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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 | 8 Comments »

Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Squash

baked spaghetti squash 2 Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Squash

I feel like spaghetti squash might be the new kale.

I forgot how cool it is to pull the tightly knit strands apart with a fork into a mess of veggie noodles in a bowl you can compost afterwards. If you're the sort who, like me, loves squash roasted with butter and eaten straight from its shell even when it's not Thanksgiving, let this serve as a reminder that spaghetti squash is easier to eat with one hand than any of its cousins. If I was a real-life Bridget Jones - single, working late and eating on the couch in my PJs, I imagine half a roasted spaghetti squash would be in heavy rotation. When I wasn't eating Nutella straight from the jar.

spaghetti squash 1 Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Squash

But look! Not only is it delicious as a vehicle for butter (and Parmesan cheese! oh yes), it can transport any number of pasta ingredients. Right now, the Pinteresty thing to do is turn it into a lasagna by spreading the bottom with ricotta and layering on a meaty tomato sauce and grated cheese. But you can’t really call it lasagna without the requisite flat noodles, can you? I wanted to do meatballs, but absentmindedly dumped the ground bison into the pan and broke it up with a spoon. And so after roasting the squash halves (scoop out the seeds, rub them with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then roast at 375F for about half an hour – or just pop them in the microwave) I filled them with a chunky meat sauce – the type I’d normally pile on pasta.

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Then covered the lot with grated cheese and slid them back into the oven to get all bubbly and melty. That’s it. No need for measurements here, so I won’t burden you with a recipe. Just pretend you have a shallow bowl of pasta and do with it what you will – then smother it with cheese and bake it.

baked spaghetti squash 1 Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Squash

And the cheese will help hold everything together on your fork while you eat it curled up with pillows on the couch in front of the TV. Even if you’re not Bridget Jones.

pixel Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Squash
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October 21 2014 | one dish | 16 Comments »

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