Crazy Kielbasa Eggy Sauerkraut

Just call me crazy.

Ever so often, I get a real case of the Sauerkraut Pangs. I mean I crave it. It doesn’t last long, but I gotta have some, when I gotta have some.

As a kid we had a jar of kraut dumped in a pan, chunked up some potatoes and chunked up some kielbasa. Heat until taters are done. Tastes okay, but taters get sour from the kraut juice. I didn’t like that.

So I got this brain explosion, which may be a fart, depending on your point of view.

The point it, this recipe may not be for you. But it could be. Just depends.

So this is what I did, and actually we found it rather pleasant. The sauerkraut was still tangy without being too imposing, the egg custard was barely discernible but served to hold everything together. The potatoes and carrots maintained their flavor integrity.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large 28 oz can of sauerkraut, your favorite brand if you have one.
  • 1 lb of kielbasa, again, your favorite brand
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 large potatoes whole, washed but not peeled
  • 1 -2 c shredded swiss cheese
  • 1 1/2 c milk
  • 3 eggs

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the sauerkraut in a sieve and run under water faucet for a couple of seconds and then drain, pressing out a fair amount of the juice. Should be not drippy at least.
  2. Saute sliced onions slowly in some oil or butter until done.
  3. Saute the carrots until nearly done, but still firm in the same pan when the onions are done.
  4. Microwave the potatoes whole, until partially cooked but still firm enough to slice.
  5. Grease a 8 x 6 deep baking dish (I use shortening)
  6. Spread the sauerkraut in the bottom. Slice the potatoes and layer those on top. Then the carrots and then the onion.
  7. Slice the kielbasa as you wish and spread over the top.
  8. Whisk the eggs and milk together. Spread the cheese over the top of the kielbasa and then pour the egg custard over all.
  9. You should just barely see the liquid.
  10. Bake in a 375° oven, uncovered for about one hour.

Serves: 4

NOTE: You can put this all together save the eggs and milk early in the morning and then make and pour the custard just before ready to bake.

Old World Hungarian Goulash

Think beef stew with pork instead.

Think Eastern Europe.

Think regional dish that everybody makes and everybody has their own family recipe.

Don’t think that this is what is called Goulash in the US, which seems to be ground meat, elbow macaroni and tomatoes. Nothing at all wrong with it, but a Hungarian would blanch.

This is authentic to the extent that it is a stew made with pork and root vegetables and doesn’t have tomatoes in it. The rest is my own innovation. So don’t hold be to anybody’s grandma’s grandma’s recipe that never heard of soy sauce let alone used it.

It’s a winter time meal that you start early and can pretty much ignore and let it simmer away.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs pork steak, trimmed of the big chunks of fat and diced
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 lg onion, chunked
  • 1 c each of celery and carrots
  • 2 lg potatoes diced
  • 1 c parsnips, diced
  • 3 tbsp good quality paprika
  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds, chopped
  • 1 tbsp each of Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce
  • 4 cups of beef broth
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Pat dry the meat, salt and pepper liberally and dredge in the flour.
  2. Brown in a cast iron pot in small batches with about 3 tbsp oil. Remove all to a bowl.
  3. Add the onion, celery and carrot, and saute until just starting to soften.
  4. Add back the meat, and everything except the potatoes, parsnips and parsley. Simmer for at least two hours or until the meat is tender.
  5. Add the potatoes and parsnips and continue cooking until done (about 20 min more).
  6. Serve with egg noodles and the parsley sprinkled on top.

Note: if the stew is not thick enough, mash together equal amounts of softened butter and flour and pinch off in pieces and add to the stew while bringing up to a boil. Stop add when thickened enough.

Can also serve with dumplings.

Serves: 6

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash

This is one of my favorite chicken recipes.

It’s easy to make, and is great comfort food.

This dish is enhanced the higher quality paprika you use, so splurge a bit and save excess more expensive paprika in the freezer to keep it fresh.

The recipe comes from The Joy of Cooking. There are hundreds of recipes for this of course, since it’s a national dish and is therefore peasant food, but I’ve never found one I like more. If I do, I’ll be sure to let you know.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 lbs of chicken pieces (about 8 I would say) I use thighs and legs since they cook evenly
  • 2 tbsp oil or butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 c onions, slices fairly thinly
  • 1/4 c good quality paprika
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 lg bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 c chicken stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, micro-planed
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 – 1 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Pat dry the chicken pieces well and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saute pan and add the chicken pieces in batches if necessary.
  3. Brown on both sides, then remove to a plate.
  4. Add the onions and saute until they pick up color and are softened.
  5. Add the paprika and flour and stir in and cook for about a minute.
  6. Add the garlic, stock, bay leaf and chicken and juices from the plate. Cook at a simmer,  covered until done about 25-30 minutes.
  7. Remove the chicken, and skim off any fat. Then bring to a boil and reduce until the sauce is very very thick, almost pasty.
  8. Remove from the heat, add the sour cream and lemon juice.
  9. Serve over noodles.

Serves: 4-6