One of my favorite breakfast meals is biscuits and sausage gravy. I just love tender biscuits covered in thick and creamy sausage gravy. I prefer a spicy sausage in mine, but with the kids eating my food these days, I have to opt for mild. Sad but they will grow up soon. Then I can get back to the spicy stuff. The great thing about this recipe, is that it works with any type of sausage that you enjoy!
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.
Add the ground turkey. Mix thoroughly to combine.
Form the mixture into 2-3 oz patties and pan fry over medium/ high heat for about 4-5 minutes per side.
Serve as is or along with a fried egg and cheese in a breakfast sandwich.
- 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)
- Add brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, sage, thyme marjoram and red pepper flakes to a bowl and mix.
- Add the ground turkey. Mix thoroughly to combine.
- Form the mixture into 2-3 oz patties and pan fry.
- 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.
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.
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 meats and brown. Using a wooden spoon crumble and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
Add the carrots, celery, and onions to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes.
Add the wine and cook for 1 minute.
Add stock and tomatoes to the pot.
Stir in parsley, allspice and season sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.
Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and cook 10 to 15 minutes minimum before serving.
Cook as much of the pasta as needed. Toss the pasta with a couple of ladles of sauce.
Finish the pasta off with some freshly grated Parmesan and a sprinkle of parsley.
- 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
- 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..
- Add meats and brown. Using a wooden spoon crumble and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the carrots, celery, and onions to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the wine and cook for 1 minute.
- Add stock and tomatoes to the pot.
- Stir in parsley, allspice and season sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and cook 10 to 15 minutes minimum before serving.
- Cook as much of the pasta as needed. Toss the pasta with a couple of ladles of sauce.
- Finish the pasta off with some freshly grated Parmesan and a sprinkle of parsley.
Nobody was more surprised than me by how easy and delicious this recipe actually was.
You have to try this out!
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.
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.
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.
You can also use a paring knife, but I recommend getting a corer. Once the insides are scooped out, rinse them out with water.
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.
I also made some that were cheese only. I stuffed them with alternating layers of cream cheese and cheddar 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).
Cook for about 20 minutes and check. You may have to rotate the tray if you have hot spots on the grill.
Continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes or until the jalapenos are darkened and soft.
Remove and serve.
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.
- 12 Jalapenos
- 1 8oz package Cream Cheese
- 4 oz Hot Sausage
- 2 tsp seasoned salt
- Wash and core the jalapenos.
- Fill each jalapeno half way up with sausage.
- Then top off each jalapeno with the cream cheese.
- Dust each stuffed pepper with seasoned salt.
- Preheat a grill to medium heat (350 degrees).
- Place the jalapenos on a jalapeno rack directly over the heat and grill for 30-35 minutes or until the jalapenos are softened.
- Eat and serve.
Mental note, next time share.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- 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
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.
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.
Using your hands or a pastry blender, squish the tomatoes and create a rustic 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.
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.
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.
Next add the pepperoni in a thick layer.
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.
Now cover the pizza with the pizza sauce. It will probably require all of it.
Finally dust the top with the Parmesan cheese.
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.
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.
When cut it makes some big slices.
Not very many people can say that they had the same pizza for four meals. I am proud of this one. It is amazing.
Every Friday I pick the best culinary events in the DC area for my readers to enjoy. This weekend there are some great events to attend in and around the DC metro area. There is everything from German to Peruvian Festivals, Blackberry Festivals and finally a ice cream social for the kids.
Blackberry Bonanza and Wellness Festival – Saturday and Sunday (July 25-26)
Blackberries filled with anti-oxidants and health benefits so to celebrate blackberry season, this year’s festival is taking on a wellness theme. Join us for blackberry picking and blackberry wine tasting with Bluemont Vineyard. Our blackberries are grown without any chemicals and are thornless so easy to pick!
The price is $10 per person and 21 and over get free wine tasting
18780 Foggy Bottom Road – Bluemont, VA 20135 – Roughly 30 minutes from Dulles.