Bratwurst with Caramelized Onions, Leeks & Sweet Peppers

This inviting main dish is incredibly flavorful! (If you happen to have any leftovers, try piling them into a sandwich with this week’s pumpernickel bread.)

Ingredients:
4 bratwurst links
2 yellow onions, peeled and sliced into half-rings
2 leeks, trimmed of root and dark green ends and thinly-sliced
2 sweet peppers, seeded and sliced
2 tablespoons butter

Method:
1. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter and then add the onions, leeks and peppers, cooking over low heat until all the onions and leeks are caramelized and the peppers are tender, about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in another skillet, simmer the bratwurst in 1-2-inches of water to cover for 20 minutes. Then drain off the water from the skillet and continue cooking just long enough to brown the bratwurst lightly.

3. To serve, pile the bratwurst atop the caramelized veggies and serve with sauerkraut and mustard on the side.

Corn Chowder with Red Pepper & Onion

Fresh sage and a hint of red pepper give this sweet chowder just a subtle hint of spice.

Ingredients:
4 ears of corn shucked
1 sweet onion, peeled and diced
1 red Bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 cups vegetable or corn stock
6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons olive oil
Sea salt

Method:
1. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat, then place the ears of corn directly on the grates and grill, 8-10 minutes, rotating occasionally, until the cobs are slightly charred. Remove and allow to cool, then shuck the kernels from the cobs using a sharp kitchen knife. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a 4-quart pot until shimmering. Add the onion and peppers and sauté until lightly tender, 2-3 minutes. Add the corn (reserving a small handful for garnish), sage and chile pepper flakes; sauté for 1 minute. Season with salt to taste. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until vegetables are all tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Carefully pour half the mixture into a blender and purée until smooth (remember the soup is hot, so be careful). Stir the puréed mixture back into the pot with the remaining soup. Taste the soup and add more salt, if desired. Ladle into bowls, garnish with a few chile flakes and grilled corn kernels and serve hot.

Pepper, Fennel & Onion Relish

Jimmy Nardello peppers lends themselves perfectly to this classic trio—an excellent condiment-style topping for sandwiches, scrambled eggs or even crostini!

Ingredients:
4 Jimmy Nardello peppers, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 red onion, or 2-3 Tropea onions, or a combination of the two, peeled and chopped
¼ cup olive oil
Sea salt

Method:
1. Preheat broiler.

2. Toss together all ingredients with ½ teaspoon salt in a large shallow baking pan. Broil 4 inches from heat until vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Turn over and stir, then broil 8 to 10 minutes more. Serve sprinkled with fennel fronds.

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Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Great served with chips, or mixed into rice, this awesome salsa also makes excellent sauce for enchiladas!

Ingredients:
1 pound tomatillos, husks removed
3-4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 small yellow or white onion, peeled and quartered
1 jalapeño pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup chopped green onion
Olive oil

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 500°. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

2. After husking the tomatillos, rinse them well in cool water (they can be sticky). Cut the stems and hard portions (if any) off the tomatillos and cut any very large ones in half.

3. Combine the tomatillos, unpeeled garlic, onion, and the jalapeno on the lined baking sheet. Spritz with extra virgin olive oil until lightly coated and toss the ingredients with your hands to make sure they are all well-coated.
4. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. If the vegetables have not charred, turn the broiler on to high and cook for 3-5 more minutes or until the skins of the peppers and tomatillos begin to turn black. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

5. When the vegetables have cooled, carefully squeeze the skin of the roasted garlic, releasing the soft, roasted garlic clove, into the jar of a blender or work bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining roasted vegetables and then add the salt, pepper, and lime juice. Process until the desired consistency is reached and then transfer to a serving dish.

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