Dinner Tonight: Grilled Italian Sausages with Roasted Grapes and Sheep's Milk Cheese

Dinner Tonight

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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

The Great Lakes region may not be Napa, but that doesn't mean it's completely devoid of grapes. I mean, where else did you think all that grape juice comes from? Still, the area has far more to offer than just freakishly purple Concords (which can be delicious). I recently picked up some nicely acidic Candice grapes from nearby Michigan, which I realized would cook well without completely turning into a sweet, sticky jam.

That got me thinking that roasted grapes are often served with sausages, and before I could quite realize what I had done, I had unleashed my inner Hot Doug and decided to serve everything together on a bun.

Of course, I didn't want to straight copy anything on Hot Doug's menu, but I did pull away some pointers from when I ate everything single item on menu. The main one was that I needed something to counter the sweetness of the roasted grapes; that's where a funky, salty sheep's milk cheese came in. As for the sausage, I assumed that a spicy Italian would work, but it was one step too far. Instead, I found that a mild Italian sausage, or any mild pork sausage for that matter, works much better.

Though I know I haven't quite equaled the same level of encased meat excellence of Doug Sohn, this is an honorable first try, and one that I wouldn't mind serving at a backyard grill-out.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is the editor of Serious Eats: Chicago. He loves tacos and spicy food. You can follow him as @nickdk on Twitter.

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