When I pick out my recipes for the week, I often start with a large folder stuffed with recipes and choose those that sound good to me. I end up with around a dozen sometimes, and from there I narrow it down to a weeks' worth of meals. For some reason, at least four of the recipes I found included sausage. Since one sausage meal a week is sufficient, I chose Apple-Sausage Sauté from this month's Prevention magazine.
Back when I was single, there was a crockpot recipe that I used to make that involved pork chops, sauerkraut, and sliced apples. I really loved it and made it quite often in the fall. This recipe reminded me of it; aside from salad, you don't see apples in a main course very often. Which is too bad, really. The sweetness of apples is a perfect accompaniment to many meats.
4 tsp olive oil
1 lb precooked chicken or pork sausages, cut into 1/2" diagonal pieces
4 medium tart apples (such as Granny Smith or Idared), peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2" wedges
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp maple syrup
1. Heat 2 teaspoons o the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, turning often, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Remove from the pan.
2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan. Put in apple, pepper, and thyme and drizzle with syrup. Cook, tossing often, until tender 12-14 minutes.
3. Return sausage to the pan and toss with apple to heat through.
The Verdict: A really fantastic blend of sweet and savory. A cozy, fall dish.
There was one issue with how it turned out but it had nothing to do with the recipe. I chose mild Italian chicken sausage and I'm not sure if my family's idea of mild and Whole Foods idea of mild differ, or if the package was mislabeled. But poor Amir took one bite, made a face while putting down his fork and said, "Hot." My husband and I agreed that the sausage wasn't at all mild, but enjoyed it still. I do think a milder sausage--whether that means a sausage you trust is mild or a different type of sausage (like a sundried tomato and garlic sausage, for example) would have worked better with the dish. The heat competed too much with the sweet.
I'd like to try this again, and for sure I'd like to start using apples in non-dessert dishes again.