RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Polish Polka Po' Boy

I am first generation American. My family came from Poland right after WWII and brought with them many peasant traditions and foods that I grew up on so I decided to take some of my favorite Polish tastes and deconstruct them into an American presentation between two slices of Polish goodness, rye bread.

Ingredients 

Fried Cabbage Spread:
4oz. Bacon, fine dice
1 med. onion,fine dice
1/2 tsp. Carraway seeds
1/2 med.head grn. cabbage, shredded
8oz. Farmer's Cheese
1/2tsp.salt(+/- depending on bacon)
1/4tsp. coarse ground black pepper
Tomato Dressing:
1/4c. Vinegar
1/4c. Brown sugar
1/2 med. onion, fine dice
1c. Ketchup
1 small tomato,no seeds fine dice
1tsp. dry dill
1/2tsp salt
1/4tsp. ground black pepper
Polish Polka Patty:
4oz. bacon,diced fine
1med. onion, diced fine
1.5 lb. ground chuck
1/2lb. fresh polish sausage
1.5 tsp salt
1/4tsp. coarse black pepper ***
Vegetable Oil for grill ***
1 large sweet onion sliced thin ***
1 unsliced 2lb. loaf of unseeded Polish rye bread sliced into thick, 1/2 inch pieces (12 needed).

Instructions 

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover or pre-heat a gas grill to med. high. To make the cabbage spread: pre-heat a large saute pan on med-high heat and add the diced bacon and cook til crisp. Add the diced onions to the pan with the cooked bacon and cook til the onions are translucent then add the carraway seeds and cook til they chage color, about one minute, then turn heat up to high and immediately add shredded cabbage and cook until cabbage is soft and slightly browned. Turn of heat and remove pan to let mixture cool. While cabbage mixture is cooling combine the farmer's cheese with the salt and pepper to soften the cheese then add the cabbage mixture and mix well to combine, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary keep at room temperature if using within a short period or refrigerate if making a day ahead then bring to room temp. before use. To make the Tomato Dressing: Combine the vinegar and brown sugar in a medium sauce pan over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occassionally until sugar is dissolved, reduce heat to medium and cook until mixture has reduced and thickened, approx. 8-10min. Add the diced onions to vinegar and sugar mixture and cook 1-2 minutes increase heat to high and add ketchup, diced tomatoes, dill salt and pepper and bring mixture to a rapid boil then turn down heat to medium and cook 4 to 5 more minutes to allow flavors to combine remove from heat and transfer to a storage container for holding at room temperature or refrigerate for future use. To make the Polish Polka Patties: Heat a medium saute pan over high heat then add the bacon turn down heat to med.-high and cook until bacon is crisp (5-6 minutes)then add onions and cook until onions are translucent. Take mixture off the heat and let cool to room temp. Meanwhile, combine the fresh Polish sausage, ground chuck, salt and pepper until just combined then mix in cooled bacon and onion mixture and combine til the ingredients are well combined but not overmixed. Divide the mixture into six equal portions and form into oblong/oval patties to fit the shape of the rye bread making them a bit larger then the bread at the beginning will ensure proper fit after cooking. Brush the pre-heated grill rack with vegetable oil applied to a rolled and tied kitchen towel while holding the towel with tongs. Place the shaped patties on the grill rack, cover and grill until browned on the bottoms about 3-4 minutes. Turn the patties over and continue grilling until done approximately 3-4 minutes longer if your desired temperature is super well-done. During the last few minutes of cooking place the rye bread slices on the outer edges of the grill rack and toast lightly on one side then take them off and on the toasted side(of six) place a good amout of the cabbage spread and place all twelve pieces back on the grill untoasted side down then cook until just lightly toasted and remove to the side for final assembly. To asseble the burgers: Spread an even layer of tomato dressing on the slice of bread that does not have the cheese then place 3-4 slices of the thinly sliced sweet onion on top of the cheese mixture then spread some tomato dressing on top of the onions then place the patty on top of the onions and place the top slice of bread on the patty press down lightly and cut in half to serve.