CABBAGE & KIELBASA

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This recipe is listed in the "Eastern European" (Polish) and "30-Minutes or Less Recipes" section of the YaleCooks recipe collection.

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"What's in the Refrigerator" Inspired Cabbage & Kielbasa:

First added: 2012-06-30; Last edited: 2012-11-01


Stephen's "Cabbage & Sausage" (2012-12-19).

Author: Stephen Chin-Bow (Yale College).

Background: I will convert this recipe to also use weights, when I buy an accurate digital balance.

If I remember I will take photos the next time I prepare this recipe.

One morning I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner.  In the refrigerator I saw a head of cabbage which needed to be cooked.  In the freezer I had a small piece of kielbasa.  Hunger and divine inspiration combined to create a nutritious and simple to make dinner!  I did not know this is an "authentic" Polish dish until after I made it and searched for it in preparation to write this recipe.  I cannot rule out the possibility that I had seen it on a restaurant menu and had a subconscious memory.

Please let me know if you have suggestions for improving this recipe!

Essential Supplies & Ingredients: (two servings)

large pot (preferably one with a cover)

• 4 ounces kielbasa

• half head green cabbage

• 1/2 tsp salt (use less if you add more kielbasa, which is salty)
• 1/2 tsp black pepper (optional)

Instructions:

Kielbasa Preparation: If the kielbasa is frozen conserve electricity by allowing it to defrost in the refrigerator for a few hours (or overnight).  Cut lengthwise, creating four equal long "quarter-round" pieces.  Dice each piece into quarter inch thick pieces.  Set aside.

Cabbage Preparation: Rinse the outside of the cabbage.  Remove and discard (compost if possible) any discolored leaves.  Cut the head of cabbage in half (I start from the "top" and cut through towards the thick stem).  Refrigerate the unused half.  Cut out the "core" using a "V" slice (be careful you do not cut your hand).  Cut the cabbage in "half" once more (you'll now have two quarters; remember, the unused half should be in the refrigerator).  Next, start slicing at the "bottom" end.  The first two or three cuts should be thin 1/8 inch slices, because the "central vein" of the larger leaves are thicker.  Cutting them thinner will equalize the cooking time.  Cut the rest of piece (the "leafy" part of the cabbage head) into half-inch slices.  Repeat with the remaining piece of cabbage.  Separate any pieces of cabbage leaves which are stuck together (like an interlocking puzzle).

Cooking: A large pot is recommended, because the uncooked cabbage will take up a large volume.  Turn on the stove to medium-high and preheat your large pot.  Add a few teaspoons of oil (eg. olive oil or corn oil).  Add the cabbage and cover.  Stir every 20 seconds or so, keeping the pot covered.  After a minute or so add the salt, optional black pepper, and mix.  Add 1/4 cup water (no need to be exact) to create steam (this is why using a pot with a cover is helpful).  Cook until the cabbage is almost tender (I like my cabbage with a slight "bite").  Add the kielbasa, stir, cover, turn off the heat, and allow the kielbasa to heat up on "free heat".  Serve and enjoy!

Suggested Serving Ideas: Serving this with a potato (eg. microwaved) is nice.  Prepare the potato before you start cooking and then turn on the microwave when you first light the stove.

Suggested Recipe Variations: I like to prepare this dish with the "frugal/healthy" Chinese approach, where the meat (the kielbasa sausage) is used to provide flavor, but the emphasis is on the vegetable (the cabbage).  If you like kielbasa feel free to add more or to use larger chunks of meat.

Adding some diced onion would be a nice addition.  Onion takes a lot longer to cook than cabbage, so cook the onion first, until they are almost done, before adding the cabbage).  Alternatively, cook the onions until they have reached the desired "doneness" (is that a word?) and remove from the pot before cooking the cabbage.  I have prepared this dish only using green cabbage, but red cabbage may also work.

Annotated Internet Links:

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Recommended Cookbooks:

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