Cheap and Cheerful: Slow Cooked Cabbage and Kielbasa Dinner
It's amazing how a blend of such humble ingredients can become something far more than their individual flavors. In this case, inexpensive green cabbage, onions, and a bit of turkey kielbasa or lean ham are slow cooked to incredible tenderness while their flavors meld and fill your kitchen with incredible aromas--and no, I'm not talking stinky cabbage! The aromas are such as to make your mouth water and tummy rumble long before dinnertime. When the cabbage is tender, you top it with cheesy mashed potatoes and, yes, more cheese. This is pure comfort food--comforting for your wallet and your tummy. The dinner, because it does its magic in the slow cooker, also is easy and will leave you free to work from home, play with the kids, or do whatever else you'd like to do around the house. It's also a great dinner to make when you have cabbage, mashed potatoes, and/or ham left over from other meals. I actually prefer the dinner made with chopped ham rather than turkey kielbasa, but use what you have or can find.
Slow Cooked Cabbage and Kielbasa Dinner -- Serves 4+
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small-medium head of cabbage, cored and chopped into 1-2-inch pieces
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 cup of chicken stock
1 teaspoon of caraway seeds
16 ounces of sliced/chopped turkey kielbasa or about 2 cups of chopped ham
1/2-1 cup of light sour cream
Spritz a slow cooker insert with non-stick cooking spray and add the onion, cabbage, garlic, salt, pepper, chicken stock, caraway seeds, and chopped kielbasa or ham. Stir everything together and cover the slow cooker. Cook the cabbage on high for an hour and then turn down the heat to low and let it cook for 6-8 hours or until the cabbage is tender. Stir in the sour cream. You want the mixture creamy, not soupy, so add only enough sour cream to achieve that result (some cabbages are drier than others, hence the range in the amount of sour cream you need to add). Top the cabbage mixture with the potato topping below.
4-5 medium-large potatoes, peeled, chopped, and cooked until soft (or use 4 cups of
leftover mashed potatoes)
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of light sour cream
1 tablespoon of butter
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Drain and mash the potatoes. Add the milk, sour cream, butter, Parmesan, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Spread the hot potatoes evenly over the cabbage mixture in the slow cooker. Top the potatoes with the shredded cheddar cheese. Cover the slow cooker and let the cabbage and potatoes continue to cook for about half an hour or until the potatoes are bubbling on the edges and the cheese has melted. Serve the cabbage dinner hot, in bowls or deep plates, with plenty of crusty bread.