Children’s Dental Health Month

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

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Dealing with youth dental emergencies

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and with spring sports just around the corner, so are some dental emergencies. Dr Dean Stratman from 24 Hour Dental Care stopped by to tell us about preventing these injuries, and how to treat them if they do happen.

via Dealing with youth dental emergencies — Fox 59

♡ and here…it’s time for braces!

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It’s not just hair 😉 it’s LOVE & that includes everything from nourishing the mind, body & soul. AND all that goes with that; from helping with homework, inside work… to “outside” work, and that certainly includes dental health. Not just for self-esteem & beauty, but also for their health that will affect them the rest of their lives; pain-free & ability-to-chew-food-well living.  😀

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X-Plan: Giving your kids a way out (#xplan)

THANK YOU  BERT FULKS 

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X-Plan: Giving your kids a way out (#xplan)

Friends, as most of you know, I get to spend an hour each week with a group of young people going through addiction recovery.  Yes.  Young people.  I’m talking teenagers who are locked away for at least six months as they learn to overcome their addictions.  I’m always humbled and honored to get this time with these beautiful young souls that have been so incredibly assaulted by a world they have yet to understand.  This also comes with the bittersweet knowledge that these kids still have a fighting chance while several of my friends have already had to bury their own children.

Recently I asked these kids a simple question:  “How many of you have found yourself in situations where things started happening that you weren’t comfortable with, but you stuck around, mainly because you felt like you didn’t have a way out?”

They all raised their hands.

Every single one of them.

In the spirit of transparency … I get it.  Though in my mid-forties, I’m still in touch with that awkward boy who often felt trapped in the unpredictable currents of teenage experiences.  I can’t count the times sex, drugs, and alcohol came rushing into my young world; I wasn’t ready for any of it, but I didn’t know how to escape and, at the same time, not castrate myself socially.  I still recall my first time drinking beer at a friend’s house in junior high school—I hated it, but I felt cornered.  As an adult, that now seems silly, but it was my reality at the time.  “Peer pressure” was a frivolous term for an often silent, but very real thing; and I certainly couldn’t call my parents and ask them to rescue me.  I wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place.  As a teen, forcing down alcohol seemed a whole lot easier than offering myself up for punishment, endless nagging and interrogation, and the potential end of freedom as I knew it.

X-Plan

xplan-text1-2For these reasons, we now have something called the “X-plan” in our family.  This simple, but powerful tool is a lifeline that our kids are free to use at any time.  Here’s how it works:

Let’s say that my youngest, Danny, gets dropped off at a party.  If anything about the situation makes him uncomfortable, all he has to do is text the letter “X” to any of us (his mother, me, his older brother or sister).  The one who receives the text has a very basic script to follow.  Within a few minutes, they call Danny’s phone.  When he answers, the conversation goes like this:

“Hello?”

“Danny, something’s come up and I have to come get you right now.”

“What happened?”

“I’ll tell you when I get there.  Be ready to leave in five minutes.  I’m on my way.”

At that point, Danny tells his friends that something’s happened at home, someone is coming to get him, and he has to leave.

In short, Danny knows he has a way out; at the same time, there’s no pressure on him to open himself to any social ridicule.  He has the freedom to protect himself while continuing to grow and learn to navigate his world.

This is one of the most loving things we’ve ever given him, and it offers him a sense of security and confidence in a world that tends to beat our young people into submission.

xplan-text1However, there’s one critical component to the X-plan:  Once he’s been extracted from the trenches, Danny knows that he can tell us as much or as little as he wants … but it’s completely up to him.  The X-plan comes with the agreement that we will pass no judgments and ask no questions (even if he is 10 miles away from where he’s supposed to be).  This can be a hard thing for some parents (admit it, some of us are complete control-freaks); but I promise it might not only save them, but it will go a long way in building trust between you and your kid.

(One caveat here is that Danny knows if someone is in danger, he has a moral obligation to speak up for their protection, no matter what it may cost him personally.  That’s part of the lesson we try to teach our kids—we are our brother’s keeper, and sometimes we have to stand for those too weak to stand for themselves.  Beyond that, he doesn’t have to say a word to us.  Ever.)

For many of us parents, we lament the intrusion of technology into our relationships.  I hate seeing people sit down to dinner together and then proceed to stare into their phones.  It drives me nuts when my kids text me from another room in our house.  However, cell phones aren’t going away, so we need to find ways to use this technology to help our kids in any way we can.

I urge you to use some form of our X-plan in your home.  If you honor it, your kids will thank you for it.  You never know when something so simple could be the difference between your kid laughing with you at the dinner table or spending six months in a recovery center … or (God forbid) something far worse.

Prayers for strength and compassion to the parents out there as we all try to figure this whole parenting gig out—it never gets easy.

I beg you to share this piece.  If this somehow gives just one kid a way out of a bad situation, we can all feel privileged to have been a part of that.

#xplan

Blessings, friends.

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How to Make [the best] Chai [ever]

How to Make [the best] Chai [ever]

– courtesy of the hathi cooks

NOTE – THERE ARE SOOO MANY VERSIONS with slight variations, but BASIC SPICES ARE OBVIOUS & add your favorites. I’ve perfected my own method (w/coffee filter, spices, tea & a stapler) 😉

Just sayin ♡

How to Make [the best] Chai [ever]

November 28, 2011

Chai has always been an integral part of our daily lives as well as our get togethers with friends and family.  At family reunions, my father had the honorary title of “chai master” and mine was “junior chai master.”  We used to joke about how when we were all sick of being doctors, we would retire and open up a small cafe called “Good Chai” and stock it with the best chai in the world and some mighty delicious snacks.  That way we could continue the tradition of people coming to our house and sipping mug after mug of chai and letting their problems melt away in the delicious warmth of this wonderful drink.

 

The Basics of Chai

Chai is a ubiquitous drink in India.  It is made across the country and is drunk both at home and at tiny tea stalls on road sides everywhere.  Interestingly, this beverage that so many people associate with India was actually not consumed until the time of the British Raj.  India grew a large amount of tea in areas such as Assam and Darjeeling, however the majority of Indians consumed coffee.  The British East India Company became concerned as they realized they were losing a vast source of income to the Chinese, who had a virtual monopoly on tea sales.  Thus, the East India Company began promoting tea to Indians.  At first, the Indians were skeptical, and did not want to abandon their strongly flavored coffee.  But eventually someone added strongly flavored spices to a sweet and milky tea and masala chai took off!  The chai is sweet and spicy with a subtle burn at the back of the throat.  It is, in a word, wonderful.

The Tea Leaves

The tea used in chai is very crucial to the final flavor of the tea.  Many people assume that they have to use the best quality tea available and use whole leaf Darjeeling or Assam tea, and end up with chai that does not taste quite right.  The tea for masala chai is a variety known as “mamri” or “little grain” tea.  It is cheap and strong and holds its own against the strong spices in the chai.  I recommend making a trip to an Indian grocery store to buy brands such as Lipton Yellow Label TeaJivraj No. 9, or Taj Mahal Tea.  If you do not have an Indian store nearby, buy Lipton or some other similarly cheap and strong black tea bags from the grocery store.  This tea will probably become your “chai only” tea, as it is not necessarily the best to drink plain, but is absolutely wonderful with milk, spices, and sugar.

The Masala

 

Much like the recipe for garam masala, this recipe also comes from my paternal great-great grandmother and has been passed down through the generations, giving all of us some pretty incredible chai.  While I am obviously biased I really do believe our masala is what makes our chai so special.  The chai masala is a delicious blend of cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and black pepper.  All of the spices add a delicious warmth to the chai, and the black pepper and ginger add a subtle heat as well.   We have a specific ratio that we follow to make the spice blend, but feel free to adjust it as you deem fit.  If you’d like less burn, decrease the black pepper, if you love cardamom, bump that up.  The recipe is a great guideline, but feel free to change it as the seasons and your mood change!

Warning–Nerdy science note:  The flavors that make spices taste delicious are all aromatic compounds.  Aromatic compounds are made of molecules that contain a structure known as a benzene ring, meaning they dissolve best in alcohols or fats.  You may have notices this when making drinks, that adding a twist of lemon to a martini adds significantly more flavor in a shorter amount of time than adding a twist of flavor to a glass of water.  Similarly, if you make this chai with a non-fat milk, you won’t extract as many flavors from the spices as if you make it with a milk that has some fat.  So do your spices a flavor, and don’t make this with skim milk.  Nerdy science note done.

Making the Chai

There are many ways to make chai.  Some start by boiling ingredients sequentially, and others have strict rules about only stirring the chai 3 times in clockwise circles.  The way that my family makes chai is relatively straightforward.  We dump all the ingredients in the pot and let it come to a slow boil until it turns a beautiful, rich color.  We use loose leaf tea, so it is necessary to strain the tea once it is fully cooked (having a spouted pot will really help decrease spills).  Strain the tea, sit back, and enjoy.

 

How to Make [the best] Chai [ever]

Prep: 5 minutes Cook: 5 minutes Yield: 1 eight oz serving of chai, makes about 3 cups of masala

Delicious, authentic chai, passed down from my great-great grandmother. Spicy and sweet and absolutely wonderful!

You’ll Need…

  • For the chai:
  • 1/2 cup milk (not skim milk, see nerdy science note above)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 to 2 tsp. sugar, or your favorite sweetener
  • 1 tsp. loose tea leaves
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. chai masala depending on your spice preference, see recipe below
  • For the chai masala:
  • **Please see additional notes below before proceeding regarding the total amount to make as well as the amount of black pepper**
  • 160 g. whole black peppercorn (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1 cup + 7 Tbsp)
  • 125 g. whole dried ginger or ginger powder(Volume: 1 cup + 8 Tbsp)
  • 50 g. cinnamon sticks (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1/4 cup + 2 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 50 g. whole cardamom seeds (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1/2 cup + 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 5 g. whole cloves (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1 Tbsp)
  • 5 g. nutmeg (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1 Tbsp)

Directions

  1. For the chai:
  2. Pour all ingredients into a (preferably spouted) saucepan. Place over medium heat. Allow to heat until small bubbles appear around the perimeter of the milk. Stir the chai, scraping the bottom to avoid scalding the milk. When the milk comes to a boil, turn off the heat and stir well. Bring to a boil once again, turn off the heat and stir well. Allow to steep for a few minutes. Strain carefully into a cup, and serve.
  3. For the chai masala:
  4. If you are using whole spices, weigh out the appropriate amount, place in spice grinder and grind into a fine powder. Mix all the spices together, store in an airtight jar in a cool, dry part of your kitchen. Do not expose to too much sunlight.

Additional Notes

The recipe was passed down in grams, I’ve tried to convert it into conventional measurements, but please be aware that the conventional measurements are of the finely ground not the whole spices. Please note, you will get best results if you weigh the spices, it’s most accurate. 

The masala recipe makes a LOT of masala. Feel free to make 1/5 of the recipe, that’s the easiest number to divide if you have an accurate scale. 

Some have said that the recipe is a bit spicy for them. For those of you who are finding the recipe a bit too spicy, feel free to decrease the black pepper. Perhaps start by cutting the amount in half (80g) and then making a cup, if you can think you can tolerate more black pepper start adding in 10 additional grams of black pepper until you get to your perfect spice level!

Slow-Cooker Twenty-Garlic Chicken Dinner

Slow-Cooker Twenty-Garlic Chicken Dinner

– from Pillsbury 

Ingredients

1
teaspoon salt
1
teaspoon paprika
1/2
teaspoon pepper
1
teaspoon olive oil
3
to 3 1/2 lb cut-up frying chicken
1
large onion, sliced 
1
medium bulb garlic (about 20 cloves)

 

Steps

  • 1In small bowl, mix salt, paprika, pepper and oil to form paste; spread evenly over each piece of chicken.

  • 2In 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, place onion slices. Arrange chicken over onion. Separate garlic into cloves; do not peel cloves. Place garlic cloves around chicken.

  • 3Cover; cook on Low setting 7 to 8 hours.

  • 4With slotted spoon, remove chicken, onion and garlic from slow cooker; place on serving platter. Squeeze garlic cloves to use cooked garlic on mashed potatoes, vegetables or bread.

Expert Tips

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This sounds like a lot of garlic, but the garlic flavor dissipates during the long cooking. Plan to serve the cooked garlic with another part of the meal. It is delicious on bread or mashed potatoes.

Sheet Pan Balsamic Steak & Potatoes

– courtesy of Delish

– by LINDSAY FUNSTON


https://youtu.be/dshcXJ_bV34

Sometimes all you really need is steak & potatoes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. baby potatoes
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Chopped fresh rosemary, plus sprigs
  • 1 lb. flank steak

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, boil potatoes until tender, 12 minutes. Drain.
  2. Heat broiler. Transfer potatoes to a large rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, and rosemary.
  3. On a plate, rub steak with oil and lemon juice and season generously with salt and pepper. Nestle in the middle of the potatoes.
  4. Broil until steak is medium, 4 minutes per side.
  5. Let rest, then slice and serve.

Classic Italian Gremolata

How To Make Classic Italian Gremolata

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courtesy of the Kitchn ~  
(followed with a link to Mario Batalli post on ways of use)

I’m so late to this game! But…better late than never. I’m jumping on this wagon.


Gremolata is one of those things where the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. After all, what could be be more common in a kitchen than garlic, lemon, parsley? And yet this Italian condiment, which simply consists of those three items finely chopped together, is your secret ingredient. Sprinkled over any number of dishes, it will make every mouthful pop with its bright, fresh flavors. Gremolata is so simple that you barely need a recipe, but here’s one all the same, just to get you started.

Part condiment and part garnish, gremolata is most commonly used for a final flourish of flavor, classically with the famous Italian recipe Osso Buco, where it adds a fresh, zippy note to the rich, meaty dish. But it should not be limited to just rich preparations! Try it sprinkled over grilled or roasted vegetables, any baked or grilled fish, chicken, or lamb. Asparagus is particularly wonderful with gremolata, as well as many pasta dishes. And creamy bean dishes, especially if they contain meat, are sure to benefit from a last minute sprinkling of gremolata.

Gremolata is a favorite condiment in my household because it solves a major culinary challenge: how to add the bright, citrusy notes of lemon to green vegetable dishes without dulling the color. Have you ever had that happen? You add a dash of lemon to some asparagus only to have it turn a dull, army green. Ugh. Gremolata is your solution as it adds lemon in the form of zest which won’t react as much to green vegetables.


The Ingredients

Garlic

Since the garlic is raw, you want it as fresh as possible. Old garlic will be yellow and sticky, often with a green shoot growing out, and it will smell strongly and slightly acrid. Fresh garlic will be white, plump, and while its scent will be unmistakably garlicky, it will still smell fresh. If you only have older garlic, remove the green stem and blanch it for a few minutes in boiling water to remove some of the acrid taste.

Lemon

Use organic if at all possible, since you will only be using the zest. (The zest-free lemon will keep a few days which leaves you plenty of time to do something with the juice.) The lemon zest adds acid, zippiness, brightness.

Parsley

Use flat leaf parsley if available, and wash it well. Most importantly, be sure it is completely dry before you start chopping it. If possible wash and dry it a few hours before you use it and then wrap it in a towel to absorb the last few drops of water. If the stems are thin and subtle, don’t worry to much about including them. If the stems are thick and tough, you’ll want to pluck the leaves. Chop the parsley as finely as possible. Parsley adds a clean, fresh, herbal note.

The Equipment

Microplane

Gremolata is an excellent reason to go ahead and get yourself a Microplane grater, if you haven’t already. You can find them for about $10 these days and they are well worth it. The Microplane will finely mince the garlic in about 5 seconds. Having the garlic finely minced is critical to a good gremolata, so if you don’t have a Microplane, be sure to chop it as finely as possible. A microplance also is excellent for zesting the lemon as it easily removes just the yellow zest without any of the bitter pith and creates a very finely zested peel.

Chef’s knife

Be sure your knife is as sharp as possible so when your mincing the parsley, you’re making clean cuts through the leaves and not just smashing them with a dull knife blade.

What about a food processor?

Sure you can use one, but I find that they don’t chop things as finely or as evenly as I like. The amounts here aren’t that big, so a mini-chopper might work, although I don’t have any direct experience with this.

The Method

I like to chop my parsley until it is just shy of being finely minced. Then I grate the garlic and lemon over the parsley and finish the chopping while integrating the lemon and garlic into the mix. I like this better than just tossing the separately chopped items as I feel it helps to blend the flavors.

Also, I like a very finely chopped gremolata as a general rule, but sometimes a more rustic texture is called for. In that case, still grate the garlic and lemon peel but don’t chop the parsley as finely.

Substituting Other Ingredients

Parsley, garlic, and lemon make up the classic gremolata, but you can certainly switch things up to suit your dish. The garlic can be replaced with shallots, for instance, or the lemon with another citrus such as lime. Consider a mandarin orange and mint version, for example, or cilantro, lime and shallot. Or mix in a few fresh herbs with the parsley, such as adding a bit of tarragon to the classic mixture.

How To Make Gremolata

Makes about 1/3 cup

What You Need

Ingredients
1 small bunch of parsley, washed and dried (enough to make 1 cup loosely-packed)
1 clove garlic, papery skin removed
2 organic lemons, washed and dried

Equipment
Sharp chef’s knife
Cutting board
Microplane

Instructions

  1. Prep the parsley: Remove the leaves from the parsley — enough to make 1 cup when very loosely packed.
  2. Chop the parsley: Chop the parsley with a chef’s knife until it is nearly finely chopped. It should be less than 1/2 cup.
  3. Add the garlic: Using a Microplane or fine-toothed grater, grate the garlic clove over the parsley.
  4. Add the lemon: Using the same grater (don’t bother to wash it), grate just the zest from the two lemons on top of the garlic. 

    → Bonus:
     Doing the garlic and lemon in this order will help to rid the Microplane of garlic odors!
  5. Finish the chopping: Continue to chop the parsley, mixing in the garlic and lemon as you go, until the parsley is chopped very fine.
  6. Use or store: Use the gremolata right away or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one day

5 WAYS TO USE GREMOLATA

 Mario Batalli 

IT’S NOT JUST FOR BRAISED MEATS!

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Gremolata ~ photo from Whole Foods

LONGBOY CHEESEBURGER

LONGBOY CHEESEBURGER


My dad use to make these regularly when I was growing up; but I thought he made it up 😀

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup crushed cornflakes
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 loaves brown ‘n’ serve French bread
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. In a 2-quart bowl, mix together first eight ingredients. Cut each loaf of bread in half lengthwise; spread one-fourth of meat mixture over each half, covering all the way to edges. Place on baking sheet.
  2. Bake at 350° for about 25 minutes or until meat is cooked, sprinkling with cheese during the last 5 minutes of baking. Cut into slices to serve. Yield: 8 servings.



I found the recipe via an old cookbook…still available on Amazon. 

Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia 25 Years by Cavalli

Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia 25 Years by Cavalli

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Elixir From the Gods ~
Ambrosia is the food of the goods, the Aceto Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia – 25 years is worthy of being the elixir of the gods — ambrosia. This product is the PERFECT addition to any dish; be it hot or cold. Great with shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese and some pasta. Believe me, it is addictive

CITRUS CAPRESE

CITRUS CAPRESE

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CITRUS CAPRESE
– from the Queen Creek Olive Mill

INGREDIENTS

1 Arizona navel orange

1 Arizona pink grapefruit

Fresh Mozzarella

Queen Creek Olive Mill Fig Balsamic Reduction

Queen Creek Olive Mill Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fresh basil leaves

Sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

This is a perfect recipe for the Arizona citrus season. Use your fresh, seasonal oranges and grapefruits for a healthy and delicious antipasti salad.

Peel orange and grapefruit, slice against the sections. Slice fresh Mozzarella. Arrange on plate by alternating orange and Mozzarella then grapefruit and Mozzarella slices. Drizzle with Fig Balsamic Reduction and finish with Robust EVOO. Garnish with basil leaves and sprinkle with salt.

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Products Used:
Fig Balsamic Reduction, Robust EVOO

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RELATED PRODUCTS

FIG BALSAMIC REDUCTION

Fresh Mountain figs are reduced then added to our barrel aged balsamic. Whether drizzled lovingly on red ripe heirloom tomatoes, marinating a fine filet mignon, or served over fresh berries and ice cream, this versatile reduction syrup is sure to make any meal delightful!

Ingredients: Balsamic vinegar, Grape must, Organic fig puree
Sizes: 250ml
Gluten Free, Vegan, Contains naturally occurring sulfites, Arizona Made with Balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy

Another awesome recommendation :

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CARAMELIZED RED ONION & FIG TAPENADE

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Their tapenade is a unique combination of flavor. Savory, yet subtly sweet! We simmer the freshest sweet red onions and figs in Italian balsamic vinegar with a touch of port to create this unique recipe.

Ingredients: Red onions, Water, Raisins, Figs, Olive oil, Balsamic vinegar, Salt, Lemon juice, & Spices.
Sizes: 9oz
Gluten Free, Vegan, Kosher, Made in the USA

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Speaking of #figs and #balsamic. ..

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BAMM! BULLSEYE 😀

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Italian Sausage with Grapes and Balsamic Vinegar

Italian Sausage with Grapes and Balsamic Vinegar

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Italian Sausage with Grapes and Balsamic Vinegar

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Photo courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated

– adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

*I was intrigued, tried it, LOVED it. I do believe in using the best quality ingredients you can get. Once you try the right (the good stuff) balsamic…it’s game over. DELICIOUS!  BTW, my enamel cast iron skillet/pot/casserole worked excellent! AND now that I made it, I know I will again but not be afraid 😀 Now I’ll have a better grasp of how high to have the heat, amounts of ingredients, etc..

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Why This Recipe Works
Italian sausage with grapes is a great example of the affinity that pork and fruit flavors have for one another. We wanted to pay homage to this simple Italian dish and highlight the attributes that make it so appealing. Taking inspiration from a potsticker cooking method, we use a combination of sautéing and steaming to produce sausages that are nicely browned but moist and juicy. Building the sauce in the same skillet, we cook down seedless red grapes and thinly sliced onion until caramelized to create a sweet but complex sauce. White wine, in addition to balsamic vinegar, lends the dish acidity and complements the grapes. Oregano and pepper contribute earthiness and a touch of spice, while a finish of fresh mint adds brightness.
*NOTE FROM THE TEST KITCHEN Our favorite supermarket balsamic vinegar is Bertolli Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. Serve this dish with crusty bread and salad for a heartier meal.

Ingredients:

1 tbs vegetable oil
1 ½ lbs sweet Italian sausage
1 lb seedless red grapes, halved lengthwise (3 cups)
1 onion, halved and sliced thin
¼ cup water
¼ tsp pepper
⅛ tsp salt
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tbs chopped fresh oregano
2 tsps balsamic vinegar
2 tbs chopped fresh mint

Instructions

* 1. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Arrange sausages in pan and cook, turning once, until browned on 2 sides, about 5 minutes. Tilt skillet and carefully remove excess fat with paper towel.

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Distribute grapes and onion over and around sausages.

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Photo courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated

 

Add water and immediately cover. Cook, turning sausages once, until they register between 160 and 165 degrees and onions and grapes have softened, about 10 minutes.

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* 2. Transfer sausages to paper towel–lined plate and tent with aluminum foil. Return skillet to medium-high heat and stir pepper and salt into grape-onion mixture. Spread grape-onion mixture in even layer in skillet and cook without stirring until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is well browned and grapes are soft but still retain their shape, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Reduce heat to medium, stir in wine and oregano, and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until wine is reduced by half, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove pan from heat and stir in vinegar.

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* 3. Arrange sausages on serving platter and spoon grape-onion mixture over top. Sprinkle with mint and serve.

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The Right Way to Cook Sausage

SAUTÉ AND THEN STEAM

Moderate heat develops flavorful browning without burning. Then, adding a little water to the pan and covering it gently steams the sausages so they cook up juicy.

The point of this recipe is to cook sausage so that it is done (160°-165°), with good color and FLAVOR, but not burst/split open. And it worked…was great!

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