THE YANKEE CHEF: Cooler temperatures demand a ragout

A dish of Peppery Sausage Ragout is shown.

Peppery Sausage RagoutINGREDIENTS

2 links sweet or hot Italian sausage, sliced and halved

2 tablespoons olive oil1 pound potatoes, diced small

1 small onion, diced1 bell pepper, diced

½ cup whole kernel corn1 large, hard, tart apple, peeled, cored and diced

2 tablespoons ketchup2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons water1 teaspoon hot sauce

Polenta:¾ cup water¾ cup milk3 tablespoons cornmeal

½ teaspoon each salt and cracked black pepper

INSTRUCTIONSIn a large skillet over medium high heat, sausage, cooking and turning until completely cooked through. Remove sausage and set aside. Add oil until hot, then add potatoes, onion, bell pepper, corn and apple, stirring to combine well. Reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, whisk ketchup, mustard, water and hot sauce; set aside.

When potatoes are ready, remove lid and add sausage back into the pan along with ketchup mixture. Stir well, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer while making polenta.

Bring water and milk to a boil over medium high heat in a medium saucepan. Slowly stream the cornmeal into water mixture with one hand and whisk with the other, until all cornmeal has been added. Immediately remove from heat and whisk in salt and pepper

To serve, ladle a third of the polenta on a plate along with a third of the ragout. Repeat with 2 additional plates and serve hot.

The Yankee Chef Jim Bailey is a third-generation chef, food columnist, cookbook author and food historian. Bailey lives in Maine with his wife and four children.

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