18 July 2011

sausage party

In honor of yet another fabulous night of No Pants karaoke with Brooklyn's hostess with the mostess, Miss Isabelle at the Trash Bar, I thought I'd whip up a post that was just waiting for the right moment to shine.  Karaoke was totally wild Saturday night featuring a motley bunch of wrestlers, Irish tourists, leftover band members, me and Isabelle.  Yup, it was almost all boys singing their hearts out and it was awesome!  But karaoke isn't the only sausage party in town.  There's always a great selection of delicious, tasty and creative bangers at the Meat Hook, my favorite neighborhood shop.  They have some of the best choices of their own home-made Classy & Trashy Sausages that come in the most amazing flavors like Lamb & Rosemary, Traditional Italian, Chorizo, Verga Verde, White Pudding, Chicken Parm Pizza, and Papa Doc.  And since it's the time of year to break out the old charcoal grill, they also carry killer hot dogs, chili cheese dogs and taco dogs.

With the help of the incredible butchers at the Meat Hook, I've been able to create some simple and succulent meals with their sausages.  I love a stuffed chicken breast, so when I saw that they were carrying Chicken Cordon Bleu sausages, I knew I had to pick up a few.  So I cooked them up in a pan with some extra ham and topped them with a sprinkling of freshly grated Swiss and a little spread of creamy and spicy dijon mustard.  On the side, French cut green beans and my famous dijon roasted potatoes.  Perfect!

chicken cordon bleu sausage

dijon roasted potatoes
2 large potatoes or 4 c baby potatoes
2 tbsp mayonaise
1 tbsp fresh chopped chives
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 tbsp favorite seedy dijon mustard
fresh ground salt & pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350.  With a sharp knife, thinly slice potatoes (about as thin as a stack of 2-3 potato chips.)
2. In a small caserole dish, mix mustard, mayonaise, herbs and s&p together.  Toss potato slices with the mix to coat (add more mayo/mustard if needed to fully coat each slice.)
3. Bake at 350 for about 30-45 minutes depending on the thickness of your potato slices, tossing occassionaly so that all the potatoes get a little crisp.  I like to crank the oven up to broil for the last 10 minutes or so to get the top extra crispy!  Serve warm as a side or cool as a variation on the traditional potato salad.

In the mood for a more traditional pork sausage but with a little twist?  I recently tried out the Purple Goddess, a pork and herb sausage with beet greens that give it a pretty purple color.  Served up with a fresh spinach salad with bleu cheese and radishes, my super simple Confetti Cous Cous, and a scoop of fresh beet salad (really just chopped beets) from one of the many Polish shops in Greenpoint, this was a healthy and filling meal with all the food groups covered.
purple goddess sausage

confetti cous cous
1 c Israeli cous cous (the bigger, beady kind)
1 1/2 c chopped veggies (whatever you have in your fridge)
1 can beans (any kind will do)
fresh ground salt and pepper
1. Bring 1 3/4 c salted water to a boil and stir in cous cous.  Cover and let simmer 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until cooked thoroughly.
2.  Add chopped veggies and can of beans with fresh ground salt and pepper to taste.  Stir well and serve at room temperature.  (For this serving, as it was a kind of last minute meal, I chopped up a combo of all the veggies I happened to have in the fridge - radishes, yellow and red tomatoes, chives, red onion, sugar snap peas and a can of white beans.  I also tossed in some fresh parsley for an extra kick.)

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of my greatest sausage recipe yet - Buffalo Chicken and Bleu Cheese Sausage Corn Chowder.  If I had tried to capture a shot of this creation, I may have lost a hand since it was almost devoured before I even had the chance to set it on the table!  This started with a delicious surprise at the shop, Buffalo Chicken and Bleu Cheese sausages.  Rather than cook them up like a normal sausage, I cut the meet out of the casings and cooked it to get all crumbly.  I added it to a simmering pot of milk and chicken stock, some potatoes (to thicken up the pot,) corn and celery, and let it simmer for hours.  I served it up with some crumbled bleu cheese and Frank's hot sauce on top.  It was the perfect meal for those snowbound football Sundays.  Mmm, even in this heat I'm dreaming of soup.

buffalo chicken and bleu cheese sausage and corn chowder
3-4 buffalo chicken & bleu cheese sausages (if you can't find these, just use chicken sausage and double the amount of hot sauce & bleu cheese in the rest of the recipe)
4 c chicken stock
2 c whole milk
2 medium potatoes
1 c chopped celery
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 small package (about 2 heaping cups) fresh or frozen sweet corn
1/4 c cumbled bleu cheese plus extra for topping
2 tbsp Frank's hot sauce plus extra for topping (or your favorite hot sauce that isn't out of control spicy)
fresh ground s&p to taste
a dash of red pepper flakes
1. In a large stock pot, bring chicken stock and potatoes to a boil, cooking potatoes until the are almost compoletly cooked and tender.  Remove the potatoes but don't dump the stock, it's nice and starchy now so it should thicken up nicely.  Set the potatoes aside to cool.  Add the milk to the stock along with the hot sauce, red pepper flakes and s&p.  Lower the flame and bring to a simmer.
2. Cut the sausage meat out of their casings.  In a hot pan, cook the loose sausage thoroughly so it gets nice and crumbly.  Add the cooked sausage to the stock pot and continue to let simmer about 45 minutes. 
3. Add the chopped celery and cheese, continue to simmer until celery gets tender, about 15-20 minutes.  Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces and add to the soup with the frozen corn, simmering until the potatoes cook completely, about another 20 minutes.
4. Let sit for about 15 minutes to thicken up some more before serving.  Serve topped with crumbled bleu cheese, a dash of hot sauce and celery sticks.

Don't forget, a good soup cooks for a long time so don't be afraid to let this one sit on the stove for longer than suggested.  Just make sure to save any veggies you're adding for the last 45 minutes or else they'll get way overcooked... a thick soup is quite different than a mushy soup.

Yum.  So much goodness stuffed into one little link!  Now, because I had such a rollicking good time at karaoke, I was neglectful at the beach yesterday and believe I may have turned into a hot dog.  My sunburnt legs are pink and my skin feels very tight.  But it was all worth it for such a killer weekend!  Thanks to Isabelle and Paula, you gals kick some serious ass.  And if next month's No Pants Karaoke is anything like this past one was, I'm pretty sure I'll have to belt this little ditty out -

No comments:

Post a Comment