sausage

Lucky Lentil Soup with Garlic Sausage for New Year’s

Lentil soup with garlic sausageHappy New Year!  Around the world you can find people eating lots of different foods in order to bring good luck and fortune.  In Italy the good luck dish is lentils and cotechino (a sausage).  No cotechino laying around la mia casa, but I did have some lentils and some of my garlic sausage so perhaps some lentil soup with sausage will bring us a great 2014.  (more…)

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New Sausage: Spanish Pimenton and Fennel Sausage

An ibero-italo hybrid

An ibero-italo hybrid

Not sure if you’ve noticed yet but it’s August, halfway through to be exact.  Where did the summer go?  Kids are going back to school and the NFL is already playing pre-season games.  Having eaten up all of our sausage supply I thought it was high time to come up with a new creation and replenish the stock.  The result: a hybrid of smoky Spanish chorizo and sweet Italian sausage.  Just call me Dr. Franken-furter-stein. (more…)

Two New Sausages: Mango-Poblano Pepper and Apple-Sage

Mango Poblano sausage and apple sage sausageI’ve been practicing my sausage making skills over the winter and last week I decided it was time to test myself.  Grilling season is approaching here in Chicago so it was time to use the basic skills I’ve acquired and invent something delicious.  I settled on two new flavors: a mango-poblano pepper sausage and an apple-sage sausage.  (more…)

Pork Breakfast Sausage Success

Ginger and Sage Pork Breakfast SausageNew year, new sausages.  So far in 2013 I’ve tried my hand at making two different ones.  The first was an initial attempt at dry curing which unfortunately didn’t turn out well and had to be abandoned.  In order to regroup and give myself a boost of confidence I went back to an easier “ready-to-eat” sausage and made some sage and ginger breakfast sausage from Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie.  A perfect recipe for washing away the stink of failure and a nice addition for our breakfast menu. (more…)

Cassoulet – A Labor of Love

CassouletCassoulet is one of my favorite wintertime French dishes.  On the surface it doesn’t seem like anything too special, basically a white bean stew with some meat in it, slow cooked into a rich, hot, warm your bones dish.  I don’t think you simply “cook” or “make” cassoulet, it’s something you actually “build.”  In her French cooking opus, Julia Child offers a “Note on the Order of Battle.”  I don’t think assembling cassoulet is quite a battle but you definitely need a plan because the dish is not one of your quick- throw-together weeknight dinners.  In fact almost everyone recommends days to assemble it.  They’re not me though!  (more…)

The Best Thanksgiving Stuffing Ever!

Ready to be stuffed into the turkey!

This was one of my first posts when I started this blog a year ago and seeing as how Thanksgiving is just two weeks away I’m re-posting it, and I’ve added some pics I took when I made it last year to go along with the “recipe.” 

Every Thanksgiving the one thing I look forward to most is the stuffing.  I really could care less about the turkey.  For me that is the vessel by which you cook the stuffing.

This is the stuffing my Grandmother (on my father’s side) made and we used to have it every year.  It was one of the first recipes of hers I took from my mother.  As with many grandmothers, the things she cooked were normally not written down in recipe form, it was all a pinch of this, a couple of these, etc. (as you’ll see).  Thankfully, my mother recorded them as best she could when she was learning them.  I had a pretty special bond with my Grandmother, we had the same birthday, and I remember her a lot around this time of year when I make this recipe and her special Hungarian Christmas “cookies” in December. (more…)

Homemade Garlic Sausage – No Turning Back Now!

I did it.  I made some sausage.  The old saying goes something like: “you never want to watch laws or sausages being made.”  Having lived and worked in our nation’s capital for over a decade before moving to Chicago I can honestly say making sausage is much easier than making laws and absolutely tastier.  If you’ve been following me (you haven’t?  why not?) you know I’ve been trying to teach myself some advanced kitchen skills lately and my new subject is the art/craft of charcuterie.  As with every adventure you start off by putting one foot in front of the other so I began slowly with some home-cured bacon and duck prosciutto which both turned out well and encouraged me to continue through the looking-glass to my real goal: sausage.  This next step became inevitable with the arrival of a meat grinder last month for my birthday from my in-laws.  Giddy-up. (more…)