Category: Sausage

Recipe Revamp – SS’s Stuffed Onions

 

The story for these Stuffed Onions starts WAAAAAAYYYY back to my first Pieathalon in 2015.  My pie was a Belgian Onion Pie chosen for me by the wonderful S.S. from A Book Of Cookrye.  If you are ever in need of a chuckle, giggle or even a downright belly laugh, you must check this blog out.  S.S. has a wit drier than the Sahara.  You know, I try really hard to be funny.  I feel with S.S. that it is just effortless.  A Book of Cookrye is always just so, so good! 

Stuffed Onions2Below the recipe for the Belgian Onion Pie that S.S sent me there was a picture of some little balls of delight (STOP IT. NOW! ) which I mistakenly took for a picture of the finished Belgian Onion Pies.  I assumed that the recipe was going to be some wacky Belgian reverso situation where the onion was the “pastry” and the filling was…I have no idea…crumbly pastry?

Belgian-Onion-Pie-Filling-Recipe (2)Sadly this was not the case.  But I hold out hope for the Belgians  They invented Smurfs, they can invent a reverso onion pie if they really put their mind to it…maybe after Brexit is over they’ll have some time on their hands for pie shenanigans. 

Anyhow, after probably eye-rolling and face-palming at my inability to understand the difference between a PIE and a STUFFED VEGETABLE, S.S then v kindly sent me the recipe for the stuffed onions.  Which I promptly printed and lost.  Then about six months later I found it again and made them.  They were….flawed but had potential.  I started thinking about how to improve the recipe.  After a while I made them again.  And again.  Then, earlier this year I was getting ready to post the improved version when my laptop died and I lost all my photos and my improvement notes.

However, cursed as this recipe may be, it was also like a ghost haunting me.  So, recently, despite history indicating that the Stuffed Onions post would never see the light o’ day, I made them  again. With what I could remember of the improvements. 

And they were fabby!  So tasty!

Stuffed onions3

I am still waiting for the world to implode when I post this though…

Let’s have a look at the original recipe and then have a chat about how I changed it.

Stuffed Onions recipe

  • Sausage meat is almost invariably going to have a high fat content.  Adding cream to something that is already fatty made the mixture far too greasy.  Believe me, your mouth will be coated in it and it almost feels like your whole face is smothered in a layer of grease. Mrs Dan Sartor may have been a  fan of the feeling like she had been dragged backwards through a pork chop but I do not.  So the cream is gone. As is the butter.
  • The wine does not have to be white.  I used a beef sausage and felt a red was a better match for the robust onion and beef flavours. 
  • Next…I don’t really understand inches but Google tells me that a 1/4 inch is 6mm which I feel is too much onion.  I took mine back to 2- 3 layers of onion. Which is more than enough. 
  • Depending on what kind of sausages you have you can also  add in flavourings like chilli, garlic, a teaspoon of tomato paste, or even a couple of finely chopped mushrooms (Sorry Jenny) to  the mix. 
  • Finally save some of those breadcrumbs for a little sprinkle of the top to add a little bit of crunch.  If you happen to have some dukkah to add to that sprinkle so much the better!
  • I served mine on a toasted piece of baguette.  The main ingredients – sausage, onion, bread are reminiscent of a hot dog so you could use whatever you like on your hot dogs.  I had some aioli and rocket but swap in whatever condiments you like!  Or replace the aioli with a slice of cheese.  Maybe if you are using a spicy sausage like a chorizo add some guacamole.  And throw some black beans into your sausage mix….
  • You could pretty much style this baby up into anything you wanted just by changing the type of sausage and the condiments / veggies. 

Stuffed Onions4Here’s the updated recipe.

Stuffed Onions
A modern take on a vintage stuffed onion recipe!
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Ingredients
  1. 8 medium onions
  2. 2 tbsp olive oil
  3. 2 sausages, your choice of flavour,
  4. 2 tbsp plus more for sprinkling over the top, breadcrumbs
  5. 1 handful of chopped parsley
  6. 1/2 tsp thyme leaves
  7. 1 cup beef or chicken or vegetable stock
  8. 1/2 cup dry white or red wine (your preference)
  9. 1 tbsp dukkah to garnish (optional)
  10. 8 small sprigs of thyme to ganish (optional)
Serving Suggestion
  1. 8 slices of baguette
  2. Aioli
  3. Rocket Leaves
Instructions
  1. Peel the onions and cut the top and bottom off so they sit flat.
  2. Scoop out the insides so 2/3 layers of onion are left.
  3. Finely chop half of the scooped out onion. (Save the rest for another recipe).
  4. Blanch the cases for 5 minutes then leave to dry.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a skillet then add the chopped onions. Allow them to soften and colour slightly - about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the sausage meat from the skins and crumble into the onion mix. Cook for around 5 minutes.
  7. Drain off the excess fat and add half of the wine and the breadcrumbs..
  8. Cook for a few minutes then add the herbs, salt and pepper.
  9. Fill the shells with the stuffing mix.
  10. Sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs and the dukkah if using.
  11. Garnish with a ting sprig of thyme.
  12. Arrange the onions in serving dish. Pour in the stock and the remaining wine.
  13. Bake in a 180C / 350F oven for 45 minutes, basting occasionally.
  14. Meantime, toast the baguette slices.
  15. Spread with the aioli and the rocket.
  16. Top with the cooked onions.
Notes
  1. Stuffing ingredients and serving suggestions can be modified based on the type of sausages you use and your favourite condiments.
Adapted from The Cotton Country Collection from 1972
Adapted from The Cotton Country Collection from 1972
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
A huge thanks to S.S for the recipe!  Sorry it has taken so long!  Thanks also to Mrs Dan Sartor for the original recipe.  And thanks also to my sadly deceased stepfather who, when ever anyone mentioned anything stuffed vis a vis “Hey I  made stuffed onions today”  would respond by saying something along the lines of “Oh…I”m sure they weren’t that bad” or “What’s important is that you tried”.  Those jokes were running rampant through my head for entire length of this post! 

Dad  jokes are the worst! 

Until you don’t have them anymore…

Huh…Way to finish on a downer.

Ummm….looks around frantically for something to lighten the tone….

Okay, here are some rather unappetizing vintage ideas for stuffed onions!

Here’s a thrifty way to “Satisfy your Inner Man”

Vintage Stuffed Onions2I’m not sure.  I feel like my inner man would prefer a steak…

And as for this next one all I’m going to say is creamed diced carrots. 

You can fill in the blanks on that one….

Vintage Stuffed Onions1Have a great week!

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Bangers Bolognese – Recipe Remedy

The original recipe for Bangers Bolognese comes from the Time Saving Tips Chapter of The A-Z of Food (1977).  I  wanted to make it purely for the name alone. The British habit of calling sausages bangers is adorable even if the origin  of the name is kind of unsavoury.  According to the ever reliable (ahem) Wikipedia, meat shortages during World War One lead to sausages being made with such a low meat content and such a high water content that they would sometimes explode when cooked.  They were literally bangers!   Best not to ask what actually went into them…..

The A-Z recipe for Bangers Bolognese was kind of gross though.  Chopped up sausages…oops, bangers in a sauce made out of tinned tomato soup. I have an aversion to tinned tomato soup stemming back from school days.  One time (not at band camp)  my school tuck shop ran out of ketchup and instead of buying more, used tinned tomato soup as the condiment for the day.  It was disgusting!  And put me off tinned tomato soup for life!

Bangers Bolognese2

So, I thought, what would happen if I took the idea of Bangers Bolognese but omitted the awful tomato soup component for something a bit more amenable to the modern palate? The result is a recipe remedy which is absolutely delicious!

Bangers Bolognese1I used chorizo for my bangers but feel free to use your favorite sausage.  Without wanting to sound too snooty about it, this is really a recipe where using the highest quality of sausage you can afford will result in a better tasting dish. 

Here’s the original for anyone that cares to eat sausages cooked in tomato soup:

Bangers Bolognese OriginalBefore we get to my tweaked version of Bangers Bolognese, lets take a trip in the way back machine to 1968 when Margaret Fulton had to show the unworldly Australian public how to twirl spaghetti like an urbane Italian.  Beware though, the next set of photos contain both werewolfy hairy arms and super pointy 1960’s nails. 

You have been warned.

Okay, so now you know how to twirl pasta like a pro lets update this beast.  No tomato soup in sight!

Bangers Bolognese
A delicious and time saving take on a traditional spaghetti bolognese, using sausages
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Ingredients
  1. 4 high quality sausages of your choice, the spicier the better
  2. 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  4. 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  5. 1 sprigs of thyme
  6. 1 sprig of rosemary
  7. 1/2 cup red wine
  8. 400g can tomatoes
  9. 1 tbsp brown sugar
  10. 400g spaghetti
  11. Cheese - parmesan is traditional however for extra creaminess, Donna Hay suggests using Buffalo Mozzarella
  12. Parsley and additional chilli flakes to garnish.
Instructions
  1. Remove the casings from the sausages.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the sausages, chilli, onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until the onions and garlic are softened.
  3. Add the wine, tomatoes, sugar and herbs.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and bring to a simmer.
  5. Cover with a lid and cook for 1/2 and hour or longer until the sauce is reduced.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente.
  7. Drain well.
  8. Toss the pasta with the bolognese mixture, top with cheese, parsley and chilli flakes.
Adapted from The A-Z of Food & Donna Hay
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Bangers Bolognese 7Have a wonderful week . I’ll be back next time with another recipe remedy from The A-Z of Cooking.

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Holy Prune Kebabs Batman…It’s Cheesy Meaty Goodness on a Stick Part 3

So, we had our first bbq in the new house on the weekend.  And to celebrate, I made the Prune Kebabs from Nancy Spain’s All Colour Cookbook. Before we sail this ship we call the Titanic into that particular iceberg, let’s talk about kebabs.

Prune Kebabs
Prune Kebabs

There seems to have been no standard spelling for food before about 1980.  I’ve seen these things spelled Kebabs, Kebobs, Kabobs and even Kaboobs….

I’m actually a little disappointed we didn’t go with Kabobs.  It sounds likes something out of Batman.  KA-BOB!

Whereas kaboobs?  Another thing altogether.

But I digress.  Where were we?  Oh yeah,  Nancy’s kebabs…Nancy’s Prune Kebabs.  Jeez, Even I’m distracted by Dolly’s boobage….I can only  imagine what it’s like for all you boys….

Actually, one more. On a slightly more disturbing note, did you know if you Google image “kaboobs”  this ranks quite high in the list of hits:

google Images

WTF?  I don’t want to know.  Seriously I don’t. Please no one ever explain the link to me.  Ever.

Ok back to biz.  Which was Nancy Spain’s Prune Kebabs.  Nancy recommends these as being popular with  teenagers.  I find that hard to believe.  It’s not like McDonalds didn’t exist then.  Believe me, none of the cool kids were chomping on Nancy’s Prune Kebabs.  Not when there was even the remotest possibility of two all beef patties, special sauce etc.

Also, given their renowned laxative properties, I would have thought Prune Kebabs more suited to the older gen.

But what do I know?

Sweet FA apparently because this recipe just lurched from one disaster to the next.

Issue 1.

Doing my mise-en-place  I realised I had no apples. It must be the only time in the history off the world that we have not had an apple, any apple in the house.

Solution 1

Checked all the other ingredients just to be sure and went down to the shops. Bought apples.  Did not realise until a week later when I came to scan the recipe to post that it also needed tomatoes.  I swear I must have originally read this recipe in the dark. I didn’t miss them.  Use them if you got ’em, if not never mind.

Prune Kebabs Mise En Place
Prune Kebabs Mise En Place

Issue 2

Nancy suggests soaking the prunes over night which I forgot to do.  I also do not care for Mango Chutney so subbed in some caramelised onion relish. Maybe because I hadn’t soaked them, stuffing the prunes with the relish was nigh on impossible.

Creative Innovation #1

I smeared the bacon with the relish then wrapped the prunes up in the bacon.

Prunes and Bacon
Prunes and Bacon

Issue 3

There was a problem with the cheese.  A few problems actually.   First , Nancy suggests processed cheese.  I would rather eat my own snot.  I had some nice cheddar.

Issue 3.1

At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, cheese melts. So, how do you cook a sausage and bacon on a bbq without having the cheese melt away to nothing? Also it kept breaking off the skewer. In retrospect, I should have bought some of that super delicious Greek frying cheese.

 Creative Innovation #2

I took the sausage out of its skin and made it into a little meatball and popped the cheese inside.  It still leaked a little bit but if it hadn’t been wrapped in the meat, you may as well not bother with it.

Prune Kebabs Cheese Meatball
Prune Kebabs Cheese Meatball

 Issue 4

I made two kebabs on my metal skewers then went the drawer to get the bamboo skewers. Only we had no bamboo skewers in the drawer. . .Or the pantry.  Or any other place in the house.  I can only think we left them at the old house .

So now we’re officially shit out of luck.

And skewers.

There’ no way I was getting in the car and driving to Safeway again.  It was as hot as hell out there.  In fact I’m blaming the heat on my utter scattiness – we had at least 6 days in a row over 40º.  (That”s over 100º for my American friends). My brain is melting.

 Creative Innovation #2

Brain melt or no, I may not have had skewers but I had rosemary. And you know what?  Those rosemary mini kebabs were not only as cute as hell, but they smelled crazy stupid good when being bbq’ed and gave an extra flavour boost to the kebabs.

Rosemary Mini  Kebabs
Rosemary Mini Kebabs

Finally, they were ready to go on the bbq.  Good thing I was also making the cocktail that will feature in my Valetines Day post at the same time because I needed a drink after all that!

Prune Kebabs
Prune Kebabs on bbq

Prunes and bacon are always good.  The onion relish was a nice addition as was the smoky flavour of the bbq.  The recipe called for chippoloatas, I couldn’t find any so I used a  spicy Italian fennel sausage from my local butcher.  This was really nice with the cheese that didn’t leak out all over the bbq.

Prune Kebabs 3
Prune Kebabs 3

The two revelations were the apple…who knew bbq’ed apple was so good?  It got a little bit charred and slightly soft but still crunchy, it soaked up the flavours of the bacon and the sausage, apples go fabulously with cheese…it was a real winner.  And the other thing I loved was the rosemary.  This was the opposite of the apple in that whilst the apple was busy soaking up all the flavours around it, the rosemary was just putting it all out there…the aroma as this cooked was awesome and the skewered items really did pick up some of the lovely rosemary flavour and aroma.

I have included both Nancy’s original and my adaptations below.

If you want more cheesy meaty goodness on a stick, you can look at:

Part 1 Here

Part 2 Here  – this one also features prunes and bacon.

Here is the orginal Nancy Spain recipe:

Nancy Spain Recipe

Have a great week. We’ll talk cocktails soon.

 

 

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The Italian Cuisine I Love – Rolled Breast Of Chicken

You may recall this photo from the first post on the Italian cuisine I love.  It’s one o f the photos supplied by the Ruffino Wine Company and one of my favourites from the book.  I made the Rolled Breast of Chicken and it was delicious.  This is a great meal when served with the following recipe for Cavolo nero, and of course some Italian wine!

Rolled Breast of Chicken.

  • 2 tbsp onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 4 sweet italian sausages (I  used spicy…because some like it hot!)
  • 1/4 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • salt & pepper

Cut the chicken breast horizontally in half.

Heat the oil in a skillet, add garlic and onion and saute or 1 minute.  Strip sausage out of the casing, add to skillet and cook until well browned, breaking up any lumps with a fork.

Remove sausage, onion and garlic with a slotted spoon and discard all but one tablespoon of fat from the pan.

Mix sausage, onion and garlic with breadcrumbs, parsley, tarragon, salt and pepper and put a pat of this stuffing on  each of the chicken pieces.

Roll them up, tuck in the ends and secure with toothpicks or string.  Add butter to skillet, saute the chicken rolls until browned on all sides – two or three minutes.

Remove rolls from skillet to a hot serving platter  and remove thread or toothpicks.  Add wine to skillet, delglaze quickly and pour sauce over rolls.

My Version

Rolled Breast of Chicken
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