Recipe: Quick and Dirty! Sausage and Slaw

I’m starting a new occasional recipe feature: Quick and Dirty. You know, for those weeknights when you get home from work and have no idea what to make. The kids are screaming that they’re dying of starvation. A peek in the fridge tells you you’re in trouble and it’s too late to run to the grocery store for that life-saving roasted chicken. Oh, and Jane has a basketball game at 7pm. I highly suggest keeping some of your favorite sausages in the fridge or the freezer for just these emergencies.

Quick and Dirty Rules:

  • There may not be formal measurements, though I’ll try to ballpark it. Eyeball what you’ve got for how many you’re feeding. Instructions may be loose, but I trust you.
  • The ingredients are not hard and fast. Feel free to deviate as necessary.
  • The whole meal must come together in less than 30 minutes.
  • It ain’t gonna be pretty.
  • Don’t blame me if it’s not perfect. The whole point is that it’s not perfect!

This meal is but one variation on a theme. During the summer, I often grill sausages and serve with a salad of whatever’s on hand. One of my favorites is Niman Ranch’s Apple Gouda Sausages alongside a salad of greens tossed with honey mustard dressing. The combinations are endless: Italian sausages with tomato/olive salad, Andouille sausages with sauteed chard and garlic, Bratwurst with beer-braised cabbage, Chorizo with lime-dressed tomato/avocado salad. Go crazy. Get inspired. No veggies for a salad or saute? Make a fruit salad. No fruit? Well…good luck with that.

Chicken Kielbasa with Dijon Cabbage Slaw

(amounts below are approximate and served 2 1/2 people)

Now doesn't that look...speedy?

1 package chicken kielbasa

1/4 head cabbage, shredded (I had Savoy on hand, use whatever you have/like)

2 carrots, peeled and grated

4 scallions, white and light green parts parts only, thinly sliced

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. honey

1 tsp. celery seed (nice if you have it, won’t miss it if you don’t)

kosher salt, to taste

1) Whisk mayo, mustard, vinegar, honey, celery seeds, and salt together in bottom of large bowl. Add cabbage, carrots, and scallions. Stir and let marinate.

Hey! How did that beer get in there?

2) Prick (*hee hee*) sausages with a fork a few times and add to pan. When browned on both sides, add enough liquid to cover the bottom of the pan (I used beer, it was in my hand at the time) and put a lid on it.

3) When sausages are heated through, serve alongside slaw with a splotch of mustard. Ba-da-bing! Seriously, what was that? Like 15 minutes?

NOTES: I’m not the biggest fan of chicken sausages. What’s the point of a lower-fat sausage when we’re eating a diet that focuses on fat?! I’ve been trying to be more aware of ingredient lists, and I’m feeling a little troubled about my processed meats, since most of them contain sugar. I found these organic, uncured kielbasas by Smart Chicken, and there’s no sugar. At 8 grams of fat per sausage—and you’ll probably eat at least two—I don’t think you’ll go hungry. I also can’t find an organic kielbasa, and while this didn’t quite taste like the kielbasa of my youth (Pepperidge Farm), it comes close to scratching the itch.

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