Sausages and potatoes
We're slowly slouching back toward springtime in these latitudes, and I for one am more than ready for it. But winter likely has a few more blasts up its sleeve, and here's a simple recipe for a quick yet hearty dinner-in-a-dish that will warm you up when it's cold out there.
Like many simple favorites, it's easily altered to suit your tastes and what's in the larder. I made it with healthy chicken sausages (roasted artichoke-and-calamata-olive chicken sausage, actually, from Hans' All Natural Gourmet Sausage, available locally at the new-in-town Whole Foods Market chain), but this approach will work well with almost any sausage you can think of, from Cajun andouille to Apulian zampitti.
Since the chicken sausage was relatively lightweight (150 calories per 3-ounce link), I indulged in a dollop of creme fraiche to make a creamy sauce, but you could substitute lowfat yogurt or skim milk or forgo the sauce entirely.
Here's how it went. The entire dish took only a little over 30 minutes to put together, and needed only a salad to make it a meal.
INGREDIENTS: (Serves two)
12 small new potatoes, white or red skin
1. Rinse the potatoes and cut larger ones in half. Simmer in salted water for 10 to 15 minutes or until just tender.
2. Mince the garlic and slice the sausage links into 1/2-inch-thick rounds.
3. Melt the butter in a sautee pan and cook the garlic until it's just translucent. Drain the potatoes and put them in the pan. Put in the sausage, reduce heat to very low, cover, and cook, stirring occaisonally, for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are starting to brown.
4. The dish may be served as is at this point, but I like to complete it by making this simple sauce: Take out two or three of the potatoes, put them in a small bowl, and mash them coarsely with a fork, adding the creme fraiche or yogurt and a little additional water (or milk) if needed to make a soupy mashed-potato mix. Pour this back in with the potatoes and sausage and stir briefly, adding salt and pepper to taste.
WINE MATCH: This dish went very nicely with a rustic Southern French red, the Domaine des Terres Falmet 2001 Saint-Chinian from the Languedoc.
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