Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Kielbasa and Baby Potatoes in an Apple Cider Reduction

After an exhausting day of apple-picking at Fishkill Farms, I was glad that I had provisions from the farm's store (Kielbasa, baby potatoes, and 5 Cipollini onions) sufficient to cook a hearty, restorative dinner.

First, I turned the oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit to pre-heat while I washed the baby potatoes and prepped them in a deep pan (think cake, pie, or square, heat-proof dish). This process was super easy and consisted of drizzling the potatoes with olive oil and dusting them with dried Thyme and Rosemary (some fresh Rosemary would have been great but I didn't have any, so use whatever you have), a bit of freshly ground salt and pepper, and mixing in 2 of my 5 onions (chopped). Mix these ingredients so that the potatoes are evenly coated, cover the pan with aluminum foil, and set in the oven (now on the 'bake' setting) for 30-40 minutes. *My oven runs cold, so I turned the heat up to 450 degrees for the last 10 minutes and they came out just fine. You'll know that they are done when the skin is wrinkly and they can be easily pierced with a fork.

After the potatoes are under way, you can turn your attention to the Kielbasa, onions, and apple cider (they should be room temperature before you start). Chop up your three remaining onions, heat up a skillet over a medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of butter, and slowly cook the onions until they are caramelized. Now add in about a cup of cider, turn the heat on high until the cider is boiling, then bring the heat back down to medium-high (depending on how hot your stove runs, you may need to lower it to a medium heat), and let simmer until the cider has reduced. *Reductions sound complicated but it's just the burning off of extra sugars and liquid until the medium you are working with 'reduces' to a more sticky, syrupy-like version of itself.

Fresh apple cider

Once this is done, add in your Kielbasa (any white sausage would taste great), cover, and let simmer, turning the sausage links occassionally, until they are cooked.


My final touch was a toasted demi-baguette for the sausage. This is, again, super easy. I put a cast iron grill pan (you can use a hot skillet or an actual grill too) over high heat, cut each demi-baguette in half, lengthwise, brushed the cut side with olive oil, and placed it face-down on the pan. After a minute or two, the edges of the bread should start to smoke - this is good! It means that the bread is grilling, which is how you get a crispy inside and those lovely grill marks. If you want to lightly crisp up the outside, you can turn the bread over on the pan but do this for no more than 30 seconds (the outside should still be soft, so you don't risk injuring your mouth with overly-crisped bread).

Once the bread if finished, plate up your potatoes, Kielbasa, and enjoy!

Ingredients: (serves 2)

- 4 links Kielbasa 
- 5 Cipollini onions
- 15-20 multi-colored baby potatoes
- Apple cider (fresh, not the store bought kind with tons or preservatives in it)
- Rosemary (dried or fresh)
- Thyme (dried or fresh and chopped)
- Olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp butter (unsalted)

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