Here’s a recipe to top off the month-long celebration of Octoberfest, as we transition over to Halloween (expect more of that theme in the upcoming posts). This is a simple, but tasty and hearty recipe I concocted. Although I usually use ground breakfast sausage for this recipe, I decided to make some changes and they turned out just right.
Start with Trader Joe’s 7 oz. package of Bavarian Bratwursts, or any brand and amount that you prefer. Slice them and set them aside. Slice an onion and four Italian (purple) or Asian (green) eggplants (these are the long, thin variety from our garden, but you can also use regular store-bought eggplant). You are now ready to cook them together.
Put enough cooking oil (I used safflower oil) in your skillet (over medium heat) to cook all the above, but start first with the bratwursts. After they start looking brown, put in the onion slices. After a minute, put in the sliced eggplants. When the eggplants start looking tender, put in 10 oz. – 16 oz. of frozen peas and then add a little water so the sausages and vegetables don’t stick to the skillet. Stir and cook until the peas are heated through and the eggplants are fully tender.
Serve them over mashed potatoes (see recipe below) and eat the dish with sauerkraut (I used Trader Joe’s Sauerkraut). Complete the meal with cooked winter squash and salad. To cook winter squash quickly and easily, try this: Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, place both halves face down in a Pyrex dish and put in a ¼ cup of cold water. Place the dish in the microwave oven and cover the dish with a microwave oven cover or wax paper, depending on the size of the winter squash. Cook 5 minutes on high heat if the squash is small (about 8”).
Mashed potatoes: Peel four or more Russet or yellow potatoes, depending how much you want to make. Quarter them and put them into a pot of cold water (don’t cover the potatoes with water, but add in enough so there will still be liquid when the potatoes begin getting tender). Cover the pot with its lid and cook over medium heat. Turn on the timer for 30 minutes. If more cooking time is needed, check every 10 minutes after that and turn down the heat to medium low. Turn the heat to low when the potatoes start getting tender.
When the potatoes start coming apart when you poke them with a fork, you can start mashing them in the pot with your fork. If you used too much water in the beginning, then you can leave that liquid in as you stir and mash the potatoes. If you find that much of the liquid has evaporated, you can pour in some milk, but do so carefully so your mashed potatoes won’t be watery.
Stir in some pats of butter, as many or as little as you wish. Keep stirring over low, or no heat if you’re finding that the potatoes are tender and mashing easily. Set aside when finished. You can finish the mashing by using a potato masher if you have one, or just use your fork to stir and mash them until they are the texture you like. Some people put them in a bowl and use a hand mixer, but I find those steps unnecessary, but that’s up to you.