Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Kielbossy

     It really does not hurt to give a sandwich creation a catchy name.  Sandwich and appetizer creations nearly always have wild sounding names these days, especially sports bars and trendy restaurants.  A sandwich name that offers .
     Plain fresh kielbasa sandwiches are popular in nearly every northern city.  Chicago's Maxwell Street Polish is possibly is the most famous old fashioned fresh kielbasa sandwich of them all.  Kielbasa and sauerkraut is a Wisconsin tailgate party staple.  
     Kielbasa is not only Polish.  The word Kielbasa traditionally describes cured fresh sausages and cured smoked sausages throughout Eastern Europe and Russia.  Old fashioned Kielbasa is usually only seasoned with black pepper.  Paprika, nutmeg, mustard and a few other spices flavor regional varieties of Kielbasa.  The meat for Kielbasa can be beef, pork, veal or a mixture of all of the above.

     A Kielbasa Sandwich with peppers and onions is nothing new.  Even melting Swiss Emmentaler cheese on a sandwich like this has been done a million times.  What makes today's Kielbasa, onion pepper and cheese sandwich recipe bossy?  The answer is Secret Sauce!    
     Secret Sauce is such an old sales ploy that it hurts.  Legally there is absolutely no such thing as a secret ingredient in the restaurant business.  Restaurants legally have to disclose a list of ingredients for every product that is marketed.
     Even so, Secret Sauce does exist.  Sometimes it is an ancient Chinese recipe.  Sometimes the Secret Sauce is a long lost uncle's recipe that was buried in a mayonnaise jar under an old oak tree.  Can the ultimate Secret Sauce be found in a jar on a store shelf?  The answer is yes it can!
     At every place around the globe there are food items that are unheard of.  In Mongolia, it might be a Grilled Cheese Sandwich.  In Timbuktu, I seriously doubt if the local folk have ever heard of Chicago style Neon Relish.  In America, relatively few people have heard of Brinjal.      
     Brinjal is the store bought Secret Sauce that makes today's Kielbasa Sandwich bossy!  Classic Indian Brinjal is a tangy spicy eggplant chutney that is perfect for being used as an exotic sandwich spread.  Brinjal is popular in India and the Middle East.  Outside of those two places hardly anybody knows what Brinjal is, so by default, Brinjal is a Secret Sauce!  
     English Branston Pickle has its origins in India and the flavor is similar to Brinjal.  Brinjal is much stronger tasting that Branston Pickle and it is much thicker.  Cardamom is the key spice in brinjal, but anise, clove and allspice can also be noticed.  The rich flavor of brinjal is perfect for a Smoked Kielbasa sandwich.  
     Brinjal condiment can be found at Indian food markets, Mediterranean markets and Middle Eastern food stores.  The brand that I tried had a picture of the Taj Mahal on the label and the price was about the same as a jar of mustard.  That is a cheap price to pay for a Secret Sauce that nobody has heard of. 
     Brinjal may not have been originally intended to be sandwich spread, but it sure has a way of making a sandwich rise to the top.  Just like a boss!

     This recipe yields 1 big hearty sandwich.
     Step 1:  Heat a wide sauté pan or griddle over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Place a 10" to 12" long Smoked Kielbasa Sausage on the pan.
     Add 1 clove of chopped garlic.
     Add 3 slices of onion that are about 3/8" thick.
     Add 12 thick strips of mixed red and green bell pepper.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 2:  Sauté or grill the ingredients, till the vegetables are tender and the sausage is lightly browned.
     Remove the pan from the heat.   
     Step 3:  Split a 10" to 12" sub roll open.
     Spread a thin layer of Brinjal on the sub roll.  (About 2 to 3 tablespoons.)
     Place the Kielbasa on the sub roll.
     Place the peppers and onions on the sub roll.
     Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of grated Emmentaler Cheese (Swiss Cheese) over the sausage, peppers & onions.
     Step 4:  Place the sandwich on a baking pan.
     Bake in a 350ºF oven, till the cheese melts and the sub roll is toasted.
     Step 5:  Place the sandwich on a plate.
     Garnish with an Italian Parsley sprig and pickles of your choice.

      The Kielbossy is a simple sausage sandwich that really was designed to introduce the great flavor of Brinjal.  For those who are tired of the same old mayonnaise style sandwich spreads, Brinjal will liven up the party!

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