Peasant in a Pan

Sauted cabbage, cheddarwurst and pierogies.

Sauted cabbage, cheddarwurst and pierogies.

This dinner is about as rustic and peasant-like as it gets and it doesn’t have a recipe.  This is a put-together that I make because Mr. D. loves it, and it is so easy.  Besides that it is nutritious, utilizes convenience foods, and tastes super-good.  My only concern when I make it is the sodium content, which can be high when you use processed meats.  So be mindful of that and check labels when choosing your meat.

This is not a meal that I ever thought I would include in my blog because it is so ordinary,  but at the urging of my husband here it is.  Whenever I make it, this is what he says after the first bite:    “MMMMMMMM”      I think this is probably a “guy’s meal”.

Simple to make, hearty to eat.

Simple to make, hearty to eat.

This dish is a take off on the traditional kielbasa and sauerkraut but it also incorporates pierogies, and onions.  This is how I prepare it:

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 package frozen peirogies, filling of choice.  We like potatoes and onions.
  • 1 package Cheddarwurst individual sized kielbasa, 6/pkg.  Or you can use frankfurts, or bratwurst.
  •  1/2 a medium-sized cabbage, roughly sliced or chopped.   More if you like and are feeding a large group.
  • 1 large onion, halved, then sliced into half-moons
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • seasonings that may include nutmeg, 5-spice powder, or some type of bavarian spice blend.
  • small amount of water

WHAT YOU DO:

1.  Bring a pot of water to boil.  Cook pierogie according to package directions.  Do not overcook.

2.  Melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet. (large enough to hold everything–this is a one pan meal.)  Add sliced onions and sauté to soften.  Add the chopped cabbage and continue to sauté to lightly brown and soften the cabbage.

3.  Season this mixture with what ever spice blend you may have.  Usually nutmeg is a good choice.  I use Tsardust Memories from Penzeys Spices and it includes salt, garlic, cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg and marjoram.

4.  Place the cheddarwurst on the cabbage mixture and cover. If it is sticking to the pan, add a small amount of water just to keep from sticking. Allow this mixture to steam slowly while the pierogie are cooking.

5.   Add cooked pierogie to the pan, spooning some of the cabbage mixture over them.  When everything is cooked and thoroughly heated through, serve.  I like to melt some additional butter and drizzle it over the top just before bringing to the table.

A complete meal in one pan.

A complete meal in one pan.

On this occasion when I made it, I had a small amount of kale to use up, so I added the chopped up kale leaves to the mixture just before putting the cheddarwurst in the pan.  A nice way to get in some extra fiber and nutrition.   I must say that when you know how to make a meal like this you can then swap in other vegetables or substitute a different type of meat –or no meat at all for a vegetarian version–and you will never be at a loss for a quick meal idea.

Try this out,  give it your own spin,  and I hope you will like it.

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SOURCE:   This is a Carolyn invention.

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Bacon and Pierogi Bake

I sometimes rely  on convenience  foods from the freezer section of the supermarket when I am short on time.  They give a “jump-start” to dinner preparations, and often are more economical than what I can make at home.  Pierogis are one of those food items.  Pierogies are filled dumplings; the fillings varying from potatoes, to cheeses, to spinach, or any combinations of these.   The most common way I fix them is to boil them as directed on the package, and serve with melted butter and sautéed onions.  Teamed up with a protein item and a salad, they round out the meal by providing carbohydrates and, depending on their filling, a small additional amount of protein as well.

In this baked dish, however,  I pair pierogies with bacon and a very simple cheese sauce. Top with more cheese, bake for a short time and top with chopped tomatoes and green onions.  Serve with a green salad.  I think this dish is colorful and looks nice baked in gratin dishes for individual casseroles.

INGREDIENTS

Servings:  about 4

  • 1  package ( 16 oz.) frozen pierogies, filling of your choice
  • Cooking spray
  • 2-3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup (3 oz.) 1/3-less fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat-free low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped

DIRECTIONS

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2.  Arrange pierogies in an 11″ x 7″ baking dish, or individual casseroles, coated with cooking spray.

3.  Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp; remove and drain on paper towel.  Set aside.

4.  Add garlic to drippings in pan, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Add 1/3 cup cream cheese to pan, cook for 1 minute or until cream cheese begins to melt, stirring frequently.  Gradually add  chicken broth, stirring with a whisk till smooth.   Pour this mixture evenly over the pierogies.

5.  Top with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated.  Remove from oven, and sprinkle with bacon, green onions, and tomatoes.

       SOURCE:  adapted from  Cooking Light Magazine