Friday, May 13, 2011

Gluten-free, Soy-free, Corn-free Pork Luganega Sausage

I am not a big griller. Usually my dad does the grilling, and my mom and I make the fixings. Normally, we stick with chicken, steak, or burgers. However, every now and then we like bbq'n hot dogs or sausage. Unfortunately when you have multiple allergies, most sausages are a no-no to you. If you find one that is free of gluten, corn, or soy, then you know it has pepper, tomatoes, or garlic. So instead of forgoing the weenie roast this year, I decided to try my hand at making my own.

I already had the grinder attachment for my Kitchenaid stand mixer so all i needed was the sausage stuffer attachment. It looks like this:

It took me about an hour to make 3 lbs of pork sausage. Pretty reasonable in my opinion.

Normally people use natural casing, which is essentially pig intestine. Yeah.
I'm not gutsy enough to dive into the deep end of the pool on my first try. So I started with a cellulose casing. It isn't edible, but it also doesn't smell like . . . never mind.
Moving on.

Making sausage is much easier then you think.
Prepare your ingredients.
Freeze your meat.
Grind your meat.
Stuff your sausage.

Simple as that. Okay, I know it doesn't look simple, but it is. Trust me.

This sausage is the perfect pairing for use in risottos. It also tastes great in tomato sauce.

Pork Luganega (Italian Spring Sausage)

4 feet Casing (your choice)
1 3/4 lbs Lean Pork Butt, stripped from the bone
1/2 lb Pork Fat
1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp grated Lemon Zest
1 tsp grated Orange Zest
1/4 tsp freshly grated Nutmeg
1/4 C. White wine
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Optional, if not allergic:
1 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
1 clove Garlic

  1. Cube the meat and fat into 1-inch cubes. Put them in the freezer for about half and hour.
  2. Grind the meat and fat with the fine disk of whatever grinder your using.
  3. While the meat is freezing combine in a large bowl the salt, lemon zest, orange zest, nutmeg, wine, and if adding the pepper and garlic.
  4. Add the ground meat and Parmesan, mix well.
  5. Stuff the casing, twist off into 8 inch links. Separate the links with scissors.
  6. Put the links on a platter in the fridge, and let them dry uncovered for 2 to 3 hours.
  7. Use within 3 days, or freeze.
I usually freeze them after the drying phase, and then defrost them as I need them. Make sure to cook your meat  until it reaches and internal temperature of 160 F.

Friday, May 06, 2011

"Cheezy" Banana Squash Fries

The Tell-tale heart. JK.

Good morning cyber-land!

I know it has been forever since I've given you all a recipe, but don't worry I'll make up for it in the next coming weeks. I have been cooking up a storm. Just not posting up a storm.

I don't know about you, but I am always trying to put more vegetables in my diet. Especially bright, colorful super food vegetables.
Banana Squash

Have you ever eaten a banana squash? Yeah, neither had I till a couple of weeks ago. My local produce vendor was offering french fry cut banana squash. Instead of frying, I wanted to bake it to crispiness. I also wanted it to taste slightly cheesy without the added calories of cheese. Nutritional yeast worked perfectly!
This dish is a great source of vitamins and minerals. Banana squash is high in beta-carotene, Vitamin C, manganese, and potassium. The nutritional yeast is chockful of the B vitamins. Grape seed oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, is high in essential fatty acids, low in saturated fat, cholesterol free, and is high in phenols which protect our cells against free radicals. Muy Buono if you ask me!


"Cheezy" Banana Squash Fries

1 lb French Fry cut Banana Squash
2 Tbs Grape seed Oil
3 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp Salt
Fresh ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Toss the fries with the oil, salt, and yeast. Spread out in an even layer and bake for 15 minutes.
4. Flip, bake for 15 more minutes.
5. Flip again, bake for 10 more minutes.
6. Remove from oven when golden brown and partially dried out.

Soooo good.  And good for you!

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