Quick Turkey Breakfast Sausage

Quick Turkey Breakfast Sausage

Quick Breakfast Sausage

I am on a huge breakfast sandwich kick right now.  No idea, but I love the combination of sausage, egg and cheese.  However, this new kick has not been to good to my waistline.  So I decided to find out a way to eat my favorite meal and keep my stomach happy while keep my waistline in check.

Quick Turkey Breakfast Sausage

Add brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, sage, thyme marjoram and red pepper flakes to a bowl and mix.

The Spice Mixture

Add the ground turkey. Mix thoroughly to combine.

Combine with the turkey

Form the mixture into 2-3 oz patties and pan fry over medium/ high heat for about 4-5 minutes per side.

Quick Sausage Frying Up

Serve as is or along with a fried egg and cheese in a breakfast sandwich.

The Perfect Sausage Breakfast Sandwich

Quick Turkey Breakfast Sausage
Author: 
Recipe type: Sausage
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
A quick turkey breakfast sausage that is easy to make, delicious to eat and plays friendly with your waistline.
Ingredients
  • 1 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp ground thyme
  • ½ tsp dried marjoram
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, sage, thyme marjoram and red pepper flakes to a bowl and mix.
  2. Add the ground turkey. Mix thoroughly to combine.
  3. Form the mixture into 2-3 oz patties and pan fry.
  4. Serve as is or along with a fried egg and cheese in a breakfast sandwich.

This sausage was flavorful, delicious and easy to make.  Make sure to make nice and thin patties.  I tried making a 4 oz patty that was similar to a hamburger.  It was delicious, but a ton of meat for 8 AM.  It totally overpowered the egg and cheese.  However, it was good, so if you like a lot of meat, try it out.

Quick Ragu Pasta

Quick Ragu Pasta

Quick Ragu Pasta

I know that when the average foodie hears the like of Rachel Ray they cringe, but I just tried a take on one of her recipes and it was pretty darn good.  As a man that likes to eat I will try just about anything once.  Granted I have tried a couple of her recipes and had less than great results. However, this one hit the nail on the head.  Her Christmas Pasta recipe is great.  I modified it a bit to help with standard shopping ingredients and sizes, but for the most part left it as-is.  The pancetta to start if off adds some great flavors.  Plus this recipe makes a ton of sauce and then allows you to cook only the pasta necessary for each meal.  Only two of you, make 1/2 lb of pasta and you are good to go.  Want some leftovers for lunch, boil some fresh pasta and toss it with some leftover sauce.  There is nothing like fresh pasta to make leftovers not taste like leftovers. I also changed the name as it is more of a Ragu than anything.

Quick Ragu Pasta

Heat a dutch oven or large heavy bottom pot over medium high heat.

Brown the garlic and pancetta

Add oil, bay, and pancetta bits and brown for 1 minute. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Make sure to stir frequently so the garlic does not burn.

Add the meat

Add meats and brown.  Using a wooden spoon crumble and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

Add the veg

Add the carrots, celery, and onions to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes.

Veggie time spectacular

Add the wine and cook for 1 minute.

Sauce it up

Add stock and tomatoes to the pot.

Spice it up

Stir in parsley, allspice and season sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.

The perfect sauce

Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and cook 10 to 15 minutes minimum before serving.

The Pasta

Cook as much of the pasta as needed. Toss the pasta with a couple of ladles of sauce.

Toss it up

Finish the pasta off with some freshly grated Parmesan and a sprinkle of parsley.

The perfect meal

 

Quick Ragu Pasta
Author: 
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: Ragu
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
A quick Ragu Pasta based on Rachel Ray's Christmas Pasta. Boil as much pasta as needed and toss in the sauce. Save the sauce in the fridge and heat as needed. This is the perfect pasta for a whole week full of meals.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • ¼ pound pancetta, thick cut, chopped into small bits (Italian cured pork, ask at deli counter)
  • 1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
  • 1 pound meatloaf mix (ground beef, pork and veal)
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Cabernet Savignon
  • 14oz can beef broth
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans chunky style crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs flat leaf parsley leaves
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • Coarse salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 boxes penne
  • Grated Pecorino Romano
Instructions
  1. Heat a dutch oven or large heavy bottom pot over medium high heat. Add oil, bay, and pancetta bits and brown for 1 minute. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Make sure to stir frequently so the garlic does not burn..
  2. Add meats and brown. Using a wooden spoon crumble and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots, celery, and onions to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add stock and tomatoes to the pot.
  6. Stir in parsley, allspice and season sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and cook 10 to 15 minutes minimum before serving.
  8. Cook as much of the pasta as needed. Toss the pasta with a couple of ladles of sauce.
  9. Finish the pasta off with some freshly grated Parmesan and a sprinkle of parsley.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Rachel Ray's Christmas Pasta - http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/christmas-pasta-recipe/index.html

Nobody was more surprised than me by how easy and delicious this recipe actually was.

Quick Ragu

You have to try this out!

Grilled stuffed Jalapenos

Grilled stuffed Jalapenos

The other day I picked up a Jalapeno rack and was extremely excited to try it out.  In my excited state, I totally forgot that that February is not the best time to find jalapenos.  However, after a long search I found some fresh jalapenos.

Grilled Stuffed Jalapenos on a Jalapeno Rack

There are a ton of companies that make jalapeno racks.  I choose the cheapest rack that included a corer and free shipping.  That rack was the King Kooker 36 hole jalapeno rack.

To Start you need some ripe jalapenos.  Jalapenos are a tad bit hard to come by, in the middle of February in Virginia, but I found some.

Jalapenos

Wash and core your jalapenos.  I picked up this jalapeno rack not only because it was the cheapest, but because it included a corer.  The corer was totally worth the money all on its own.  It cleanly sliced through the innards of the jalapeno like a hot knife through butter.

The corer

You can also use a paring knife, but I recommend getting a corer.  Once the insides are scooped out, rinse them out with water.

Cored

Next stuff the insides with a combination of hot link sausage and cream cheese.  I purchased a single link of sausage from the butcher, sliced off the casing and then stuffed the jalapenos.  I stuffed the jalapenos about half-way up with the sausage and then topped them off with the cream cheese.

Stuffed with sausage and cream cheese

I also made some that were cheese only.  I stuffed them with alternating layers of cream cheese and cheddar cheese.

Stuffed with Cheddar and Cream Cheese

Once all of the peppers were stuffed I topped them with a sprinkle of seasoned salt.  I like Lawry’s but you can find a ton of different ones at the store.

Place each of the jalapenos into one of the holes in the rack and place on a medium temperature preheated grill (roughly 350 degrees).

Jalapenos in the rack

Cook for about 20 minutes and check.  You may have to rotate the tray if you have hot spots on the grill.

Partially Cooked

Continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes or until the jalapenos are darkened and soft.

Fully Cooked

Remove and serve.

Grilled Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

These were out of this world.  I had trouble finding Dana after I was done cooking.  Therefore, she only received one of these precious gems.  Needless to say, I was in the dog house for eating all but one of them.

Grilled stuffed Jalapenos
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Cored and stuffed jalapenos filled with cooling cream cheese. The perfect combination.
Ingredients
  • 12 Jalapenos
  • 1 8oz package Cream Cheese
  • 4 oz Hot Sausage
  • 2 tsp seasoned salt
Instructions
  1. Wash and core the jalapenos.
  2. Fill each jalapeno half way up with sausage.
  3. Then top off each jalapeno with the cream cheese.
  4. Dust each stuffed pepper with seasoned salt.
  5. Preheat a grill to medium heat (350 degrees).
  6. Place the jalapenos on a jalapeno rack directly over the heat and grill for 30-35 minutes or until the jalapenos are softened.
  7. Eat and serve.
Notes
If you wish you can stuff with ground beef, taco meat, mild sausage or even switch out the sausage for cheddar cheese.

 

Mental note, next time share.

 

Where to get Sausage Casings

Where to get Sausage Casings

After Thursday Blog about Jalapeno Cheddar Bratwurst, I recieved a bunch of emails regarding sausage casings and where to get them.  FYI- I started to make my own sausages a couple of months back after receiving the sausage making attachment for my Kitchen Aid Mixer, and also after taking a sausage making class at the local Sur La Table.  After learning how to make sausages I wanted to make my own all of the time.  The only problem, where does one get natural sausage casings.  I had no idea.  I searched for hours.

There are two main sources, local sources and internet sources.  If you are in a pinch or need casings tomorrow use the local sources.  The one caviat is that local sources cost a whole lot more.  If you have a couple of days, I would definately order them online.

Local Sources

  • Butcher shops that make their own sausages.  The butcher will gladly sell you a couple of feet of casings.  The one problem is that most mega marts don’t make their own sausages, so you need to call around or find a butcher shop.
  • Gander Mountain (if you live in or around a city).
  • Bass Proshop (if you live in or around a city).
  • Most outdoor and hunting shops sell them too.

Internet Sources

  • Syracuse Casing Company – They make their own casings so they are fresh.  Plus they put the casings on tubes before salting for easy cleaning and mounting onto your sausage horn.

I recommend the Syracuse Casing Company.  They ship fast and provide a fine product.  The other companies online might give a better deal, but they are just reselling a product made and packaged by another company.  If you want to go cheap here are a list of other sites.

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

I have been making pizzas quite a bit on the blog. My old roommate Mark asks me each time I post a pizza, when are you going to write about the Chicago style pizza you used to make back in college. Well Mark, this one is for you. Quite frankly I was scared to recreate this meal, as it contains over 5lbs of food. Granted I could only eat one slice, but come on, it is pizza. So here is my recipe for the Deep Dish.

This one topped out at 5.5lbs. Now that is a pizza.

Deep Dish Pizza Dough

  • 1 cup warm water – (110-115 degrees)
  • 1 package yeast
  • 2 1/2-3 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Pizza Pie

  • 1 dough – (Recipe Above)
  • 1 package fresh hot Italian sausage
  • 6oz pepperoni slices
  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2lb mozzarella cheese slices
  • 1 tbs fresh basil
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 grated parmesan cheese

Dough Time

The first step is to make the dough.  Pour the water, yeast and 1/2 cup of the flour into a bowl.  Let a sponge form, about 5 minutes. Then add 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup cornmeal, salt and 1/2 cup vegetable oil.  Mix by hand or in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.  Once everything starts to incorporate, slowly add another 1/2 cup of flour.  Continue doing this until the dough pulls away from the edge of the bowl and does not absorb any more flour.

Dough ready to go
Dough ready to go

Then roll it out onto a hard floured surface and knead until smooth.

Place in a oiled bowl and let rise until doubled.

Time for the sauce

To make the sauce first drain the can of tomatoes.  If you don’t your pizza will get soggy.  Next place them in a bowl with salt, pepper, the basil and the garlic.

Fresh Basil Makes the Sauce Pop
Fresh Basil Makes the Sauce Pop

Using your hands or a pastry blender, squish the tomatoes and create a rustic sauce.

Crush the tomatoes to make the sauce
Crush the tomatoes to make the sauce

Time to form the Dough

Next find a good pizza pan.  I have found that the best pan for me is a 12in spring form pan.  It works great, has high edges and the pizza always slides right out.  Otherwise if you have a nice pizza pan go for it.  they usually come in 12in and 15in pans.  If you want the real Chicago experience go for the 15in Deep Dish pan.

The Spring Form Works Great
The Spring Form Works Great

Now that you have the perfect pan, grease it with vegetable oil. Next place the dough in the center of the pan.

Slowly punch down the middle and work it toward the edges. Next bring it up the sides about 2-3 inches.

Bring the Dough up about 2-3 inches on the edge
Bring the Dough up about 2-3 inches on the edge

Time to fill

Start with the cheese.  Traditional Chicago style deep dish pizzas start out with the cheese on the bottom so that it doesn’t burn during the long cook time.  So layer the cheese down first.

First add the Cheese, thick layer on the bottom
First add the Cheese, thick layer on the bottom

Next add the pepperoni in a thick layer.

Pepperoni Time
Pepperoni Time

Now add the slightly cooked sausage.  Traditionally they add the raw sausage to the pizza, but my home oven can not reach the temperatures of the ovens in the pizzerias in Chicago.  So if you use raw sausage it probably won’t cook through all the way.  Further by the time that it does cook through, your crust will be burnt.  So slightly cook the sausage until no longer pink on the outside.  Then layer it into the pizza pan.

Sausage Time
Sausage Time

Now cover the pizza with the pizza sauce.  It will probably require all of it.

Covered with Sauce
Covered with Sauce

Finally dust the top with the Parmesan cheese.

Dust with Parmesan Cheese (the fake stuff works great for this)
Dust with Parmesan Cheese (the fake stuff works great for this)

Place into a preheated 500 degree oven for 15 minutes.  When the time is up turn the oven down to 400 degrees and continue to bake for 25 minutes.

Right out of the oven
Right out of the oven

This is an amazing pie weighing in at 5 1/2 lbs.  That is a lot of pizza.  I have taken the liberty of photographing the finished pie next to my beer to show you the true scale of this beast.

Now that is how to make a pizza NY
Now that is how to make a pizza NY

When cut it makes some big slices.

So many layers of meat
So many layers of meat

Not very many people can say that they had the same pizza for four meals.  I am proud of this one.  It is amazing.

Review: Home Sausage Making

home sausage making Every wednesday I review a cookbook to help weed out the good the bad and the ugly. This week I am reviewing Home Sausage Making. I have been addicted to everything about making homemade sausages since I took a sausage making class at sur la table in March. In the quest for more knowledge I have been grabbing every single book about sausage making. Today’s book is informative with everything that you need to know to start making sausages.
Part One: Basic Technique

This book has 50 pages dedicated to the basics of sausage making.  This is an extremely helpful section for a novice sausage maker.  It covers equipment from meat grinders, sausage stuffers, measuring tools, thermometers, and basic ingredients.  It even covers topics such as nitrates for dried and cured meats.  The best part of this book occurs on pages 26-27.  On these two pages there are drawings illustrating the 8 basic steps to making sausage. Oh, don’t forget to check out page 49 with a macgyver’s guide to making your own smoke house using a metal barrel, 6″ stovepipe and a few bricks.  This is clutch if you ever find yourself on a desert island with a bunch of meat, casings, a grinder and the above listed hardware.

Part Two: Sausages

The Home Sausage Making book includes over 100 sausage recipes to make at home.  This includes but is not limited to pork, beef, game, poultry and seafood sausages.  They have an extensive list of all of the most popular types of sausage including breakfast sausage, bratwurst, kielbasa, pizza sausage and frankfurters.  The recipes are easy to read, include basic ingredients and are well written.  Plus, most of of the sausage recipes include a brief history of each type of sausage and suggested cooking instructions.  On a side note, I noticed that most of the recipes are just meat and spices and fail to include a binding ingredient.  While not necessary, binding ingredients improve the overall texture and moisture of the sausage.

I was extremely interested in the seafood sausages.  This seemed quite weird to me.  Nothing sounds more awesome than fish chopped up and stuffed in animal innards.  Page 193 lists one of the craziests sausages that I have ever read about, especially since it includes a 1/2 cup of alcohol and 8 medium sized squid.  Needless to say, I am going to be making this in a couple of weeks. 

Part Three: Cooking Sausages

The third section of the book suggest sausages and recipes for each sausage based on the time of the day.  Sausage and Apple pancake roll-ups for breakfast, Guacamole with chorizo for appetizers and Sausage pizza for lunch or dinner.  The recipes all sound great.  The best recipe I read about and one that I am going to have to recreate is a sausage filled piroshki.  It is a russian dumpling that is baked and filled with sausage, egg and onion.  It sounds awesome.  I love sausage, egg and pastry. 

Overall this book is very informative and includes a lot of great instructions and recipes.  Even though none of the recipes that I read included binding agents the seasonings and meat combinations were traditional and sounded delicious.  While the basic ingredients are good, the lack of fillers will create juicy sausages that will fall apart, dry up and lack in the great textures that you are used to.  So, If you are looking for a great informative book on how to make sausages you may want to pick up this book.  If you already are knowledgable about the art of sausage making and want a book with sausage recipes you might want to pass.