savory sausage roll

Y’all, today’s recipe is another classic bread machine recipe.

This savory dish evokes memories of my childhood. Most Christmas Eve celebrations were spent with just the family at home. After attending Mass, my sisters/mom/myself would spend time together in the kitchen, putting together a veritable spread of tasty treats out for us to nosh on and enjoy for the rest of the evening. I can’t quite put my finger on the first year we had this, but after one bite of trying this dish, you’ll understand why it’s a frequent culinary visitor in our home.

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While I’ve veered ever so slightly from my mom’s original recipe, the foundation and flavors of this remain the same. The smoked turkey sausage holds up brilliantly to the flavors of the dried rosemary and Italian cheese we will be incorporating into the filling. Using some whole wheat flour in the dough adds a slightly warm and nutty flavor, which is perfect for this early autumn season. Its exterior is perfectly crisp and golden, making it the perfect vehicle for dipping a la fondue style, or for building an open-faced sandwich {if you’re feeling particularly adventurous!}.

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This is a great dish for entertaining with, too! It can be 100% prepared in advance, and after it has cooled, can be wrapped tightly in foil and either refrigerated or frozen until needed! Simply pop it in the oven until warm and crispy throughout, and you’ll be the hit of the party.

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Savory Sausage Roll {recipe adapted from The Bread Machine Cookbook III}

Easy to prepare and insanely delicious, this dish is great for easy meals and entertaining. The filling can be tailored to suit any taste – hot or sweet Italian sausage can be used, the type and amount of cheese can be adjusted, and other flavorings/spices can be added. This one is sure to win the stomachs over of whomever tries it! 

Ingredients: for a medium-sized roll

1 cup water {you can use apple juice, if you’d like}

1-1/2 tbsp. olive oil

1-1/2 tbsp. honey

1/3 tsp. salt

1 tsp. dried rosemary

1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1-1/2 cups bread flour

1-1/2 tsp. yeast

Ingredients: for the filling

1 package of smoked sausage {I like to use a smoked turkey sausage}, cut into slices

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 green pepper, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup of shredded Italian blend cheese

salt and pepper, to taste

To Prepare the Dough:

Add ingredients listed above into your bread machine, and cook on the prescribed manufacturer settings. As a point of reference, my dough cycle runs about 1 hour and 50 minutes, or I can opt for the quick cycle and have it done in 45 minutes.

To Prepare the Filling:

When the dough has about 40 minutes left, start to assemble the filling.

In a large non-stick skillet, drizzle in some olive oil and let it heat up to medium heat. Add in the sliced sausage, and cook until the edges begin to brown and the insides start to caramelize. Add in the diced onion, diced pepper, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and cook 7-10 minutes, until the onion is translucent and the peppers have softened slightly.

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Remove from heat, and transfer the mixture into the bowl of your food processor. Pulse several times, or until the sausage has been broken up slightly {you want it to look like ground meat, with the flecks of garlic and vegetables running throughout}.

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Allow to cool until the dough has run its course; we want it to be room temperature, ideally. Once cooled to room temperature, fold in the shredded cheese.

Assemble the Sausage Roll:

Preheat your over to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with either a Sil-Pat sheet or parchment paper {I like to give it a good spray, too, for good measure}.

Once the dough cycle is complete, flour a large surface where you will do your rolling. Turn the dough out onto the surface, and roll out into a large rectangle.

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Spread filling mixture evenly across the entire surface, leaving a small border around all four edges. Roll up, jelly-roll style, until completely encased in itself. Pinch all edges closed, and transfer to lined baking sheet.

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Rub the top with a little olive oil and sprinkle with additional rosemary to garnish, if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. IMG_3627

*if you find your roll taking longer than the prescribed 45 minutes, increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees and allow to finish off. It is also helpful to rotate the pan halfway through the baking process. 

Let’s Discuss: what are some other fun ingredients you could imagine putting into a dish such as this? I can totally see myself making a chicken florentine style roll….complete with shredded chicken, Itlain meats, spinach and spicy peppers!

 

mediterranean kale & sausage soup

Creamy white beans, boldly flavored sausage and bright vibrant kale – have I captured your attention yet, dears?

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I kept promising myself that as the days became warmer and the sun stayed out longer, I would try to wean myself of my winter soup addiction {does anyone remember the “promise” I made from an earlier post about chicken pho? AHEM}. I guess that there is just one habit I will never kick, and that is my love for soup.

We have truly had the weirdest of winter and spring this year. With weeks ranging in temperatures from below freezing to 70+ degrees, it makes it almost impossible to successfully meal plan! I kid you not – days ago I was in shorts and a tank top walking the pup, then not 24 hours later am I bundled in my favorite college hoodie and Uggs, curled up on the couch in front of the fireplace.

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Enter this soup. It was one of those cold, dreary days that couldn’t decide if it wanted to be winter or spring, so after getting home from work I began rummaging around in my pantry. I had bookmarked this particular recipe some time ago {I love it so much because it’s reminiscent of a soup my mom used to make} and I thought that this would be the prime opportunity to prepare it.

Essentially a one-pot wonder {you can easily brown the sausage in the soup pot, thus allowing the brown bits to further enhance the soup broth} it comes together in a matter of minutes. Prepping the vegetables while the sausage cooks saves you time even further – you really can’t mess this soup up! And fear not, if you’re short an ingredient or two it is easy to adapt – throw in some fresh baby spinach {or even frozen!..just make sure it’s drained} instead of kale; shredded chicken is a fine replacement for the sausage if you don’t have any on hand, or just omit for a vegetarian option {assuming you use a vegetable and not chicken-based sauce}. I also love the addition of the briny cheese rind- if you keep these on hand in your freezer, it is a MUST in this soup!

I would not be upset if you choose to double this recipe for easy weeknight dinners; in fact, I would encourage it! It freezes beautifully, and you can always add in additional greens when reheating for dinner. A little extra sausage is never a bad thing, either. I will freely admit that I’ve had this straight out of the bowl from the refrigerator; it is just as delicious cold as it is warm. Enjoy, my dears!

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Mediterranean Kale & Sausage Soup

{recipe adapted from Fine Cooking}

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausage, sliced (about 3 links)*
2 Tbs. olive oil
One-half small yellow onion, cut into small dice
1 medium carrot, cut into small dice
1 rib celery, cut into small dice
5 large cloves garlic, minced (about 2 Tbs.)
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups lower-salt chicken broth
1 lb. 3 oz. can cannellini or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained, or 2 cups cooked dried beans
1 lb. kale, rinsed, stems removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces (8 cups firmly packed)
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (optional)

*I added in a few pieces of parmesan rind during the cooking process – I always trim these off when I open a new block of cheese and toss them right into a freezer bag into the freezer. They add a wonderful depth of flavor to broth!

*I also added a few links of turkey sausage; a leaner option, the best of both worlds 

To Make:

Preheat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, and drizzle with olive oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add in the sliced Italian sausage {and turkey sausage if you’re using that as well}. Saute until cooked through, then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess fat. Set aside.

In a large stockpot, drizzle in a generous amount of olive oil. Bring up to temperature, and add the onion. Cook stirring frequently, until fragrant and beginning to soften, about two minutes. Add in the celery and carrot and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften and brown, about 2 more minutes. Be sure to scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan – that’s flavor right there! Stir in the garlic, pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about one minute more. Add in the stock and cheese rind and bring to a boil over high heat.

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When the broth reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium and stir in half the beans. Mash the other half with a fork {this helps to release the starch, a natural thickening agent} and fold into the soup.  Add in the kale and fold into the hot soup base, continuing to stir it in and the kale begins to wilt, about 10 to 15 minutes {I like my kale to stay slightly bitey, so I tend to err on the lower cooking time}. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve with crusty French bread for dipping.

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