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)


UTC's Jay Hay Has Found a Football Home

“Without a doubt, I cannot think of a place I would rather be than here at UTC playing football. The veteran players welcomed me this summer as a junior college transfer with open arms.” UTC defensive back Jay Hay It’s been a crazy, at times frustrating and difficult, four-year football journey for Dade County, Fla. native Jeremiah “Jay” ... (click for more)

Marion County Stops Grundy Co. 49-22

JASPER -- Running backs Josh Henderson and Blake Zeman combined for six touchdowns as host Marion County defeated Grundy County, 49-22, in the season opener for both teams as Rick Ross gained his first head coaching win. Zeman scored on runs of 2, 56 and 13 yards, while Henderson scampered 43 and 3 yards on the ground and caught a 67 yard scoring ... (click for more)

School Board Delays Decision On Big-Ticket Health Insurance Item For 1 Week

The Hamilton County School Board on Thursday night voted to delay a vote on a new insurance plan for employees until next Thursday. Sandy Hughes, president of the Hamilton County Education Association, said, "I have a difficult time trying to think of what priority in spending is more important than the well-being of your employees and their children...You've not given us enough ... (click for more)

Man Charged In Westview Elementary Rampage Under Treatment At Moccasin Bend

The 22-year-old charged with a rampage through Westview Elementary School is under treatment at Moccasin Bend Psychiatric Hospital, officials said. Aaron Roden had been set for his first court appearance on Thursday morning. Attorney Allen Dunn of the public defender's office said the hearing needed to be delayed. A status court appearance will be Sept. 23 at 1:30 p.m. Sheriff ... (click for more)

Black Creek TIF Decision-Who Guards The Hen House? - And Response

Citizens of Chattanooga were invited to give public comment before their own Industrial Development Board Aug. 15. They arrived to find foxes guarding their hen house.  Many thought the meeting was their opportunity to seek redress in the ill-conceived Black Creek Tax Increment Financing plan. However, they learned it was a sham orchestrated by both the past and present ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Coaches Vs. ‘Top 25’ Foes

The long-accepted measuring stick for a college football coach has been his win-loss record, with an after-glance at his win-loss record within his conference. But in Wednesday’s editions of the Wall Street Journal, writer David Everson, with the help of Stats LLC, used a much-tougher litmus test when he revealed the records of 65 major-college coaches against opponents that were ... (click for more)