Chop 1/4 of a small yellow onion and mince one clove of garlic. Heat 1 TBSP of olive oil in a saute pan and add the onion and garlic. While that cooks, chop up 2 red peppers into inch long pieces. Add to the onions and garlic when they are tender. Add salt and pepper. Add 3 TBSP of barbecue sauce and 1 TBSP of mustard. Toss in bratwurst and let cook for a while until bratwurst is done and peppers are tender. Add a few handfuls of frozen or fresh green beans, 1/2 cup of water, stir and let cook until tender.
As I have said many times, I am a lazy cook. I also don’t have lots of gadgets. One item I don’t have is a veggie steamer, but I just use a colander inside my pan instead. To make this, I put some water on to boil. While it was heating, I cut the ends off and quartered 10 brussels sprouts and put them in a metal strainer/colander. By then the water was boiling, to clean fewer pans, I tossed the two links of bratwurst in to cook and put the strainer on top of them and put a lid on. The strainer handle made the lid uneven, but that really didn’t matter that much in steaming these fast cooking veggies.
I put a small nonstick pan on medium high and chopped up 2 TBSP of almonds and tossed them in the un-greased pan to roast, shaking the almonds so the flavor bloomed but they didn’t char. I set them aside and added 1 TBSP of butter to the pan, swirling the pan to keep it cooking very evenly and cooked until the butter turned brown. This gives it a rich nutty flavor. I poured the brown butter in a bowl, added 1 tsp of dill weed, salt, pepper and reamed half a lemon into the bowl. I then tossed the brussels sprouts, which were now done, in the bowl. I took the bratwurst and tossed them in the pan for a few seconds to brown a bit.
Bratwurst always tastes good with any of the brassica cultivars, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, etc. It’s a perfect complement. Brown butter is such a flavorful and easy sauce and I love the flavor you get when you mix it with lemon. This sauce is also delicious on pasta. And just two small pans to clean.
While I was at The Velvet last night, I started cooking supper during Lux’ set. I tossed 2 cloves of minced garlic and 2 TBSP of chopped onion plus 1 jalapeño into a medium heat skillet with 1 TSBP of olive oil. I added salt and pepper and let them start to saute. I sliced a bratwurst sausage into 1/2 inch wide pieces and tossed them in. I then chopped up a tomato and tossed it in as well.
While they cooked, I asked for direction from the folks at the Velvet, where I was with the meal, I could go any direction, but was dithering between kale and green beans. They all said green beans, so I added 1 cup of green beans, 1 oz of ground parmesan and 1 TBSP of green salsa. I added a bit of salt and pepper. I sauteed and then just before serving squeezed in the juice of one fresh lemon.
It was a delicious meal with a bit of heat from the chili and salsa, some fresh tang from the lemons and tomatoes and the hearty umami of the bratwurst and green beans.
This was a fast and simple meal. I first put a little olive oil in a skillet and turned the heat up to a medium low (4 out of 10 on the dial). Then I trimmed the ends off 6 brussels sprouts and cut them in half, placing them cut side down in the skillet. I sprinkled with a bit of kosher salt and put a lid over them and let them cook away.
Meanwhile, I put a tbsp of olive oil in a sauce pan and grabbing a medium sweet onion and sliced off two slices about 1/4 inch thick and diced and tossed the onion into the oil. I grabbed one bratwurst and cut it into chunks a little less than an inch long. I added salt, pepper, cumin and garlic powder (I used this instead of fresh garlic because while looking for the cumin in the cupboard, I knocked it off the shelf and a bunch of garlic powder spilled on the counter. I quickly opted for the powder over fresh in order to not let it go to waste.) and stirred everything together. Then I diced up a tomato and tossed it in, gave a quick stir and put a lid on. Then I checked my email.
After about 5 minutes or so, I checked the sprouts for tenderness. Once they were tender, I took the lid off so they could toast up a bit more. I put some water on to boil. Once it boiled, I tossed in some four cheese tortellini to cook. I turned the heat off the bratwurst sauce and the brussels sprouts so they were a serving temperature when I strained the tortellini. I threw the tortellini in with the sauce, gave a few quick stirs and turned it all out on a plate. I then used a spatula to gently lift the brussels sprouts from the pan and turned them onto the plate as well. I didn’t want to use a spoon and have the outer leaves come off. I shredded a bit of parmesan over the plate and enjoyed.
The caramelizing on the brussels sprouts was perfect, giving it a bit of nuttiness in contrast to the rich, velvety goodness of the brussels sprout. The pasta was a nice, bright mix of sweetness and acidity from the tomatoes and hearty umami from the bratwurst and tortellini.
This is a quick and easy soup recipe that has lots of rich, multi-layered flavors. It takes a little over 30 minutes from start to finish and tastes like it took all day. I had picked up some kale to make a salad, but didn’t get to it quickly and the kale got a bit wilty, so I knew I would have to cook it. I thought about making a kale hash or something and then got a brainwave to try and make a caldo verde, a soup I had when I was in Spain that was made with potatoes, kale and sausage. I didn’t have linguica or chorizo and probably should have compensated by adding a bit more spice, but to be honest, this mild version is truly delicious and it didn’t need the spicier sausage.
So, to begin, mince 3 cloves of garlic and dice 1 onion. Saute in olive oil with one bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cooking just until softened, but without any caramelizing. Add 2 quarts of water and 4 cups of diced new potatoes (I used fingerlings) and let boil for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in another pan, cook 2 sausages, drain and slice. I used bratwurst because that is what I had. While the sausage is cooking, trim the stems from a pound of kale, rinse the kale, squeezing it dry and chop up fine. By now the potatoes should be softened so you can take a masher and mash them up in the soup pot. If you’re ambitious, you can pull them out and puree them, but I didn’t bother. Once they are mashed, I added the sausage and the kale, put the lid on and let cook another 5 to 10 minutes. I pulled out the bay leaf and let cool a bit and it was done.
It has a rich, earthy heartiness with the subtle spiciness of the bratwurst. I could have added a tiny bit of jalapeño with the onion and garlic, but it’s delicious without as well. A linguica or chorizo would be a bit spicier and would definitely not need more spice. I think it will be even better tomorrow.
I made the salad this morning to let the dressing marinate and be more absorbed into the kale. I took about 6 cups of chopped kale. Be sure to remove the ribs before chopping. I chopped the kale and then diced two carrots. I took a handful of pecans (about 2 oz) and chopped them with my knife as well. I tossed the large nut pieces into the salad and tossed the pecans, kale and carrots together. The tiny bits of pecan I put into a bowl with a 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne, a 1/4 teaspoon of cumin and the cloves of three garlic that I put through a garlic press. I added 1 tbsp of mustard and 1 tbsp of white vinegar and 1 tbsp of soy sauce. Then I added about 1/2 cup of mayo and mixed together. With salt and pepper to taste, it was ready to dress the salad. I mixed it all in well and stored in the fridge to marry. It has a delicious garlicky tang and a little bit of heat. The nuts add a bit of sweetness to the mix.
For the ragout, I put a small amount of liquid in a skillet and put two bratwurst in to cook. I sliced up two mushrooms and chopped up a tomato. When I turned the bratwurst, I added the mushrooms and tomato to the liquid and put the lid on it. About 8 minutes later, I sliced up the bratwurst and added 1 TBSP of mustard and 1/4 cup of sour cream. A little salt and pepper and it was good to go. Bratwurst has enough spice and flavor that the little mustard and sour cream were plenty of flavor. It made a rich, creamy ragout with plenty of bite.