Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I have a crush. On whom?
As McCain would say, "THAT one." (The one doing the choking, not the other one.)
She's Gina Carano, the face of women's MMA (mixed martial arts). And not only is she beautiful, she also kicks arse at kicking arse. If you're an American Gladiator fan, then you'll know her as "Crush", but she was making waves in MMA circles way before the show. Bren has been raving about her for two years, but I was too busy ogling the men of MMA to notice!
It was only this past weekend, when I watched her clobber her opponent, Kelly Kobold, that I realised how talented she is. She's strong, fast and her kicks are vicious. And I love that she has trouble making weight (she had to weigh in NAKED to make weight for this most recent fight). I love that woman! I even let Bren show me a few Krav moves this morning at the gym, subconsciously inspired by her. Bren said I have good form!
I dedicate this dish to her; I made it this past weekend for our little MMA-viewing party (Kevin and Catie!). To me it's only fitting: the sweetness of the apples alongside the ahem, male-ness of sausages. Right? And the mash potato represents um, the beating their insides take. Get it? Right? Hello?
This was really, really delicious, and unlike some of my other recipes, fantastically simple. I used Trader Joe's Chicken-Mango sausages, but you can use whatever sausage you want -- chicken-apple, turkey, even sweet Italian pork sausage would be good. Just make sure you cook them all the way through.
Sausage with Apple & Potato "Crush"
1 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut in half
1 packet pre-cooked chicken-mango sausage (about 5 of them)
4 shallots, chopped medium-fine
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1" ginger, minced fine
4 apples, cored, peeled and sliced thinly into half-heart shapes (I used 2 Granny Smith and 2 Gala)
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp sherry
3/4 cup Half and half (or more depending on how starchy your potatoes are)
3 tbsp butter (or more to taste)
Salt and pepper
1) Set potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain.
2) Meanwhile, set a wide skillet over medium-high heat, and swirl a little oil in the pan. Add the sausages, and allow to brown on all sides and cooked mid-way through if they're the raw kind, 5-10 minutes.
3) Add 1/3 cup of water to the pan and immediately cover, allowing the sausages to steam for about 4-5 minutes. Check that they're cooked all the way through. If you like, turn the heat up and allow any remaining water to evaporate. Remove the sausages from the pan and keep in a warm place.
4) Add a touch more olive oil to the pan, and add shallots, ginger and garlic. Saute until the shallots begin to caramelize.
3) Add apples and fennel seeds. Stir gently so you don't break 'em. Cook until the apples have started to turn brown and tender.
4) Add the cider vinegar and the sherry, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. If you'd like more of a sauce, add a little water. Return the sausages to the pan and combine.
5) Meanwhile, mash the drained potatoes. Microwave your half and half so that it's warm and, by turns, add a little butter and a little half and half, stirring in between. Make sure you add a good amount of salt (especially if you're using unsalted butter, which you really should be using anyway).
Plate, eat and cheer for Gina!
at 12:14 AM