Friday, March 12, 2010

FRIDAY FISH FINDS: SMOKED SALMON BRATS

I find it hard to resist foods I've never imagined before. So when I happened onto smoked salmon bratwurst recently, I had to buy one.
But once I got it home, what on earth was I going to do with it? Should I brown it and braise in beer with caramelized onions as I would a traditional brat or cheddarwurst? Or go with a more lox-inspired preparation? What kind of side to round out my meal? And where to settle on the bun vs. no-bun question?

A tempting hunk of baguette suggested it could make a fine bun. But I really wanted to taste this unique sausage, so opted to forgo the bread.

Condiments are de rigueur in my kitchen, so I put together a little lox-meets-dog sauce of horseradish with chives and capers. With a hefty pinch of salt to bring out their flavors so much better than when they were simply lying here in the sour cream.
As a simple and french-fry-esque side for my dog, I went for roasted potatoes, with some leftover yellow squash and a stray piece of zucchini while I was at it, cutting my veg into three-sided pieces. Keeping them uniform in size and shape (no rectangles here) simplifies how many times to turn them in the oven.

My one issue with roasting - and I tell myself this EVERY time - is that I have to get over fear of high heat. My comfort zone is at about 425 F., but real roasting works best at 450 or, gasp, 500 degrees. Yes, you've got to watch what you're roasting - even better, let the smell dictate when you need to check and turn. Still, as many times as I've roasted vegetables, I don't know what my deal is - do I think my oven is going to blow up if I set it to 500?

What you're looking for with potatoes is a bit of puffy, browned exterior. Ideally, a little caramelized crunch on the outside, with the inside of the potato cooked through.


As for the brat, the kind folks at the fish market (Lobsta Bakes of Maine) confirmed that this sausage is already fully cooked. Although many customers like to grill these babies, given the winter weather, they suggested simply sauteeing in butter.

When mine was warmed through, I couldn't resist slicing it for a closer look.


The result: a delicious and unique dinner. Happy Friday!

2 comments:

LaDivaCucina said...

hmmmmm......always found fish sausage to be dry. How about you? Interesting.

intuitive eggplant said...

Maybe a tad on the dry side, but I chalked that up to it being a *smoked* fish sausage - and me dawdling with the photographing before I finally ate it. Gonna have to try their poached seafood sausage - strictly for comparison purposes, ya know :)