Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage with Shrimp, Peppers and Caramelized Onions over Creamy Polenta

The Bilinski's sausage challenge presented a few firsts for me. This was the first time that I tried Bilinski Sausage Company's sausage, the first time that I caramelized onions and the first time that I made polenta. Have I been missing out! After this challenge, I will be seeking out other Bilinski's sausages to try. All of their sausages are antibiotic-free, soy-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, casing-free, and preservative-free. Yet, they are full of flavor and packed with healthy chicken and organic herbs and spices. What a perfect product to add to my family's meals.

We were challenged to create a dish to pair with the Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage. The sausage was delicious on it's own, with a hint of sweetness from the balsamic vinegar. I knew that it would pair well with shrimp, peppers and caramelized onions.

Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage with Shrimp, Peppers and Caramelized Onions over Creamy Polenta
by Tonda

For the onions:
3 teaspoons butter
Olive oil to coat the pan
3 large yellow sweet onions, sliced

For the polenta:
2 cups milk
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup polenta
1 cup shredded Italian 4 cheese blend

For the sausage and shrimp mixture:
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Cajun Seasoning
Cooking spray for grill pan
1 green pepper, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 orange pepper, sliced
6 Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausages
Italian flat leaf parsley, minced

Let's start by caramelizing the onions as they need to cook low and slow. Coat the bottom of the saute pan with olive oil and butter. Heat the pan on medium-high until the oil starts to shimmer. Add the onions and toss to coat them with oil. Saute the onions until golden, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to medium-low to prevent the onions from burning and/or drying out. If they do start to dry, add a little bit of water to the pan. Let the onions cook for approximately 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Keep the onions evenly spread over the pan. As you get closer to the 30 minute mark, you may need to turn the heat down a little and stir more often. The end result is sweet and bursting with flavor. Set the onions aside.

Next let's preheat the grill to a medium-high temperature before we start the polenta.

Now, for the polenta...Add the milk, water and salt to the top of a double boiler. Heat the mixture to a boil. Gradually add the polenta, stirring constantly until thickened. Cook, stirring frequently, for approximately 25 minutes. Blend in the cheese when the polenta is cooked and tender.

Back to the grill...Sprinkle the shrimp with the seasoning. Spray the grill pan with cooking spray and let it heat up on the grill. Turn the heat down to medium and add the peppers. Cook for approximately 10 minutes. The skin will start to blister. Add the sausage to the grill halfway through the cook time of the peppers. Grill the sausage 4 minutes per side. After 10 minutes, add the shrimp to the peppers in the grill pan and cook for approximately 5 minutes, until done.

Assemble the plate with polenta, caramelized onions, peppers, shrimp and one link of sausage, sliced. Sprinkle with parsley.


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