A Brat by any other name is still Awesometastic!

JimRhino's Sweet & Sassy BRATwist

Despite what some think, I do not work for Johnsonville® Sausage Company. I am a raving fan, but not a ‘member’ (that’s what they call those who work for them) of that food family. I’ve been fortunate to have found a lot of success with their products in cooking and recipe contests but, outside of some prize money, swag given to contest participants, and occasional coupons available to probably anyone, have not been compensated by them.

Jim Reincke - Johnsonville Sausage Dome ChampionThis week’s recipe is the latest to shine light in my direction. Yes, it involves Johnsonville® but they just happened to be the company producing the contest. Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to THE SAUSAGE DOME! 
*ding, Ding, DING!*

This head-to-head three way battle of cooking prowess includes a successful Windy City food shoppe owner, whose sweet demeanor slighly wraps her competitors in the warmth of grandma’s apron, NONA GINA ; Nona Gina Tremonte, JimRhino, and Jeffrey Saada Celebrity Chef whose credits include appearances around the world, including on The FoodNetwork® and hosting his own show on The Cooking Channel®, JEFFREY SAAD, and a little known small town cooking champ coming back from a 4-year cooking competition hiatus, JIM “RHINO” REINCKE!

Johnsonville Sausage Six, Judges of The Sausage Dome, and Jim Reincke
The Sausage Six (Sausage Dome Judges) and me, after the win.

Few details were released with the contest announcement. Pretty much all I knew was to create a recipe that used one of Johnsonville’s products, that it may have something to do with “The Big Game” (they couldn’t use the word SUPERBOWL® because of trademark), and that the winners would compete in a head-to-head type of reality show.

Okay, let’s do this!

Checking to see what we had on hand, I felt like instead of entering the Sausage Dome, I was on an episode of CHOPPED, but that’s where I like it…getting creative. Loooong story short, here’s what ended up winning the title of CHAMPION on the first episode of THE SAUSAGE DOME

Johnsonville Sausage Brat-Twist from The Sausage Dome

What you need…

5          JVL Beer Brats
1          Can      Crescent Dough
6          Tbls      Apricot Preserves
1          Tbls      Light Brown Sugar
2          Tbls      Spiceologist’s Smoky Honey Habanero Rub – OPTIONAL
5          tsp       Water +/- as needed for smooth, but not watery, consistency
2          tsp       Orange Juice
2          tsp       Smoked Paprika
1          tsp       Agave Nectar or Honey
1/2       tsp       Mustard Powder
1/2       tsp       Cayenne Pepper Powder
5          Skewers
Cooking Spray or Oil for brushing on grill and BRATwists

What to do…

  1. Pre-heat Grill to ROCKET HOT (as hot as it will go), then back down the heat to around 400*F, Medium Heat, when placing BRATwists on the grill; 2 Zones; one side hot, the other ‘cool.’ Charcoal grill will give great flavor, but I used a gas grill with great results.
  2. Skewer Brats and, using a very sharp knife, ‘accordion cut’ while rolling along a cutting board; stretch, and evenly space, the cut JVL Brats the entire length of the skewers.

    Spiceologist Smoky Honey Habanero Rub
    Spiceologist Rub Blends Rock!
  3. If using the Smoky Honey Habanero Rub, Sprinkle each of the brats at this time. Use more or less to taste.
  4. Cut Crescent Dough into 1/4″ Strips.
  5. Tuck the strips of Crescent Dough in the space between the meat of the stretched brats; pinch ends together to join pieces as needed.
  6. Brush or spray brats lightly with oil (to keep from sticking to grill), and place on the ‘cool’ side of the grill, cover with grill lid and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, combine Apricot Preserves, Brown Sugar, Orange Juice, Paprika, Mustard Powder, Agave Nectar or Honey, and Cayenne Pepper Powder in small cooking vessel and heat thoroughly, adding just enough water to create smoother consistency; remove from heat.
  8. Turn brat skewers over, keeping them on the ‘cool’ side of the grill, and cook with lid down for an additional 5 minutes.
  9. Brush Apricot Glaze over brats, close the grill lid and cook for an additional 5 to 8 minutes, ensuring Crescent is cooked through, before removing from grill to rest for 5(ish) minutes.
  10. Being careful not to stab yourself with the skewer, viola…
    Sweet & Sassy BRATwist…ENJOY!


Coming Soon to RhinoEats.com: Johnsonville’s “No Ordinary Burger” Championship Recipe, Rhino’s Shut-Yo-Mouth Burger!

Outside Links: Johnsonville® Sausage Company; THE SAUSAGE DOME! Video, Episode 1 – “A twist of fate.”; Spiceologist; Nona Gina’s Italian Ice; FoodNetwork; The Cooking Channel; Jeffrey Saad; JimRhino on Facebook