Saturday, July 30, 2011

CSA veggies + Farmer's Market Sausage

.... 2 Great Tastes that Taste Great Together.

This week the CSA bag was enormous.  The fruit is rolling in, and they sent it all to us in one day!

But fruit for dinner wan't going to cut it, I needed something more.

Last Sunday, I had picked up so beautiful lamb sausages - mixed with plum & dill.  It sounded vaguely Eastern European, or Scandinavian (all that dill).  It needed salad and the potatoes I still hadn't decided what to do with were the obvious choice.

So.... Link Lab's Plum and Dill Sausages,

with Roasted Dill Potatoes

& Fennel and Purple Cabbage Slaw

The best order to do this all, so everything’s ready together –
1.     Slice all the potatoes & veg,
2.     Start the potatoes roasting,
3.     Start the fennel softening,
4.     Start the sausages grilling,
5.     Make the dressing
6.     Get everything on their way to finishing
7.     Quickly soften the cabbage
8.     Serve it up hot!

But to keep you from going bananas (Yes, I’m looking forward to the new Planet of the Apes movie… I admit it.), I’ll separate the recipes in the usual way.

The beginning of this recipe is the best – 

Grilled Lamb, Plum & Dill Sausages

Find really good sausages.  Poke em’ so they don’t explode.  Grill ‘em.

If you can’t find these specially, get something else  - and mirror that herb in your roasted potatoes.

I stumbled upon these by Link Lab, 
sold by the sheep farmer at the 
Lake Forest Park Farmer's Market
I love lamb and herbs, so the Plum & Dill
was worth a plunge into the unknown
Here's Linda Martiny herself!
Provider of Tasty Lamb.
Know your farmer.

Poke them liberally to let the juices run (instead of exploding) out.  Grill them up by marking then at high or medium high heat, and then cover and let them cook at medium heat the rest of the way through.

You can check by eye (peek inside and make sure they are cooked through), or poke them with a thermometer, and make sure they are 160˚F (since they contain pork as well).

Roasted Dill (or insert herb) Potatoes
Use 1 medium, or 2 small potatoes per adult

Per each medium potato -
Large pinch of chopped dill (or other herb)   
Pinch of salt & ½ a pinch of pepper
½ tsp of oil (nothing fancy – the flavor will mostly get cooked out)

Start the oven heating to 425˚F
Cut each potato half so it gives you 2 blocky pieces (rather than 2 thin flat pieces).  Cut into slices as skinny or skinnier than your pinky.  Toss with oil, salt pepper and herb.
Spread out in a large flat pan with a lip (large baking pan/half-sheet pan/cookie sheet with a lip).

Slide the potatoes into the oven for 10 minutes.  Pull out the pan,  jiggle, toss and turn the potatoes with a metal spatula to release any stuck ones.  Return the potatoes to the oven for about 10 more minutes.  They are done when they are easily pierced with a fork (hence, fork tender), and maybe have a few crispy edges.  How long they take will depend on the age and variety of the potato, and the size you cut the potatoes.

Fennel & Purple Cabbage Slaw
(Green works fine too, but I had purple)
I made a black bean & garlic dressing to add to make it extra savory, instead of the regular creamy or vinegary dressing.

1 fennel bulb, stalks removed
1 tiny head of cabbage, or half a small head.
½ a regular sweet onion

2 tsp oil (I used bacon drippings…. Extra yum!)
½ tsp salt
¼ C water - optional

1 tsp Chinese black bean & garlic sauce
1 Tbs rice vinegar (+ more to taste)
pinch salt& a few grinds pepper
1 Tbs olive oil (or canola)

Cute tiny purple cabbages

 Prep:  Cut the cabbage and fennel into quarters, through the stem, and slice out the hard core piece from both vegetables.  Then thinly slice the onion, cabbage and fennel.

In the bottom of your salad/serving bowl, with a fork or whisk, briskly combine the black bean & garlic sauce, rice vinegar, salt & pepper.  Continue to stir, and slowly add in the oil. (all dressing ingredients can be placed in a tightly sealing container and shaken.)
Toss with ½ of your sliced onion – and set aside.

Heat a sauce pan over medium-low heat with the 2 tsp oil.  Stir in the fennel and ½ tsp salt, and let this begin to sweat and soften the fennel.  This will take a little while, so keep checking in with it.  If it is getting brown, turn down the heat.  Keep stirring occasionally, and checking for softening.  You are going for something that still has a little crunch and plenty of body. 
If after 8 min or so, the fennel is still tough, add the water, and turn up the heat to medium-high and let the fennel simmer. 
As the fennel approaches done, put ½ the sliced sweet onion, and continue to stir to soften.
Right when the fennel and onion are just about done, add in the cabbage, and stir to combine everything.  Let this sit over medium heat for about 5 minutes to just soften the cabbage.
Add this mixture straight from the stove to the dressing and onion mixture, stir to combine. Add any extra vinegar, salt or pepper. Nom!

Sizzling sausage, toasty potatoes and irresistible slaw.

1 comment:

David said...

Great post. Thanks for so much description about what you did with this Link Lab sausage. Sounds like a great meal! --David (Link Lab)