Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Roasted Sausages and Grapes


It's been a good week to be a Buckeye.  And considering the year we've had, it's about damn time!  First, we landed ourselves a pretty good football coach, although I've despised the guy until I knew he was going to be one of my own.  Hey, he kicked our ass in Glendale a few years ago when everyone was thinking Tressel would walk away with championship #2.  I've called him all kinds of very mature names over the past several years, but when he took that podium Monday afternoon in Columbus, I said, "Pass the Koolaid."  Welcome home, Urban!

And second, did you see that beat down we put on Duke last night?  To quote Coach K...."We've had our butts kicked and we've kicked some butts, but tonight my butt is really sore."  That was 40 minutes of near perfect Buckeye basketball.

So, like I said, it's been a good week to be a Buckeye.  Sayonara "Tattoo Gate".  Time to move on.

All of that sports talk was just to distract you from the picture of the Roasted Sausage and Grapes.   No matter how delicious that dish is, I couldn't find a way to style it to make it look that way!  I first saw this being made on The Barefoot Contessa and thought it sounded delicious.  Ina's friend, Johanna Killeen, of Al Forno Restaurant in Providence, RI was demonstrating the dish on the show and said it was the best selling item on their menu.  It had to be good, right?

While I couldn't quite wrap my mind around the combination of sausage and grapes (and roasted grapes, quite frankly, sounded mushy) I love anything involving sausage.  Errr.  Anyhoo.....this is de.  lish.  us.  And why has no one told me about roasted grapes before?  Not mushy.  Well maybe a little, but in a totally amazing way. I used a combination of red and black grapes (make sure you buy seedless) which worked perfectly because the red ones get a little softer than the black grapes so you get this great combination of crunchy and soft.  And while I know some people don't like spicy sausage, it's really these best counter to the sweet grapes.  Regular italian sausage works, but I'm just sayin.  And then there's the red wine and balsamic sauce.  Oh my.  This is slap-your-grandma good.  Serve this with some focaccia bread or some ciabatta to sop up every last drop.

Here's the recipe:

Roasted Sausages and Grapes
Johanna Killeen

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds Italian hot sausage
1 1/2 pounds Italian sweet sausage
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 to 6 cups (2 pounds) red or green seedless grapes, stems removed
2 to 4 tablespoons dry red wine, preferably Chianti
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Parboil the sausages in water to cover for 8 minutes to rid them of excess fat.

Melt the butter in a large heatproof roasting pan, add the grapes, and toss to coat. Over moderately high heat add the wine. Stir with a wooden spoon for a few minutes until the wine has reduced by half.

Using tongs, transfer the parboiled sausages to the roasting pan and push them down in the grapes so the sausages will not brown too quickly. Roast in the oven, turning the sausages once, until the grapes are soft and the sausages have browned, 20 to 25 minutes.

Place the roasting pan on top of the stove over a medium-high heat and add the balsamic vinegar. Scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the roasting pan, and allow the vinegar and juices to reduce until they are thick and syrupy. With a slotted spoon, transfer the sausages and grapes to a serving platter.

Pour the sauce over the sausages and grapes and serve immediately, accompanied with fresh bread.

This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

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