I hope we have finally had our last snowstorm! Crossing my fingers anyways! 😉 But this winter seems to have been colder and longer than any I can remember in what seems like eons. It was starting to get depressing around here, so I decided that we were just going to pretend that spring had arrived and enjoy some fun summer food anyways! 😉
And these were just what we needed! Some lightly smokey apple chicken sausages, piled with sautéed sweet cabbage, apples and red onion! I could almost enjoy this topping as a side dish all by itself! But, wow, was it ever good on the sausages!
I wanted something else to add some spark, though, and gathered some sweet aged balsamic vinegar, some spicy brown mustard, and a bottle of maple syrup and thought that they would be a really nice treat on top.
That sauce turned out so darned good, it was hard not to just eat a spoon of it! Not too sweet, not too tangy, and not too harsh. It complimented everything so very well, that I swear to you, I could BOTTLE that stuff if someone else hasn’t already beat me to it! (Psssst! Don’t tell, but I did lick the spoon, and the bowl, too!! 😉 ) It could not be helped. And I am not ashamed.
The cabbage, apple & onion topping, as well as the sauce, would be fantastic on about any kind of sausages or bratwursts, but I had a coupon for some of Johnsonville’s Apple Chicken Sausages and decided to give them a try.
I’m so very happy that I did!
Normally, me and “chicken sausage” don’t cluck together all that well. Most companies just don’t make them taste good, and the texture is just, well, weird.
This brand wasn’t like that at all. It tasted like sausage and with half of the extra calories and fat! What’s not to love about that, right?!
So you can use whatever you’d like as any will pair well with this. These will definitely be made again this summer with some brats, too, that’s for sure!
Knowing that these were going to be very hearty, and could end up being a messy disaster using commercially made, store-bought buns, I opted to just make my own! My Braided Poppy Seed Buns , (pictured above), held up perfectly and didn’t get soggy or fall apart like those little air-filled pillows the stores sell.
And they’re simple to make, too, using frozen bread dough. You might want to consider this, as these dogs weren’t for the meek appetites! These puppies were something pretty special. 😉
If you’re wanting to make them for a party or for a barbecue this summer, the topping reheated easily in the microwave and was perfectly fine, too. So you could make the topping, the sauce and the semi-homemade buns all the day before and just grill your sausages during the party!
We had homemade french fries with ours, but a nice potato salad or fresh fruit salad would be great with them, too. You could even make cole slaw out of the rest of the cabbage in case someone doesn’t want the topping.
But whatever you choose, you’ll be very surprised at how delicious these are! So you can enjoy now, or hang on to this recipe for a later time when winter finally gives up and moves on and you can enjoy them grilled under the warmth of the sun! I think I remember what that feels like…
Hope you had a wonderful weekend and this helps you get a good start to a new week! 🙂 Enjoy all! 😀
APPLE SAUSAGE DOGS with CABBAGE, RED ONION & APPLE SLAW topped with BALSAMIC MAPLE MUSTARD SAUCE
Serves 4 – 6
4 Tbl. butter
half of a small head of cabbage, halved and sliced 1/2″ thick
half of a red onion, halved and sliced
1/2 of a Granny Smith apple, unpeeled and cut bite sized
1/2 of a Red Delicious apple, unpeeled and cut bite-sized
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. molasses
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
1/8 cup (6 tsp.) maple syrup
3/4 tsp. sweet aged balsamic vinegar
Rest of Ingredients:
4-6 cooked sausages or bratwursts, I used Johnsonville’s Apple Chicken Sausages (12 oz. pkg. of 4)
4-6 sturdy buns, *see my easy homemade poppy seed buns if you’d like
In frying pan, melt butter. Add cabbage, red onion, salt and pepper. Sauté over med-low heat for 20 minutes. Add apples, sugar and molasses and continue sautéing for another 10 minutes until all is crisp-tender.
While cabbage mixture is simmering, cook sausages according to package directions. (*Mine were pre-cooked so I simply steamed them in a double-boiler/steamer pan.)
Slice open hearty buns if need be, place sausages inside, top heavily with cabbage-apple mixture.
In small bowl mix together the sauce ingredients and drizzle over. Serve hot.