Archive for February, 2013

Sauerkraut & Sausage

Posted: February 15, 2013 in Pork
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Recently we visited Lori’s homeland, Kansas. There are good people in Kansas, and one of my favorite things to do while visiting is to go with those good people to the hole-in-the wall restaurants dispersed throughout Newton, KS. I went to a new one an old work associate suggested, his family is from around Newton as well; small world. This restaurant is named Breadbasket it’s a kind of place that you walk into and know it will be good, because the place is packed and the owners don’t need to invest in ambiance. They serve all you can eat meals of Americano, and twice a week Mennonite-German Cuisine. My wife’s family rushed me there for verenika, a pastry pocket filled with cheese curds smothered with white ham gravy, it was so good. However, the thing I was left craving is not the verenika, but the sauerkraut & sausage; I just had to make my own.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 8-12 fresh bratwurst
  • 2 lb. of sauerkraut (rinsed)
  • 1 large onion (sliced)
  • 1 tsp of fennel seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups apple cider

Instructions:

Melt the butter in a dutch oven and braise the bratwurst on both sides, and remove the sausages. Add the onion, and garlic cook on low until onion is soft. Then add the sauerkraut, fennel, salt, pepper, and apple cider stirring to incorporate. Then pour in the apple cider, and place the sausages on top of the sauerkraut mixture. Reduce stove to lowest setting, and cook for 45-50 minutes.

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Be sure to scrape the bottom of the dutch oven when braising is finished, these brown bits are flavor bombs.

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Remember food is only good for you if you can eat it!
                   -Nate

SHRIMP & GRITS

Posted: February 8, 2013 in Fish & Seafood

Mardi Gras is right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to make a traditional creole dish. Now I know a lot of you readers are not from the south, but trust me all you need is Shrimp & Grits. Even my skeptical Kansas Princess agreed Shrimp & Grits is a great dish.

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Mind you I have never made shrimp & grits until now, only ordered it in seafood restaurants of the south. When I don’t have a recipe the first place I turn is to the good folks at bone appetite, they never fail to provide. I pulled this recipe from their website, and made a few minor adjustments.

Ingredients

Grits

  • 1 cup yellow grits (not instant)
  • 1 cup grated asiago cheese
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, diced
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Shrimp

  • 1/2 cup 1/3″ cubes tasso, andouille sausage, or bacon (if you don’t live on the Gulf Coast you’re going to have trouble finding the tasso, and andouille sausage, I used thickly sliced hickory smoked bacon)
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 lb of shrimp peeled, deveined (be sure they are wild caught you don’t even want to know about the farm raised shrimp)
  • 1/4 cup Abita Beer
  • 1/4 cup low-salt chicken stock
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

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Preparation

Grits

  • Bring 3 cups water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits. Turn heat to low; gently simmer until grits begin to thicken. Continue cooking, stirring often and adding water by 1/4 cupfuls if too thick, until tender, about 1 hour. Stir in cheese, butter, and jalapeño, then cream. Season with salt and pepper. Make sure to keep the grits warm they will set into a mold if allowed to cool.

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Shrimp

  • Cook bacon on a broiler pan in the over at 35o degrees for about 15 minutes. Allow bacon to cool, and chop into 1/2″ pieces.
  • Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add bacon; sauté until fat begins to render. Add garlic and 1 tablespoon butter; stir until butter melts. Add shrimp. When garlic begins to brown, add beer and chicken stock. Simmer until shrimp is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; set aside.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet; swirl to melt and cover bottom of pan. Crack eggs into pan and cook until whites are just set but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes.
  • Divide grits among (4) bowls. Spoon shrimp mixture into center of grits. Top with egg. Sprinkle tarragon over.

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I hope that all of you who have never had shrimp & grits will give this recipe a try. It really is one of the great dishes of the south.

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 Remember food is only good for you if you can eat it!
                    -Nate