For sausage fans


MOs810, Wikimedia Commons

Baked, fried, grilled or even boiled, sausages are very versatile ingredients for many types of meals.

There are all types of sausages these days, and many are meatless, which is fine. But today’s recipes are about traditional meaty sausages.


I haven’t yet found a recipe that calls for sausages that I don’t like, so hopefully you will find something here that looks worthy of trying. When I make pizza, I like to use the homemade turkey sausage I included here. I got the recipe from my mother-in-law decades ago, and I have tweaked it here and there over the years.


When time was scarce, I would often use a pre-baked pizza crust. The chowder recipe is a family favorite. If you like, you can substitute peeled and cubed banana or butternut squash for the sweet potatoes. I love recipes that you can adapt to suit your own tastes.


As usual, stay warm and safe as we get through the winter weather and Covid concerns.


Cat’s shrimp andouille chowder


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter


1/2 to 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch dice


3/4 to 1 cup each diced onion, celery and carrot


2 teaspoons minced garlic


1/4 cup flour


3 cups chicken broth


1 cup heavy cream


1 sweet potato, peeled and diced (at least 1 1/2 cups)


1 pound medium to large raw shrimp, peeled


2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


1 teaspoon each chopped fresh thyme and coarse (kosher) salt


1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste


1. In a soup kettle, heat butter over medium heat. Add sausage and saute, stirring occasionally, until sausage is browned. Stir in onion, celery, carrots and sweet potato. Saute, covered, until vegetables are tender. Add garlic, lower heat to medium-low.


2. Uncover kettle and stir in flour evenly over vegetables. Stir to thoroughly mix and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gradually stir in 1 cup chicken broth until flour is well blended into the liquid. Slowly add remaining chicken broth, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. (If soup is thicker than you like, add a little more broth or water.)


3. Increase heat to medium-high, slowly bringing mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Add shrimp and reduce heat to medium. Cover pot and simmer until the shrimp is done.


4. Add cream and remaining ingredients (lime juice, thyme, basil, salt and pepper) and simmer a minute or two.


Kielbasa and cabbage


6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (reserve 1 tablespoon bacon grease)


1/4 cup water


2 tablespoons sugar


1 onion, chopped


2 teaspoons minced garlic


1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt


3 teaspoons caraway seeds


1 large head of cabbage, cored, shredded and also coarse-cut


1 pound smoked sausage, such as kielbasa, cut on diagonal


1. Fry the sausages in the bacon grease until nicely browned. Remove, drain on paper towels; set aside.


2. Add shredded cabbage to the bacon grease in pan. Add chopped onion and garlic to the pan. Add sugar, pepper flakes, seasoned salt, caraway seeds and the water. Stir to mix, then add the coarse-cut cabbage and mix again. Saute with lid on, until it cooks to your preference, at least 20 minutes.


3. The last 15 minutes or so of cooking time, add the browned sausages and mix with the cabbage. Cook over very low heat and let flavors blend, but don’t overcook it. Add crumbled bacon to the dish. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.


Cat’s homemade turkey sausage


1 pound ground turkey (not white meat)


1 heaping tablespoon poultry seasoning


2 tablespoons cider vinegar


2 tablespoons sugar


Dash of crushed red pepper flakes


Salt and pepper, to taste


Note: Add desired amount of anise seed or anise extract, if you wish


1. Mix all ingredients in a glass or plastic bowl. Allow to sit up to one day or at least one hour so flavors can blend.


2. Brown sausage mixture in skillet, breaking up with wooden spoon. Use as pizza topping or any other recipe that calls for this type of sausage.


Sausage chive pinwheels


1 tube (8-oz.) refrigerated crescent rolls


1/2 pound uncooked pork sausage


2 tablespoons minced chives


1. Preheat oven to 375. Unroll crescent dough onto a lightly floured surface; press perforations to seal. Roll out into a 14-by-10-inch rectangle.


2. Spread sausage to within 1/2 inch of edges. Sprinkle chives evenly over the top. Roll up carefully, jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal.


3. Cut into 12 slices, placing each slice 1 inch apart on an ungreased 15-by-10-inch baking pan.


4. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and sausage is cooked through, about 12 to 16 minutes. Makes 12 servings.

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