The Devil Wears Kielbasa

The Devil Wears Kielbasa

On Friday night I moved off of my friend Amy’s boat and into my new apartment. I slept in a queen-sized bed. The one I bought in 2006 when I moved back to the U.S. I haven’t slept on it since May 2009. I’m sleeping in sheets, not a sleeping bag. With a bunch of feather down pillow under my head. I feel like a princess.

When I packed up all my stuff and left Brooklyn three years ago, I never could have predicted the crazy course the next three years would take. But I have learned one thing: storage is a waste of money. If I decide to set out again on some round-the-world sailing adventure, I am better off selling all of this crap.

In addition to sleeping in a bed, I am excited about having my own kitchen again. Although I ate variations on the same Thai food leftovers for several days, on Monday I cooked up a bunch of remainders from boat life and made a delicious impromptu meal. I’ll christen it The Devil Wears Kielbasa. Here’s the recipe:

Dab of butter (1–2 tbsp.) or oil
1 half of a large onion, or 1/4 to 1/2 cup, coarsely chopped
1 half of a fennel bulb, sliced
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 half of a kielbasa sausage, sliced on the diagonal
1/2 t. fennel seeds
1/2 t. thyme
1 red bell pepper
1 tomato, sliced
1/4 cup Progresso hearty tomato canned soup
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
1/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

Start water for your pasta of choice and cook this while making the recipe.

Sautee the onion. Slice the carrot as the onion is cooking, then add to the pot. Slice the fennel as the onion & carrots cook; add to pot. Follow with the sausage. Add the fennel seeds thyme and stir the mixture. The pot should be drying out a bit by this time: you want to keep it like this for as long as you can without hurting your pan because it will give the sausage and the veggies a nice browned sear, and the fennel seeds will toast on the bottom of the pan. When the mixture looks nicely browned or if your pot looks like it’s getting scorched, add the bell pepper and tomato. Stir. Cook a few minutes then add the soup. You’re basically only adding enough to give the concoction some sauciness, so don’t overdo. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Drain and plate your pasta, top with a good helping of sauce and then stir in the shredded cheese. It may sound like a very strange dish, but it’s so good I ate it  with gusto four meals in a row.