Eastern European Food

Polish Cheesecake #1 (Sernik)

Prep Time: 20 minutes - Cook Time: 1 hour



•1 pound shortbread cookies or 18 graham crackers (

•2 tablespoons melted butter.


•2 pounds farmers cheese or ricotta, passed through a sieve

•4 ounces (1 stick) butter, softened

•1 cup + 1 cup confectioners' sugar

•8 large eggs, separated

•2 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour

•1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch

•1 level tablespoon baking powder

•1 teaspoon vanilla

-1 lemon - juice and grated rind


1.Crush cookie crumbs in a food processor. If using graham cracker crumbs, add 1/4 cup sugar. While processor is running, pour melted butter through the food shoot until crumbs begin to clump together. Pat crumbs into the bottom only of a 9-inch-by-13-inch or a 10-inch springform pan. Place in refrigerator while you prepare the filling. 

2.Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and 1 cup confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy, then add half the cheese, mixing thoroughly. 

3.In a separate large bowl, combine egg yolks with remaining 1 cup confectioners' sugar and add remaining cheese until well blended. Add cheese-butter mixture to egg-yolk mixture and beat until smooth. Sprinkle in flour, cornstarch, baking powder and vanilla, and mix until well incorporated. 

4.In a clean, grease-free bowl, beat the egg whites until medium-stiff peaks form. Fold into cheese mixture, preserving as much volume as possible. 

5.Remove prepared pan from refrigerator, place on a baking sheet and fill pan with cheese batter. Bake 50-60 minutes or until golden brown and puffy, and center is just slightly jiggly. Cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate until ready to serve.


Chili Rallenos Mihuatlan

6 whole Poblano peppers roasted, skinned and seeded

½lb. Queso Fresco or Farmers Cheese

3  eggs 

½ c.shredded cheddar cheese

½ c.salsa

¼ c.cilantro

1.Stuff peppers with triangles of queso. Set aside.

2.Scramble eggs and season to taste.

3.In a small, slippery skillet heat some oil on medium and spread a thin, thin layer of egg around the bottom. When the egg begins to set, place a stuffed pepper in the middle and fold the egg up from the sides with a spatula to gently cover the pepper. Roll it over for a few seconds and then transfer to a skillet large enough to hold 6 chili rallenos. 

4.Pour the salsa of your choice over and around.

5.Sprinkle the cheddar on top.

6.Heat until bubbly and the cheddar melts.

7.Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve.


1.This recipe is easy using La Preferida mild Green Chilies (whole) in the can. (This item is not easy to find in some neighborhoods.) If you prefer, you can roast, skin, peel, and seed fresh poblanos and make your own fresh salsa. I recommend Herdez Salsa Casera.

2.Queso Fresco does not melt but attains a nice, creamy texture.


Zucchini Cornbread Casserole
3 cups sjredded zucchini (about 3 medium)
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup melted butter
1-1/2 cups cornmeal
¼ tsp. salt
Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 1 1/2-quart gratin or baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place zucchini in large strainer set over bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Press or squeeze zucchini to remove excess liquid. 
In large bowl, whisk eggs until blended. Add sour cream, cheese, onion, butter and salt; stir until combined. Stir in zucchini and cornmeal until blended. Pour into gratin dish. 
Bake 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean. 
Let set for 5 minutes before serving