This is the ubiquitous sausage, pepper and onion with a sweet exotic twist. There is no dearth of flavors here; the garlic cloves and the tomatoes roasts lavishly on high heat, the onion caramelizes, dash of crushed pepper adds the heat and the dried fruits mildly lend the sweet bites.
The cranberries, apricots, figs and the smoky cumin make this everyday dish so extraordinary; while sausages, peppers, onions and the mushrooms are run of the mill, this spicy meat along with the sweet bites of fruits pushes it a little closer to the alluring Moroccan Tagine.
I do not know about you, but I am feeling that the holiday season came upon us all too sudden. Before the children got out of their Halloween costumes, it is that time of the year to put up the Christmas tree. And holiday season spells friends, guests, cooking and indulging. This is a perfect hearty, filling meal to cook for a crowd.
With good friends and late nights, I usually go into a frenzy in the morning to make the breakfast and then arrange for a lunch. This is a perfectly easy recipe cooked at one go. Served with bread/pasta/rice and some greens, it will make a happy meal for all.
To make a vegetarian version, skip the sausages and add potatoes and chickpeas. It works really well.
Sausages with Mushroom, Onion and Dried Fruits
Ingredients: (serves about 4)
- 1/2 lb sausage, sliced or crumbled – use any kind – I have used Spicy Italian Chicken Sausages
- 8-10 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (or adjust amount to taste)
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into wedges
- 2 medium tomatoes, sliced into about 8 pieces each
- 1 bell pepper – green, red or yellow, each cored and cut into about 16 pieces
- 15-20 cremini or button mushrooms, washed, patted dry and quartered
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1/2 cup dried figs, halved
- fresh thyme, chopped + more for garnish (or any other herb)
- black pepper
- 1/2 cup wine/marsala/any wine
- 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons oil
In a non reactive bowl, combine the dried fruits (cranberries, apricots and figs), wine vinegar and the wine and let it sit while you prepare and cook.
Add oil to a pan/skillet. Add the whole peeled garlic and the crushed red pepper and allow the oil to heat up. When the red peppers start to sizzle, add the onions, bell pepper and the sausages. Make sure the sausages are in contact with the bottom of the pan. They need to cook and brown. Cook at medium to high heat for about 7-10 minutes, while tossing and stirring. The garlic will be fragrant, the onions with soften and start to brown and the sausages will brown too.
Add salt, cumin powder, pepper and chopped herbs. Now add the tomatoes, and cook everything at high heat for another 3-5 minutes. The extra liquid from the tomatoes will dry off and they will try to start to get roasted.
Add the mushrooms to the pan and again cook on high heat for about 3 minutes, while tossing frequently till the extra water from the mushroom dries off. Add the wine and the dried fruits in the bowl to the pan, stir everything together, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes till all the liquid is absorbed and the sausages are cooked through. Cover and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Serve warm with bread or on rice/pilaf/couscous/pasta/polenta.
This classic recipe with a twist is so simple but delicious and takes just a little bit of time to prepare. The sweet and spicy sausages make a great weeknight dinner or wonderful quick meal to cook for a home full of friends.
Skillet Eggs with mushrooms and potatoes
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