June 1, 2011

From My Family to Yours: Kielbasa, Bell Peppers, and Onions

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“ Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” George Burns

It is no secret: you can’t pick your family members. No sir! It is like the wise man once said, “you can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friends’…” well, you get the picture. The same goes with family! Huh. Interesting comparison- family members to noses. I do suppose that is quite an accurate description for my family as we really love to boogie. Boogie? Nose? Dance? Get it? … is this mic still on?? We do … really … love …  to dance.

Back on topic. Where was I? Oh yes, family!

I was fortunate to grow up in a huggin’, lovin’, eatin’ family. We usually liked to tryto accomplish all three simultaneously! And did!

For my family, and is the case for many families, the kitchen is really the place of gathering and the mealtime the peak of togetherness. You have your busy days,and separate lives, but everybody comes home. And at the height of the evening is dinner!

As my mom always says, our family has a “mange, mange, mange” mentality. The center of focus and entertainment were meals, which were the result of so much love. The dining room table was place in which most of my childhood memories were made.

Over the years, the faces of those gathered around our family table has changed immensely. Some have left us and some new faces have appeared, as the ebb and flow of life conditions. But even though so many loved ones no are no longer with us,their presence remains, not only within our hearts, but also on the dinner table.

… No we are not cannibals.

What I mean is that the recreation of their beloved recipes help to bring back oneelement, a former way of bonding, that reminds us that they still are with us, even though we can no longer see them sitting across from us at the dinner table.

My grandfather was Polish and quite the wonderful cook. I still can see him standing in his and my grandmother’s galley kitchen putting together yet another Sunday family dinner miracle and making sure that there was at least 4 servings of macaroni and cheese for one anxious, curly haired granddaughter (ahem, that’s me. What can I say I looooved mac and cheese! And my Poppy made sure I got my fair share, as well as enough for a small army).

One of his recipes that we always make sure that we cook each holiday, and this Easter was no exception, is his kielbasa. This recipe is neither complicated nor overly fancy, but, my, was it created out of love.

From my family to yours.

Ja cie kocham, Poppy.

Kielbasa, Bell Peppers, and Onions

16oz ShopRite Polksa Kielbasa
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 onion, julienned
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

*This can be cooked either on stove top or on a grill (I recommend a grill).

1.On a stove top: heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add onions and cook until translucent. Add peppers, cooking for approximately 3 minutes, then add kielbasa and cook until nicely browned. Drain on a paper towel before serving.

2. On a grill: place all of the ingredients onto a sheet of aluminum foil, with holes punched into the bottom. Cook, moving ingredients around so they do not burn, until the onions have softened, peppers soften, and kielbasa browns, which varies per grill! (For my charcoal grill, it is about 5 to 7 minutes).  You can drain, if you would like, but most of the oils should mostly be cooked out.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: As a POTLUCK blogger, I received a $25 ShopRite Gift Card to purchase ingredients for this recipe from ShopRite for free.