kielbasa with brussels sprouts and white beans

Any German can tell you that wurst and and cabbage go hand in hand.  Any Spaniard will say the same of chorizo and beans.  But it takes a special, international inclination to make the case for kielbasa with brussels sprouts, white beans and mustard.  I’ll tell you that it works wonderfully!  The saltiness of the pork combined with the bitter, gentle crunch of the brussels sprouts and mildness of the beans is well-balanced perfection.  Plus, its cheap, easy and looks good on a plate!

Makes: 4 Plates of European Unity
Total kitchen time: 30 mins

Shopping list:

  • 1 medium shallot
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1.5 lbs. brussels sprouts
  • 1 lb. pork kielbasa
  • 1 can white kidney beans
  • 2 tbsp. coarse mustard
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • ooks&fgbp
  1. Peel the shallot and cut into quarters.  Make a small pouch out of aluminum foil (2 layers thick) and place inside the shallot and garlic.  Coat with olive oil and a generous pinch of salt.  Seal the pouch tightly and place in the oven (I recommend the toaster oven) at 400°F for 30 minutes. 
  2. Rinse and pick clean the brussels sprouts.  Cut each sprout in half, discarding any wilted or fugly outer leaves.  Steam (or boil, your choice) the brussels sprouts until tender when pierced with a fork.  Set aside.
  3. Rinse and drain the beans.  Honestly, 1 can is a little too bean-heavy.  You may want to save about 1/3 of the beans for something else.  I know, I’m telling you now after you’ve bought a whole can, as opposed to buying 2/3 of a can.
  4. Slice the kielbasa on a steep bias into 1/4” slices.  Heat 1 tsp. of olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed non-nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Arrange the kielbasa slices and fry until crispy on each side, about 3 minutes per side.  It’ll smell like bacon, confusing your dog.  Set aside (the kielbasa, not your dog) on paper towels to drain.
  5. If your skillet is full of porky goodness, keep it there.  Add a generous tablespoon of good olive oil and keep the heat at medium high.  Unwrap the garlic and shallot and smash them using the flat side of your knife.  They should be very soft.  Add them to the skillet and cook for about 1 minute. 
  6. Add the mustard and cream to the skillet and stir to combine.  Reduce the heat to medium low and add the brussels sprouts and beans (as many as you want to use).  Toss everything together to coat, then season to taste with a generous amount of salt and black pepper.
  7. Plate the kielbasa on top of your brussels sprouts and beans in a large bowl to serve. 

If you’ve been hit hard by the recession, don’t worry – you can make this recipe without the brussels sprouts or the beans (choose one).  There, I just saved you like $1.50.  Maybe I should invite Suze Orman over for dinner!

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Pork Chop with Apricot Tea 
In my ongoing quest of creating great dishes that use loose tea as a key ingredient, I’ve come up with some killer pork chops.  This recipe uses Apricot Peach Fruit Tea from the Portsmouth Tea Company to create an in-pan glaze that was born to love tender, juicy pork.  Too bad this tea is decaf – I’d sprinkle it over my bacon as a pick-me-up breakfast any day. 

Makes: 2 sweet chops
Total kitchen time: 15 minutes

Shopping List:

  • 2 boneless pork chops, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp. Apricot Peach Fruit Tea
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Pat the pork chops dry on both sides.  Salt and pepper the chops on all sides.
  2. Coat the pork chops on both sides with the loose tea.  Press the tea into the skin of the chops until it sticks. 
  3. Place the pork chops on a room-temperature skillet (not nonstick) with at least 1” of space between them.  Cover the skillet with a  lid and place it over medium heat. 
  4. After 6-7 minutes or so, the fist side should be nicely browned.  Flip the chops and cook, covered, another 5 minutes or so or until cooked through. 
  5. By this time, a thick, sweet glaze has developed in your skillet.  Plate the pork chops and top with a heaping spoonful of the pan glaze.
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turmeric curry ribs
If you’re planning on making ribs this summer, I applaud you.  However, if your rib recipe involves a bottle of Hunt’s BBQ sauce, you are denying yourself a transcendent epicurean experience: garlic-curry short ribs. 

Total kitchen time: 30 minutes prep, 4 hours, plus 15 minutes cooking time
Makes: 3 racks

Shopping list:

  • 3 racks baby back ribs (short ribs)
  • 8 tbsp. + 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 4 cups prepared Turmeric-Curry Dry Rub
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. lime juice
  • a lot of heavy-duty aluminum foil
  1. Can be done 1 day ahead, refrigerate until ready to cook.  Work one slab of ribs at a time.  Lay out two large pieces of foil, on top of one another, big enough to cover the slab.  Pat the slab dry on both sides with paper towels, and lay bone-side up in the middle of the foil.
  2. Spread 1 tbsp. of crushed garlic across the surface of the ribs (bone side up).  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the prepared dry rub over the bone side of the ribs and push the rub into the skin.  Flip the ribs over (skin side up) and repeat – 1 tbsp. of garlic, then 1/2 cup dry rub pressed into the skin.  You should have 1 cup of dry rub remaining, for the barbecue sauce.
  3. Lay the ribs bone-side down and seal tightly with the aluminum foil. Working with the long side first, bring the opposite edges together and fold over to form a crease.  Fold over a second time to double the crease, being sure to keep the foil tight to the meat.  fold the short ends up towards the skin side and seal tightly. 
  4. Preheat your oven to 200°F and set the top rack in the middle position.  Place a rimmed baking sheet or a large piece of foil in the bottom of your oven to catch any juice that drips off during cooking. 
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Reading time: 2 min
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