Monday, May 13, 2013

German (Healthy) Comfort Food

My lady and I are always trying to satisfy our want for tasty, traditional foods - without the guilt and headache that comes with an overly fatty, carb-laden meal.

Let's get real - a diet loaded with carbs is something I love - especially when marathon training.  But when I'm not training - It's that same carb heavy diet that tends to pack on the pounds.

I'm often finding creative ways to get the same delicious payoff without the carbs.

Take this meal for example - German inspired comfort food at its finest - with some nice 'substitutions' that actually make this meal healthier than one might originally think.

My cooking technique described below allowed me to use the minimal fat from the Turkey sausage as my flavoring agent/butter/oil.  In other words, I didn't have to add anything else.

Notice I also said Turkey sausage.  These days I've been subbing quite a bit of Turkey into my normal dishes - bolognese, breakfast sausage, bacon, etc.  Don't get me wrong - I love pork.  But from time to time it never hurts anybody to make a switch.

German Braised Cabbage + Turkey Sausage

1 lb Turkey Sausage Kielbasa, Italian, etc, raw
1/2 Head Green Cabbage, shredded
Red Onion, thinly sliced
Assorted Pickles
Spicy Brown Mustard

 Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat.  Add sausages, and cover with about 1 inch of water.  Slowly cook sausages in a simmer for 6 - 8 minutes.  Remove sausages and reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid.  Place the same pan back over medium heat and brown sausages for 2 - 3 minutes each side, remove and tent with foil to keep warm.  Add cabbage and saute in the turkey fat.  Deglaze with reserved cooking liquid and continue to saute, uncovered, until cabbage is tender - about 6- 8 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  When ready for service, place a heaping of sauteed cabbage on the plate and top with thinly sliced red onion.  Serve alongside sausage, mustard, and pickles.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Reverse Marinade

Writing about food can be tough.  After all, there are only so many recipes one can write - re-takes on classics, healthy versions of comfort food, or creative twists on the mundane.  After a while, it seems like I'm just re-hashing the same old stuff.  Ok I get it - I'm bitching about small potatoes (pun intended).  Food writing isn't tough like running a marathon or anything.  Perhaps I should say sometimes I'm less than 'inspired'.

That's why I love coming up with new techniques - such as this 'reverse marinade'.

A few weeks back, I was having some friends over for a 'Greek' themed meal - Charcoal Roasted Chicken, Oven Roasted Potatoes w/ Lemon Thyme Oil, and my famous Greek Salad - all with a fresh heaping of Tzatziki for dipping anything and everything.

Minutes before serving - I realized my friend had a deathly aversion to cucumbers - the tzatziki just wasn't going to do it.  So, I whipped up this quick dressing instead - doused it on top of his chicken, and viola - I was a genius in his book.

Moral of the story?  The next time you are grilling up Turkey, Pork, Fish, Chicken, Steak, or Wild game - skip out on the lengthy marinade process.  Instead - cook your meats to temp - rest - slice - and pour this tangy 'dressing' over the top.

I can promise you will not be let down.  In fact - It'll be hard for me to go back to eating a steak w/out it.



Reverse Marinade - good for use on basically any protein
(Prep 5 mins, Yeild 6 - 8 servings, Keeps 1 week covered in fridge)

1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1 Tablespoon Spicy Mustard
1 Shallot, minced
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley
Kosher Salt + Pepper, to taste

Whisk all ingredients until combined - pour over sliced meat.  If prepped in advance, bring back to room temperature, mix well and serve.