Maybe it’s the fall nip in the air here in New England. Maybe it was the fact that I had the ingredients hanging around the refrigerator. Maybe I just wanted an excuse to serve one of my many mustard selections I keep on hand. Whatever the reason…I found myself putting together a “kielbasa roast” for dinner one night.
Served informally and rustic as a dinner for two on a wood tray with whole grain mustard. What could be more romantic than sharing/dipping chucks of meat and veggies! Don’t forget a great dark beer to go along.
This can also serve as party food – served barely warm or even room temperature – guests can grab and dip.
This simple dinner came together easily. I spread rough cut potatoes and chunks of raw onion on a sprayed foil-lined sheet pan. I used a little bit of olive oil to lightly coat everything and sprinkled my favorite all purpose roasting spice blend liberally on top. My choice of spice blend is something called “Northwoods Seasoning” from Penzeys, but you could use your favorite blend or even just a simple mix of seasoned salt, black pepper and ground cumin. Into a preheated hot 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes and then a quick toss and flip. Back into the oven for about 10 more minutes. Add the sliced kielbasa and green veggie of choice, cook another 10 minutes or so. Feel free to toss and moisten everything with a little more olive oil if needed along the way. But remember that the fatty meat will release some of its fat and flavor as it cooks.
Technique Notes: The kielbasa is a fully cooked product so I am simply getting some color and flavor on it here. I cut my pieces about 1/2″ thick. Trying to keep a uniform cooking time. But I did give the potatoes and onions a head start as the potatoes need longer and the onions develop into a “caramelized” deliciousness. I choose a frozen Italian green beans because that is what I had hanging around in my freezer but I think florets of broccoli would be delicious here! Use your judgement with cooking time to get the level of brown crispness that you are looking for.
On the roasting sheet – keep a close eye on things so they don’t overcook and be sure to toss and turn a few times. ( keep it “light’ if you must with a great quality turkey kielbasa)
Anybody who might have read my early (as in first) post will know that I am a big “Gordon Elliott” fan from way back. His long-time-ago show “door knock dinners” was a favorite of mine! This is the one where he surprised folks by knocking on their door and making dinner out of whatever was on hand. Kinda like “cabinet stew!”
If you are not familiar with Gordon – all you need to know is that he is the genius producer behind many famous cooking or cooking-related shows. Most recently his daytime series “The Chew.” I am an avid fan of this show which started airing in September 2011 – a full year after I started my blog in May 2010. Sometimes I watch it and comment to my husband “hey I just made that not too long ago” and think what a coincidence! Of course if it something common like burgers – which everybody makes all of the time, than it is bound to come up. But if the coincidence is something a little more unusual like perhaps Swedish Meatballs or American Chop Suey – than I have to wonder….”Gordon, are you reading my blog?”
Okay before you think I am a narcissist maniac, lets just consider the possibilities. (After all in this “get a record deal from a YouTube video sensation” world we live in – anything is possible!) Since I linked to Gordon’s production site back in May 2010 – it is entirely possible that his IT guys informed him of the link back to him, and he has been reading along with other my other approximately 70 other regular readers ever since. (A girl can dream can’t she?)
Well if you are reading this Gordon – let the record show that the street goes both ways. Here is an adaptation of something I just saw on the show recently – Chef Michael Symon cooking eggs inside an avocado half. His were a little undercooked as he was doing a “five in five segment” and he used the whole avocado half. I think my changes to this recipe were a good idea. See what you think…
Slice thin and make a big hole!
In retrospect I would have made the avocado slices with the hole even thinner to allow the egg to cook easier. It really depends on your preference of egg – I like my yolks not too runny – so longer cook time for me.
Standard “eggs in a hole cookery” – but use a cover to help them cook through.
Served on a bed of hash browns laced with chopped cooked bacon. (bacon optional for you vegetarians) Topped with a quick warm “salsa” of cherry tomatoes, basil and onion and sprinkled with Feta cheese.
P.S. I also noticed that not long after I discovered “www.foodimentary.com” which lists all the weird “food holidays” (like “national chocolate cupcake day”) the show started talking about them too. Coincidence? I think not!
There are many fall food pairings that go together so well.
A few that come to mind.. apple pie and ice cream, sweet potato and apples, pumpkins and apples…. oh wait…everything goes great with apples!
One of my fall favorites is sage and apples!
I started growing sage in a backyard pot a few years ago and I have really discovered the power of fresh sage! You can see some of my other sage pairings here, and here!
After apple picking the other day, I could think of nothing better than a nice fall dinner of roasted chicken with sautéed apples and sage! I threw in some small diced red onions to perk things up and of course I sautéed in everything in butter for the full “fall weather cooking” effect!
I seared the chicken in a hot pan first and then after setting the chicken aside, I added the veggies for the saute. Next the chicken went back in and a little apple cider to deglaze the pan. I put the whole thing into a hot oven with a cover for 20-30 mins until the chicken was cooked through. (I uncovered the pan for the last 10 mins or so to re-crisp the chicken skin.)
The apples and onions melt down to a wonderful “savory” apple sauce and a couple of fried,whole, sage leaves added an artistic garnish. Serve with brown rice and crisp green salad.
Fall on a plate!
Hmmm… where is that crisp green salad gone too? :-)
Recently while researching the blog posting about Anthony I had myself a genuine urban hike around the historic North End neighborhood of Boston. Don’t get me wrong I have been there many times as I work and go to school in Boston every day. This time I actually got out of the car and walked around a bit. ( As opposed to the usual double parking to run in for pastries!)
Have a look around this famous Italian neighborhood with me… (hint: click on a photo for an enlarged slide show)
And of course no visit to the North End is complete without sampling some of its famous Italian delights… mainly pastries, bread and pizza!
The best in bread and eclairs!
Need I say more?
Bakeries here supply the whole city
But obviously it always comes down to the ultimate choice when visiting the North End… Just ask anybody…they’ll let you know! ( Mikes or Modern!)
Are you Modern?
…Or all about Mike?
Well whatever you choose you won’t go wrong – they are both delicious!
But make sure you start here, at Galleria Umberto, because one they sell out of their famous pizza, calzone and arancini- and there ain’t no more till the next day! The line goes out the door at 11:30am!
Quick snap of the line!
Yummy and hot!
Are you full yet? Only one last thing to do… Sit down and take a load off like this famous character from the neighborhood! (and believe me there are lots!)
You know that old question…”what would you have for your last supper?” Well mine would most certainly involve steak and tomatoes of some variety! And around New England many a folk might say “steak tips!”
It is high time we discussed this regional favorite!
What are these anyway? No one seems to really know – not even Google! In this internet age of over a million hits on any given subject, I seem to have discovered one of the last mysteries remaining on the internet. (at least culinarily)
I can tell you that they are strips of beef sold universally around New England. Most folks cut them into chunks about 2″ x 2″ for portioning and cooking. They are not the west coast “tri-tip” and they are not “flank steak” or “hanger steak” or “flat Iron” steak” – as best I can determine – they are the “tips” cut from a sirloin.
Here is an entertaining and somewhat informative discussion about what steak tips are from Chowhound.
When New Englanders move to other parts, they are known to have friends and relatives fly down with their carry-on luggage full of steak tips to satisfy their hankering of a taste of home! (true stories)
Of course everyone has a marinade they swear by…some use a bottled salad dressing, some use a packet, some invent their own. Terriyaki style tips are very popular too. I usually just take the opportunity to use up the last bits of any vinegar-based salad dressing I might have hanging around. Or if I am making my own marinade it always involves some “Montreal steak seasoning” blend. Whatever your secret blend, no tailgate or family gathering in the summer (or anytime of the year) is complete without “tips on da grill” (typed with Massachusetts accent of course)
They are a standard on restaurant menus as well and local places have legendary followings based on their tips. Like this local joint. (And no they didn’t reimburse me for any promo consideration – but if they are reading and want give me a free dinner – I wouldn’t say no!)
Well whatever they are, I am glad I live in New England so I can eat them….
I love me a good salad, but don’t overlook that pile of tips back there!
If anybody out there – butchers, chefs, cooks alike can enlighten me -please do so at: cabinetstewATyahooDOTcom!
Wednesday is “Prince® Spaghetti Day” if you didn’t already know that. But you probably did because their commercial ran for something like 13 years straight! That is commercial where Anthony is running home for dinner through the famed North End neighborhood of Boston. Who hasn’t yelled “Anthony” at least once in their life in that same famous way as his mother did!
I am a bit embarrassed to admit that although I knew they filmed the commercial in Boston’s famous Italian North End, I had no idea it was because this is where the pasta company started, back in 1912, on Prince Street! duh!
So it being the 100th birthday and all, I decided to have an urban hike and visit all the famous locations in the North End.
Above: The original window as it appeared in the 1969 commercial
As it looks today in 2013 – not much has changed
Above: as it looks now in 2013 – not much has changed – just cars and roof decks!
Of course I had to track down the original location of the pasta company…or wait is it across the street from this corner? So hard to tell now that the location has been converted to high-end condos! Well anyway this is the corner of Thatcher and Prince street in the vicinity of #92.