When you're looking for a quick comforting dish for supper that doesn't take much work, Polish sausage -- also called kielbasa -- with rice provides the solution. The flavor of the sausage infuses the rice as the dish cooks. Toss in some vegetables such as sliced sweet peppers, peas, cabbage wedges or carrots and supper can be ready in 30 minutes.
Choose the Right Rice
Each type of rice has a different flavor, characteristics and cooking time. Jasmine and basmati are too floral scented and are overwhelmed by the flavor of the Polish sausage. Wild rice is expensive. Brown rice takes twice as long to cook as white rice. White rice cooks in 20 minutes. If you haven't much time at all, use quick rice or frozen cooked rice.
Perfect Polish Sausage
What is usually available at the meat counter is fully-cooked polish sausage. It doesn't require any other preparation before you add it to the rice. Add whole sausages, slice them into disks or dice them. Raw Polish sausage needs to be slowly simmered for 45 minutes before adding to rice. Boiling the sausage makes it tough so keep the heat low. The internal temperature of the sausage should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit to insure it's fully cooked. Insert an instant-read meat thermometer into the sausage to check.
Amp Up the Flavors
While it's not required, browning amps up the flavor of both the sausage and the rice. Brown the sausage in oil, either whole or cut to your desired size and shape. Saute some onions, shallots or leeks in the pan to add sweetness and a bit of bite. Add the rice and toss around in the pan so each grain is coated with oil.
Pour in the Liquids
Water is fine for cooking sausage and rice, but broth or vegetable juices are better. Add twice as much liquid as raw white rice. Bring the mixture to a slow boil then turn down to a simmer. Cover the sausages and let cook, undisturbed, for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork right before serving. Polish sausage and rice could also be cooked in an oven-proof frying pan with a lid in the oven.
Add Various Vegetables
Cook vegetables in with the rice and sausages so there's only one pan to clean up after supper. Choose from winter vegetables such as parsnips, turnips and rutabagas, or summer vegetables such as green beans, yellow squash or zucchini. Cherry tomatoes add a pop of bright red color.
- Wayne State University: Cavalcade of Food: Polish Cooking Making Kapusta and Kielbasa
- Real Simple: Common Types of Rice
- The Art of Cooking; Arnold Zabert
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images