Friday, April 8, 2011

Maxwell Street Polish Purses

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Back in mid-September of last year, Pepperidge Farm contacted me and asked if I could create a sophisticated and simple original recipe using Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry with an ingredient or in a dish that's indigenous to Chicago. I developed a special recipe for them and now, my recipe for Maxwell Street Polish Purses can finally be shared! In fact, the recipe is currently featured on the Pepperidge Farm website, along with other fellow bloggers that accepted this tasty challenge.

With well-known Chicago foods in mind, I ultimately decided to highlight a popular street food here in Chicago. A Maxwell Street Polish is probably much more popular among locals than the well known Chicago style hot dogs. With a Maxwell Street Polish, a grilled or fried sausage is topped with sweet caramelized onions and dressed with yellow mustard. For those who like a little kick, sport peppers are added. The sausage itself is also unique in that it's a cross between a Polish kielbasa and natural-casing hot dog with a unmistakable 'snap' when bit into.

In creating this recipe, Kielbasa sausage gets a little more sophisticated when served with puff pastry and caramelized onions. This elegant appetizer is a real crowd pleaser and so easy to make! The puff pastry is cut into small squares and placed into the wells of a mini muffin pan. Slices of kielbasa sausage are placed on top of each puff pastry square and baked until golden brown. Just before serving, each puff pastry purse is topped with a dollop of yellow mustard and caramelized onions, along with a garnish of fresh parsley.

Maxwell Street Polish Purses

3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, cut in half and thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
1/3 of a 16-ounce package kielbasa, cut in half lengthwise and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
Chopped fresh parsley



Heat the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, garlic powder and black pepper.  Cook and stir until the onion is tender.  Stir in the sugar and cook until the onion is golden brown, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.  Remove the skillet from the heat.  Reserve 1/2 cup onion mixture and save the rest for another use.

Heat the oven to 400°F.

Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface.  Roll the pastry sheet into a 10x15-inch rectangle.  Cut into 24 (2 1/2-inch) squares.  Press the pastry squares into 24 (1 3/4-inch) mini muffin-pan cups.  Divide the kielbasa among the pastry cups.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.  Top each with 1/4 teaspoon mustard and 1 teaspoon reserved onion mixture.  Sprinkle with the parsley, if desired.

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