Grilled Sausages with Herbed Grape Sauce & Roasted Corn and Brussels Sprouts with Goat Cheese

TUESDAY

Grilled Sausages with Herbed Grape Sauce  |  Roasted Corn and Brussels Sprouts with Goat Cheese

Intro Collage

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon the blog, Local Milk, authored by Beth Kirby and have found myself drawn to the space ever since.  Once upon a time, Beth was a reluctant native of Tennessee but, after a bit of bopping around here and there, has happily rediscovered the beauty of her southern roots.  Her work as a freelance writer, recipe developer, stylist, and photographer culminate in a blog that is not only visually appealing {her photos are stunning} but heartwarming as well.  Her  openness and honesty about the bumps and bruises sustained in her life {similar to the rest of us} along the way and her acquired appreciation for the simple things makes Beth’s blog as inviting as a rocking chair on a shaded porch in the heat of a summer’s afternoon…

I’ve been restless most of my life, spending the majority of my 20’s dissatisfied, chasing some sort of spangled rock & roll chimera.  But, as late twenty-somethings are wont to do, I calmed down and came to appreciate the mundane & prosaic:  the smell of tobacco on his fingers and the shock of gray in his left eyebrow, an antique tea strainer, what I learned from a failed pie crust, and the feet on my first macarons.  That’s what this space is about:  finding joy & inspiration in the mundane and helping you do the same.”  ~  Beth Kirby, Local Milk.

This evening’s dinner is the first recipe I have made from Beth’s blog and, to tell you the truth, I am not quite sure why I chose this one.  The menu calls for sausages in a muscadine sauce…exactly what a muscadine was posed a mystery to me when I read her post last week and, the accompanying salad featured okra…um, no thank you {in the six years we lived in Texas, I gave okra several chances to change my opinion, all were unsuccessful}.   Maybe it was the beautiful photographs featuring a sauce the color of regal purple or rather her poignant statement about a thoughtfully prepared dinner that left me with the feeling that I simply must make this for dinner…

“A meal that feels special on a harried week night, a meal that saved me from chicken in bed or Spaghettios.  I find I’m happier when I devote a little time & energy to making our meals & home just as nice…for the two of us as I would for guests…try treating yourself like a guest when you can.”

Whatever the reason, I am happy I pursued this meal.  But, where to begin…after all, muscadines were not going to magically appear here in Northern California and okra, simply not negotiable.  Well, as luck would have it, my favorite local market {Mill Valley Market} was featuring fresh, still-on-the-branch Concord grapes.  I knew from doing a little bit of research that the thicker skin found on the muscadine was also a trait of the Concord grape, and both varieties shared a similar deep color…

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As for the okra, I decided to substitute Brussels sprouts…a favorite veggie of ours and a natural choice considering the dish also called for a bit of bacon, the perfect mate for these little sprouts…

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Dinner preparations began with the grape sauce.  I have to be honest here…despite my admiration for this newly discovered blogger, I thought her a bit of a loon as she described how she peeled & seeded each one of the grapes.  I made up my mind that was not going to happen, I mean it was all going to end up being pulverized in the blender anyway.  But, as I washed and carefully removed each juicy, purple ball from the stem, I began to think that maybe it wouldn’t be a big deal to at least remove the seeds.   Well, one thing lead to another and look what happened…

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Trust me, it really wasn’t that bad…REALLY!  Slicing the grapes in half exposed seeds which were easily removed with the tip of a sharp knife and the pulp nearly popped from the skins with a simple pinch.  The unlikely {at least for me} combination of mint, thyme and tarragon was the perfect foil for the sweetness of the grapes.

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Shallot, garlic, dijon, cayenne, smoked paprika and honey round out this velvety sauce…

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Grilled Sausages with Herbed Grape Sauce {adapted from Local Milk}, serves 4

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups muscadines, skins & pulp separated, seeds removed {I substituted Concord grapes} 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon minced mint
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup honey
  • 8 good pork sausages
  1. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Sweat shallots and garlic in the butter until fragrant & translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile puree muscadine {or grape} skins in a mini processor or blender.
  4. Add pulps and skin puree to shallots and garlic along with herbs, mustard, cayenne, paprika, salt, and honey. stir to combine.
  5. Simmer over medium heat stirring occasionally for about ten minutes.
  6. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired with honey and salt.
  7. Simmer five minutes longer.
  8. Puree sauce in a blender or a mini food processor, and pass through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl with the back of a ladle using a swirling motion. if the sauce is not as thick as you’d like, place it back on the eye and boil until thickened.
  9. Remove from heat and store in a clean glass jar in the fridge.
  10. To grill sausages puncture them with a fork all over to prevent them from exploding, and heat your grill or grill pan on high.
  11. Cook sausages about 3-5 minutes per side, until charred and cooked through. Serve drizzled with sauce and extra on the side.

 

This skillet salad comes together quickly after just a bit of chopping.  I had a few slices of cooked bacon in the refrigerator which saved a bit of time this evening and, while frozen corn is a convenience, fresh sweet corn cut right from the cob with all the milky juices makes a wonderful complement to the slightly bitter Brussels sprouts.

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Some crumbled, herbed goat cheese adds the finishing touch…

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Roasted Brussel Sprouts & Sweet corn with Herbed Goat Cheese {adapted from Local Milk}

  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, stemmed and quartered
  • 3 ears of corn, kernels sliced off
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup herbed chevre (soft goat cheese)
  • 3 slices of thick cut bacon, fried and diced
  1. Toss Brussels sprouts and corn with oil, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add sprouts & corn mixture.  Cook for about 10 minutes or until browned & cooked through. Stir halfway through cooking, around the five minute mark and add bacon to thoroughly heat during the last five minutes of cooking.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and serve with the bits of goat cheese crumbled on top.

Our dinner plate this evening…

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K Initial

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Grilled Sausages with Herbed Grape Sauce & Roasted Corn and Brussels Sprouts with Goat Cheese

  1. Hooray! It looks like it turned out beautifully and so delicious. I love the substitution of brussel sprouts…I’ll have to try that. I’m a huge fan of brussel sprouts in all forms (except the dreaded old school boiled ones…). And frankly…when I found myself peeling and seeding two quarts of muscadines *I* thought I was a bit of a loon… but the devil’s in the details! So happy you made it & thanks for reading.

    • Beth…it was FABULOUS! I absolutely loved the sauce with the sausages and I am looking forward to trying it on some pulled pork sandwiches. I adore your blog and so appreciate your kind note:)

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