The concept of an amuse bouche is so fabulous, isn’t it? An appetizer before my appetizer? A perfect bite of deliciousness that keeps me wanting more? I’m in.
I haven’t had an amazing amuse bouche in recent memory; in fact, I think the last note-worthy one I had was at Nougatine in NYC: it was a watermelon-jalapeno gazpacho if memory serves me correctly. The whole meal was amazing, but a great amuse bouche really sets the stage and gets you excited for the remaining courses. So obviously I had to try my hand at one. I was watching my girl-crush Laura Calder on food network Canada, and she has a very similar appetizer recipe served with toothpicks.
Forgive me for the repetitious ingredients lately: I’ll be more exciting once these wintery/holiday ingredients are used up. Bear in mind too that this could be made in larger size for a side or regular appetizer, maybe served on some celeriac puree?
Start with your apples. Dice.
Get some hot sausage going in your pan (medium/high should work). I removed the casings and tore the sausage into very small bite-sized pieces, but feel free to slice it too. Make sure they get nice and browned on all sides.
Once they’re browned adequately remove them and set aside. Put your diced apples into the same pan; add a pat of butter if you think it’s necessary.
Splash of wine to deglaze the pan and lift all those yummy brown bits
Bit of cinnamon
Bit of sugar
Now let the apples soften until they lose some of their crispness, but still have a nice bite. Then remove and set aside. Make sure to scrape all that delicious sugary sauce out and onto the apples.
Now for the sage
Heat olive oil in the same pan on medium. Throw a tiny piece of bread etc into the pan, and if it sizzles, it’s ready for the sage. Tear off individual leaves of sage and pop them in. They only need a few seconds per side to get crisp, then remove and place on a paper towel. I sprinkled just a touch of salt on the sage leaves before plating.
Now assemble. Even better if you have those large, wide-mouthed appetizer spoons to put this on. Place 1-2 pieces of sausage, 1-2 pieces of apple, and a crispy fried sage leaf on each serving. Make sure to drizzle with any butter/sugar sauce left in the apples.