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Happy Fourth of July! Are you doing anything special today? Picked up two fresh bratwurst from the German deli along with a slab of ribs (which I froze), a wedge of Leyden cheese and a nice slice of Braunschweiger. Leyden is a Dutch cheese similar to aged Gouda and is loaded with cumin seeds. I love it. Usually find it only at Whole Foods so this meant one less stop. You’ll find the definition of Braunschweiger vs. Liverwurst here, since I’m sure you’re dying to know…  🙂

The bakery next door was out of baguette-type rolls so I bought two rather limp imitations with a sadly soft crust when I was at Albertson’s. I figure it’ll be okay though since I’ll toast them on the grill a bit. I did get an nice loaf of classic Jewish rye though for the Braunschweiger. In respect to food, I’m sometimes totally out of place in LA. But that’s okay.

Note that there’s a big taste difference between “fresh”, “cooked” and “smoked” types.

Fresh

Cooked

Smoked

Back when I lived in Chicago, the German deli owner gave this recipe to the person I was married to, calling them the best brats in the world. I call them Otto’s Elmhurst Brats…the recipe:

Several pounds of fresh Bratwurst (fresh Italian sausage also works but I prefer Brats)

Green Peppers, cut in half, seeded and sliced into 1/2 to 3/4 inch strips*

Onions, peeled, sliced in half (direction doesn’t matter) and then into 1/2 inch strips*

Butter

Beer

French Baguettes

*Note:  the dimensions are not critical, just a guide.

Poke each fresh brat several times with a fork or sharp knife so they don’t explode when cooking. You don’t want a face splattered with hot grease. Brown brats on grill. Get some nice grill marks. It’s not necessary to really cook them, you’ll do that next.

In a large pot aka Dutch oven, melt butter, (1 pound for 5 pounds of brats. Saute onions and green peppers in butter until soft but not browned. Add brats with nice grill marks 🙂 and cover with beer. You could use chicken stock, but beer adds a really nice flavor and your kitchen will smell divine. Bring to a boil, cover and lower temperature. Simmer for 1/2 hour. Slice baguettes in half and place brat on roll and spoon the pepper onion mixture on top. Cover with other half of roll. Yum!

You can reduce the recipe to two green peppers and one onion per pound of brats. For myself, I have the two brats, a large red pepper and large brown onion. Sometimes I use two onions because the mixture is just nice on the baguettes when the bratwurst have all been eaten. Kind of a northern biscuits and gravy if you will.

Well, I had planned to make these today but since I rarely drink beer, it totally slipped my mind and somehow I don’t think Vermouth would work the same as beer so the pictures will continue tomorrow. For today, I’ll be having an “un-holiday Caesar salad”…lol!

If I had a can of sauerkraut, I’d make the brats the same way on the grill and then into a pot topped with the kraut and juice, but I don’t.

Other info trivia:  Sauerkraut is credited with important qualities…it has been known to ward off a hangover, since it not only drives away the headache, but also neutralizes the stomach and has been known to cleanse the liver too. Source.

P.S. Forgot to mention that I picked 15 more tomatoes from the amazing plant. That makes almost 40 in two and a half weeks or so!

P.P.S. It’s almost midnight and the cracks and major bangs are still going off. It’s almost like this July 4th is a way for the disenfranchised faction of our society to sound off. This, despite the article I recently read on low sales at fireworks booths. Hmmm…. Don’t think the article was really accurate since it’s been louder here than in the last six years.

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