At times my freezer looks like the international house of sausage. If you promise to keep your minds out of the gutter I will make a confession. I never met a sausage I didn’t like. Well almost. I wouldn’t go out of my way for a blood sausage, though I didn’t have to stifle a gag reflex the last time I tried it. I am sure there are some sausage varieties that I haven’t yet met that would challenge my intestinal fortitude. I would say the same thing about cheese but this post is not about cheese it is about sausage and only about sausage.
At any given time their is likely to be in my freezer three to four flavors of breakfast sausage. There is likely to be both hot and mild styles of Italian sausage. There may be smoked sausage, polish sausage, turkey sausage, hot links, bratwurst, and frankfurters. Most of these will end up cooked into or with something else. I have several soups and stews that require sausage. For my meat loaf I use a pound of lean ground beef and a pound of either a sage, hot, or regular breakfast sausage. I will be posting my meatloaf recipe soon. I also like to make sausage gravy to serve over biscuits. When I make fried rice sometimes I will put some Chinese sausage in for a bit of contrasting flavor and a flash of color since it tends to be very red.
For real quick meals I will often fry up some cabbage with kielbasa or smoked sausage, we prefer the Turkey, and Chicken varieties. With potatoes and strips of onions, I will fry up breakfast or Italian sausage or the smoked sausage and kielbasa. Then there is my breakfast hash that I have posted in the recipe section. I like to keep a tub of lightly cooked onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms for quick meals. I can fry up some slices of Italian sausage, stir in some spaghetti sauce (My preference is Prego) and then the vegetables and then add some cooked rotini, fusili, cavatapi or a similar pasta. Also you can omit the spaghetti sauce and you can add chunks of potato and some fresh basil, oregano, and/or rosemary.
My whole love affair with sausage has caused my wife numerous occasions to roll her eyes and shake her head. And in deference to her I do restrain myself somewhat in my use of sausage for cooking. There are even some times that she seems genuinely happy to see it.
Sometimes the sausage is the star all by itself. Aidells makes several varieties of sausage that we like to grill in the summer or pan fry when the weather isn’t enticing outside. They have an Apple Chicken, a Pineapple & Bacon, and a Spicy Mango with Jalapeno all of which are smoked chicken sausages. Tonight we had the Pinapple&Bacon. When I cook it indoors I put my non-stick saute pan on the burner on high heat and add the sausage to the pan. When the sausage starts to brown on the outside I add 1/4 cup of water and put on the lid and then turn the heat to low. The sausage steams for 8-10 minutes and then I remove the lid and turn the heat up to medium high and cook until the remaining fluid has evaporated and the sausage has browned to the desired color. I served it with left over fried rice (made with Chinese sausage) and green beans. Aidells also makes a Cajun Style Andouille sausage that is great for gumbo or jambalaya.
Sausage alone is reason enough that I could never become a vegetarian.