Grace's Mosaic Moments

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Recipes - Sausage with Fennel

But first a remarkable collection of pics for the  



Ganesh, napping

A 2015 photo by NASA's Deep Space Climate Observatory, catching our Moon's far side silhouetted against the earth:


And for sheer beauty . . .

Credit - @dominiclian



Grace note:  I made both recipes below over the past month and absolutely loved the taste of fennel-seasoned pork. I hope you, too, enjoy these special treats.


From the Orlando Sentinel


Pork and Fennel Sausage Rolls

2 TBspn. extra-virgin olive oil
2 fat garlic cloves, minced
1 TBspn fennel seeds, plus more for finishing
3 thyme sprigs, leaves separated, chopped*
1 small onion (red, yellow or white)
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced carrots**
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1 lb. lean ground pork (or chicken or turkey)***
¼ cup breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14-16 oz) package frozen puff pastry, thawed but still cold
1 egg, beaten, for egg wash****

1.  Heat oven to 375° and line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.  In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in 1 teaspoon fennel seeds and chopped thyme. Cook for another minute or until fragrant.
3. Add onion and celery and cook until onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and a pinch of salt. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes (less if shredded). Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool.
4. Once vegetables have cooled (it doesn't take long), add ground pork, breadcrumbs, 1¼ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper. Using your hands, mix thoroughly until well combined. [Suggestion: for ease of dividing into eight rolls, divide mix in half (each to be subdivided into four portions).]
5. Roll the chilled puff pastry dough to about 1/8-inch thick. Cut pastry into four equal rectangles. In the center of each pastry, place a dollop of the sausage mix, then form it into a long sausage running lengthwise on the pastry strip. Lightly brush one long edge of the pastry with egg wash. Starting with the side without the egg wash, firmly fold the pastry over the meat filling to form long rolls, pinching to seal. (Ends can be left open.) Place on prepared baking sheet, seam-sides down. Repeat process with second sheet of puff pastry.
6.  Lightly brush the top of each roll with egg wash and sprinkle with fennel seeds. Bake until sausage rolls are golden brown, about 35-40 minutes. Makes 8 rolls.

*In Florida our thyme has such small leaves no chopping is necessary.
** As I recall, I shredded the carrot I used.
***I always use Jimmy Dean sausage, as it does not contain chemical preservatives (to which I'm allergic).
****I add a bit of water to the egg when making egg wash.

Special Note: The sausage rolls freeze well. Suggest re-heat at 375° for c. 10 minutes. (Pastry will not stay crisp, if microwaved.)

Special Note 2:  Although I have not tried it, I suspect each roll could be sliced into 3-4 pieces before baking, making 24-32 hors d'oeuvres. Baked for less time, of course.



Snatched from the freezer for this photo

Sausage & Onion Muffins

2 pkg. Pillsbury “Grand” refrigerated biscuits (8 each, your choice of variety)
1 lb. Jimmy Dean sausage (Original or flavor of choice)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pkg. cheese slices (meunster, swiss, or cheddar)
1 cooking apple, quartered & cut in horizontal slices
fennel seeds, to taste (c. 1 TBspn)
rosemary (preferably fresh, chopped), to taste
fresh ground pepper, black or mixed

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray skillet. Spray two muffin pans. (You will need 16 muffins holes.)

Sauté sausage on medium-high, breaking into small pieces with wooden or other large firm spoon. When almost brown, reduce heat to medium and add chopped onion. Continue to sauté until onion is translucent. Drain.* Stir in fennel, rosemary & pepper, to taste. Continue to sauté for a minute or two to develop the flavors. (The fennel is important to the taste, so don’t be stingy.) Remove from heat.

*I use tongs & paper towels to soak up the extra moisture.

Remove ONE pkg of biscuits from refrigerator. Slice horizontally into two equal halves. Place one half biscuit in bottom of 8 muffin cups. Top with sausage mix, one-quarter of a cheese slice & a slice of apple. Place second half of biscuit on top of each muffin, pressing sides down to meet the bottom half.

Repeat with second package of biscuits.**

Bake 13-15 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Makes 16 fat muffins.
[Although I serve my ham & cheese muffins with a sauce made of honey mustard and Saucy Susan, these sausage biscuits are best served plain. (A sauce tends to overwhelm the fennel & rosemary.)]

The muffins freeze very well. To unfreeze two: 45 seconds on Thaw, 45 seconds High.

**Leftover sausage mix can be frozen for later use in a sandwich or scrambled eggs.

~ * ~

Please don't forget my Covid-blues-chaser series, a tale of friends, family, hard beginnings and hope of a Happily Ever After ending (though not until Book 3).






Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)

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