It’s no secret that sausage is one of the most popular foods around. There is evidence that it was a favorite of the Greeks and the Roman more than 20 centuries ago. I don’t find that hard to understand.
I might be a bit prejudiced, but the sausage that we have most often at home is my favorite. Of course, it’s sausage that I make it with a couple of friends each year, combining either venison or elk with pork and a few select seasonings.
That’s not to say there aren’t a lot of good commercially made sausages on the market. And I can’t forget to mention the local meat markets that put out their own such varieties as L&M Meats in Grand Forks and B&E Meats in Crookston, two of my favorites.
One store-bought type of sausage that has gained popularity in recent years is that made with chicken. It is a nice alternative to pork-based sausages. The National Chicken Council says sausage is the fastest-growing chicken product. And it’s showing no sign of slowing, according to a story I read recently.
I’ve had chicken sausage a couple of times and have found it quite tasty. Here are a couple of chicken sausage recipes that have I haven’t tried but that have piqued my interest.
Chicken Sausage Kebabs with Pineapple and Peppers
6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
4 fully cooked favorite chicken sausages (any variety), each cut into 6 pieces
24 mini bell peppers
24 pieces (about 1½ inch chunks) fresh pineapple
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat or prepare the grill for medium-high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, honey and mayonnaise; set aside. Thread 3 sausage pieces alternatively with 3 peppers and 3 pineapple pieces onto each of 8 skewers. Place on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Grill skewers until vegetables are lightly charred and crisp-tender and sausage is heated through, turning occasionally and brushing with mustard mixture during last 1 or 2 minutes, about 8 minutes total.
Arrange skewers on platter. Brush with any remaining mustard mixture or serve the mustard mixture on the side.
Yield: 8 kebabs.
Approximate nutritional analysis per kebab: 156 calories, 41 percent of calories from fat, 8 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 17 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams protein, 538 milligrams sodium, 43 milligrams cholesterol, 2 grams fiber.
Chicken Sausage Pesto Pizza
2 to 3 links favorite fully-cooked chicken sausage
1 13.8-ounce package pizza crust, such as Pillsbury regular, thin or whole wheat
2 tablespoons pesto
5 mini red, orange or yellow peppers, sliced
½ cup sliced red onion
1 cup (or more as desired) Italian-blend cheese, divided
¾ cup grape tomatoes, halved
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the chicken sausage into ¼-inch slices on the diagonal. Set aside.
Press the pizza dough into a round pizza pan or shape on a baking sheet.
Brush the pesto over the pizza crust. Arrange peppers and onions on crust. Sprinkle with ½ cup of the cheese. Arrange chicken sausage slices and grape tomato halves on top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and few grinds of freshly ground black pepper.
Bake about 13 minutes or until crust is browned both on the bottom and edge and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven, let sit 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Yield: Serves 4 (2 slices each).
Approximate nutritional analysis per slice: 235 calories, 38 percent of calories from fat, 10 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 24 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams protein, 662 milligrams sodium, 42 milligrams cholesterol, 1 gram fiber.