Dijon Sausage and Broccoli Bake


Friends! Family! Everyone About To Give Up On Me!

I am here, cooking, living, and opining, but you wouldn't know it to visit this site. I have always said this blog goes how my life goes. Which is to say, in spurts. I'm fine with that, and I'm glad you are too.

We are so blessed to be settling into Bellingham life. Each of us commutes twice a week to Seattle for work, which is turning out to be very doable. And we're living close to five grandparents, toting kids to soccer games and playdates, plotting the next phase of our remodel, and making friends. We are not, like so many people in the world, scrounging for our next meal or scheming about how to get our children medical care. We are not victims of political unrest or war. We are not waiting in long lines for fuel or applying for assylum. I'm aware, more and more every day, that our reality is not the world's reality. The fact that I can find time and bandwidth to write about food and community means I've been given so much. I just have to say this every once in awhile.

And I have to say, "One Baking Sheet!!" That's all you need for a great dinner. If you've got parchment paper, even better. Bon Appetit have a great feature on this that's inspiring. I've taken to roasting everything--sausages, fish, prawns, bok choy, broccoli, caulifower. Of course, there are the standards like peppers, potatoes, eggplant, onions, zucchini. I've heard Lynne Rossetto Kasper say that when she doesn't know what to cook for dinner, she walk in the door, turns the oven to 425, and then opens the fridge. I find myself in a similar pattern these days.

Depending on your ingredients, you can start things at different times (as I do here), separate them on the sheet if you don't want them mingled, or mix everything up and throw it in all at once. An essential tip is that the closer things are together, the more they will steam and not roast. They'll still cook, but without the delectable crispy edges.

My kids down the sausage, eat a good bit of broccoli, and usually leave the peppers for us. I've been around lots of picky kids lately, which has got me thinking about tips and philosophies for feeding children. Next post? See you then.

Dijon Sausage and Broccoli Bake
Serves 4 with some highly unlikely leftovers. Preheat oven to 425 and line a large jelly rolll pan (baking sheet with sides) with parchment paper or foil. In a large bowl, combine 6-8 fat sausages (Italian, bratwurst, etc.) with 2 coarsely chopped red, yellow, or orange peppers, a coarsely chopped onion, 1/4 c. olive oil, coarse salt, 2 Tb. coarse dijon mustard, and a squeeze of lemon or some lemon zest. Toss with your hands. Spread evenly on your baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, take a big bunch of baby broccoli, coarsely chop it (stems and all) and toss with olive oil (a couple tablespoons) and salt. Add to roasting mixture after it's been in the oven for 10 minutes, and roast for 15 minutes more, until sausage is bubbling and charred in places and everything's crisping up. Dump everything into a pretty bowl, put in the middle of the table, and serve with potatoes or bread, if you like. And maybe a dallop of dijon.

Grilled Steak with Peppers and Chimichurri Sauce

juicy biteIt's been a Divide-and-Conquer Week. Me waiting at the door for Yancey to come home so I can leave for my meeting, both of us with various evening commitments, handing the kids off like batons. So we eschewed all chores yesterday and had a family day.

We went to Mercer Island Thrift Store, which is a secret I shouldn't be sharing. If you are a woman who wears shoe size 8, look no further for designer boots, cast off after one season by fashion-conscious soccer moms. Love that place. We found a great $5 bike for Loretta, went on a bike ride around Mercer Slough, stopped at Overlake Blueberry Farm, and saw a coyote meandering through the blueberry bushes. If I was a coyote, I'd be hanging out there, too.

grilled peppers

Halfway through the bike ride, our thoughts (okay--my thoughts) turned to dinner. It was agreed that we'd have grilled steak and corn, some green beans from the garden. Occasionally I buy a couple steaks from Bob's, and there is nothing easier or more delicious. I'm always hankering to spice things up, though, and often do it with a little sauce like this. I had some beautiful peppers that we grilled up, too--I'm not sure what kind they are--anybody know? They're fairly spicy, not as mild as ahaheims.

Spear a bite of steak with grilled pepper, drag it through vibrant green sauce, reminisce about the day. All of us in one place. Ah.

deliciously carniverous

Grilled Steak with Peppers and Chimichurri Sauce
Serves 4. Chimichurri is a classic Argentinean sauce to accompany grilled meats, and I've been seeing it everywhere these days. This version is based on what was in my fridge, but it often includes yellow onions, other herbs, and citrus juice instead of/in addition to vinegar. Usually there's crushed red peppers or fresh chile in it, too, but I've left that out here because things were spicy enough. Any leftover sauce is delicious drizzled on potatoes on burritos. If it thickens up in the fridge, just thin it with a bit of water.

2 1 lb. tri-tip steaks
coarse salt
fresh ground pepper
1 lb. fresh peppers (mild or spicy)

For sauce:
1 bunch washed and dried cilantro
1/2 bunch washed and dried Italian parsley
1 large garlic clove
big pinch of coarse salt
3 green onions, coarsely chopped
2 Tb. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

Sprinkle both sides of steak with salt and pepper and let sit while you make the sauce.

To make sauce, pulse cilantro, parsley, garlic, green onions, and salt in a food processor until a paste forms. Add vinegar and olive oil and pulse until a sauce forms. Add more salt to taste if you want.

Heat grill to high. Brush peppers with olive oil, and grill until blackened all over, turning a few times, about 7 minutes. Put peppers in a paper bag, close the top, and let them steam for 10 minutes to loosen the peels. Peel, seed, and coarsely chop them. (I wear disposable plastic gloves for this task if I'm working with spicy peppers. Learned my lesson the hard way.)

Now grill your steak to your liking. When it's done, tent it with foil and let it rest for 7-10 minutes, then thinly slice it. Serve with grilled peppers and chimichurri sauce.