Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bangers and Mash

On a recent trip to Bar Harbor, ME, we went to this Irish pub/restaurant-- the only place that would take 15 of us half an hour before closing. This restaurant, McKays, seemed pretty casual and laidback, set in an oldish looking Victorian with a beautiful front garden. The chairs and tables were traditional, almost plain wood, again adding to the oh so casual ambience. But let me tell you the food was anything but plain and casual! Like most places in Maine, seafood- lobster in particular was the highlight but having OD'ed on lobster (never thought that would happen!) over the past couple of days I settled on their version of Bangers and Mash made with duck. Bangers and Mash is basically British slang for sausage links and mashed potatoes, it makes for a simple, delicious yet hardy dinner especially on a particularly cool night on Mt. Desert island. I'd never had duck before and couldnt have asked for a better first. Spicy duck sausage complemented by slightly bitter greens and velvety smooth mashed potatoes topped with a tangy mustard sauce....mmmmm....comfort food glory!

So when I came back home and had a major craving I hit the stores but couldnt find duck sausages anywhere. Grudgingly I had to settle for Whole food's Smokey Andouille Chicken sausage. Although, I must admit they were really good- they paled in comparison to the crumbly texture of duck...oh well, am sure we'll go back to McKays again someday and when we do...Mr. Duck sausage better be ready to get annihilated (have been hanging around nephews too long!)...

Recipe (serves 2)

For "Bangers":
1/2 lb chicken sausage (2 gigantic links)
1 tbsp vegetable oil

In a shallow but wide pan fry the sausages till golden brown. Cut lengthwise through the middle invert and fry again to make sure the insides also get a crispy coating. Take sausages out, drain on paper towels till ready to assemble (should be quick).

For Greens:
4 cups of fresh greens
2 cloves garlic minced
salt to taste

Add garlic to the same pan you fried sausages in. Fry for about a minute on low-medium heat. Add spinach and salt and cook till wilted and dark green (about 4 minutes).

For Mashed potatoes:
5 small-medium cooked and peeled red potatoes (cooked in microwave HIGH for 12 mins)
1 1/2 cups of milk
salt and pepper to taste

I wanted bland mashed potatoes so their taste and smell didn't overwhelm all the other flavors, hence the super simple recipe. Bring milk to a boil in a saucepan. Add cooked potatoes and mash till smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. If potatoes seem to thick, add more milk/water.

For mustard sauce:
1 tbsp coarsely ground mustard
1/4 cup Italian dressing

Whisk the two ingredients thoroughly and heat in a saucepan.


I put a layer of mashed potatoes on the plate, then some greens and then added the sausage. Finally topped it off with mustard sauce.

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