Saturday, October 11, 2008

Recipes from the Twit Army Mess Hall - Sausage in Spiced Sauerkraut


6 smoked bacon slices, cut into 2-inch-wide strips.
Thick cut is better but regular cut will do. Don't use the apple smoked bacon, it's usually too sweet to work with this dish.
1 large onion, sliced
1 carrot, chopped
1 2-pound jar sauerkraut, rinsed, drained well
2 cups dry white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
4 juniper berries, crushed, or 1 tablespoon gin
1 1/2 pounds assorted sausages (brats, knockwurst, kielbasa etc.), cut into 3-inch lengths

Preheat oven to 300°F. Place bacon, onion and carrot in heavy large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté until onion is tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from sauerkraut (I put it in a colander and let it drain in the sink for about 2 hours rinsing frequently to remove the saltiness). Add sauerkraut to Dutch oven. Add wine, stock, caraway seeds and juniper berries. Bring to simmer. Cover tightly, place in oven and bake 1 hour.
Add sausage to Dutch oven, pushing into sauerkraut. Cover and bake 1 hour (n.b. knockwurst is done when the skins split, that's why it's called knockwurst the 'knocking' sound it makes when the skins split). Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring frequently.)

Serves 4
A good potluck or outdoor cookout meal if you have a way to hang the pot over a fire or on the BBQ to rewarm.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Recipe from the Twit Army Mess Hall - Chicken Saltimbocca with lemon caper sauce

1 lbs of thin sliced chicken breasts - if not available use boneless, skinless breast and pound them to 1/4" thickness
Prosciutto - 2 thin slices per breast
Sage leaves - 1 large or 2 thin per breast
1 c. flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, about 1/2 of a fresh lemon
1 tbl. capers

Place flour in a shallow pan or on a foil sheet, salt & pepper as desired but I find that the prosciutto makes it salty enough.

Press sage leaves onto one side of chicken breasts, lay a slice of prosciutto on each side and press to adhere. Dredge in flour and knock off the excess, you only want a thin coating of flour.

Melt butter in a saute pan & add the oil. Brown the chicken on each side staring with sage side down (about 3 -4 mins per side depending on thickness of chicken to make sure that it is cooked all the way through). Remove the chicken to a serving pan. Mix 2 tsps of the dredging flour into the wine and whisk to blend. Add to pan dripping and brown flour lighlty. Add wine, chicken broth and boil to desired thickeness (this should only take about 2 minutes). Add capers and stir, add lemon juice stir and pour over chicken.

Server with rice or a pasta like orzo to sop up the sauce (you could try mashed potatoes but I don't think this sauce goes very well with them)

Serves 4

Monday, October 6, 2008

Recipe from the Twit Army Mess Hall - Tomato Potato Gratin

Olive oil
2 lbs of medium, slicing tomatoes, cut into 1/2" slices
Black pepper
2 lbs medium red or other waxy pototoes, scrubbed but not peeled
1 garlic clove
1/2 c. fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
1.5 tsp. fresh thyme

You need a 3 qt oven safe gratin dish (not glass)

Preheat oven to 425.
Oil a shallow baking pan and place tomato slices on pan. Salt & pepper to taste. Roast tomato slices for about 20 minutes (just until tender)

Slice potatoes 1/4" thick and coat with oil

Place on shallow baking pan, salt & pepper to taste, roast for about 16 minutes or until fork tender

Mince garlic and mash with a pinch of salt. Mix paste with crumbs, basil, thyme, 3 tbls of oil, 1/4 tsp pepper & salt to taste

Preheat broiler (you're all done roasting at this point)

Arrange tomato & potato slices in gratin pain in a single layer with overlapping edges, if there are any tomato juices pour them over the slices.

Cover with bread crumb mix & broil 6 inches from the head for about 2 minutes or until crumbs are brown.

Will server 4 - 6

You can make this up to the point of broiling about 1 hour ahead of time but don't try to store it overnight since the tomatoes & potatoes will get soggy.