Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Eat for a Week 32: Oktoberfest Pasta

I came up with this recipe last fall when I wanted to find a way to stretch a single package of bratwurst. Let's face it, fall is a great time for brats, but they're not always cheap. The bill for this was somewhere around $17 or $18. If you keep parmesan cheese and sauerkraut on hand (or choose not to use them), that can knock about $9 from your bill. I happened to be out of both.


Large skillet
Large sauce pan
Large stock pot (for boiling pasta)


5 bratwurst sausages (about a pound), removed from casings and broken up
1 small onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 Tbsps olive oil
2 Tbsps butter
2 Tbsps flour
1 pint half-and-half
6 to 8 oz. (about 1/2 bottle) Sam Adams Oktoberfest*
2 Tbsps grainy mustard
2 tsp prepared horseradish
2 bay leaves
pinch of nutmeg**
1 1/2 tsp dry ground mustard**
pinch of ground cloves**
1 lb regular pasta
1 lb whole wheat pasta
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese***


Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat.
Cook onion and garlic until translucent.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add bratwurst and cook through.
Set aside.

In large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
Whisk in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Slowly whisk in 1 pint of half-and-half.
Once all the cream is mixed in, add about a half a bottle of Sam Adams Oktoberfest.
Add salt and pepper, mustard, horseradish, bay leaves, nutmeg, ground mustard, and cloves. Mix well.
If sauce is too thick, add a little bit of water until you reach your desired consistency.
Turn heat up to medium-high and wait for the sauce to start to bubble.
Add bratwurst, onion, and garlic mixture to the sauce. Mix well.
Reduce heat to low, cover the pan, and allow to warm.

Cook according to directions on packaging.

Remove bay leaves from sauce then mix the sauce into the drained pasta. When serving, top with sauerkraut and parmesan cheese.

Music for this episode is "Breakfast of Champions" by The Hybiscus Journals. Download it for free (or whatever you think it's worth) here: http://thehybiscusjournals.bandcamp.com/track/breakfast-of-champions

Also, we'll be having an e-book giveaway pretty soon here. Keep an eye on http://eat-for-a-week.blogspot.com for more details!

* Use whatever beer you like. If you don't like beer or don't drink alcohol, substitute with chicken or vegetable stock.
** These seasonings are optional. Don't break the bank buying them all in one go if you don't already have them on hand.
*** Also optional.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Eat for a Week 31: Sweet Chicken & Potatoes

More crock pot fun. The grocery bill for this one was about $13. I bought chicken, bacon, and potatoes.


crock pot


1.5 to 2 lbs baby red potatoes, chopped into 1" to 2" pieces
2 lbs boneless chicken thighs, cut into 3" to 4" pieces
1/2 lb bacon, chopped into about 1/2" pieces
6 cloves of garlic, peeled (chop if you like)
1/3 to 1/2 lb frozen peas
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C cider vinegar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
1 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
1/4 C water
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (use more if you like more heat)
2 or 3 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste


Cook bacon in a skillet and drain off the fat.
Place potatoes in crock pot, then add chicken, garlic, peas, and bacon.
Whisk together sugar, vinegar(s), worchestershire sauce, water, cayenne, salt and pepper and pour into crock pot.
Add bay leaves.
Set crock pot to Low and let it be for 8 to 10 hours. (If you're getting a late start and will be around the house, you can put it on high for 6 to 8 hours.)

This turns out delightfully sweet, but not candy-like. The cayenne helps offset this a bit. If you like, add some blue cheese crumbles when serving. The salty, mustiness of it can also help cut the sweetness of the dish.

Music for this episode is "Learning Curve" by The Hybiscus Journals - http://thehybiscusjournals.bandcamp.com (This track isn't there, but many others are.)

So, it hit the internets this afternoon that Steve Jobs has passed away. Spending the evening at my Mac Mini editing video in iMovie seemed like a fitting homage. So long, Steve. Thanks for making all these shiny toys for us.