I guess you can say I was full of bologna (ha!). Actually, bologna, chorizo, bratwurst, andouille, chicken sausages, and more! All so juicy and flavorful, each tasted as it were hand crafted by a butcher who really knew and cared about what they were doing. I think that is something special to be said for products that can be found at a reasonable price right at the local specialty shop or deli. To get that quality and care is an unfortunate rarity in a time when the local mom and pop butcher shop up the block is being chased away by big name wholesale warehouses like Costco and BJ’s.
So, what to do with all these sausages? Make a bunch of delicious and easy recipes, of course. Since I couldn’t choose just one, I made three recipes featuring three different sausages. Inspired by my trip to New Orleans a few months ago, I immediately thought to make Jambalaya with the andouille. Traditional in flavor and ingredients, my jambalaya is simplified and uncomplicated with plenty of substance and just enough spice.
Anything with chorizo is pretty much a winner to me. I love its deep red color, its garlicky flavor and its kick. Two things that happen to go especially well with chorizo are eggs and potatoes. Put them all together and you have a delicious, authentic-style Spanish tortilla. Unlike the flat round corn and flour Mexican tortillas we are familiar with making our tacos with, in Spain, a tortilla or tortilla de patatas, is a potato omelet made in a skillet, very similar to a frittata. To make my recipe, a mixture of thinly sliced potatoes, eggs, and diced chorizo is cooked until set, flipped, cooled and cut into either small portions for a starter or wedges for a meal. I cut mine into small squares to be served as appetizers. It’s like an update to the mini quiche.
|Potato Chorizo Tortilla|
Now that it’s grilling season, I made an extra little something special that’s perfect for the summer: Beer-poached chicken sausages with beer-braised sauerkraut. Chicken sausages are immersed in a batch of bubbling seasoned beer to infuse them with flavor and juiciness for several minutes before they are branded with crisp toasty grill marks on the barbecue. As the sausages are grilling, the poaching liquid is used to braise sauerkraut with spicy whole grain mustard for topping. For cookouts, I also recommend the Karl Ehmer hotdogs (which are especially good topped with a bit of spicy hot stuff!)
|Beer-Poached Chicken Sausages with Beer-Braised Sauerkraut|
Karl Ehmer products can be found in specialty and ethnic food stores all over New York, and in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey. If you’re lucky, you may even have one of the Karl Ehmer German butcher shops near you. Their products can also be purchased right from their online store. For more on Karl Ehmer, visit their Facebook page.
Yield: 4-6 Servings
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ pound Karl Ehmer Andouille Sausage, sliced into rounds
- 1 cup chopped onions
- Cup chopped celery
- ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups seeded and diced tomato (about 3 medium tomatoes)
- 2 scallions, sliced, divided
- 1 ½ cup long grain white rice
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- ½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ pound medium shrimp, cleaned and sautéed
1) In a small bowl, mix the oregano, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper.
2) In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, lightly sauté the sausage. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper to the drippings in the pan and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
3) Add the tomatoes and half of the scallions and cook until the tomatoes just start to break down, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice. Add the stock, seasoning mix, Worcestershire, hot sauce, thyme and bay leaf. Season the broth with extra salt and pepper to taste, as needed. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce to a light simmer, cover and cook 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is just about tender. About 10 minutes before the rice is done cooking, add the sautéed sausage and shrimp to the pot to heat through.
4) Remove the bay leaf from the rice. Serve the jambalaya in bowls. Garnish with the remaining scallions.
Potato Chorizo Tortilla
Yield: Makes about 30 appetizers
- Olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 pound potato, peeled and thinly sliced
- 6 ounces Karl Ehmer Chorizo, casing removed, finely diced
- 5 eggs
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and potato and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool, about 10 minutes.
3) In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, cheese, salt and pepper until smooth. Add the cooled onion and potato mixture and the chorizo to the egg mixture; mix well.
4) Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture and smooth the surface, pressing the potatoes and onions into a smooth, even layer. Cook for 5 minutes, shaking the skillet occasionally, until the bottom is set. Use a spatula to loosen the side of the tortilla. Transfer to the oven and cook for about 10 minutes, until completely set.
5) Place a large plate over the top of the tortilla and carefully invert the skillet and plate together so that the tortilla drops onto the plate.
6) Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and swirl around. Carefully slide the tortilla back into the skillet, browned side up and gently warm. Run the spatula around the tortilla to tuck in the edge.
7) Let the tortilla sit in the pan for about 10 minutes, then carefully transfer to a cutting board. Let stand 10-15 minutes more. Cut into small squares and serve as appetizers with toothpicks. You may also cut the tortilla into wedges to serve as an entrée.
Beer-Poached Chicken Sausages with Beer-Braised Sauerkraut
Yield: 4 Servings
- 3 cups lager-style beer, divided
- 1 pound Karl Ehmer Chicken Bratwurst
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1 pound bagged sauerkraut, drained
- 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
- 4 hot dog buns
1) Pierce each sausage several times all around with a fork.
2) In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the beer to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add the sausage with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cover and poach sausage for 5-7 minutes. Remove sausage and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
3) Bring the reserved cooking liquid to a boil. Add the sauerkraut, mustard, and the remaining salt and pepper. Return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. In the meantime, grill the sausages until slightly crisp.
4) Serve the sausages in hot dog buns, topped with the sauerkraut.