making these at home, I get my fix every time I go to Crakow’s Kazimierz – an old Jewish quarter, full of new and hip restaurants, bars, tiny, old book stores, an outdoor market. I love it there, not only for the food, but for it’s charm and the feeling. So much history lives in those walls.

I hope you get to experience it sometime. I recommend it!

Zapiekanki

OPEN FACED TOASTED SANDWICHES {ZAPIEKANKI}

YIELDS: 4 SERVINGS (1 HALF BAGUETTE EACH) * PREP TIME: 10 MIN * COOK TIME: 5 MIN

INGREDIENTS:

  1. 1 baguette (about 80 cm / 30 inches)
  2. 16 oz / 500 g of button mushrooms
  3. 2-3 tbs of butter
  4. 14 oz / 400 g of cheese (I’m using Gouda; pepper jack, Muenster cheese or Swiss will do)

ADDITIONALLY:

For KETCHUP & GREEN ONIONS zapiekanka:
  1. Ketchup
  2. Green onions, chopped
For SAUSAGE, PICKLES AND ONIONS zapiekanka:
  1. About 3 inch / 8 cm piece of smoked sausage, sliced
  2. 1/2 small onion white or red, thinly sliced
  3. 2 medium pickles, sliced
  4. A pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  5. Ketchup
For BACON AND JALAPENO zapiekanka:
  1. 4-6 slices of smoked bacon
  2. 1 fresh jalapeño (or a few slices of pickled jalapeño)

To make home-made garlic sauce:

  1. 4 tbs of plain yoghurt / greek yoghurt / sour cream
  2. 1 tbs of mayonaisse
  3. 1 garlic clove, minced
  4. A pinch of salt
  5. A pinch of sugar
  6. A pinch of black ground pepper
  7. A good squirt of lemon juice
For HAM AND FRENCH FRIEND ONIONS zapiekanka:
  1. 4-6 slices of smoked ham
  2. Ketchup
  3. A few tbs of French fried onions

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Clean and slice mushrooms. Preheat a large pan, add butter and sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Sauté on medium heat until all moisture cooks off. In the mean time, shred cheese.
  2. In the mean time, shred cheese and also sauté bacon until almost done (it will get a bit more crispy in the oven).
  3. Preheat oven to 350℉ / 180℃.
  4. Cut baguette in half (in length) and each half along the side to create open-faced sandwiches.
  5. Lay out on a parchment lined baking dish. Top each piece with mushrooms and then cheese.
For KETCHUP & GREEN ONIONS zapiekanka:
  1. Do nothing more at this point.
For SAUSAGE, PICKLES AND ONIONS zapiekanka:
  1. Add sausage slices and onions.
For BACON AND JALAPENO zapiekanka:
  1. Top with bacon.
For HAM AND FRENCH FRIEND ONIONS zapiekanka:
  1. Top with slices of ham.

6. Bake zapiekanki until lightly crispy on top (about 5 minutes). In the meantime, prepare garlic sauce by combining all ingredients and stirring well.

7. Take out and add the remaining ingredients:

For KETCHUP & GREEN ONIONS zapiekanka:
  1. Add ketchup and green onions.
For SAUSAGE, PICKLES AND ONIONS zapiekanka:
  1. Add pickles, top with ketchup and sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if using.
For BACON AND JALAPENO zapiekanka:
  1. Top with jalapeños and garlic sauce.
For HAM AND FRENCH FRIEND ONIONS zapiekanka:
  1. Top with ketchup and French friend onions.

8. Serve immediately.

NOTES:

Optionally, you are free to use hoagie rolls, Kaiser rolls or shorter baguettes. Also, feel free to experiment with other toppings!

I hope you enjoy!!

Smacznego!

Anna

You can watch me prepare mine here:

 


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