Monday, September 11, 2023

Sausage and Spinach Skillet Supper

 Usually, when I'm trying a new dish, my first rule is to always follow the recipe. That was my original plan when I saw a certain recipe from Taste of Home. But then I thought of a bunch of changes I would want to make.. so I thought, ok, lets just improvise this one and see where it goes. 
Do you every do that? 
I just sort of decided what direction I wanted to go, and then started throwing things into the pan. 
  I was originally going to use a smoked Andouille sausage, but then decided it might be too spicy. So I used mild Italian sausage instead. Then I thought of using my home canned collard greens, but decided fresh spinach would be the better way to go. And I had originally planned to include baby red potatoes, but then decided to smash them into a chunky mash and then serve the meal on top.
 You taste as you go, you decide what it needs, and you adjust. Needs salt... needs a little acid.. needs a more savory note.. needs a little sweetness... And then all of a sudden, a new dish is created! 
How fun is that?
 And OMG I'm thrilled with the final result!! It turned out SO good and it came together in a snap! And without realizing it, I made the most perfect meal for this time of year... it's warm during the days, but cooler at night... this dish is made entirely on the stove top, so it doesn't require turning on the oven, but it'll hit the spot and fill you up at night. Perfect!
 So, thanks, Taste of Home, for the inspiration, even though I made a completely different dish! Maybe next time I'll follow the recipe. In the meantime, hope you like this one!
1-2 tbs olive oil
2-3 lbs mild Italian sausage links
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tb apple cider vinegar
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
3 tbs butter
1/2 cup water plus 3 tbs flour
2 big handfuls fresh baby spinach
 Place olive oil in a large heavy skillet. Over medium heat, brown sausage links on all sides. Remove from pan and slice into coins. Places sausage coins back into skillet along with diced onions and garlic.
Continue to sauté over medium heat while adding brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
Add a few tbs butter and let them melt right into the sauce.
Make a slurry of 3 tbs flour plus a half cup of cold water. Stir it into the skillet until thickened and well combined.
Add a few handfuls of fresh spinach and place a lid to cover. It will only take a few minutes for the spinach to wilt. Stir well. Adjust seasoning if needed.
Serve with some warm crusty bread.
If you are feeding a crowd, serve it over rice or mashed potatoes. It'll go a lot further!

When you are browning the sausage links, you don't have to cook them all the way through..just brown them on the outside and cook through enough to be able to slice them.
Not a fan of spinach? Try another type of green, such as collards or kale.
For an extra added touch, try crumbling some crisp bacon over the top as a garnish!

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