Cooking with Liqueurs #1

One of the topics I wanted to get to this year was cooking with liqueurs, since that isn't something the Food Network or other food shows spend much time talking about, aside from white wine in risotto or red wine in a pan sauce. I can't decide what to think about Sandra Lee and her cocktails.

So here's a start. Not much of a start, but a start. I'd bought some Johnsonville hot Italian sausages on markdown at WM. You can often get good buys on meat and chicken there if the Sell By date is tomorrow. Plunk, it goes into the freezer so tomorrow never, uh, comes, dies - some metaphor is dying here.

A couple nights ago I took it out to defrost (no, not in the fridge, violating all safe food handling rules, but in the sink, then into the fridge). Last night I went to cook some up for supper.

When did they start putting odd numbers of sausages or whatever in packages? There were 5 in this one. Two for Daddy Bear, two for Momma Bear, and one for Baby Bear? Or is it the Asian odd number is good luck thing? So I went for 2 for Daddy Dog and half to be shared by Baby Dogs. My little monsters aren't starving by any means.

What to cook it with? I had a white onion, so I cut up half of that in a peasant chop and used about half of that. I have a small (7 inch maybe) non-stick skillet that I use a lot, so first I browned the sausages on two sides to give them some color. Then I added the chopped onion, sprinkled a little kosher salt over everything, and finally, poured in a little applejack, about braising depth, if that much. Covered it up and let it simmer away.

Why did I use applejack? Well, I think of sausages going well with apples, so that was one consideration. Second, I wasn't a big fan of applejack when I used it in cocktails, and no point in letting it go to waste. Third, it would be silly to use calvados for this.

I let the applejack pretty much cook off, maybe 10 minutes. I didn't pull out the mustard like I usually do with sausage, but the sausages with the onions were very tasty and didn't need a condiment. I can't say they tasted appley, but everything had a good flavor, and didn't taste like I'd just thrown some sausage in a frying pan.

Rosa, my dachshund-terrier mix and no. 1 fan of my cooking, gave it 2 pricked ears up.