Saturday, June 7, 2014

Make Ahead Grilled Brats and Beer...Wisconsin Style!

Nothing says a Wisconsin picnic like Brats soaked in beer and onions.  They are very juicy and full of flavor.  I like to make the brats ahead of time so someone isn't stuck grilling and unable to join in on the picnic.

12 - 24 fresh Johnsonville bratwursts (not pre-cooked)
3 - 4 large onions
2 TBS olive oil or 2 TBS margarine
6 (12 ounce) cans beer (any style)
2 cans beef broth
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS hot sauce
2 tsp celery salt or onion salt
2 tsp pepper

Place brats in large saucepan and cover with 2 cans of beer and 1 can of beef broth.  Bring to boil.  Lower the temperature and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, sauté sliced onions in olive oil or margarine.  Cover and cook slow, turning onions often until tender.  Do not caramelize.

Drain bratwurst.  Discard the beer/broth mixture.  Place the brats on a hot gas or charcoal grill.  Brown evenly on both sides.  Watch them carefully.  The sausage fat can cause flare-ups.  Remove from the grill when browned. Do not overcook.  They only need to be browned because they will cook more later.

Place the cooked onions in a crock pot.  Place the brats on top of the onions.  Mix together 4 cans of beer, 1 can of beef broth, garlic, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Add to the brats and onions.  (If you only make 12 brats, you may not need all 4 cans of beer...use enough to cover the brats).

Refrigerate.  Remove from the refrigerator two hours before eating.

Reheat in a crock pot on high for about 2 hours.

If you plan to serve immediately after grilling, heat the remaining beer, onions, and remaining ingredients before adding the grilled bratwurst. 

Before serving, I prefer to remove the onions and the bratwurst from the liquid and place into separate bowls so you don't have to "fish" for your food.

Source:  This is a combination of about three recipes and some of my own additions.  So, I guess it is somewhat my own creation.


Vanilla Ice Cream

I have been making homemade ice for many years.  I remember as a kid making it using a hand-crank ice cream maker and snow.  I'm so glad someone invented the electric ice cream maker!  However, it was a lot of fun sitting on the kitchen floor and taking turns churning, even though Dad did most of the work.  I use Eggbeaters instead of real eggs because I do not cook my ice cream on the stove and I don't want to risk anyone getting sick.  

Eggbeaters equivalent to 6 eggs

2 1/4 cups sugar
6 cups heavy whipping cream
3 cups whole milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Whisk Eggbeaters until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Slowly, whisk in the sugar.  Whisk until blended, about 1-2 minutes.  Add cream and milk.  Blend.  Pour into ice cream maker and churn per instructions for your maker.

After the ice cream is done churning, add any additional candies etc. that you like. 
Ice cream will be soft.  Freeze overnight before serving.

Some of our family favorites are:  Chocolate Heath Bits, Mini Chocolate Chips, Mint Chocolate Chip, Butterfinger candy bars, Recess Peanut Buttercups, Chocolate Chip Cookie dough (I called Pillsbury and they said their refrigerated dough is safe to eat raw), caramel and/or chocolate fudge Smucker's ice cream topping swirled into the ice cream. 

For the Butterfinger I use 10 of the .75 oz bars or 12 of the .65 oz size bars for a 1/2 gallon of ice cream. (break the candy bars into pieces)
For the Recess Peanut Buttercups I use about 12 Peanut Buttercups (cut into pieces) for a 1/2 gallon of ice cream.
For the Heath Bits, I use about 8 oz for a 1/2 gallon. 
For Mint Chocolate Chip, I use 2 cups Mini chocolate chips,  2 tsp peppermint extract and 1/2 tsp green food coloring for 1 gallon. (add the extract and food coloring before you place into the electric ice cream maker.  Fold in the chocolate chips after the ice cream is finished churning).

**The picture above is vanilla ice cream with Smucker's Caramel swirled into the churned ice cream.  I place the ice cream in the Tupperware container and gently swirl the caramel throughout the ice cream with a spoon.  The caramel tends to sink to the bottom more than the chocolate fudge does so you may need to remove the ice cream from the freezer after about 2 or 3 hours or so and gently fold the caramel throughout the ice cream again so it isn't all sitting on the bottom of the container.

Makes 1 gallon
Source:  Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book 


Beef Stroganoff

I have been making this recipe since I was a newlywed.  It has been a family favorite for over 50 years now.  Serve this with green beans or asparagus and a salad and you have a wonderful meal. I usually double this recipe so I have left-overs.

1 lb round steak - 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
1 cup water
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 (3 oz) can sliced mushrooms, do not drain
1 (8 oz) pkg sliced mushrooms (optional)
2 TBS flour
1 cup sour cream
8 oz. egg noodles, cooked according to package

Trim fat from meat; reserve fat.  Cut meat diagonally across the grain in 1/4 inch wide strips (very thin).  Heat fat in fry pan.  When you have almost 3 TBS of fat, remove the trimming.  (If you do not want to fry the fat, you can heat 3 TBS oil.)  Add the meat and brown quickly.  Add water, dry onion soup mix and Worcestershire sauce.  Simmer for 10 minutes or until meat is tender.  Add canned mushrooms (including the mushroom liquid) and fresh mushrooms (if using).  Simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes. 

Blend sour cream and flour together.  Add to the meat mixture.  Cook and stir until mixture thickens slightly.  The sauce will be fairly thin. 

Serve over hot egg noodles.

Serves 4
Source: Better Homes and Gardens - 1958