By Mike Thayer
The wife and I had a guest over for dinner tonight and we had grilled salmon, rice pilaf, salad, it was very tasty.
But after enjoying the salmon and with the charcoals still kicking out some heat, I thought about what I could do to take advantage of the remaining fire. I looked in the fridge and there were six Johnsonville Brats just begging me to get them on the grill.
So winging it, I put them in an iron skillet, with onion powder and one cup of sweet Chardonnay wine (a new offering from Franzia), doing so because I didn't have any beer on hand. I always like to precook my brats in some kind of broth before putting them over the coals. If I don't have beer on hand, I usually do some water and slice up some onion and garlic. But tonight, it was sweet Chardonnay wine and onion powder. I let those brats just simmer in that for about 20 minutes over the coals and boy was it worth it! After the simmering bath, I put the brats on the direct fire to give them that kiss of smoky flavor and let me tell you, these are better than beer brats!
I served a tasting over the rice pilaf my wife had made for the salmon, it was fantastic! I got a nice little smoke ring on the brats from the low and slow charcoal heat remaining from the salmon grill. The brats were juicy, they picked up the sweet chardonnay flavor, the hint of onion came through. These things were so good, we had to go for seconds even though we were comfortably full from a very nice, restaurant caliber salmon dinner. It was a new flavor profile for the brats, no bun needed, no dessert desired!
The true taste testers, my three sons, gave the impromptu brat recipe a best ever thumbs up!
So to sum, that's six brats, one cup of sweet chardonnay wine, some onion powder. Simmer in an iron skillet on the grill for about 20 minutes, then finish by taking the brats out of the bath and grilling them over direct heat to desired doneness.