Nicknamed the ‘Polish pizza’, and hugely popular on the streets across Poland, zapiekanki are open toasted sandwiches topped with sautéed mushrooms and melted cheese. Said to hail from the Communist days of the 1970s when food was scarce, this is a cheap and deliciously comforting snack. You could embellish it with other vegetables, such as roasted peppers or sweetcorn, but I prefer the simplicity of the earthy mushrooms and oozing cheese. The ketchup is absolutely de rigueur , so even if you think you don’t like it I urge you to give it a go.
Melt the butter and oil together in a frying pan and throw in the mushrooms and the garlic, if using. Season with salt and pepper and sauté over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6. Slice the baguette in half lengthways and lay the pieces on a baking tray. If they are a little wobbly, make a support for the wobbly edge with a piece of kitchen foil screwed into a pencil shape. Once the mushrooms are cooked, divide them evenly between the pieces of baguette and top with the cheese.
Bake in the oven for 6–7 minutes until the bread is crisp and the cheese melted. Sprinkle each with a few chives and garnish with a squiggle of ketchup for true authenticity. Eat immediately, napkin at the ready.