Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sticky Wholegrain Mustard & Ginger Cocktail Sausages {#SundaySupper}

Often, when holiday meal planning rolls around, I tend to neglect the appetizers.  And, though I hate to admit it, the beverages often take a back seat, as well.  At least the "special" beverages.  It doesn't take much planning to grab some beers or a couple nice bottles of wine.  And pulling the liquor from the cabinet? No work at all.

Now, I find this to be an absolutely ridiculous predicament, as I am that person who stands around the appetizer table and nibbles.  Toothpick in one hand, cocktail in the other.  So yeah, two of my favorite parts of any get together, and I neglect them when it comes to my own planning.  So not cool.  Well, I'm making a vow to change that.  I'm going to start exploring more appetizer options.  And diversify my cocktail and mocktail offerings.
Now, one thing that screams appetizer is little weenies.  Now, normally I've used the little smokies or little hotdogs, but this time I went with the slightly larger breakfast sausage links.  Thanks to my girl, Nigella.  If anybody knows how to throw a party with plenty of hors d'oeuvre and cocktail options, it's her.  I mean, I know I want to be a guest at her house.

These are going in my permanent rotation, because they are so durn addictive.  Sticky.  Slightly sweet.  Slightly savory.  Perfect with a hunk of toasted sourdough.  Pass the toothpicks!

Sticky Wholegrain Mustard & Ginger Cocktail Sausages

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 45-60 minutes
Keywords: bake appetizer sausage ginger mustard Christmas Thanksgiving Super Bowl tailgating

Ingredients (50 sausages)
  • scant ½ c. orange marmalade
  • scant ½ c . wholegrain mustard
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated gingerroot
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 50 uncooked breakfast sausages (~2¼-2½ lbs.)
  • thick-crust bread for serving, optional (preferably a round loaf, sourdough or rye, ~9" in diameter)
Instructions
If making immediately, preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with foil (or use a couple of disposable foil pans) - it's gonna get messy.

Combine all of the ingredients except the sausages and bread in a large bowl and whisk together. Add the sausages and turn them around in the mix to coat (using your hands is easiest).

Dump the whole thing onto the prepared tray. Slide into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Turn up the oven to 400° F and stir the sausages around, being sure to pick up any gooey juices and coat the sausages. Close oven and bake another 15-30 minutes, stirring again halfway through, until sticky and burnished and cooked through.

To serve in a bread bowl, cut a circle around the top of a round loaf of bread and lift it off like a lid. Dig out the bready center with your hands, leaving the crust intact. (You won't need the insides, so make them into bread crumbs for another use.)

Fill the emptied-out loaf with as many of the sausages as you can, refilling as necessary. Set out with toothpicks on the side for spearing the sausages.

Advance Preparation:
Place all of the ingredients except the sausage and bread into a gallon-size, freezer-safe, zippered baggie. Squish everything around to mix. Add the sausage, squeeze the air out and seal the baggie, and then squish around again until they are well-coated in the mixture.

Store in the fridge for up to 2 days, and then cook as directed. Freeze for up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the fridge, and then cook as directed.

notes:
You can also use a hearty, rectangular loaf of bread and hollow out the center in the same fashion to have a bread "tray" instead of a bread "bowl". This is especially handy when making a double-batch.

I am EXTREMELY picky when it comes to sausage. I don't like it floppy. And I don't like it even the least bit under-cooked. I want that sticky, browning on the outside for maximum flavor. If you these are cooked too long for your liking, start with the higher heat and decrease the cooking time by 15 minutes of so.

p.s...don't forget to eat the emptied-out bread bowl once the sausages are gone. That has that sticky goodness will have seeped into it, making it an irresistible midnight snack (in true Nigella fashion). Mmmm....

adapted from Nigella Kitchen
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Now.  I wanna know - are you anything like me?  Do you find yourself at a holiday party with a drink in one hand and a toothpick for stabbing hors d'oeuvres in the other?   Or perhaps you're a neglecter of appetizers and fun cocktails...but don't want to be.  Either way, you'll love this list of Holiday Beverages and Appetizers that the #SundaySupper crew has put together this week (hosted by Connie from The Foodie Army Wife).  Check it out.

Party Beverages

Appetizers and Hors d'oeuvres

    In remembrance of the Sandy Hook tragedy, our live chat for tonight has been cancelled.  My heart breaks for the victims and their loved ones every time I think of what happened.  I just want to squeeze my kids and my husband and give thanks that I can do so.

    We’d love to feature your Holiday Beverages and Appetizers on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too.  So tell me - what are you must have holiday cocktails, mocktails, appetizers, and hors d'oeuvres?  I'm always looking for inspiration.  Feel free to leave the link to any in the comments.