Friday, January 29, 2010

Sausage with Braised Cabbage and Apples

Attempting to find a good cheap meal, I once again made braised cabbage and apples. This meal is seemingly simple, but I have yet to figure out how to make it really pack a good flavor punch. Maybe I am just spoiled after eating saurkraut, but despite adding a lot of different seasonings, this dish wasn't enough to stand up to the rich flavor of the sweet Italian sausage.

I started by sauteing a small yellow onion, thinly sliced, in two tablespoons of butter. When the onion was translucent, I added half a head of sliced green cabbage and two small peeled, cored, and sliced Macintosh apples. I sauted everything a little more, added in 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds, and then poured in a Blue Moon Pale Ale.

I let everything cook down a little bit, tasted, seasoned with salt and pepper, and then turned to the Great Internets for some flavor-additive ideas. I ended up adding thyme, 2 whole cloves, 1 whole bay leaf, and 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar and some sugar. All that, and it still was only ho-hum! I mean, it's *edible* and all, but it's not as good as I think it should be.

The other recipe I tried (in the same low-budget vein) was the Pioneer Woman's Crash Hot Potatoes. If you click over to her page, you'll see that hers are so pretty! And you can't beat the simple preparation that results in lots of crispy, delicious potatoey-ness. So I was psyched.

The gist of her recipe is to soften whole unpeeled potatoes by par-boiling them until they are fork tender. Then you flatten them with a potato masher, season with olive oil, S&P, and rosemary (or other herb). When you put them in an uber hot oven for 20 or so minutes, they crisp up nicely and result in the crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside texture that is so great about roasted potatoes. But in about half the time.

However, my potatoes completely disintegrated at the lightest touch from the potato masher. It was like, slight resistance... POW! Exploded potatoes on my baking sheet. But I continued with the preparation, and they were still delicious, just not as pretty an in one piece as Ree's. I guess that's why she's the Pioneer Woman, and I'm... not. Boo.


  1. Wow, that Pioneer Lady really takes a lot photos.

    I don't know why I'm posting this as a response, but we made these potatoes last night and they were excellent:

  2. Have you tried caraway seeds?

  3. Have you tried adding some apple cider vinegar or wine into your mix? Might give it some sauerkraut like taste.

    love the collage!

  4. Fine Cooking had these potatoes in their Jan/07 magazine. Try pressing the potatoes gently by hand between layers of clean dish towels. Works great every time!

  5. Those taters look really good. I must try them soon.

    You asked me a while ago what I was planning to make for the Super Bowl. The answer is I Have No Idea. To be honest, football kind of broke my heart this year. I am not so much rooting for the Saints as rooting against the Colts. Maybe I'll eat potatoes while I do this. Maybe I'll just eat cereal... haven't decided.

    I've been trying to work on a fancy Valentine's Day recipe and twice failed. Candied oranges... ever done them successfully? My first batch were gooey, my second were rock hard. I could try a third time, but I've already gone through, like, 4 pounds of sugar.

    Also, thank you for the link to the knitted flower pots. They are so cute, and they look like a quick easy project. Maybe I'll make one for Mothers' Day!

  6. Katie, Just a thought about the disintegrating spuds....Were you using the type of potatoes you would normally use for baking?? If so, try yukon gold or red skin types (or plain white round potatoes) they hold shape better since they are less "starchy".