About 10 years ago I was out with a bunch of friends “parrandeando” – which in Puerto Rico is when you go from house to house in Christmas time singing “parrandas”, which is our very typical version of Xmas carols.
The idea of “parrandas” is to create a group of friends who will surprise an unsuspecting friend while they’re sleeping and wake them up playing music outside… the person who was woken up opens up their house to their surprise visitors and offers them things to eat and drink while the group continues to sing songs. Afterwards, you take the friend you just woken up with the rest of group to wake up another friend… and so forth about 3-4 times in a night.
I remember when I was little to go in “parrandas” with my parents, in a huge long line of cars that would visit people and play music all night long. Now with neighborhoods having access controlled gates is not as easy to sneak up on someone and surprise them in the night, but we have our ways to get around that…
So, back to the recipe… the thing is that about 10 years ago in one of these parrandas we went to wake up a friend of my then-boyfriend. His wife made these kielbasa pieces covered in strawberry preserves… they we’re heavenly!!! They were sweet and spicy all at the same time. They became a staple every time we had a get-together to watch a basketball game or a boxing match.
But since I became a vegetarian, I had not had these polish sausage wonders. One of the last times I went to Whole Foods in Miami I saw these Tofurky Kielbasa sausages. I had never seen them in PR, although I now know Freshmart has them. When I saw them I wondered if they tasted just like I remembered, but the second thought was… I need to try if they’ll work to make the polish sausage sweet bites I remembered and loved…
TOFURKY KIELBASA SWEET BITES
2 Tofurky Kielbasa sausages, sliced on a bias 1/3 cup strawberry preserves About 1 tbs canola oil
When I used to make this using the real sausage, the sausage rendered a lot of fat that later I had to drain… but because the Tofurky has almost no fat to it, we will sauté them in a bit of oil…
- In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium -high heat. Once the oil comes to temperature, add the Tofurky kielbasa pieces and sauté them lightly until they reach a nice golden color.
- When they have all a nice golden color, turn off the heat of the stove and add the strawberry preserves. It will heat up and soften with the residual heat of the skillet. Toss the kielbasa pieces with the preserves until they’re all well coated.
- Transfer them to a dish and allow them a few minutes before eating them. The preserves will be too hot if you attempt to eat it right off the skillet.
I also like to eat these Tofurky Kielbasa sausages with some ketchup and mustard, like a hotdog. I usually slice them in half length-wise and grill them in my George Foreman grill… nice!!!