Tuesday, May 15, 2007


As someone who doesn't eat pork, I miss sausage sometimes. In fact, when I was a complete vegetarian during my years in France, the only times I fell off the wagon were one trip to Munich, when I ate potato soup with sausage (and would have licked the bowl if I hadn't been in a restaurant), and one trip months later to Berlin, when I craved a cheese bratwurst, bought one on a streetcorner, and devoured it with relish (figuratively, not literally). Good stuff. Nowadays some really stellar turkey brats are available around here--some flavored with apple and basil, some with mango and habanero, some just simple and suprisingly porky and crying out for a grill--but I've had less success in finding turkey breakfast sausage patties that make me want to shout for joy.

So I made my own, trying to find a medium-greasy, medium-spicy replacement. After looking at a few recipes, here's what I came up with:

1 lb 99% fat free ground turkey
1 lb 85% ground turkey
6 big cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
3/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp salt
1/3 c. fresh parsley, minced (could probably substitute dried, but less)
5 fresh sage leaves, minced (could probably substitute dried rubbed sage, but less)

Mash the garlic and spices in a mortar and pestle, then work the paste into the ground turkey with your hands. Shape into patties and fry on each side till brown, or crumble into pieces and fry to use in casseroles, soups, etc. (I used it in a quiche with aged cheddar, sauteed granny smith apples, and sage.) Makes ~16 patties.
The first time I made it I went clove-happy, so I've dialed it down for this version. But other than over-cloving it (and making it too spicy for my baby nephew), I liked it and I'm proud. Everyone at the Mother's Day brunch we hosted seemed to enjoy it--and my MIL, who's a whiz in the kitchen, said that she's never made her own sausage! Dear readers, making sausage is actually a lot easier than you think (especially if you're not grinding your own meat and stuffing the casings).



Blogger Judy said...

Sounds great. I love sausage too (German and Polish background, how could I not!) but rarely eat it since it's so high in calories and fat. Nice to see a tasty replacement.

4:19 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Judy--Thanks! And you could always use all 99% fat free ground turkey--just maybe use a little bit more oil to cook it in (I used cooking spray). Penzey's even sells blends of spices specifically for sausage-making.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Lisa B. said...

v. impressive. Can you get to work on developing bacon without pork? bacon that will make me want to get up and shout for joy?

5:12 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Sorry, lisa b. Turkey bacon is a decent substitute--but only decent. Not joy-inducing.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Papadesdeux said...

OMG. Yet another one of those people I envy with a seemingly never ending supply of energy.

I just sent an email regarding the bi-lingual projects.

You sure you don't want to come back to France. I know Colorado is nice, but...

5:10 AM  

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