As much as I love turkey around the holidays, it’s the dressing and gravy that I love the most. Dressing (specially this ciabatta and sausage version) has so many different flavors and textures and colors. Turkey? Meh… not so much. Not that the turkey is a bad thing, it’s just that I much prefer a plate with a lot of dressing and just a bit of turkey. I had never had a dressing that contained sausage until this one. I was blown away by just how much flavor the sage sausage adds. The ciabatta adds such wonderful texture and flavor too. There’s no question, this is one fantastic dressing.
I made a lot, and I do mean a lot, of beer can chickens on my Char-Broil Big Easy last weekend. So, I had a good amount of chicken on hand, and that got me to thinking jambalaya. I took the classic jambalaya recipe from Chef John Folse and used my tender, incredibly flavorful beer can chicken instead of browned fresh chicken.
There’s no loser in this beer can chicken jambalaya, but for me the winner is the rice (well, and me for getting to eat it). It absorbs flavors from the vegetables and meats and broth and spices and turns out just flat-out incredible.
You can add shrimp to this jambalaya if you want, but I prefer mine without it. It’s hard to re-heat shrimp leftovers without them becoming way too tough. Since this recipe make a big, big batch and there’s only two of us, I was guaranteed to have leftovers and then some.
For years and years I have grilled my sausages after they spent some quality time in a ‘bath’ of beer and peppers and onions. And they are great, I admit it. But these kraut-stuffed sausages, well, they’re really beyond great. Tender, moist, and just packed with flavor. Such a wonderful texture in every single bite. I couldn’t stop eating them. Topped with plenty of mustard, these are now my only go-to grilled sausages. You have to use the right kind of sausages to make these kraut-stuffed sausages. Get the fresh sausages, with casings. You need to be able to poke your finger inside to make a cavity for the fantastic (but easy) filling. And unless your fingers are really, really long, don’t get really, really long sausages!
I suggested to Anita that we try adding other things to the stuffing, such as chopped roasted jalapenos, or poblanos or the like and she gave me a dirty look. The “don’t mess with this” look. So I won’t.
1 pound fresh sausages (Italian, Kielbasa, whichever you prefer, just make sure you get the sausages in casings). I used Johnsonville Italian sausages which come 5 to a pound
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large sweet onion, cut thin
1 pound kraut plus some of the juice
1 cup shredded cheese (Monterrey Jack, mozzarella, any good white melting cheese will work)
5 fresh sausage buns
Your favorite mustard
Using your fingers, make a hole down the center of each sausage, creating a cavity that runs the full length of the sausages.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add the onion, kraut, and a bit of the juice from the kraut jar.
Stir and let cook until the onions are softened.
Remove from heat and let cool completely.
Stir in the cheese. It won't melt but it will help bind the kraut mixture together.
Fire up your grill for indirect cooking.
Using your hands, grab some of the kraut mixture and force it into the cavity in the sausages. Just keep packing it in. Don't worry about being all pretty and what-not, just get it in there. But don't shove so hard that you have a blowout!
Place sausages over indirect heat on the grill and cook for 30 minutes until nice and dark and done.
Toast the buns.
Add cooked sausages to the buns and top with plenty of mustard.
This easy sausage stromboli is called easy for a reason. We’d just gotten in from a long day and we were hungry and too beat to throw together a huge meal. But that doesn’t mean huge and lame. Just easy and fantastic. Yummy Italian sausage (spicy sausage makes it even better), pizza sauce and lots of ooey-gooey cheese all in crispy golden brown dough. Nothing fancy, nothing fru-fru, but definitely good and filling. Don’t be afraid to add a little chopped bell pepper to the onion while it is cooking up. Don’t get it too soft though, you’ll still want a bit of crunch to it. If you have extra pizza sauce on hand warm it up and serve it on the side for dipping.
These Italian sausage sandwiches have become somewhat of a tradition in our house around New Year’s and the Superbowl. I make a nice big batch of them and let them slow cook either on the stove or in a slow cooker, ready to eat at any time. Perfect eats for watching football games, specially college bowl games. Spicy sausage with a flavorful tomato sauce loaded with peppers, onions, and mushrooms. All topped (of course) with ooey-gooey cheese. I’m not sure I’ve ever made my Italian sausage sandwiches exactly the same way each year. Sometimes I go the spicy route, sometimes I use sweet sausages. Sometimes I add more bell peppers, sometimes I just add more mushrooms. It just kind of depends on how I feel that day. If you don’t mind spicy, add more red pepper flake and a good amount of hot sauce.
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon (more or less, to taste) red pepper flake
2 loaves French bread
2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Place the pizza and tomato sauces into a large pot over medium heat.
In a large Dutch oven, heat a splash or two of oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the sausages, browning on all sides. Transfer browned sausages to the pot of sauce.
Add more oil to the Dutch oven and add all of the vegetables. Saute until just starting to get soft, then transfer to the pot of sauce along with the sausages.
Season with salt and pepper, Italian seasoning and red pepper flake.
Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5-6 hours, stirring occasionally.
Slice the bread in half. I prefer to do this by cutting a 'V' down the top of the bread, making a trench for the sausages and sauce. I find that the bread doesn't split so easily this way. I also remove some of the bread inside just to make more room for the great toppings.
Cut bread into lengths a tad shorter than the sausages.
Add meat and top with sauce and a little bit of the vegetables.
Top with cheese and place on a sheet pan under the oven broiler just long enough to melt the cheese.
Well, hot diggity dog! Get me some cheese and crackers and fast! This beef summer sausage came out tasting fantastic! Perfect texture, too. Boy, I could not have been happier with it. Great beefy flavor with a hint of smoke and pepper. I made my beef summer sausage ‘log’ a bit bigger round than I had thought, close to 2 inches. Not that that was a bad thing, but next time I’ll shoot for a size that fits more perfectly onto a cracker. A little meaty overhang isn’t a bad thing, mind you.
And I might add a bit of heat next time. I’m thinking that a few good sized pinches of red pepper flake ought to do it!
There is truly no gravy like this country sausage gravy. It may seem like a lot of ingredients, but it is beyond worth the time. Creamy, meaty (sausage AND bacon!) and packed full of great flavors. Amazing flavors, unlike any gravy I’ve ever had.
I like to make this gravy in a large cast iron skillet over charcoal. There’s just something about being outside early in the morning cooking up a big batch of gravy for breakfast over a hot charcoal fire. Of course you can cook it just as easily on the stove top. I usually serve this gravy over biscuits, but it would be incredible on a chicken-fried steak. For that matter, it’d be incredible on anything that requires sausage gravy.
Two bites into the slow cooker Delta shrimp I made the other day and I already knew I was going to make it again, but this time with sausage. Not that the shrimp version wasn’t absolutely fantastic, oh no. The vegetable mixture has such tremendous flavor, still a tad bit crunchy, and is perfect with anything from shrimp to sausage to chicken. Perfect.
I use fire-roasted diced tomatoes almost exclusively now when a recipe calls for canned diced tomatoes. They have so much more flavor.
Smoked sausage is great in this slow cooker Delta sausage dish, but if you find Andouille sausage, use it instead. It’ll add even more flavor to an already delicious meal. Oh, and if the sausage you are using is fresh, not cooked, cook it thoroughly before adding it to the slow cooker.