We all know how boring Thanksgiving leftovers can be: the cold turkey sandwich lathered with mayo, the ever so slightly gummy stuffing and the dry mashed potatoes microwaved with a helping of gravy. Sound familiar? As I mentioned in my Thanksgiving post, this year I was going to take three traditional leftovers and transform them into ethnic meals. So let’s begin our journey with a stop in Poland and turn those dry potatoes into a warm and delicious Polish Bowl!
Growing up with Polish ancestry provided me exposure to the wonders of Polish cooking from early childhood. One of my favorite dishes to eat and prepare is pierogi. For those of you who are not familiar, the best way I can describe pierogi is to call it the Polish version of the Italian ravioli. In the Polish markets in my area, pierogi are traditionally stuffed with mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, cheese, onion or some combination of the four. My family would always fry them in butter and serve alongside a ring of freshly smoked kielbasa.
With all of this in mind, (sans dough), I decided to attack the leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving and create the Polish Bowl……a combination of all the best pierogi fillings, as well as kielbasa, brought together to turn those cold potatoes into a hot, hearty, delicious meal. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did creating it!! This dish turned out so good, it will definitely become a regular meal in our house!
- 5 cups warm mashed potatoes
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb smoked, Polish kielbasa, diced
- 1lb sauerkraut, rinsed
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- salt and pepper
- parsley for garnish, chopped
- Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat; season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Add onion, garlic, sauerkraut, kielbasa to pan and season with salt and pepper. to taste. Sautee until onions are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Place mashed potatoes in a large bowl and add ½ of mixture from frying pan and whip with a spoon until combined well.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place potato mixture in medium sized ramekins, crocks or any oven safe bowl.
- Top with dabs of ricotta cheese and then sprinkle with remaining mixture from frying pan.
- Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Turn on oven broiler and broil until top is crispy (optional).
- Remove from oven, garnish with parsley and serve.