Kid Tested, Toddler Approved: Das German Cuisine! (no seriously)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I had some left over cabbage in the fridge that needed to be used up and not much time to work with it. I got inspired to make some German fare, so I quickly whipped up this German-inspired meal in literally less than 30 minutes and it was a big hit with the family, especially my 1 1/2 year old, Trajan. And don't let it fool you - if you choose the right sausage, this meal can be actually quite lean and low fat! And who doesn't love that?!

Grilled Turkey Kielbasa with Quick-Braised Cabbage
1 package low sodium turkey kielbasa sausage
1/2 head white cabbage, cut thinly
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
1 large green apple, peeled and grated
kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper corns (or a few turns of the black pepper mill)
small pinch of nutmeg
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth + more if needed
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Take the sausage and cut it into 4 large pieces. Take each piece and score it with a knife - this means, cut into the top of the sausage about 1/3 of the way through towards the bottom, creating "slits." Repeat this slice every inch or so. This will help the sausage cook evenly and thoroughly, and not burst while grilling. Set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage and onion and season with salt. The salt will help the cabbage wilt and draw out the juices from the onion. Cook uncovered about 5 minutes, stirring often until softened and just beginning to caramelize on the edges. If starting to burn, reduce heat and continue to cook.

Add the apple, peppercorns and nutmeg and combine. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, cover with lid and reduce heat to medium. Cook until cabbage is very tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more broth during the cooking process as needed so that there is enough liquid for the cabbage to braise in, a splash at a time. You don't want to boil it, but just let it cook in some liquid to help it get soft. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

While the cabbage is cooking, preheat your grill to medium-high. Grill your sausages about 5-10 minutes, turning often. Turkey kielbasa cooks a lot faster and will burn easier because it has less fat, so make sure you keep an eye on it. If using pork or beef sausage, you won't have to turn them as often.

Serve everything hot with a side of spicy German mustard (or Grey Poupon), and my kids like ketchup.

My Notes:
If making this meal for a larger dinner, you can easily double the cabbage recipe and use a whole head of cabbage for a larger portion side dish. Also, would go great with my Potato Pancakes recipe for appetizers!

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