Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bangers And Mash

Bangers and Mash

Well, it wasn't just any sausage, it was my garlic sausage.   And, of course, I also changed the mashed potatoes by adding a bit of parsnips.  For sweetness.  And, I'm addicted to mashed potatoes and parsnips.  Finding a British beer in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, was nothing short of a miracle.  Bass.  At Safeway.  Wonders will never cease.  So began my multiple usages of stuffed sausage.

Given my weakness for sausage,  my first four different sausages didn't make a dent in my freezer so I decided to go for even more.  Top left is Charcuterie's Smoked Andouille recipe.  Below is Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Merguez Sausage.  On the right, both coiled and in links, is Charcuterie's Venison Sausage.  I feel like I'm on a sausage mission, trying more and more kinds of sausage-making, but maybe I'm just filling a junk food addition.  Be that as it may, as long as I had extra minutes in the day, a love of sausage loomed overhead.

At first I wasn't crazy about the Andouille, so I used and froze it without smoking it.  I figured I could smoke some of it, if I wanted, after defrosting....  I may be completely wrong but I had no choice because life is like that....  I didn't think it had enough pepper a first, but after freezing and then defrosting a few links, I changed my mind and really liked the flavor. Andouille Sausage is really good whether smoked or not, and it lends itself to many different dishes.  I used it in a risotto and it turned out very well.  I also made a cream sauce with peppers, onions, and zucchini and served it over egg noodles, as shown above.  Now I think that smoking it would really bring out the flavor even more.

Garlic sausage and peppers

So, every summer I look forward to the County Fair in late August (and yes, that is way too early).  I often enter some of my canned goods and have won a number of blue ribbons.  But what I really look forward to is the food booth from Coeur d'Alene because they serve coils and coils of homemade Italian sausage.  I can smell the sausage and pepper, onion, garlic, and oregano mix on the grill before I even see the booth.  The server cuts a long chunk of the coil, sticks it into an oversized sausage roll, covers it with the pepper mixture, puts it onto some serving paper, and hands it to you.  And, in a truly disgusting fashion, I also put yellow mustard on top - it must be some childhood thing.  Occasionally, throughout the year, I try to emulate the flavor, and although I didn't add the disgusting yellow mustard to the above sandwich, it came close to county fair memories.

I've used my sausages in a number of ways.  For dinner one night my husband and I had rigatoni with chicken sausage and peppers in cream sauce again.  I love how the cream absorbs the flavors of the peppers and sausage as well as the changing herbs that I add.  To me, it's comfort food.  I also made a risotto with my chicken sausage removed from the casings and I added some cut up broccoli.  That was delicious!  The hint of tomato from the sausage blended well with the broccoli, onions, and garlic.  My own chicken stock just added more flavor.

I haven't had the venison sausage yet.  I'm thinking I'll like it more in winter....  However, once those root vegetables come up in the fall, I may be tempted to serve them with venison sausage.  Hmm, what kind of beer would go well with venison sausage?  Maybe on a gusty, windy fall day, red wine would match the sausage better.  So many choices!  And tomorrow, a new Charcutepalooza challenge!  I'm ready!

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