Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cooking up a storm

I've been in a cooking whirl since last fall. Trying new recipes, new ways of doing old standards... and the best part is that it has been well-received.

This is one of our new favorites: Double Onion, Kielbasa & Potato Roast with Mustard Sauce

I am a fan of quick easy dinners, and generally speaking we're not picky eaters. I saw this one in a Woman's Day magazine email and printed it out last September. What could be better than meat & potatoes?! I've made it 4 times so far and it just keeps getting better.

Here's the recipe - and then my comments in color.

First, the sauce....
1/2 cup of reduced-fat sour cream
2 Tablespoons of country-style Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon of little water.

Stir together & chill. I have found that a little less mustard, or a little more sour cream is a better fit for my guys.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Takes a longer time so make sure to get it heating up. Position oven racks to divide space into thirds.

2 leeks, chopped
1 large sweet onion, cut into ½ inch thick wedges. Don’t worry about separating the layers as the cooking process does this.
4 teaspoons oil (I use olive oil)
4 large carrots, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces (I use whatever is on hand. If I have baby carrots, I just cut them lengthwise)
5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cut lengthwise in quarters, then halved crosswise
¼ teaspoon each of salt & pepper
1 turkey or beef kielbasa (14 oz.), cut in 2 inch pieces, then halved lengthwise
2 rimmed baking pans

I use 15 x 2 cookie sheets/jelly roll pans, lined with foil to make cleanup easier. My local stores tend to sell leeks in bundles of 3 so I use all three. Chop the leeks and onions & combine in a large metal bowl with half of the oil. Toss together and then dump onto pan #1. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Chop carrots and potatoes and combine in the large bowl with the remaining oil. Dump this onto pan #2. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Place onions on top rack, carrots & potatoes on bottom rack. Roast for 15 minutes.

While this is roasting, cut up kielbasa. I have found with 2 teen boys and a husband who all enjoy meat that it works well to double the meat. Last time I did 1 beef kielbasa and 1 polish sausage.

When the timer rings, remove the pans and toss ingredients around each pan. Add the meat to the carrot/potato pan and arrange as flat as possible. Recipe says to put them both pans back in the oven but I find that the onions are getting crispy and seem pretty soft so I don’t put them back. Put the meat/carrot/potato pan back into oven on bottom rack for 15 minutes longer, or until vegetables are fork tender.

Once this is done, everything goes back in the big bowl and is tossed together. Everyone serves himself, sauce is available, and usually we have enough for seconds for everyone.