&W's Marcia Kiesel's foil packages are an homage to the Polish National Home in Hartford, Connecticut, where she and her family have lunch after visiting the nearby Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. The ingredients, which cook in minutes, are an array of classic Polish foods: kielbasa, spicy cabbage and potatoes. As with most Eastern European dishes, it's best served with lots of sour cream.
1 pound baby Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
8 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (from medium head)
2 teaspoons hot paprika
1 pound plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup sour cream
2 scallions, coarsely chopped
1 pound smoked kielbasa, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 cup water
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat until just tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool. Cut each potato into 4 slices.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the red onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and starting to brown, about 15 minutes. Add the paprika and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Light a grill. In a bowl, mix the sour cream with the scallions and season with salt and pepper.
Prepare four 12-by-17-inch sheets of heavy-duty foil. On a work surface, fold up the sides up of each sheet to form a 7-inch square box, with 2 sides higher than the others. Arrange the kielbasa slices in a circle in the center of each box. Arrange the potato slices over and around the kielbasa. Season the potatoes with salt. Mound the cabbage mixture over the kielbasa, then pour cup of the water into each package. Bring the 2 higher sides of each package together and fold them over, then fold in the sides to seal.
Grill the packets over high heat until bubbling inside, about 5 minutes. Carefully open the packages and serve, passing the scallion sour cream at the table.
The cooked potatoes, cabbage mixture and scallion sour cream can be refrigerated, separately, overnight. Bring the cabbage to room temperature before proceeding.
At the Polish National Home, you'd most likely enjoy a draught Okocim, a lightly hoppy Polish pilsner, with this hearty meal. If you're not at the Polish National Home, the odds of finding Okocim decrease dramatically, so try a similar beer instead, like the crisp Pilsner Urquell.
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