Did You Hear About the Polish Helicopter Crash?
The Pilot got hot and turned off the fan.
Polish jokes were part of normal dinner conversation at our home while I was growing up. My mom is 100% Polish, and very proud to be so. At our Pollock home, we were fed many traditional Polish meals. My love of kielbasa, pierogi, babka, stuffed cabbage, Polish baked goods, and so much more, was instilled in my soul at a young age. I have tried many different kielbasa recipes, and this one is mighty tasty. How can it not be with bacon, cabbage, brown sugar, etc?? And then when you pair this cabbage kielbasa with these homemade pierogies (this time I chose Rachael Ray's version), you have the perfect Polish Plate full of goodness. So C'mon, read through , inject yourself with some Polish Power, and consider trying these two dishes together!!Let's begin with the Cabbage Kielbasa Dish. Original recipe found here and was recommended to me by my sister.
Cabbage Kielbasa Dish
Bacon, 6 slices1 medium head cabbageGee, think I could use a larger cutting board for this cabbage, huh? Kinda overwhelms the whole board. Oh well, let's just make do with it for now. Cut your cabbage in thin strips, need I say not the core. 1 medium onionChop that too. ( I LOVE the way Ree chops her onions.) 1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 large garlic clove, minced
(I just pressed mine through the garlic press..)
Dash of Seasoning Salt, (I only used a dash) 1 teaspoon --or to your taste-- Crushed Red Pepper And 1 pound KielbasaWord to you all: This is not what I normally purchase when buying kielbasa. Usually, I send FFH(firefighter husband) to the Polish Butcher in Elizabeth to buy it fresh. But for tonight this will be a handy-dandy substitute. But wait , holy lord, look at this, Do you see what I see? If you do, do you feel what I feel? WTH!! Net WT 14 oz, was it not, like, 16 oz in the recent past? The Nerve, the gall, trying to pull a slick one by me! Has anyone else noticed this? Does anyone else realize most kielbasa recipes call for 16 oz or 1 pound of kielbasa, as this one does! Just what is Hillshire Farm trying to pull? Are they trying to get me to buy 2 packages for one recipe. Well, have they got another thing coming. Not this clever consumer, not this savvy shopper, not this tightwad, not this cheap Pollock! I'll show them, I'm using one package only, and my dish will be lovely. HMMPFH!
Anyway, take your kielbasa out of the package, And, please, mercy me, rinse it and paper towel dry the thing. It has this gross slimy , what I guess to be packaging preservative, on it. FFH why could you not have taken the 45 minute ride to get me the real deal!!
Who is panting like that! Stop it. Get your mind out of the gutter, for goodness sake, this is just a close up of the kielbasa, what are you thinking. Holy crap!
Cut your long, firm kielbasa into one inch slices, or into whatever thickness you like.Here's what we now do to make part of our Polish Plate full of Goodness.
Cook your bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove the bacon (but reserve the drippings in the skillet.. oh yes, do so), and set aside. Crumble it, please. (I don't actually crumble my bacon, I cut it into tiny pieces with my kitchen shears. Kitchen shears, how chef-like I feel.) Now, add your cabbage and water to the calorie laden drippings (It is OK that things are calorie laden, just visit one of my best friends once in a while.) Then add your chopped onion, Your brown sugar, The garlic, seasoning salt, red pepper flakes. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or so. Add your kielbasa and Cook until cabbage is slightly caramelized and kielbasa is slightly crisp. This is my preference, but you can cook it to the doneness that makes you sing. Top with your crumbled bacon and stir. And this is part one of our Polish Plate full of Goodness. Wish you could catch a whiff of this. Sooo uncommonly good! For the second part of our Polish Plate of Goodness, I chose Rachael Ray's version of homemade pierogies. And, Wow, were they super-fantastic! The dough was extremely easy to work with, the filling was on the money, and as a completed pierogi, I'd say, and FFH did say, "they were &*^%$#@ good, Man." I then formidably told him to refrain from calling me Man.
Her original recipe can be found here again. I followed it to a "t". Well, almost. What does a "T" stand for anyway? Does anyone have a clue?
For this recipe you will need:
1 pound baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese( I subbed yellow)
Salt and pepper
2 3/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting
1 large egg
1 cup sour cream, room temp
2 tablespoons chopped chives, (I subbed onions) OK, for the pierogi, let's make the filling first, sound like a plan? Why do people say Stan after they say sound like a plan. Who in the world is Stan anyway? In a small pot of boiling water, cook the potatoes until fork-tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl. Mash them with 2 tablespoons butter.
You are then going to add your shredded cheese. I like to use freshly grated for this, and I also like to use yellow. So I got my grater and I grated shredded, whatever, until I had what I thought looked like about 3/4 cup. Stir this into your cooled potatoes, along with a dash of salt and loads of freshly grated pepper. After its all stirred together and the ingredients are getting to know each other, I threw in another tablespoon of butter, just because I'm naughty, and I then set it all aside.
For the pierogi dough,
In a large bowl,Combine the flour
Make a well in the center of the flour and add the egg, and your sour cream,Gosh darnit, now you know I couldnt get a perfectly round 11 inch circle either. So. So what! I am just the girl who loves to cook next door.
Stir it into the flour. Let the stirred mixture rest for 10 minutes. Then you can either transfer it to a floured work surface and knead by hand or be a lazy lump like me and use your quite useful dough hookI am in love with my dough hook. Continue until you have a stiff, smooth dough. Mine looks anything but smooth. Looks like a huge uneven snowball. How sad. But yet, goes to show how forgiving this dough is. It so works! Cut this dough into quarters Wrap them in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, saute your 1 stick of butter and your onions(or chives),until butter is browned and onions are done to your liking. Now, On a floured work surface, roll out your dough, one quarter at a time, you know how you wrapped it, into an 11 inch circle. For goodness sake, will you check out my ancient rolling pin? I really need to invest in one like this. Using a 4 inch biscuit cutter-- oh dear-- I must interrupt again--if you do not own, as I do not own --a 4 inch biscuit cutter, please just use your margarita glass. We all have one, don't we? A 4 inch biscuit cutter is the second most common use for a margarita glass. Learn something new every day, isn't it just amazing? Using your 4 inch biscuit cutter. or your margarita glass, cut dough into rounds.
Place a tablespoon of potato filling slightly off center on each circle.
OOOOHHHH.. Our Polish Platter full of Goodness is almost complete.Moisten the edges of these darlings and fold the dough over the filling, press the edges to seal.
They'll look better than this.
They can be frozen at this point my mother-in-law of polish descent says.
In a large pot of boiling salted water , cook the pierogi, about 9 at a time, for 5-7 minutes. (It took me 4 minutes..) Drain them.
Then toss them in your brown butter mixture over low heat for a minute or two.TAAAA-DAAA! Drumroll, bugle call, whatever, I now present you with A Polish Platter Full of Goodness THIS CABBAGE KIELBASA
equals the Polish Platter Full of Goodness. Hope you like it! We surely did.This recipe yields about 3 dozen pierogi.