Monday, April 28, 2008

Potato Apple Casserole with Maple Sausage

This is one of those dishes that I made up in my head as I rode the bus home. It pretty much snowed all day here (boooourns!), so I wanted something more wintry. Potatoes. Carrots. That kind of thing. Plus, I wanted to work in some of the maple syrup I bought on the weekend. The end result was a mix between scalloped potatoes and a casserole. The boys loved it, I had thirds, and there was only a little bit left when dinner was done.

- 6-7 Yukon gold potatoes, skins on, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 vidalia onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 carrots, thinly sliced
- 2 maple sausages, chopped into large chunks (see below)
- 1 1/2 cup canned white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 heaping tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 cup soy creamer
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 tsp thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large McIntosh apple, cored and thinly sliced

1. Boil potato slices in salted water for 1 min, until softened but still firm. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a large frying pan over med-hi heat. Saute onion and celery for 4-5 mins, until onion is translucent. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and carrots. Cook for 8-10 mins, until carrots soften. Add chopped sausage and beans to the pan.
3. Add maple syrup and 1 cup of the water. Bring to bubbling. Dissolve cornstarch in remaining 1/4 cup of water and add to pan. Bring to bubbling. Add soy creamer and spices, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
5. Grease a large casserole dish and place a layer of potatoes on the bottom. Top with 1/3 of the apple slices, and 1/3 of the sausage mixture. Top that with another layer of potatoes and apples, and 1/3 of the sausage mixture. Repeat, and top with a final layer of potatoes.
6. Lightly spray potatoes with oil and bake for 30-35 minutes, until casserole is bubbling and potatoes are golden brown.

A Note on Maple Sausage
- To make maple sausage, make the breakfast sausage recipe, but increase maple syrup by replacing 1/4 of the water with maple syrup. Also, add 1/2 tsp maple extract. Make four large sausages.