Tag Archives: turkey sausage

Kale, Bean and Sausage Stew

Here we go again with the Olympics.  I feel like it was not so long ago when I was writing about how I was spending my entire Saturdays and Sundays watching the summer Olympics.  My how time flies.  Before the opening ceremonies on Friday, I started to watch the very first competitions on Thursday but just couldn’t do it.  I was so sick of the cold and snow and ice that the last thing I wanted to do was watch it on TV.  But then the opening ceremonies happened and my patriotic spirit was tapped and I’ve been glued to events I wouldn’t normally think twice about ever since. I’d been excited all week to spend some time in my kitchen making some good food this weekend but when Saturday came and I got sucked into figure skating, I suddenly didn’t want to be in the kitchen.   Fortunately, this Kale, Bean & Sausage Stew was so simple that I didn’t have to work too hard and it basically cooked itself.

Smoked sausage, cannellini beans, and kale are cooked with fire-roasted tomatoes to make a hearty and flavorful stew. Smoked paprika (which you may remember is my favorite spice ever) adds another layer of smokiness making this stew hit a smoky trifecta.  The sausage and creamy beans give this stew some real heft while the kale adds an earthy yet fresh addition (the recipe calls for swiss chard but any leafy green will do). This stew came together quickly and was everything I could have asked for in a stew.  It was the perfect warm lunchtime meal to be slurping down while I sat on my couch cuddled up in blankets watching the Olympics.

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In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until golden, about 7 minutes. Add the sausage and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and paprika and cook for 1 minute.

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Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until almost dry, 2 minutes. Add 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, stir in the beans and simmer for 15 minutes.

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Stir in the greens and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes.

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Season with salt and pepper.

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Additions: None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Kale

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

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Slow-Cooker Beer-Braised Smoked Sausages and Onion

This weekend is the Super Bowl and, as if we don’t turn on the news every single night and have to constantly hear about the Polar Vortex and how cold it is outside, the biggest story surrounding the big game is what will the weather be like.  Like the organizers of the Super Bowl didn’t know when they chose East Rutherford, New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium that it didn’t have a DOME and that it could be cold, and possibly snowy, in January.  So when the news people finally stop talking about the weather and move on to sports, we still have to hear about the weather.  Sorry, but isn’t the Super Bowl about football?  Anyway, whether you are having people over for the game or sitting at home watching the game alone, why not make some fun food just because you can?  These Slow-Cooker Beer-Braised Smoked Sausages and Onion are an easy food to throw together and forget about for several hours.

Smoked sausages with cheese (I used Johnsonville’s Turkey Sausage with Cheddar) are browned in a skillet before being layered into a slow-cooker with butter, grainy mustard, brown sugar, caraway seeds, and onions before being bathed with your favorite beer.  After a couple of hours, these sausages take on a completely differently unique – and amazing – flavor.  If you are like me and never really knew what caraway seeds tasted like, they taste like rye bread which I happen to love.  I’ve eaten these particular sausages before and this recipe completely transforms their flavor.  Serve these on your favorite roll or eat them plain for the game this weekend and maybe you might not care a lick about the weather.

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The ingredients:

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Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausages and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.

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Meanwhile, coat the bowl of a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place butter, brown sugar and mustard in slow cooker; stir in onions, caraway seeds, salt and pepper. Place sausages over onions and pour beer over the top.

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Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours.

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Serve sausages on rolls with onions. Top with mustard and cheddar, if desired.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Smoked turkey sausage with cheddar

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Family Circle magazine

Zucchini Tart with Crumbled Sausage and Dijon

I’ve become a big fan of puff pastry.  What’s more simple than thawing out some frozen dough and having the result be flaky and buttery without you doing a lick of the work to get it that way?  Last week I brought you a pizza made with phyllo (which I loved) and this week I bring you something similar.  This Zucchini Tart with Crumbled Sausage and Dijon isn’t technically a pizza but it’s just as simple.

Puff pastry is thawed and topped with Dijon mustard, browned turkey sausage and thinly sliced fresh zucchini before being baked until golden and puffy.  For so few ingredients, you might think that this could be bland – at least I did.  But I’ll tell you what, the Dijon adds such a pop of flavor to the tasty sausage that I was almost thankful for the mild zucchini (of course you can always use hot sausage instead for an even bigger punch).  Any other flavor might have taken this tart right over the edge.  I do recommend going on the lighter side with the Dijon because a little really does go a long way.  Make this tart for people and I guarantee it won’t stand a chance.

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The ingredients:

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Heat oven to 400° F. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until cooked partway through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon; reserve the skillet.

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Add the zucchini, 2 tablespoons water, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the drippings in the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, 4 to 5 minutes.

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Unfold the pastry on a baking sheet and prick all over with a fork, leaving a ½-inch border around the dough. Spread the mustard on the pastry (avoiding the border); top with the zucchini and sausage. Bake until the pastry is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

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Cut the tart into 8 pieces.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Sweet turkey sausage

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Real Simple magazine

Savory Baked Apples

I remember when I first saw the recipe for these Savory Baked Apples, my jaw dropped and my mouth watered so there may or may not have been some drooling involved.  And since every time I come across it I remind myself how much I want to make them, I’m shocked that it’s taken me so long to actually get around to doing it.  Let’s be honest, the thought of scooping out apple pulp to make hollowed out apples sounds awful but it really wasn’t that bad. I’d scooped out tomatoes for a similar dish once and it was much, much worse than this (my kitchen counter looked like I’d slaughtered something). The key is patience, which I don’t have.  But the reality is, even if you mess it up and it looks awful, it’ll still taste the same so who cares?  This is one quintessential autumn dish that is worth it.

Apples are baked in the oven until soft and filled with a cooked mixture of sweet sausage, brown rice, carrots, onion, walnuts, apple cider, dried cranberries, and scallions.  Shredded Swiss cheese is added to the top and broiled adding the perfect cheesy bite as a finale.  Cinnamon, sage and cayenne pepper, combined with the sweet smell of the baked apples, give this dish an overall aroma of Fall that makes your whole house smell like a big warm hug.  The end result is a comforting dish that’s both savory and a little bit sweet.  Want something a little bit different for Thanksgiving?  Look here.

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring broth to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 50 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes.

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Combine cranberries and cider in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add mixture to rice.

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Using a small spoon, carefully scoop out centers of apples, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell, and chop apple flesh. Brush the inside of apples with 1 tablespoon butter. Place apples on a baking sheet, and bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until just tender.

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Preheat broiler to high. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, and sauté 5 minutes, stirring to crumble. Remove from pan; drain.

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Wipe skillet, and melt remaining butter in pan. Add chopped apple, yellow onion, and next 3 ingredients (through pepper); sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

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Add sausage, onion mixture, walnuts, and next 3 ingredients (through sage) to rice; toss.

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Divide rice mixture evenly among apples; top with cheese. Broil for 5 minutes or until golden.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Sweet turkey sausage

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

Sausage, Fennel, and Ricotta Pizza

I’ve been on a little bit of a pizza binge lately.  Whether it’s greasy takeout pizza, frozen pizza or homemade pizza, I’m all about it.  Earlier this year, I was in the habit of coming home on Fridays after work, throwing a frozen pizza in the oven, popping open a beer or two and settling in to watch Grimm with the lights off.  Yes, it’s sad, I don’t go out on Fridays.  By the time work is over for the week, I’m exhausted and look forward to a Friday night at home.  Well, now that Grimm starts again tonight, I’m right back into old habits except this time, I’m challenging myself to make a different pizza each week instead of those inexpensive frozen pizzas I’m used to having (no matter how much I love them!). This Sausage, Fennel, and Ricotta Pizza was no disappointment.

Refrigerated pizza crust is topped with browned turkey sausage, thin fennel slices, and dollops of creamy garlic-laced ricotta. Red pepper flakes and fennel seeds are scattered over the whole pie before it is baked until golden and crispy. This pizza uses fennel 3-ways: in the sausage, fresh from the bulb and the seeds. I have decided I’m obsessed with fennel. I’ve used fennel before in soups and other recipes but this pizza really stands out to me as a way to really celebrate fennel’s unique flavor. If you haven’t used a fresh fennel before, this is a great way to try it.  The slices get soft when baking and the flavor mellows out perfectly. Of course, if you really aren’t into fennel bulb, you can leave it out: the fennel seeds provide perfect flavor alone.  Pizza and beer sounds like the perfect way to spend a Friday night to me.

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 500° (keep pizza stone or baking sheet in oven as it preheats). Let pizza dough stand at room temperature, covered, while oven preheats. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casing from sausage. Add sausage to pan; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring to crumble. Add fennel bulb; cook 4 minutes or until tender.

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Roll pizza dough into a 16-inch oval on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle cornmeal over pizza stone or pizza pan; place dough on pizza stone or pan. Brush dough evenly with oil. Sprinkle sausage mixture evenly over dough, leaving a 1-inch border.

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Combine ricotta and garlic in a small bowl; top pizza with teaspoonfuls of ricotta mixture.

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Sprinkle red onion and remaining ingredients evenly over pizza.

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Bake at 500° for 11 minutes or until golden. Cut into 8 slices.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:

  • Red onion

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

Sausage-and-Feta Cheese-Stuffed Peppers

Do you ever come across a recipe and think If only I liked (fill in the blank), I’d love this! Well when I came across this recipe for Chorizo-and-Goat Cheese-Stuffed Peppers I thought, if only I liked goat cheese and if only I ate chorizo and if only this used basil instead, this would be right up my alley! Well, when in doubt, substitute!  I recreated these appetizers using what I wanted instead to come up with something similar yet my own.  Introducing Sausage-and-Feta Cheese-Stuffed Peppers!

Turkey sausage and peppers are cooked together before adding in creamy cream cheese and tangy feta cheese.  The whole mixture is scooped into mini-sweet peppers and baked creating a perfectly small, appetizer-sized stuffed pepper.  The flavor of the turkey sausage, mixed with the difference cheeses and sweet peppers make for an overall perfect appetizer in my opinion.  Yes, removing the seeds of the peppers and making them into cute little boats may be a bit time consuming but the rest of the dish is easy as pie and quick to come together.  The hardest part is waiting the fifteen minutes for these suckers to be done.  The best part of the hardest part? Eating the left over sausage mixture out of the pan with a spoon while you wait.

Sausage-and-Feta Cheese-Stuffed Peppers (makes 24 appetizers)

Adapted from Coastal Living Magazine‘s Chorizo-and-Goat Cheese-Stuffed Peppers

  • 24 baby peppers or mini-peppers
  • 1 lb turkey sausage or pork sausage (hot or sweet, up to you!)
  • 2 ounces reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 4 ounces 1/3-less fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut about 1/4 inch from top of peppers to form a “boat” (see picture below). Seed peppers, if desired, and finely chop pepper tops. Combine chopped peppers and sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until sausage is browned. Drain well, if necessary. Add feta and cream cheeses, stirring until well blended. Spoon or pipe sausage mixture into pepper boats. Place on prepared baking sheet, and bake 15 minutes or until cheese melts and peppers are tender. Garnish with basil, if desired.

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut about 1/4 inch from top of peppers to form a “boat.” Seed peppers, if desired, and finely chop pepper tops.

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Combine chopped peppers and sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until sausage is browned. Drain well, if necessary.

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Add feta and cream cheeses, stirring until well blended.

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Spoon or pipe sausage mixture into pepper boats. Place on prepared baking sheet, and bake 15 minutes or until cheese melts and peppers are tender.

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Garnish with basil, if desired.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions (from adapted recipe):

  • Turkey sausage
  • Reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 1/3-less fat cream cheese
  • Basil

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Adapted from Coastal Living magazine

Beer-Glazed Sausage and Apples

Sometimes I come across a recipe that has me lingering a few seconds longer than the others but yet for whatever reason, I pass it by.  This recipe for Beer-Glazed Sausage and Apples is a perfect example of that.  Each and every time I come across it, I pause and think Wow, that looks good.  Finally, I caved.  It won me over and I couldn’t go another day, another minute, without making it.

Smoked sausage (I used turkey) is mixed with apples and green beans and simmered in a flavorful broth of wheat beer, brown sugar, cider vinegar and orange peel before being topped with bits of fresh sage.  The alcohol in the beer cooks off and the remaining flavor adds a layer of depth which blends so well with the sausage.  The apples and green beans are perfectly crisp while the orange peel provides a fresh, subtle citrus flavor which pleasantly permeates the whole dish.  I had high expectations for this dish and the result was as good, no, better than I expected.  My only complaint: don’t boil the sausage with the green beans as the recipe states in step one (I think this is an error).  Only boil the green beans in step one and brown the sausage in step three.  And when you eat it, try to get a little bit of everything in one forkful.  It’s worth a full mouth.

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The ingredients:

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In a large saucepan combine 1/2 of the beer and the crushed red pepper; bring to boiling.  Add green beans (not the sausage). Return to a simmer, cover and cook 5 to 8 minutes or until beans are tender. Drain and set aside.

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Meanwhile, in a large skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter; add apples. Cook, turning occasionally, until apples are just tender.  Transfer to a platter.

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Add sausage to skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides. Add to platter; cover. Drain fat from skillet.

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Carefully add remaining beer to skillet (mixture may foam); stir to scrape up browned bits. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter, brown sugar, cider vinegar, and orange peel. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, 5 to 6 minutes or until slightly thickened.

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Return sausage and green beans to skillet to coat in glaze. Fold in apples. Return to serving platter.

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Sprinkle with sage.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Turkey kielbasa

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Better Homes & Gardens magazine

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