Menu Ideas

Antoni Porowski's Ideal Party Is a Casual, Cozy, Polish-Inspired Feast

Pull up your chair for lazy pierogies, horseradish cream mussels, Old Bay sweet potato wedges, and parmesan-encrusted roasted leeks.

October 22, 2021
Photo by MJ Kroeger

If you know Antoni Porowski from Queer Eye or from his bestselling 2019 book Antoni In the Kitchen, you know that he’s a man who loves to entertain. In his new cookbook, Antoni: Let’s Do Dinner, Porowski turns his attention to all things having to do with, yes, dinner. That means vibrant, breezy dishes for your next turn hosting, whether it’s a smaller gathering or a whole banquet.

“Dinner parties are one of my favorite things ever.” Porowski told Food52. “I can spend weeks thinking up a menu. While I want to make sure every dietary need or preference is tended to, I love introducing my guests to dishes or flavors they’ve never tried before.”

To that end, Porowski’s Big Feast menu is a mixture of classic comfort food and dishes with a bit of a twist. Take the sweet potato wedges. They’re a simple dish—sweet potatoes cut into robust, satisfying fries for dipping. But Porowski adds a hit of Old Bay, a seasoning most often used for seafood, to complement the sweet potato’s natural earthy sweetness with a kick of celery salt, paprika, and cayenne. Or the leeks, roasted until the onion-y bite mellows and enveloped in a crispy blanket Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper, in a combo that echoes the comforting flavors of cacio e pepe.

The mussels also have a Porowski signature, nodding to his Polish heritage with the inclusion of smoky kielbasa and creamy horseradish sauce. “Mussels are always good for a crowd, and an inexpensive way to get protein for a crew,” Porowski said. (Pro tip from the man himself: Use those sweet potato wedges to sop up every last bit of that sauce.)

Similarly, Porowski’s lazy pierogies might not require the same prep work as the traditional kind, but their flavor is anything buy lackluster. They’re closer to gnocchi than the filled pierogies—hence their designation as “leniwe” or “lazy” in Polish. “When I was growing up, my parents used to serve me a version of these, sprinkled with bread crumbs and sugar, to keep me from missing them when they went out on a Saturday night,” Porowski writes in the book. “Dessert for dinner—worked every time!” But here, Porowski takes things in a more savory direction, adding wild mushrooms, wilted cabbage, and sweet, sticky prunes to complete the dish. Porowski’s menu is elegant, but not fussy. “Everything is family-style, as is usually the case when I have anyone over,” Porowski said.

Which recipe from The Big Feast will you be incorporating into your menu? Let us know in the comments!

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Margaret Eby

Written by: Margaret Eby

Editorial Lead of Food, Food52