On Thursday of last week, the husband and I headed to the Amish Dutch Country Farmers Market. This is a trip I usually make by myself. I have it down to a science; the entire trip only takes about 50 minutes from start to finish (and it’s a full 15 minutes from my house). But when the husband comes with me, I always get sidetracked.
First, we taste every single peanut, almond and dehydrated green bean on display at the dry goods store. Moving on to the bakery, I mentally prepare myself to be the voice of reason when he wants to buy three kinds of cookies, a dozen jelly donuts, a package of pumpkin whoopie pies, and six apple dumplings (because we can freeze them for later).
At the poultry counter, I over buy per his suggestion, because he wants to try EVERY kind of chicken sausage they make (I’m not complaining). Steering him away from the barbecue-sauced chicken wings, I check out the prepared salads. Amish salads. We try a sweet broccoli and cauliflower chopped salad and eat a pint on the spot while looking at the produce stand for local offerings. I buy local cabbage, carrots, a few apples, and some brussel sprouts. I don’t have to convince him to stop putting things in the basket here, but when we get over to the cheese shop we both need restraining. With the toothpicks provided, we try every last cube of sample cheese–colby, soft farmer’s cheese, smoked gouda, smoked mozzarella, Amish Longhorn, sharp cheddar, even pepperoni cheddar. I buy some white cheddar for a recipe and load up on essentials like local half and half, eggs, and yogurt.
At the meat counter, we both stop to think. We contemplate how much double smoked bacon to buy. Amish bacon. Wanting to keep it healthy, I err on the side of caution and only buy half a pound. I’ll be back next week after all.
On the way out the door, the husband is distracted by a long line of shoppers. The line leads to steaming trays of pulled pork and barbecue sauce–his kryptonite. I see the accompanying sauerkraut and immediately think of college. The dining hall served kielbasa and sauerkraut a couple of times a month. I think I’m the only one that delighted in the briny cabbage and caramelized (burnt, really) sausages. Maybe it’s my Polish heritage coming to the surface.
I haven’t been able to get that sauerkraut out of my mind. Until I saw this recipe on RantingChef.com. I used it as a starting point for my own Amish-Inspired Sweet and Tangy Cabbage with Chicken Sausages, the perfect counterpart to a chilly fall night.
Amish-Inspired Sweet and Tangy Cabbage with Chicken Sausages
[Disclaimer: I didn't decide to add the sausages until the cabbage was already in the braising stage. I submerged them in the liquid during the last 20 minutes of cooking, and they were still delicious; however, the recipe is written with the sausages cooking first, which will give them a nice brown and add more flavor to the cabbage.]
4 chicken sausages, whole or sliced, whatever you prefer (I kept mine whole and used local white wine chicken sausages. Amish made.)
1 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 small to medium green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 apple, cored and diced
1 cup chicken broth/stock
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Drizzle the olive oil in a medium-sized pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the sausages and cook, just until browned. Add the onions, cinnamon , bay leaves and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until the onions are tender, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the cabbage and cook until wilted about 8 minutes. Add the apple, broth, white wine, vinegar, sugar, remaining salt, smoked paprika, and pepper.
Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender, about 45 minutes. Uncover, remove the sausages and cook until the liquid has reduced to desired sauce consistency, about 5 minutes. Serve in bowls with sausage nestled under a pile of tangy cabbage. Add some boiled white potatoes or a hearty slice of honey wheat bread (Amish-made, of course) if you want to sop up the sauce. Serves 4.