I wonder sometimes how other food bloggers are coming up with ideas of what they want to make. Is it lined out on a chalkboard? On the ‘plan your blog’ app? Or is it a day to day decision? I wonder sometimes what I might create and share next… for about 3 minutes… because frankly, I’m under the impression that there are not enough hours, days, months or years to complete all the thoughts I have about food. So really, it’s a matter of focus, organization and lots of real time little notebooks and computer stickies. How do you decide?
The latest thought pattern went like this. Having just returned from Atlanta, I’ve had Southern Food on the brain. I innocently took a pic of Sara Foster’s most recent book, Southern Kitchen. I wasn’t really familiar with it, but the cover caught my eye and it popped up as I perused my photos. Then yesterday I made pork chops and mushroom sauce. Then there was leftover sauce, which led me to biscuits and gravy. Thinking, thinking…..Despite the mass consumption of pork in Germany, I’ve not found proper italian/breakfast sausage. Possibly only for lack of knowing where to find it. Thinking then…. Why not make my own sausage? I don’t need it in casings. So I did. Because we are still in a bit of a healthy pause, I compromised by making small portions. Don’t laugh.
So pleased with the sausage, I was glad I hadn’t found it yet or I probably would not have tried it myself. This won’t be the last time either. It takes a little effort with the fresh herbs but you could also substitute dried herbs if you don’t have the time or desire.
I did some recipe research and came up with this: Don’t be shy with your teaspoons of fresh herbs…
Simple herbed sausage: a little spicy
- 1 # ground pork shoulder/butt
- 1 T fresh parsley
- 1 tsp fresh marjoram
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch of clove
- 1½ tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp sherry vinegar
I asked my butcher for ground pork with a little fat. Something like the butt or shoulder is good. Combine all the ingredients and if you have time let it chill for an hour. I used half in the gravy and put the other half in the fridge for patties. The sausage stood out nicely in my gravy. I’ll let you know if sitting over night made it that much better.
Then I got on with the gravy. My primary goal was the sausage. You can use your favorite gravy here or take a look at what I did. I start with a basic thin to medium roux (flour, butter, milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg) and I’ve been adding soft goat cheese or sometimes feta. It started one night when I was making a white sauce for pasta and was out of parmesan. I had a soft chevre spread and used that. Then one night I tried feta… all salty and tangy. Wonderful.
Next I found Sara Foster and Simply Recipes shared a pretty similar biscuit recipe as did Joy of Cooking but they used less butter, so I went with the first two of course. Click on Simply Recipes and you’ll also find their sausage and gravy recipes. From them, I took what I deemed useful.
Biscuits: Adapted from Simply Recipes and Sara Foster’s (1/2 amount- made 8 small biscuits)
- 1¼ cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 8 T cold butter
- ½ cup chilled and shaken buttermilk
Simply combine the dry ingredients, cut in the butter till crumbly then add the chilled buttermilk. The key is minimal handling so mix till just combined and form a 3/4 inch disk on a lightly floured board. Cut out biscuits with 1 1/2 -2 inch cutter. I used a 1/2 cup measure cup as my biscuit cutters haven’t moved to Germany yet. The last bits I mushed together… you can see which on it was too. Place in a 450°preheated oven for about 15 minutes, rotating once during baking.