Kielbasa, it is Polish for sausage

Jun. 17, 2014 @ 05:10 PM

Kielbasa is a wonderful food. It’s reasonably priced and good all year round. It adds a depth of flavor to many dishes and doesn’t have to be the centerpiece of the meal to make a great contribution.

Kielbasa is Polish for sausage, so if you’re in the habit of saying ‘kielbasa sausage,’ cut it out.

The kind you buy at the store is usually vacuum-packed and smoked, but it also comes fresh. It’s usually made of pork, and it’s flavored with garlic, pimento and cloves.

Mostly, it comes pre-cooked (hence the smoking) and only needs to be heated before eating.

Many recipes use it sliced and paired with a pasta, potato or rice in a one-pot meal. It can easily make a great appetizer (check out last week’s recipe), and can be prepared as simply as pouring a beer over some sliced kielbasa in a pan with some onions and heating it all up.

Bottom line: It’s an unpretentious, inexpensive way to add a lot of flavor.

I made two recipes this week. The first: apple-potato kielbasa, blends the sausage’s robust flavor with sweetness. Many people use brown sugar in their kielbasa recipes. Apple makes a great alternative.

The second: Bell Pepper Kielbasa, a dish that is easy to make and works just as well for a meal alone or a dinner party.

Apple-Potato Kielbasa

1 pound kielbasa, cut into slices

1 large red apple (cored, cut in half and then into thin slices)

1 large white onion (also cut into thin slices)

3 pounds red skin potatoes, cut into quarters

1 cup water

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons butter

 

Melt the butter in a small pot or deep-bottom frying pan on medium-high heat. Add onion and apple; allow onion to brown.

Add potatoes, kielbasa, water, paprika, garlic powder and salt. Stir and cover: reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook for an hour.

Bell Pepper Kielbasa

1 cup uncooked Jasmine rice

1 8.5 ounce can peas

½ pound kielbasa, diced

4 green bell peppers

1 tablespoon cumin

Freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook rice per recipe on bag or with rice cooker. Once cooked, remove rice from heat and allow to cool. Stir in peas, kielbasa and cumin. Cut the bell peppers in half down the middle, then remove the stem, seeds and core from each. Fill each half with rice mixture.  Place peppers on broiler pan. Sprinkle each bell pepper with olive oil and ground black pepper. Pop peppers in oven for 30 minutes. The bell pepper will soften, but not char.