Sunday, January 19, 2014

GF Sausage done five ways

Steve's wife is out of town and so Kathy offered to have us bring the snacks for our church small group. Lately I have been fascinated with the ground turkey that is 99% lean, 1% fat. I decided it would be fun to do ground turkey five ways, but all as a, or involving sausage.

Some common tricks

I cooked up small batches, about 15 1.5 inch patties. With each of the sausages, (all gluten free and all but the last lactose free), I used a single egg as a binder.  Also the first one has corn meal of course, but the other four used 3 heaping teaspoons of brown rice flavor. They all have a few drops of liquid smoke, if I tried to do this on the Traeger it would take 24 hours. Experiment with quantities and flavorings to make a turkey only sausage and then consider some variations.

Always, when doing exploratory cooking after you mix up a batter cook up one patty as a test case. That way, you have a chance to adjust the recipe.

Corn bread with Parrillada Grilled Polish Sausage

The first set I did was a corn bread with Parriillada style grilled Polish Sausage; lots of sausage. With health oriented stores, (Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, etc), you can sometimes get this uncured. You can duplicate this style of grilling by cutting off any casing, slicing it in half lengthwise and sear it on one of those lodgepole cast iron skillets with the ridges to put burn marks on the meat, but let any fat drop down into the valleys. I learned about this from a lunch at Las Margaritas

GF Ground Turkey w Scallions

In the second batch, I added Greek salt free seasoning, the tops of green onions. Here is a tip. Wal-Mart sells them in a bag. They tend to keep much better than others AND there is a cool trick. Using a razor sharp knife cut the top off the bag. Push the onions out of the bag, maybe 1/2 inch at a time and cut pieces off the entire bunch as thin as possible. This is the fastest way I know of to process these.

GF Ground Turkey w Sour Cherries

This is the hardest sausage to cook. All I know to say is be patient, use the lowest heat possible. If your broiler supports broiling while the door is open, you can really improve the odds of a successful batch. You heat the bottom up with the range and a skillet and then use the broiler to heat the top enough to flip the whole mess. How do you use the cherries? Well I would start with Mostara Cherries or the best simulation possible. If you can pull it off it is great. Some hot pepper can add to the experience.

GF Five Pepper Spicy Pepper 

Start with the sausage recipe that works for you. Now lets fire it up. Add some black pepper, cayene, paprika, grill a guajillo pepper Parrillada style and chop fine, and finish with a serrano. This is where the test case really pays off, you can always add more spice, but can never take it away. If your tongue turns black, you may have used too much spice.

GF Cheeseburger

This will probably ruin my reputation as a foodie, but in the past six seeks I have been craving McDonalds Cheeseburgers, (without onions). But at 440 calories per burger, plus white flour buns and cholesterol, I have been experimenting with making a healthier version. What if I ditch the bun?

So here is the deal. Same basic sausage mix. Add:

  • Mustard, I used dijon because I did not have the McDonalds yellow mustard
  • Catchup, Hunts makes a no preservatives, no high sugar fructose, unless you make your own this is a good choice.
  • Pickles, chopped into 1/4 " pieces. Vlassic carries a hamburger pickle called ovals that are the misshapened pickles that are much more economical than perfect pickles. Since we are cutting them up anyway, who cares what they are shaped like? Kathy and I love pickles, we went heavy pickles and even snuck some of the juice into the mix.
  • Cheddar cheese powder, go big or go home. 
The cheese dried the mix up, I used liquid egg whiles to get to the right consistency. The crazy thing; it actually worked. 

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