Sausage Smothered in Red Cabbage with Cranberries

smothered sausage Sausage Smothered in Red Cabbage with Cranberries

Here’s a quickie for ya – this was one of those impromptu meals I had no intention of documenting, until it turned out as delicious as it did. It was a means of chipping away at the contents of my freezer in order to transfer everything to the new fridge, and a garlic sausage was the first to make its escape.

When Mike and I were younger – newly married and past the novelty of Eggos and Hamburger Helper (the things my mom smartly denied my sisters and I as kids) for dinner, I decided that since he was of Ukranian descent, I should make him big panfuls of kielbasa and cabbage. Though he had grown up on nothing of the sort (think KD and Twinkies – his family didn’t even like peroghies) he loved it (must have been in his blood), but at some point I got distracted and forgot how delicious it was.

And then my friend Elizabeth went on a trip to Poland, came home inspired and with a couple extra bottles of potato vodka, and invited us over for pickle soup (if you’re a fan of pickles, try this – I crave it now) and a big potful of bigos. Since then I’ve been craving a big, warming, eastern European sausage stew of sorts – something smothered with something else – and ’tis the season for cranberry sauce and cabbage, and simmering everything together so there’s only one pot to wash.

Sausage Smothered in Red Cabbage with Cranberries

canola oil, for cooking
a dab of butter
1 lb. kielbasa or garlic sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small head red cabbage, shredded
1 small onion, chopped
1 apple, cored and diced
1/2 cup cranberry sauce (or to taste)
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large, heavy skillet, heat a drizzle of oil and a blob of butter over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until it starts to brown.

Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, until it softens. Add the cabbage and apple and cook, stirring often and covering with a lid, until soft. Add the cranberry sauce and balsamic vinegar and continue cooking, stirring often, until thickened and softened.

Season with salt and pepper and serve warm. Serves 4.

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November 20 2014 | one dish and pork | 4 Comments »

Eggs in a Grilled Cheese Nest

eggs in a frame 1 Eggs in a Grilled Cheese Nest

Having just returned from 10 days at the Fairmont JPL, it’s a tough re-entry back to the world of dog hair, laundry, unironed sheets and hollandaise withdrawl.

But-good news! The sink is in, and we’re not doing dishes in the bathtub anymore. The kitchen is close to finished – it needs the backsplash and an overhead fan for the stove, and the fridge is all wonky so that needs to be dealt with, and it needs some paint in places. And everything isn’t unpacked into the drawers yet – that will be my weekend plan. But we have electricity and water and it’s looking like an actual kitchen. Still, I wasn’t quite prepared to cook last night.

eggs in a nest 6 Eggs in a Grilled Cheese Nest

I’ve been mildly obsessed with an idea I came across in the new (and hilarious) Portlandia Cookbook, in which you cook eggs not in the usual toast frame, but in a grilled cheese sandwich with a hole cut out of the middle. Brilliant, no? I wasn’t raised on these – birds in a nest, toad in the hole, whatever you grew up calling them – but poached eggs on toast and grilled cheese sandwiches have always been comfort foods, so to combine the two is the most brilliant conspiracy ever.

eggs in a nest 8 Eggs in a Grilled Cheese Nest

You make a grilled cheese – in their case, spreading the bread with mayo instead of soft butter, and sprinkling it with grated Parmesan – then grill it, cut a hole out of the middle with a cookie cutter or rim of a can, return it to the pan, add a bit of butter to the empty hole and crack an egg inside.

eggs in a frame collage 2 Eggs in a Grilled Cheese Nest

Because it’s thicker than toast, it’s tough to cook all the way through – once it was set on the bottom I flipped one and made it over easy, which worked well but doesn’t look as pretty; the book says to slide the pan into the oven with the broiler on to cook the top, which worked well too.

eggs in a frame collage 1 Eggs in a Grilled Cheese Nest

Bonus: you get this gooey round grilled cheese sandwich to nibble while you wait for your egg to cook.

You’re welcome.

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November 18 2014 | sandwiches | 9 Comments »

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