I was at Major Market in Escondido on Saturday to pick up a baguette. Of course, I can't just pick up a baguette.
While passing the wine aisles, then the cheese case, I saw a demo stand, where they were offering samples of their jalapeño bratwurst. The gentleman manning the station called me over to try a sample, freshly sliced off the tabletop grill, speared by a mustard-dipped pretzel. Mmm...sausage. It's made in-house, with pieces of jalapeño, bell pepper, onion, and tomato. I think the main protein was chicken, but I could be mistaken. Yup, I was mistaken, it's pork. Duh. Normally I shun sausages that try to mess with the pristine holiness of the pig, but I capitulated and bought a few links.
I decided to grill them up for our Memorial Day barbecue. The butcher gave me detailed instructions: microwave(!) one brat for one minute or two for two minutes, but don't nuke more than 2 at a time. Then finish on the grill until crispy & browned. I took his advice, and, oh am I glad I did. These were pretty close to the best darned sausages I've ever had. Hubby was prepared to hate them - I could tell by the look on his face and by the fact that he was perusing the fridge to see what else was available.
I grilled the sausages, and served them with mustard, red onion, caramelized yellow onion, and Nathan's pickles as condiments, on toasted buns. Hubby's first impression: "Oh my God, are you f-ing kidding me? These are the best bratwurst I've ever had." I agree.
And the fiddleheads I posted about earlier? I boiled them in salted water until they were slightly squishy, about 5 minutes, then sautéed them in olive oil and garlic. Delicious! Hubby asked if I could make them more often. Umm...they're only in season for about 6 minutes, and a small package at Trader Joe's cost me $5. So, no, not so often.
Rounding out the table was the remains of Chicken Old Ladies on a Bus, removed from their marmalade-y sauce and grilled until nicely caramelized and heated through, basted with more Stubbs hot BBQ sauce. Tasty, better than the first night, but definitely overshadowed by the bratwurst. All but one piece (wing) is back in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch.