Sausage. Does the word make you drool just thinking about ground meat, seasoned to perfection, stuffed into a casing and fried up in a pan?
Yeah, me too, and that’s coming from a girl who doesn’t make meat a priority, much to the chagrin of a good part of her family. Maybe it can be contributed to the whole Oktoberfest season thing, but fat, juicy sausages in all shapes, sizes and flavors are what I’m craving.
I’ve been to a few specialty shops touting cases filled with the likes of chicken, beef, lamb and salmon sausages, as well as the so-necessary pork varieties.
Herbs and spices lace the meats with suggestive appeal.
Renderings like chicken with jalapenos and cilantro or lamb mixed with rosemary and garlic make me almost want to become a meat-a-tarian, well for a meal or several anyway.
Often our brats are stuffed in a soft bun and piled with kraut and coarse-grain mustard; simple and fab. However, these same precious tubes of ground goodness can be deconstructed to make a grand appearance in strudels of paper-thin pastry or an eggy sweet-savory quiche.
Years ago my Mom gave me a cookbook entitled “Southwest Cooking, Succulent, Savory, Authentic.”
It was about the time we were moving to Australia, and I was keenly aware there would be a clear-cut lack of Southwest or Mexican food. That’s probably not the case today, but back in the early 90’s it was, so my little spiral-bound cookbook became a go-to for basic recipes like red chili sauce and whole-wheat tortillas.
Stuck in the middle of the section of Southwestern entrees, was a quiche recipe that has been made so many times, that I can almost do it in my sleep. It’s full of flavor and spice, mellowed by the sweet-tartness of shredded apple.
Ranch-Style Sausage and Apple Quiche
- 1 – 9-inch pastry shell, 1 ½ inches deep
- ½ pound spicy pork sausage, removed from the casing
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ¾ cup shredded, tart apple
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 eggs
- 1 ½ cups half-and-half
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Dash of ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Crumble sausage into large skillet; add onion. Stir over medium heat until sausage is browned and onion is tender. Spoon off and discard pan drippings.
- Add apple, lemon juice, sugar and chili pepper. Cook on medium-high heat 4 minutes or until apple is barely tender and all liquid is evaporated. Let cool.
- Spoon sausage mixture into pastry shell; top with cheese.
- Whisk eggs, half-and-half, salt and black pepper in medium bowl.
- Pour over sausage mixture. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until filling is puffed and knife inserted in center comes out clean.
- Let stand 10 minutes before cutting to serve.
Apples and sausage, well they’re a thing, too!
Despite the fact I’m not all about pumpkin everything, like so many are in the fall, I am into the savory edge even specks of sausage add to humble stuff; and left-over quiche is spot-on for breakfast, cold.
Happy eating –