Starter Recipe: White Kielbasa and Homemade Kaiser Rolls

I have to say that this meal is probably one of my favorite recipes to pull out on a given night.  The recipe for the rolls is one that I have been making for decades and is both delicious and forgiving, which immediately makes it “fabulous” for me. The kielbasa is another component that is easy when trying to make a quick, healthy dinner that will please all the picky eaters in my house.  I’ve been making both of these things, together and apart, for so long that I was astounded to find that I’d never posted the recipe before.  Please forgive my error and let me rectify this as quickly as possible!

The “Kaiser Roll” part of the recipe:  WhiteKielbasa&Rolls (1)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 T vegetable oil (but I’ve used most any oil I have on hand)
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 t yeast (I typically add a little more, especially if I already have the tablespoon measure in hand)

I use my bread machine to make the dough for this.  If you don’t have a bread machine, I’d suggest finding a basic bread dough recipe and following those instructions because I truly haven’t made bread without the machine for so long that *I* would have to look up “how to make bread dough” if I were going to make this recipe without the machine.  Once the dough is made, you’ll want to section off equal size pieces of dough and form them into rolls.  For a full recipe, I typically make 9-12 rolls, depending on how large I want the rolls to be when I’m done.  If I made a half recipe, I like to get 6 rolls out of the dough… everything depends on how big and what shape you want your rolls.

When forming the rolls, I like to pull the dough from the top of the ball and squish (technical term, right?) it into the bottom so I’m forming a very round ball.  I then pull the dough out from the center and stretch the roll to make it “flatter” and wider. Once formed, I place the rolls onto a greased cookie sheet and allow them to rise until doubled (maybe a half hour or so). Bake the rolls in a pre-heated 375* oven for 10 minutes, turn the rolls around in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. They should be nicely browned and come off the pan easily.  NOTE: I spray the rolls a few times (once going in, once inside the oven, and again after turning the rolls) with ice water.  I’m honestly not sure what this does, but my original recipe told me to do this, so I continue to do so.  The crust doesn’t get too crispy and the rolls are puffy and light.

The “White Kielbasa” part of the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Oil/fat (I like a mix of olive oil and coconut oil, but butter/margarine is fine too… use what you like)
  • Turkey Kielbasa (I use 1-2 packages, depending on how many mouths I’m feeding)
  • Onions (I use a half onion, sliced, per package of kielbasa, but use as much/little as you like)
  • Seasonings (I like granulated garlic, salt, and pepper)
  • White wine (I use whatever wine I have on hand… just don’t use anything that’s too sweet)

I like to first saute’ the onions in some variation of fat, until they’re lightly browned and toasty. If you want to do a full-on caramelization of the onions, go for it… they’ll be a terrific addition.  It’s all about what you’d like to have with your dinner.  Slice the kielbasa into “pennies”… I cut them slightly off kilter, so they look pretty, but it’s all about what works for you as the chef.  I’ve cut them into long slices, but the kielbasa tends to curl up so the “penny” shape works better for me. Add the kielbasa into the pan and season with garlic, salt and pepper.  Saute the kielbasa pieces thoroughly on one side before flipping them over and browning on the other side.

Once the kielbasa and onions are cooked thoroughly, I like to add some white wine to add a bit of a sauce to the pan.  The wine picks up the browned bits and adds a nice back note to the meal.  You certainly can omit this step and still have a delicious dinner… it’s all about what you’d like to make and how you’d like it to taste.

I hope you’ll consider trying this recipe sometime.  I love to keep turkey kielbasa in the freezer for that day when I want to make dinner but don’t have a ton of time… this meal fits the bill for me!  Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions or comments… I’d love to hear from you!

Crock Pot Recipe: Red Wine Pulled Pork

I have been asked about crock pot recipes and thought I’d post my version of this recipe from the blog, “100 days of Real Food”, that states that it’s The Best Pulled Pork Recipe In A Crockpot.  I started with the author’s recipe but ended up tweaking it so much that it became a version of my own.  Don’t get me wrong… this recipe that I’ve linked is stellar.  If it looks like one you’d prefer to use, go for it.  That’s the beauty of cooking and creating recipes – if you find you’re missing an ingredient, or your family has particular tastes, then by all means alter the recipe to suit those you’re feeding.  Remember, there are NO food police… NO wine police… just enjoy the process and have fun creating something tasty!

Here are the Red Wine Pulled Pork ingredients I used yesterday:RedWinePulledPork

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 square garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried lemon thyme
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup red wine (I used a Malbec, but James River Cellars Rad Red would be great here) 
  • 1/2 cup Chambourcin Wine Jelly (made by a former employee at James River Cellars – any of her red wine jellies would work well in this recipe)
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 3 to 3 ½ pounds pork (I used a Boston Butt), cut in half, excess fat removed

Directions:

  1. Mix all spices together in a small bowl and then add the honey and wine.  Mix to make a paste and set aside.
  2. Put onion in the bottom of your crock pot and place the pork on top.
  3. Pour spice paste over the pork and allow pork to cook for 6-7 hours, stirring occasionally, until cooked thoroughly and shreds easily.
  4. Add wine jelly to the shredded meat and allow it to cook for 10-15 minutes to incorporate the flavors.  We found the cayenne pepper to be a bit too spicy in this recipe, so the jelly added a bit of sweetness that really made the flavors pop.
  5. Serve warm on rolls with coleslaw, if desired.  Also tasty on a salad with some “southwest” flavors added (corn, black beans, cheese, etc).

This was an incredibly easy recipe and one that really didn’t need any BBQ sauce or ketchup for flavor.  The meat was tender, the onion thoroughly incorporated into the meat, and it got rave reviews in my house.  Definitely a KEEPER recipe for me!  Hope you’ll consider trying it the next time you want to make a simple, easy dinner.