Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

Sausage Round-up

posted in Main Dishes, Recipes by Kathy Maister

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Startcooking’s Sausage Balls

Mmmm … sausage. Whether it’s Jimmy Dean at Sunday brunch, juicy ballpark franks at the game, or spicy merguez hot off the backyard grill, there’s no denying the delicious-ness of sausages.

Sure, there’s a bit of a “mystery meat” aura about sausages, because they are often made of leftovers, including organ parts and fat. The key to buying good sausage is to go for high meat content (70 per cent or higher) and all-natural varieties (which contain no fillers or artificial ingredients). If you’re buying hot dogs, go for the all-beef varieties.

There’s still the question of what kind of sausage to buy: Some sausages are cooked as part of their preparation, while others are raw, like most Italian sausage. Some are smoked, some are cooked and smoked, like kielbasa. While most sausage comes in a casing, American breakfast sausage is prepared in a patty format. Hey, these days there are even vegetarian and vegan sausages. To help figure out what’s what, here’s a handy guide to sausages from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

The bottom line is, there’s a sausage out there to suit your fancy! And there are many ways to prepare them. This sausage link (pun intended) is from a British sausage site that gives the basic cooking instructions on boiled, fried, baked, barbecued or poached sausage.

Now for some great recipes:

To make a regular American hot dog in the microwave, just follow my simple instructions.

My Sausage and Egg Casserole (video) is great to serve to company. With its make-ahead steps, you can get it ready tonight for tomorrow’s big brunch!

If you want to impress everyone, you can use your homemade turkey sausage in this pasta sauce, then make lasagna with it!

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Roasted Vegetables and Sausage
is a great way to take advantage of deliciously fresh summer produce. Plus it smells fabulous when it is cooking!

For the heartiest of hearty soups, try this split pea soup with kielbasa in it!

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Cheesy sausage balls (show at the very top of this post) would make a great appetizer or snack for game night (whether board games or football) with your friends.

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6 Comments

dr. sukhen changmai said:

very excellent , l am looking forward for bacon and ham preparation.

KGWagner said:

My current favorite things to do is cut up 4 or 5 good-sized potatoes into 1″ chunks and throw those in the pressure cooker, halve and then quarter a couple large Vidalia onions and throw those on top, then cut up about 2lbs of keilbasa and throw that on top of it all. 5 minutes under pressure, and it’s heavenly. Very fast prep, super simple, and quite yummy.

Kathy Maister said:

Lately I’ve been buying “turkey” kielbasa instead of the real deal. It works great in things like split pea soup. But when I tried to add it to roasted vegetables it ended up tasting very dry. Would turkey kielbasa work with your pressure cooker meal?

KGWagner said:

I imagine it would, but part of the magic of it is the keilbasa rendering on top, then the onions, all drizzling down through the taters as they cook. I’m not sure if the turkey version would have enough fat to do that.

On the plus side, if you’re concerned about the fat in the keilbasa, it essentially ends up in the bottom of the pot and you don’t use it, so the meat isn’t as fatty as it would be if you cooked it in something where you retained the juices, such as in a soup or stew.

mccain blogs said:

I make a pasta sauce out of Hungarian sausage and bell peppers in tomato sauce and its always a hit. Thanks for the recipes!

Steph said:

Hi Kath. I am looking forward to see all these tips in movies. It would be so nice that these be converted to multimedia.