Diary Of A Comfort Foodie: Race Day Bratwursts

Friday, February 22, 2013 - by Kent Whitaker
Bratsgoodlow
Bratsgoodlow
- photo by Kent Whitaker

The Daytona 500 is this weekend and fans will be doing something in addition to pulling for Dale Earnhardt Jr, watching Danica Patrick start on the pole and keeping an eye out for the “Big One.” There will be plenty of cooking going on! Tailgating is a tradition at any race but when done at Daytona International Speedway things take one the feel of a big game. After all, the Daytona 500 is NASCAR’s “Super Bowl.”

My wife Ally has already penciled me out as a no-show for Oscar Night even though I may pop in for some Red Carpet activities.

To kick off the racing tailgate season I think a classic recipe for Bratwursts are in order. First, there are about a zillion ways to cook a bratwurst as far as style points go. Some people use a beer bath, some use a fruit juice bath, some use a light marinade bath, and some just toss the things on the grill and go for it. All of the above are fine.

The only stead fast rule is to try your best to not puncture the casing and when done make sure that onions and peppers are involved. Or, look for some of Chattanooga’s own topping named “Slawsa.” It’s my new favorite off the shelf topping for anything on a bun. It’s a combination of slaw and relish that I’ve become slightly addicted to. It’s a Chattanooga product that’s in more and more stores across the country!

Here’s a quick way you can grill up some “Brats” for the Daytona 500

Kent’s Brat Bath

This is really a method more than it is a recipe so feel free to adjust to your taste buds. The whole point of this technique is to make sure your bratwurst stays nice and juicy! The choice of beer will add to the flavor. Play around with different varieties.

Ingredients:
1 beer – your choice

2 cups apple juice

4-8 bratwursts

Sliced onions, peppers
Slawsa
Favorite condiments

Directions: Place the beer, bratwurst, apple juice, onions and peppers in a deep sided foil pan and place directly on the grill. Close the lid and allow everything to simmer until bratwursts are beginning to puff up. Keep the pan on the grill but bring each bratwurst out and grill it until golden. Return them to the “bath” and keep them nice and moist until you serve. You can place them back on the grill briefly if you want to get rid of excess moisture. It’s probably a good idea to have additional onions and peppers sliced up as the ones in the bath will be pretty limp at this point. Serve hot on your favorite roll, bun, and bread topped with your favorite items.

Hope you enjoy the recipe and the race because if you can’t be at the race… then you might as well cook like you are! I call it tailgating in place.

(Kent Whitaker is a culinary writer and cookbook author living in Chattanooga. He is the winner of the Emeril Live BBQ contest and winner of an American Authors Association Gold medal. Mr. Whitaker’s books are in bookstores nationwide and are available online. Visit him online at www.thedeckchef.com or @theKentWhitaker)


Chattanooga FC Playing For Division Championship Saturday

The Chattanooga Football Club final home game will be played this Saturday.    With a 4-2 win over the Knoxville Force, Chattanooga controls its own destiny for a 1st place division finish when it faces off against that Nashville FC this Saturday, July 4 at Finley Stadium.  A win secures the division championship for the CFC with a home-field advantage for the ... (click for more)

Hannah Gasaway Signs Golf Commitment With Dalton State

It is a hard balance between choosing a Division I program or going the NAIA route. One offers seemingly instant fame while the other provides a lower-key environment that fosters a stronger sense of community. The latter is what Union Grove golfer Hannah Gasaway wanted. It’s what she will get at Dalton State, the North Georgia college she verbally committed to last month. ... (click for more)

Fuel Spill Shuts Down Westbound Traffic At I-24/Hwy. 27 Split; Multiple Vehicles Involved In Crash

Chattanooga Police on Saturday morning were at the scene of a traffic crash involving an 18-wheeler at the I-24/Hwy. 27 split in the westbound lanes. At 7:33 p.m., police said I -24 westbound was shut down due to a fuel spill from the crash. E mergency crews were working to clear the roadway. The wreck blocked the freeway for several hours. T raffic was diverted ... (click for more)

Plumbers Bring Complaints To WWTA; Told New Contracts Are Ready

Several plumbers on Thursday brought complaints to a committee of the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) and got little response other than being told that new contracts are ready. Kay Keefe of Keefe Plumbing said the small number of plumbing companies still participating in the program to repair leaky lines to homes, have long been operating without ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Fourth Of July, 2015

As one who is about good and fed up with being “socially correct” so less than 10 percent of us can dictate how the other 90 percent of us ought to think, I am going to pause today in order to share a wonderfully fun email that has been around for a while. It is aptly called, “You Could Have Heard A Pin Drop.” Before I do, I got a sweet note the other day from my dear friend ... (click for more)