A Different Way to Breakfast Sausage

Rich had spent a day feeling achy and tired and sleeping a lot, so, when he got up, I tossed out the idea of “Breakfast for Dinner” – which would be waffles and sausages.

As I knew it would, the meal plan was warmly welcomed, and I set about looking at ways to cook the sausages.

Hmmm.

I did not know that there were quite so many interesting options!

I decided to go with “boil, then fry” – but then went and made a couple of wee, tiny changes to the concept.

I love precooking our brats in beer and butter, so thought, why not beer for breakfast sausages? And, of course, because I am me, Sherry Peppers Sauce needed to be involved as well.

Worked a treat!

INGREDIENTS
•Breakfast sausage links
•Beer
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Arrange the sausages in a single layer in a large pan and drizzle with the Sherry Peppers Sauce.

Add enough beer to come up around 3/4 of the way up the sausages and set the heat to medium high.

Bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, in the beer 12 to 15 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium low and continue to cook four minutes.

Turn and cook another four minutes, until you have nicely browned sides.

Remove from the pan and keep warm until your waffles are ready.

A note about the pan: I used my default deep non stick pan and, as you can see, the bottom was a blackened mess by the time I was finished cooking.

No worries!

Once you’ve removed the sausages, deglaze the hot pan by adding water and, while still over the heat, bring this back to a boil, scraping all that black goo from the bottom of the pan with a non-metallic scraper.

As you can see, it worked a treat and cleaning up the pan was no big deal.

Note: you could, if you wanted, mebbe use coffee in place of the water, add some additional seasonings and make a kind of red flannel gravy, which would be brilliant with waffles and sausages.

Or waffles and bacon.

Or… well, you get the concept.

We totally enjoyed our Breakfast for Dinner of freshly made (but, I cheated, from a mix) waffles, the sausages, and maple syrup from the state of Maine.

Ermmm… my waffles had the added embellishment of Jalapeño Cream Cheese Spread; but my husband thinks I am more than just a bit weird that way.

Either way, breakfast or dinner. Nice!

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Parfait! Rémoulade Redux

Folk tend to freak out a bit over rémoulade; I mean, it sounds so very French that it must be complicated and involved to make!

Nope.

I mean, you can start by making your own mayonnaise, but, if you already have one from the store that you like, you are good to go and, start to finish, you’ll have a tasty jar of nicely zippy rémoulade in about ten minutes. Mebbe less, if you don’t have to go searching for that jar of relish.

INGREDIENTS
•1/4 cup mayonnaise
•1 tbsp ketchup
•1-1/2 tsp sweet relish
•1-1/2 tsp Zippy and Sweet Mustard (or Dijon mustard)
•1/2 tsp dried parsley
•1/2 tsp horseradish
•1/2 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce – or your fave hot sauce, to taste

Note: for everyday use, we have been loving this 78 Red Spicy Ketchup, imported from Poland by a local Chicago company. They also have a less spicy version.

To make the rémoulade, simply stir all the ingredients together and stash in a covered jar in the fridge.

You can use it right away, but it is always just that much better if you allow the flavors to blend for a couple of hours. Your choice.

Now, you’ve made rémoulade, what the heck to do with it?

We love it on fish in place of tartar sauce; but you could certainly spread it on a sammich or burgers, even cooked veggies or salads; and of course, just think of the shrimp and/or lobster salad possibilities!

Rémoulade.

Not really so hard, is it?

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Portuguese Pineapple Chili

Wait. What?

They grow pineapples in Portugal?

I have absolutely no idea.

But…

I came across an interesting looking recipe for “Hawaiian Chili” in Parade magazine in the Sunday paper, and it looked interesting, if just a touch boring, with ground beef and entirely too much cumin, to my taste.

Cumin is not one of my favorites.

So – and isn’t that the whole point about making things from scratch? – I set about zipping things up a bit to suit my tastes.

And it was good.

Note: one of my local markets (Jewel) makes their own very good version of linguiça, the Portuguese garlic sausage, which is pretty close to what I could get back in New England. Some of the Wisconsin sausage makers add a bit too much smoke in their versions, so look around and find one that you particularly like.

INGREDIENTS
•1 lb Portuguese sausage, casings removed
•3 cups puréed fresh pineapple
•1 cup diced onion
•1 cup diced carrot
•2 tbsp minced garlic
•1 tbsp grated ginger
•2 tbsp lower sodium Tamari
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1 tbsp coffee spice rub
•1 tbsp chili powder
•1/2 tsp Cayenne
•1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/2 tsp dried oregano
•1/2 tsp dried parsley
•1/2 tsp dried chives
•1/2 tsp mesquite liquid smoke
•1/4 tsp ground cumin
•1 bay leaf
•2 cans reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
•2 cups clarified pork stock
•1 cup chicken stock
•1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Note: I did not add any salt to my chili, and I don’t think it really needed it. As always, taste yours and adjust seasonings as you will.

Note: the clarified pork stock I used are the strained cooking liquids from when I prep barbecue ribs in the oven. This stock already had a bit of a kick to it from my barbecue sauce, and a hit of pineapple as well, so it amped up the sweet heat factor a bit.

Add the sausages to a large pot with the onion, garlic, carrots, ginger, and Tamari and cook, breaking up the sausages, for about ten minutes, until the meat is browned a bit and the veggies are getting tender.

Stir in the dried seasonings and cook, stirring, for five minutes.

Add the pineapple, tomatoes, and beans and cook, stirring often, for two hours more.

Give it a taste. I liked mine just as it was!

We had it over yellow rice with shredded extra sharp Cheddar on top.

 

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Pomegranate Guacamole

This.

MIGHT BE.

My NEW. FAVORITE THING.

THIS image, is the pomegranate guacamole that Rich and I TOTALLY enjoyed at our first dinner in Scottsdale at Sumomaya.

We had been discussing the different guacamole options, and asked our server their fave…

Man! Was she on point!

Also…

on a side note…

I have found that if you are wavering between a dish or three, and ask your waitstaff their preferences? You will learn a lot; and, just MAYBE get a free desert.

Worked for us. At least twice in one week, but, perhaps that is just the Phoenix area?

I mean; we are nice guys, but free deserts?

ANYwho – you WANT this guacamole recipe. You NEED this guacamole recipe. Truly, if only to confound your foodie friends with how you’ve put this all together.

INGREDIENTS
Basics:
•2 ripe avocados
•1-1/2 tbsp lemon juice
•5 or 6 roasted garlic cloves, smashed
•1/2 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Peppers Sauce – or your fave hot sauce, to taste
•1 tsp Cowboy Candy Juice*
•1 tsp Kosher salt
•1 tsp black pepper
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper

Add Ins (to taste):
•Diced red onion
•Chopped dried apricots
•Dried cherries
•Dried cranberries
•Pomegranate seeds

*No Cowboy Candy Juice? No problem! Simply add slice fresh jalapeños to suit your taste. The guacamole will be spicy, but not as sweet as mine; so consider adding smoked brown sugar to the mix.

Peel and mash the avocados, then crush in a large bowl with the garlic, salt, peppers, and lemon juice.

Stir in the onion, dried fruits, and the pomegranate seeds, then transfer to a container, place plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole, then cover tightly.

Note: I also added the pit from one of the avocados to the bowl, as this is supposed to keep it all looking fresh and green.

All has worked well so far. This is REALLY GOOD GUACAMOLE – a touch sweet, a tad spicy, and then… that fruit!

Yeh. You WANNA make you some of this.

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Marinated Asparagus Salad

This is currently on of my favorite salads – and it is wicked simple to put together!

Not to take anything away from a nice Louis Salad, this has the added advantage of also acting as part of your appetizer assortment; go ahead and add some shaved cheese, nice olives, mebbe some cornichons and smoked salmon and you have yourself a spread!

I like to use slender asparagus spears for this, and don’t peel ’em, but you go ahead and do what you like.

INGREDIENTS
•Asparagus
•Shredded carrots
•Red onion, thinly sliced
•2 tbsp sugar
•1 tbsp Kosher salt
•Italian dressing

Note: I use this Italian Dressing Mix from a local company – it has nothing funky in it, and when I blend it with avocado and canola oils and a bit of salad vinegar? Heaven!

To prep the salad, wash the asparagus and cut  the bottom inch or so off of each spear. Sure, you can “snap” them, but that way wastes a lot of asparagus.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then stir in the Kosher salt and sugar. Add the asparagus and cook for two to three minutes, until bright green and still a bit crispity.

Plunge immediately into a bowl of ice water to lock in that lovely green and stop it from cooking any more.

That’s it. You’re good.

Because this salad is marinated, you don’t really need to do the whole “wrap in a clean kitchen towel and stash in the fridge to dry” thing – though, of course, you could.

Combine the asparagus with the carrot and onion, toss in the dressing and serve.

A bit of nice brined Feta might could be good, too.

 

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San Francisco Style Sourdough Bread

Allrighty then!

We have our no yeast sourdough starter well and truly underway and, yeh, if I am being totally honest here, more than just a bit stinky – now we can make us some bread.

Good thing the bread machine and this recipe make it so very simple to toss together – just remember to measure your sourdough starter cold and then allow to come to room temperature before tossing it all in your machine.

Also, not all bread machines work the same way, so follow the instructions for your machine when adding ingredients. Mine happens to be wet first, then dry, then the yeast last on the top.

INGREDIENTS
•1-1/2 cup sourdough starter
•3/4 cup warm (80 to 90º) water
•3 tbsp olive oil
•2 tsp salt
•2-3/4 tbsp sugar
•2 tbsp skim milk powder
•4 cups flour
•2-1/4 tsp yeast

Note: this will make a two pound loaf.

Put the sourdough starter, warm water, and the olive oil in your machine, then add the salt, sugar, and milk powder.

Add the flour, then top of with the yeast.

Set your machine to French Bread and two pounds, then select medium crust.

Walk away and chill for a bit, this’ll take a few hours.

When the machine beeps, allow the bread to cool for five minutes before removing from the pan and slicing.

Pretty darned terrific loaf of bread and, as a bonus, crumbled bits make most excellent croutons! Simply cube and toss with 1/2 cup of olive or avocado oil, season as you like, and bake at 325º for 30 minutes.

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No Yeast Sourdough Starter

I was reading an article somewhere or else on the interwebs, and it posited that, for some folk, it isn’t really the flour that bothers them in bread, it is the yeast.

Hmmm.

Having a fair number of friends who need to be wary of their diets, I then went on a search for yeast-less bread recipes.

Now there are a lot of yeast-free breads, but I had my heart set on one particular one…

Sourdough.

So, then…

Imagine my pleasure at coming across this pretty nifty cookery book at my fave local bookstore with a recipe for no-yeast sourdough starter!

And, I had coupons! Bonus!

Sadly, the starter, yes, is yeast free. The bread however? Not. But, consider that little chunk o’ sourdough bread heaven warm from the machine and slathered with Irish butter at the top of this post. Yeh. We are gonna just pretend like there isn’t any yeast involved, because it is just that good.

So… sourdough starter without yeast.

INGREDIENTS
•2 all-purpose flour
•2 cups chlorine free bottled water, at room temperature – I found this Artesian well water at my local market, worked a treat.

Stir the water into the flour in a glass bowl.

Note: the book specified using a wooden spoon for stirring. Could you use a plastic spoon? I don’t know. As long time readers of this blog may recall, I have a kindofa sketchy history with sourdough starters, so I was not gonna take any chances.

Once you’ve stirred the water into the flour, cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap, then stash in a warm spot for three or four days; giving it a stir two to three times a day, until it is nice and bubbly.

Note: it is gonna be kinda stinky.

So. Starter well and truly started, transfer to a jar – I used a quart canning jar – cover tightly, and stash in the fridge until needed.

Note: sourdough starter is a living thing, and you’re going to need to keep on top of it. If you make bread once a week, just replace the amount of starter used for bread with equal parts water and flour and return to the fridge until the next week.

You are going to need to do this every single week – whether you make bread or not; so really, you may as well just make the bread already, right?

Because it really is wicked nice!

Oh…

You want the bread details?

Well… assuming you have chlorine free water on hand and can, ermmm, get started on your starter right now; you still have three days or so before you can make the bread, so, waiting until tomorrow for those details shouldn’t really be an issue.

Right?

I thought you’d see it my way…

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Louis Louis Louis LouEYE (Sauce)

We recently spent a week in Arizona, and were able to meet up with some good friends from back east, who were also out and about and exploring.

And, as it often happens when  we get together with friends, whether in Arizona or most anywhere else, wine was involved.

And lunch.

Now; this particular restaurant practiced “deconstructed” food.

My friend Sue ordered a sammich and had to build it herself.

As for me? Shrimp Louis Salad, baby! One of my favorites.

Which, ermmm, I, too, had to assemble.

Still very good, and it got me to thinking? Why don’t I make this at home?

So, I did. And it is pretty darned tasty!

INGREDIENTS
•1/4 cup mayonnaise
•1/4 cup ketchup or chili sauce
• 1 tbsp sour cream
•1 tbsp relish
•1-1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
•1 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce – or your fave hot sauce, to taste
•1 tsp Zippy Mustard – or Dijon mustard
•1 tsp capers

Combine all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl, then transfer to a lidded jar and stash in the fridge for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend.

Serve over your favorite salad, or try it as a sammich spread.

Note: I used a spicy, all natural ketchup that is imported from Poland by a local Chicago company; but plain ketchup, or your fave chili sauce would work a treat, too.

Go forth and Louis!

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Chicken with Artichokes

I had a taste for chicken.

And there was that jar of marinated artichoke hearts in the pantry…

Surely there was something I could do with chicken and artichokes and…

Hmmm.

That basil on the front porch is getting a bit bushy; and the rosemary isn’t gonna make it through the winter anyway…

Yep. This’ll do it.

I started with a recipe from the nice folk at Food and Wine magazine, but then added some of my favorite things, because, well…

I could. Nice dinner, and really not too, too fussy to toss together.

INGREDIENTS
•Chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on
•Olive oil or avocado oil
•3 cups diced sweet onion
•3 tbsp minced roasted garlic
•8 oz sliced ‘shrooms
•5 Campari tomatoes, quartered
•Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
•1 lemon, sliced thin
•Fresh basil leaves, chopped
•8 oz marinated artichoke hearts
•2 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 sprig fresh rosemary

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Heat your oven to 375º.

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Cook the thighs, skin side down, for five or six minutes, until the skin is browned and a bit cristpity in places.

Remove the chicken from the pan and place, skin side up, in a a baking dish with the lemon, olives, basil, the artichoke hearts, and tomatoes.

Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook for four or five minutes, until the onion is tender. Stir in the ‘shrooms, the juice from the jar of artichoke hearts, the Sherry Peppers Sauce, and the Aleppo pepper.

Cook until the liquid has been reduced and the ‘shrooms are browned in parts.

Pour over the chicken in the pan, top with a sprig of rosemary, then cover tightly with foil and bake for one hour.

Raise the temperature to 400º, remove the foil from the pan and bake for another 20 minutes, until the skin is nicely crisped.

Serve.

We loved ours with some yellow rice, but some of those Smashed Potatoes would work a treat here, too.

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Boiled? Smashed? Baked? ALL of ’em, Katie!

THIS is a stoopidly simple (but tasty) way to get crispity potatoes, and, from the outset, apologies to whomever posted this concept on the interwebs. It is totally my fault that I did not note your name and/or web site to give credit where delicious credit is due.

The premise is genius: boil some baby potatoes, smash ’em on a foil lined baking sheet, then drizzle with salt, pepper, a bit of olive oil, and… mebbe a nice pat o’ Irish butter and perhaps some cheese; then bake until crispity perfection.

INGREDIENTS
•1 (24 oz) bag baby red or yellow potatoes
•Kosher salt
•Pepper
•Olive (or Avocado) oil

Options:
•Rosemary
•Garlic
•Butter
•Shredded cheese
•Parsley
•Chives

Wash the potatoes well, then place in a large pot with (if you are using them) the rosemary and garlic. Cover with cold water, stir in one tablespoon of Kosher salt, and bring to a boil.

Cover and boil for about 25 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Drain well and allow to rest in a colander for five minutes while you prep the pan.

Heat your oven to 350º and line a baking pan with foil.

Apply cooking spray to the foil.

Arrange the potatoes on the foil lined pan and, using a spatula, smash ’em!

Note: the flatter you get the potatoes, the crispier they will turn out.

Drizzle the flattened potatoes with oil, then season with salt and pepper.

I added some of Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning and a small p[at of Irish  butter to each smashed bit of potato.

Pop into the oven and bake for 40 minutes, until each little potato is nicely browned and crisped.

Note: you do not need to flip these.

You could, of course, serve them hot from the oven as is, but I opted to add a bit of shredded cheese (a blend of Fontina, Provolone, Asiago, and Parmesan) and popped ’em back into the oven to melt for about five more minutes.

Cheesy (in a good way!) potato perfection!

Go ahead and strew ’em with freshly chopped parsley and chives, if you have them. It is all good.

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