Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kielbasa with Potatoes & Apples

This is another homage to my mama. I don't know if she got this recipe from someone or if it's just something she dreamed up but I love it because 1) it's yummy 2) it's easy and 3) I think sausage is good (please no dirty jokes).

Kielbasa is an Eastern European sausage, most likely Polish (Polska), and usually contains a mixture of different meats (I usually get Hillshire Farm brand, which has a mixture of pork, turkey, and beef). It doesn't have any particularly strong flavor - the way that Italian sausage can be really herb-y or spice-y or how Chorizo has that spicy smoky flavor - so it's great for picky children and adults.

Ingredients:
1/2 lb kielbasa, sliced
2 yukon gold potatoes, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 apple, cored and sliced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, smashed and halved
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon olive oil
I like to slice the potatoes about 1/4" thick, which is thin enough to cook through in a reasonable amount of time, but not so thin that they'll overcook while the rest of the ingredients are cooking.

And here's how I sliced my apple - three angles to show you here:
So get all of your mise en place ready. I like to slice the kielbasa on an angle.
To cook this dish, pour some oil into a large skillet and place over medium heat. Before the pan gets too hot, place potatoes in the bottom of the pan in a layer. Then place onions, apples, and bell peppers in a second layer on top of the potatoes. Finally, place sausage pieces on top and cover the skillet with a lid or aluminum foil. Let the ingredients cook under the tent for a minute or two.
After a few minutes, there should be a sufficient amount of heat locked under the lid so pour in 1/4 cup of water. The water will sizzle and steam and cook everything through.
Once the pan stops steaming and the sizzle can no longer be heard, take off the foil. You'll notice that the sausage looks a bit different when it's cooked through.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of raw vs. cooked so you can see. When the kielbasa is raw, you can distinguish all the different shades of pink but when it's cooked, the color becomes more uniform.
Once the sausage is cooked, it's time to get a bit of color on them. Place the sausage pieces around the perimeter so that they are in direct contact with the surface of the pan. Let them cook on each side for a few minutes until you get a bit of color and caramelization. You'll know the dish is done when you stick a fork in a potato and it's tender and cooked through.
Then, for presentation purposes, put the kielbasa pieces back in the center on top of the vegetables. Just serve it like this: place the skillet on the table (on a pot holder). I think it looks pretty and that's one less dish to wash.
Doesn't that look good?
Serve generously, making sure to get a bit of each ingredient in each portion.
This is what the potatoes should look like - lovely crisp edges.
I don't like to use salt in this recipe because the way I like to eat it is to stack a bit of each ingredient. You might find that the vegetables are a bit bland on their own, but that's not how they're supposed to be eaten. The saltiness of the sausage should be more than enough. Besides, do you really need more sodium in your diet? (I'm asking, because maybe you do!)
I served my kielbasa with rice pilaf and I wanted to make a salad but after Hurricane Sandy, the produce in my local market was looking sub-par so I had to skip it.

And here's the recipe page:

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