St. Patrick's Day variation: kielbasa instead of corned beef


For a bountiful St. Patrick's Day celebratory meal without the time constraints of slow-simmered corned beef, give this sturdy dish a try. In this quick saute, kielbasa sausage replaces the traditional corned beef roast while apples and onions lend a sweet smoothness. It may appear the recipe calls for too much cabbage, but you'll find this reduces greatly in cooking.

While the saute is done stove-top in a flash, the thin potato rounds bake quickly in a very hot oven, preheated to 450 degrees. Scrub the potatoes (no

need to peel) and slice into 1/4 -inch thick rounds (this works most efficiently in a food processor). Toss with two tablespoons of vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Place the potato coins in a single layer on a flat rimmed baking sheet. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes, tossing once after 10 minutes.

For a holiday finale, serve whipped cream mountain caps spiked with peppermint schnapps (or white Cream de Menthe) and studded with chunks of chopped peppermint patties. The cream should be whipped until stiff peaks form and then folded together with 1/4 cup schnapps and candy bits. This can be prepared first and refrigerated until dessert.

Items you should have in your pantry are the following: vegetable oil, salt and pepper, 1 large onion, 2 tart apples, apple cider or apple juice, 4 potatoes, peppermint schnapps.

Your 10-item-or-less shopping list:

1 pound smoked link sausage

1 medium head green cabbage

6 ounces chocolate-covered peppermint patty candies

1 8-ounce carton heavy cream

Sausage and cabbage saute

Serves 4.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 pound smoked link sausage (Kielbasa will do although it is considered Polish, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 -inch slices

1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2 -inch dice

2 medium tart apples, cored and cut into 1/2 -inch dice

1/2 medium head green cabbage, sliced 1/2 -inch thick (about 8 cups)

1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice

In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat until very hot. Add sausage and saute 5-7 minutes or until browned. Add onion, apple and cabbage, and toss. Cover with (( and continue cooking for about 5 minutes. Add apple cider, toss and cook for an additional 10 minutes over medium heat, tossing occasionally. Serve immediately.

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