Thursday, June 18, 2009

Braised Greens with Sausage

I ended up making this for lunch today - I couldn't hold out until dinnertime. Plus, my son was occupying himself nicely so it seemed prudent to seize the opportunity and get cooking.

You can use almost any types of greens in this, and almost any type of sausage. I had collards and turnip greens on hand from this weeks' CSA delivery. I put the collards in the pot first and let them wilt down before adding the turnip greens, since the collards take a bit longer to cook. As for sausage, I prefer smoked pork ones like kielbasa; chorizo and linguica are really good too. But any type of sausage would probably do - whatever you have on hand (or is on sale). If you get a low-fat variety, keep an eye on it during the browning step - it seems like lower-fat sausages burn more quickly (maybe the add extra sugar to the cure?). If you're in a hurry, you can skip the sausage-browning step altogether. It does add a lot of flavor, though, so I do it whenever I have time.

Leftovers make a great soup - cut the sausages and greens into bite-sized pieces. Add chicken stock (or a stock made from shrimp shells - YUM) and some cubed potatoes or white beans (aka cannellini), simmer until the potatoes are cooked and EAT.

Braised Greens with Smoked Sausages
Serves 2-4 people, depending on how hungry you are

a few tablespoons olive oil or bacon grease
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 3-4" long pieces and sliced in half lengthwise
1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced thin
3-4 big cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed down with the side of a chef's knife or small plate (or minced, if you prefer)
a splash of vermouth
2 bunches of greens (collards, kale, turnip, mustard, etc), washed and coarsely chopped

1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot (8-quart) set over medium heat. Add the sausage pieces, cut side down, and cook until they are starting to brown. Flip them over and let brown a bit on the other side, keeping an eye on the drippings in the pot - you don't want them to burn.

2. Take the sausages out of the pot and set them on a plate. Add the sliced onion and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to soften. Add a splash of vermouth or water and stir to get up the good browned stuff.

3. Put the chopped greens in the pan and cover. Let them cook for a few minutes, then uncover the pot and stir to bring the greens from the bottom up on top. Cover and cook until all of the greens are wilted (5-10 minutes, total). If you have a lot of greens, you may need to add half of them, cook until wilted, and then add the other half.

4. Uncover the pot and lay the sausages back on top of the greens. Sprinkle with ground black pepper and simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until the greens are tender, another 10-20 minutes (taste the greens after 10 minutes to see if they are done to your liking. The stems of the collards should be tender). Taste for seasoning (I don't usually add salt, because the sausage is salty enough) and serve with some good crusty bread.


Hairgal-62 said...

This has absolutely nothing to do with sausage or greens, but I was told by a reliable follower that this would be the ideal spot to share this story.

I had a dream last night that I was at a hospital visiting someone and I got lost and found myself in the hospital kitchen. It was a beautiful, large industrial kitchen--stainless steel as far as the eye could see, and gleeming clean except for a moderately sized pile of dirty pots and pans near a sink. I saw a man-a chef(in a hospital?)- standing near the pile of dishes. I walked over to him and said I was lost and could he help me. He turned around and it was Mario Batali! He looked at me very seriously, and replied, "Sure, but could you give us a hand with these?" I responded, "Yes, but I'm really hungry. Could I have something to eat--a snack first?" I was thinking maybe a cup of jello--it was a hospital after all. He proceeded to make me a sandwich. A grilled salmon sandwich, and it was delicious! After I took a bite I woke up from my dream and wrote it down (at 4am) and I made it for dinner this evening! What makes this dream just a bit more interesting is that I rarely buy salmon due to the cost, and when I went to the grocery store to buy it and the other ingredients, the salmon was on sale for 9.99/lb!! And it was Wild Alaskan Salmon!!!

So here is the sandwich Mario made for me last night:

Mario's Dream Sandwich
(makes 4)
1.5lbs salmon fillets
4 whole leaves romaine lettuce, med. sized
4 deli slices havarti cheese
4 soft hoagie(I'm from Philly)/grinder/steak rolls
mayo for streading
butter for spreading
soy sauce
sesame oil
olive oil
Preheat oven to 400degrees.
Heat a skillet to med. hot (till drops of water skitter across the pan and evaporate). Brush flesh side of fish with soysauce, sesame oil and olive oil and place onto heated pan--flesh side down. It should sizzle. Let sear for approx. 5/6 minutes, then carefully turn fish to skin side and transfer pan to oven (make sure the pan can go into the oven) for approx. 8/10 minutes.
Alternately grill fish outdoors.

While fish is in oven, heat another pan ( I used non-stick) to med. and slice rolls length-wise nearly in half and open like a book. Brush each cut side of roll with butter/olive mixture(melted) and place on hot pan to grill/brown lightly.

Remove from pan and spread both sides with mayo. Place one leaf of romaine on one side and a slice of havarti on the other(use only enough cheese to cover the roll sparsely).

Arrange open sandwiches on serving plates and remove fish from oven. Carefully cut fish into equal pieces (enough to cover one side of roll) and lift off of skin. Place on the cheese side of the sandwich, and close together.

Slice in half diagonally(that's what Mario did in my dream!), and enjoy.

Karen said...

Whoa, Hairgal, that was one sweet dream. Please let us know when Mario speaks to you through dreams again...then I'll know what to go buy for supper :-)

Paula said...

Cool dream. I'm jealous! I recently dreamed I had a conversation with President Obama. I asked him whether he was running for a second term (he said he was). I'd much rather he made me lunch! Hmmm. Or maybe he's a lousy cook. So maybe a White House chef instead?