Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Brits Cook Sausages and Bacon

Italian Sausages with Lentils

For the lentils:
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
Sprinkling of salt
2 cups dried Puy lentils (green or black or a mixture)
1 bay leaf
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
½ cup red wine
3 cups stock or water to cover the lentils
Salt and pepper to taste

For the sausages:
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
6 fresh uncooked sweet Italian sausages
½ cup red wine
¼ cup water or stock
Flat-leaf parsley for garnish

1. To cook the lentils, put 2-3 tablespoons of oil into a good-sized pan or a Bram pot over low heat. When it’s warm, add the chopped onion and sprinkle with salt. Cook over a low heat until the onions are soft but not browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the lentils, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs, stir well, and cover generously with the red wine and the stock or water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer gently for 30-50 minutes or until the lentils are cooked and most of the liquid’s absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can make this ahead. Reheat when you’re ready to proceed.
2. To cook the sausages, add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and the smashed garlic cloves to a heavy frying pan, and fry for a few minutes. Add the sausages and brown on all sides. Add the wine and stock, bring to a boil, and then turn down the heat, cover the pan and simmer the sausages for about 15 minutes, turning mid-way. When the sausages are done, cut in half on the diagonal, add them to the lentils. Mash the garlic into the remaining liquid and add it to the lentil pot. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper, or more liquid until it is to your liking.
3. Before serving, reheat the lentil and sausage mixture over low heat. Sprinkle with parsley.

4-6 servings
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Bites

Warm Potato Salad with Garlic Sausage

6 ounces small potatoes or about 12 small potatoes
½ cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
6 Garlic, Italian or Sicilian fresh sausages, cooked and cut in thick slices
3 ounces Swiss cheese, cut in small cubes
1 tablespoon chopped chervil (if you can find it)
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
¼ cup chopped chives

Mustard and White Wine Vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook the potatoes in boiling water until just soft. (Or steam as in the French Potato Salad on my March 13, 2010 blog). Drain and cut into thick slices. If the potatoes are small, halve or quarter them.
2. Bring the wine and stock to a boil and reduce by two-thirds. Remove from the heat and toss the potatoes into the mix and leave for 10 minutes to infuse.
3. Warm the cooked sausages in a 350ºF oven for 6 minutes in a Bram pot or an ovenproof skillet. Combine the sausages and the potatoes in the pot or skillet.
4. Whisk together the mustard and vinegar. Slowly add the oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour this over the potato mixture; you may not need all of it. Add the cheese and herbs and toss together. Serve the salad in the Bram pot or, if you used a skillet, transfer to a serving bowl. Serve warm.

4-6 servings
Adapted from Simon Rimmer’s Rebel Cook: Bending the Rules for Brilliant Food

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon butter or bacon fat
½ cup thinly sliced bacon or pancetta
Salt and pepper to taste
3-4 tablespoons water, as needed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice

1. Shred/slice the Brussels sprouts either by hand or with a food processor. The processor doesn’t do as nice a job as by hand, but it is so fast.
2. Heat the butter in a large, shallow pan. When it is warm, add the sliced bacon and stir until it is soft and cooked through.
3. Add the shredded sprouts and ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Fry until the sprouts begin to soften. Add the tablespoons of water as needed to help with the cooking and to loosen and incorporate any brown places on the bottom of the pan.
4. The sprouts are ready when they are soft and coated with the bacon juices. Most of the water will have evaporated. Adjust the seasonings. Add the lemon or lime juice just before serving.

4 servings
Adapted from Nigel Slater’s Real Fast Food

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