Stuff My Kid Eats
Has there ever been a more beautiful union than that of sweet and savory? The unlikely marriage of salt and confection has inspired many food favorites: chocolate covered pretzels, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Rocky Road ice cream, corn dogs, fruit and cheese, pineapple pizza (my toddler’s pick) — the list goes on and on. So with Valentine’s Day hot on everybodys’ minds, why not put away your ideas of “what works” and go with your gut! After all, it worked with my toddler and her cat.*
Pan-Seared Sausage with Lady Apples and Watercress
Aside from pineapple pizza, this is my toddler’s favorite meal. The ultimate sweet and savory matrimony: Italian sausage, caramelized apples, and watercress — this dish has all the makings for a family favorite! (Recipe slightly adapted from Bon Appétit)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. lady apples, halved through stem ends (if unavailable, use pink lady or fuji apples)
1 ½ lb. sweet Italian sausage
½ cup dry white wine
4 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 bunch watercress, trimmed (about 6 cups)
Fresh ground black pepper
Heat oil in a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples, cut side down, and cook, turning occasionally until golden brown, 5-8 minutes.
Prick sausages with a fork, add to skillet with apples, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned. 10-12 minutes. Add wine and vinegar to skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened (liquid should coat a spoon), about 4 minutes. Add watercress and toss to coat, season with salt and pepper.
Serve with pan juices spooned over.
- A fruity Zinfandel and an off-dry German Riesling pair well with the sweet apples.
- Crispy oven potatoes are an excellent starch to help soak up the delicious pan juices you don’t want to go to waste (recipe below).
Crispy Oven Potatoes
I make these potatoes a few times a month and always change up the seasonings to match the flavor of the meal. For this dish, I like smoked paprika and dried oregano, which off-set the sweetness of the Italian sausage and lady apples, but you can use thyme and fennel, rosemary and parsley — or whatever else suits your fancy.
- 8-10 Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. herbs d’provence
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly mist a baking sheet with cooking spray. In a bowl, mix all ingredients until combined. Spread seasoned potatoes evenly on sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing half way through.
* Photo: True Love: The Toddler and The Cat