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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Brats with Mustard Potatoes and Candied Red Cabbage

Wow, it's been a busy and cold month to start off this new year.  For those of us living in Florida, with temperatures down into the 20's and 30's, we can't wait for the spring thaw.  I miss grilling, and sitting outside on the patio, and just seeing the sun at this point!  Come on Spring, we're ready any time. :-)

This past weekend we took a quick trip to one of our favorite Florida spots, St Augustine Beach.  It did actually warm up to the middle 60's and we even got a full day of sunshine, so we were very happy with the weather and for the much needed getaway.

On our return trip we stopped at a roadside farmers market and found lots of fresh goodies, including red and green cabbage that had just been harvested from the farm next door.  I never even knew cabbage grew in Florida so I was kind of excited.  Other local crops included grape tomatoes, tiny yellow tomatoes, fresh carrots and kale and even Brussels sprouts still on the stalk, which was really cool.

So we brought home a bushel of farm fresh veggies and it was time to make something yummy.  The red cabbage was the first thing on my mind and I knew what I wanted to make.  A totally German meal of red cabbage, candied with a bit of brown sugar and red wine, gold potatoes with a mustard vinaigrette and some German brats.  This is a great meal to serve family style for guests and I guarantee you won't have many leftovers.  If you do have leftovers, they are even better the next day. This is comfort food at its best.

There are 3 components to this meal, the braised cabbage, the mustard potatoes and the brats, so depending how much space you have on your stove, you can prepare this meal a couple different ways.  I simmered the brats in a few cups of water and then kept them warm until ready to serve, but if you have access to a grill, that would make this dish even easier.

8 - 10 Brats - cooked to your liking and ready to serve

Braised Red Cabbage
4  Strips of Bacon, diced
1 large  Yellow Onion, peeled and sliced
2 lbs  Red Cabbage, cored and sliced
3 TB  Brown Sugar
1/2 cup  Chicken Stock
1/2 cup  Dry Red Wine

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the bacon and cook until softened but not crispy.  Add the onion and saute until tender, about 6 minutes.

Add the cabbage, brown sugar, stock and wine and stir.  Cover and cook over medium heat until the cabbage softens, about 5 minutes.  Remove the lid and cook until the liquid reduces slightly, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Try not to overcook the cabbage, it should be just tender when served.

Mustard Potatoes
2 lbs  Yukon Gold Potatoes
1/4 cup  Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup  Whole Grain Mustard
1/4 cup  Dijon Mustard
3/4 cup  Olive Oil
1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
2 TB  Olive Oil
1/2 tsp  Dried Thyme

In a large pot boil the whole potatoes in salted water and cook until tender, about 30 minutes.  Drain the potatoes and cool for 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle.  Peel off the skin and cut the potatoes into 2-inch chunks.  Set aside.

In a small bowl combine the vinegar and both mustards, salt and pepper.  Whisk to combine and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the potatoes and thyme to the skillet and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 8 minutes, turning several times, until the potatoes are golden and crispy on the edges.

When potatoes are golden, remove the pan from the heat and drizzle the potatoes with a 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette and stir gently to coat.  Serve the remaining vinaigrette at the table so each person can add more as desired.

Plating the Meal 

Place the red cabbage onto a platter, line the edges with the mustard potatoes and place the brats down the center with a little extra cabbage over the brats.  Serve immediately with the extra vinaigrette.  Serves about 8 people.  Enjoy!!

It's Almost Spring!!

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