This column is a continuing series by Chef Peter X. Kelly of Xaviars Restaurant Group which runs every Thursday.
We all have our favorite foods we look forward to around the holidays. Whether it's your aunt's pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, your grandfather's special eggnog recipe with extra rum at Christmas or your sister’s string bean casserole, it's hard not to salivate thinking what may be on the holiday table.
For the past twenty or so years my family has always gathered for Christmas at my house. About 40 of the family start arriving at 2 p.m. and begin eating immediately, continuing until late into the evening. Since this is my home and I am a professional cook, everyone brings a level of expectation concerning the foods that will be served. So, naturally, I want to serve the best I know how, but I also want to prepare a manageable feast since it’s just me in the kitchen. I am always on the hunt for an item I can add to the celebration that needs little kitchen magic.
Here's where my secret comes in. There is a small Polish deli in the heart of Yonkers, N.Y. that makes their own terrific kielbasa and since my wife and in-laws are Polish and my son is half Polish, kielbasa is always a part of our holiday table. No matter what else is served, be it caviar, foie gras, rib roast or lobster, the kielbasa from the Polish Deli in Yonkers is always the first to go.
Take my advice and visit this terrific little Old World store. And while you're there, pick up one of their house-made smoked or fresh sausages. Once home, simmer in water, slice into rounds, serve with good mustard and fresh horseradish, place on a tray with toothpicks and you have a delicious and easy perfect hors d'oeuvre that works every time.
The Polish Deli is at 225 Nepperhan Ave., Yonkers, N.Y. (914) 476-1183.
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