Kielbasa and pierogi — them’s real Polish eats. Or at least the only thing I know about Polish food.
Before I met my wife, I never got pierogi (it’s plural…really). OK, I understood them, I just never purchased them. I think it’s because I saw them as a lesser version of the holiest of Italian foods, ravioli. Potato? Who needs it when you can get some nice ricotta cheese in the middle?
It didn’t help that we didn’t know how to prepare these potato-filled dumplings. I mean, we knew to boil them, but then what do you put on them? We usually used leftover tomato sauce, but it was overpowering. So I turned to the Internet…and wonder of wonders, it suggested a classic Italian preparation: fry them up with some butter and olive oil, after softening some onion and garlic in the pan.
Fine by me.
After adding some salt and pepper, these things were done. So it was time to add some Polish protein: the oft-maligned kielbasa sausage. In our case, it was Lean Turkey Kielbasa, courtesy of Jennie-O. Well, actually it was courtesy of the company because they didn’t send it to me free. (But if you’re reading this, Jennie-O, you still have time!)
Anyway, I cut it up into big chunks and threw them into the pan for some heat (it comes fully cooked already). Now that I’m looking at pictures of how it’s prepared elsewhere, I’m thinking I left the chunks a little too big. Maybe they’re supposed to be cut into coin-like shapes, as pictured on the package. Eh, what do packaging pictures know?
After a thorough mixing of the pierogi and kielbasa pieces, we only had to wait for the string beans to finish steaming and we were ready to eat.
I think it turned out pretty good for a quick, mid-week meal. The only problem? The kielbasa was salty as all get-out. I mean, lip-curling, water-clamoring saltiness. Hey Jennie-O, you don’t need to make up for the fact that it’s turkey with more salt than the ocean. It’d still be good with half the sodium.
This is the part where I end with a funny but inappropriate Polish joke. Fortunately for you, I don’t know any. Feel free to leave some good ones in the comments…