Smoky Bourbon Dogs & Cranberry Bacon Brussels Sprouts - Handmade in the Heartland

Smoky Bourbon Dogs & Cranberry Bacon Brussels Sprouts

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Is your mouth watering looking at that photo? If not you must just like hate food because I'm drooling and I ate it for lunch! I think I already confessed that we eat way too many hot dogs in my house so no need to rehash the topic, however that dog in the photo above is not merely a hot dog, oh no, its sausage.  Its a gloriously smoky bourbon flavored hand crafted to perfection American Craft Sausage by Hillshire Farm. Starting with great ingredients ensures that you'll be eating a delicious meal and I thought these tasty brats needed something special to top them so I made a delicious cheese fondue sauce and caramelized onions. Can you say yum? Lets not stop there because although you can have a meal of just sausage recipes I think you need a special side to go with it so I made cranberry bacon brussels sprouts that are going to turn you into a sprouts fan in the first bite. promise.


American Craft starts with the best cuts of 100% pork and is made with real ingredients like garlic, and smoky bourbon. There are NO nitrates, NO nitrites, and NO MSG added to ensure that all you taste is exceptional sausage. I love shopping at Target (I mean who doesn't?) and they carry both the new flavors of american craft sausages- Smoky Bourbon & Garlic and Onion.



These sausages are already fully cooked, which is nice because one of the things I hate the most about grilling brats is that they take forever.  Since they are already cooked all you have to do is grill them long enough to have them heated through, 8-10 minutes. Yay, dinner will be done faster than you thought! :)


For the first topping I made a batch of caramelized onions.  oh man I love me some browned to perfection and delicious caramelized onions! Its simpler than you think, it just takes some time.  If you have some left over (which I recommend making an extra large batch!) you can use it as a pizza topping, a sandwich condiment, a salad mix in, or pop it into a quiche! So many options. 

To make caramelized onions just chop up a couple onions, I had 1 ginormous onion so I used that, but in the past I have cut up around 4 at a time.  Toss about a tablespoon of olive oil into your pan and the onions.  Over medium heat cook the onions stirring occasionally, once they start to turn translucent cover with a lid and let cook for 10 minutes.  Uncover and stir around, cover and cook for 10 more minutes. Continue to check them every 10 minutes until they look good and brown and gooey, then they're done! Mine usually take around 40-50 minutes. 


I also made a delicious cheese fondue sauce to top the dog, I highly recommend it.  All you do is melt 1 package of cream cheese (8oz) with 1 cup of milk and 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder on the stove.  Once its melted and smooth add 1/2 cup of parmesan and mix until the parm is melted.  Remove it from the heat and you're ready to drizzle over your dog, dip veggies in it or just lick it off your spoon. :)


I know you're thinking brussels sprouts? really? Well let me tell you I'm totally going to convert you to a brussels lover with this delicious recipe.  Cranberry, bacon and almonds pair perfectly with this lovely vegetable. 



Cranberry Bacon Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons canned cranberry sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup craisins
Cooking Directions
  1. Make the vinaigrette by combing the olive oil, cranberry sauce, red wine vinegar, mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and sugar in a blender until smooth.
  2. Trim the bottom of your brussels sprouts and slice in half if they are large. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the sprouts and cook for about 8 minutes, so they are fork tender.
  3. At the same time cut the bacon into small pieces and cook over medium heat in a large wok or frying pan. Cook until the bacon is crispy and then remove and put on a paper towel.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan with the left over bacon grease and heat to medium-high. Once the butter is melted add the brussels and let sit for 3-4 minutes without turning. You want them to get a little bit charred. Add the almonds and turn the brussels once, let cook for another 4 or so minutes. Add the craisins and bacon and toss letting cook again for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and pour the vinaigrette over and toss to coat. Serve warm and Enjoy!

Happy Summer friends, I hope you're enjoying it and grilling up lots of tasty meals for your family! 


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