I made kielbasa and cabbage the other day. It was a good example of how I cook. Along about lunchtime (peanut butter crackers and a cup of coffee), I was pondering what to make for dinner. Sausage and cabbage sounded good -- it was rainy and chilly outside and its pretty much "comfort food."
It had been a long time since I made the stuff, or the related noodle dish. Looking up a few recipes on my Kindle gave me a better feel for the proportions and what else. Most versions included onions and garlic, along with something to give it a little heat, typically paprika plus red-pepper flakes of the sort often provided for pizza.
That gave me things to look for at the market. Stopped there on my way home after work, thinking I might use a hot Fresno or cherry pepper. Alas, they were out of Fresnos (and Serranos) and the cherry peppers didn't appeal, so I bought mild Poblano peppers instead. We had red onions at home and the store had nice green cabbage and butcher-counter kielbasa.
At home, I cut up and browned the sausage with a little black pepper for luck and a strip of bacon (included in several versions of the dish) to add more smokiness (and grease). Cooked it, fished it out, and started cut up onions and a little garlic powder and paprika in the same big pan; cut up about half the head of cabbage and added it (with a little paprika) once the onions were underway. Poblano got the same treatment once the cabbage was starting to get soft, along with more paprika, chipotle powder and black pepper. Drained it (there's rather a lot of grease), added the meat back in, and warmed the whole dish together.
Various versions cook the veggies anything from crisp-tender to mushy-soft. This was stir-fried and darned good. It fed two with enough left over for the next day. The leftovers were a bit more conventional, with the cabbage good and soft. It had a little bite, not too much, and could have been made more so with hot sauce to taste.
It wasn't exactly any of the recipes I looked at. I try to get a feel for the basic ingredients, cooking process and desired end result. This was a visually appealing dish; the onion kept a bit of violet-red color and the dark-green Poblano and browned sausage made a nice contrast against the pale-green cabbage. Prep and cooking overlapped, probably forty-five minutes from start to finish.
2 months ago