Summer Links

I’m not thinking golf, I’m not thinking Internet connections, when it’s summer I’m only thinking of one kind of links: lunch and dinner sausages on the grill with Glazed Peppers and Caramelized Onions.

There is a world of possibilities out there and summer is over before I have had the chance to grill my gluten-free favorites: Frankfurters (the original hot dogs), bratwurst, knockwurst, Polish sausage (kielbasa), and Italian sausage. Then, as summer ends, I just have time to sandwich in (pun intended) a few new varieties: for example, some of the precooked chicken, turkey or vegetarian sausages flavored with apple, or jalapeno, or herbs and spices, and Louisiana Andouille. (Some sausages are labeled Gluten Free and some just have no gluten in the ingredients. But to be sure, call the sausage company or go online to find out if the sausages come in contact with gluten during manufacturing.)

There are so many kinds of sausages from so many countries in the world, including China, Thailand and Africa, that even as a chef I haven’t had time to catalogue, much less cook, them all. (Polish sausage or kielbasa is really the generic term for dozens of regional varieties of sausages originally from Poland.) And fresh or pre-cooked sausage can be smoked on unsmoked. But the following information is helpful to any cook.

Sausage comes in three basic kinds: fresh or uncooked sausage, pre-cooked sausage, and hard cured sausage, such as salami, which, forget because it’s not good on the grill. It’s important to remember that fresh sausage must be cooked before grilling; pre-cooked sausage can go right on the grill.

My sure-fire way for cooking fresh sausages without robbing them of flavor or moisture follows:

Place uncooked sausage links in a large shallow skillet. (Cut long links into 8-inch pieces.) Cover with fresh cold water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil (takes 15 to 20 minutes).

As the water heats, it slowly poaches the sausage. When the water comes to a boil, let cook for 1 minute.

Then remove pan from heat and let sausages stay in the water for an additional 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer sausages to a plate lined with paper towels. They are ready to grill.

Place pre-cooked sausages directly on the grill.

grilling susages

I heat my grill to medium and give the sausages quarter turns every couple minutes until they are nicely browned all over and heated through.

I always put the sausage on a gluten-free bun. When I have time I make my own hot dog buns (see Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen, recipe page 48); but if I am short on time and there is a big crowd to cook for, I purchase GF buns. The following companies all offer GF hamburger buns (available online if your store doesn’t stock them):

Canyon Bakehouse; Dr. Schar, O’Doughs, Three Bakers (also make Hoagie rolls); Udi’s, EnerG, Kinnikinnick, The Little Aussie Bakery (white or whole flax), and Rudi’s (multigrain). What a great variety!

Gluten-free ketchup can be spiced up with any one of the following: a few drops of hot sauce, a dab of horseradish, a dash of barbecue sauce. To mustard add any one of the previous or else one of the following: honey, finely chopped jalapenos, apricot jam or orange marmalade, finely minced scallions, chives or fresh herbs.

But the crowning glory of any grilled sausage is the Glazed Peppers and Caramelized Onions.

finished garnished hot dog

Why don’t I grill them? You need a special pan so they don’t fall through the grill grates, and they tend to burn in places and stay uncooked in others.

First comes Glazed Peppers. Liquid Smoke gives the cooked peppers a nice smoky flavor.

peppers

Glazed Peppers

Yield: 8 Servings

Glazed Peppers

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 6 peppers, mixed red, orange and yellow, cored, seeded, julienned
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon Liquid Smoke, optional

Instructions

  1. In a large (at least 6 quarts), heavyweight pan with lid (enameled cast iron is perfect), over medium-high heat, heat oil.
  2. Add peppers and salt and sauté, stirring, for 5 minutes or until peppers are beginning to soften. Add Liquid Smoke if using. Cover and cook for an additional 35 minutes, lifting lid and stirring from the bottom every 10 minutes or so.
  3. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for an additional 20 minutes.
  4. Spoon peppers on one side of hot dog bun.
http://gffamilyfood.com/recipes/summer-links/

Last, but not least is Caramelized Onions. The sugar helps the onions to caramelize to a nice rich brown.

Caramelized Onions

Yield: 8 Servings

Caramelized Onions

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 3 pounds yellow onions peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In a large (at least 6 quarts) heavyweight pan with lid, over medium-high heat, heat oil.
  2. Add onions, sugar and salt and sauté, stirring for 5 minutes until onions are beginning to soften. Cover and cook for an additional 35 minutes, lifting lid and stirring from the bottom every 10 minutes or so.
  3. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for an additional 20 minutes.
  4. Spoon onions on one side of hot dog bun.
http://gffamilyfood.com/recipes/summer-links/

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