I have spent some time thinking about how monumental this 100th post is and thanks to all of you it follows the most successful post I've had so far! If you have been reading this blog from the beginning or just started now, you can see that I love to entertain and cook comfort food, food from my childhood and newly discovered recipes (thank you Pinterest and other bloggers!). This is why I started the bucket list last year and have a new one this year.
I love to learn new techniques and recreate (or attempt to recreate) food from my past. My family is from South Africa, so I occasionally try traditional South African foods. My husband's family is Swedish and we lived in the Scandinavian area of Seattle (Ya sure Ya Betcha Ballard!) for 8 years, so I try Scandinavian dishes from time to time. We live in Boston, so I try to add traditional New England dishes in. My family LOVES Asian food, so I also work that into our weekly repertoire. My husband lived in Mexico for a time, I have visited and certain Mexican inspired dishes are easy go to meals, so I cook them too. We are an international family, living in a world that is increasingly influenced by global trends and luckily foods! I don't shop at specialty stores, because I don't have the time. I shop at our local Hannafords (mostly) and Trader Joe's, until the convenient farmer's markets show up again :) And yes, I do occasionally shop at Target when I'm there for other things because its convenient (for those in the Seattle area, I miss Fred Meyer!).
Here is where, if you don't like meat, look away :) I'll write you a great post next week! There is a good polenta recipe below that is worth it though!
One of the first items on my bucket list for the year is making my own sausage. I can proudly say I did it!! I based mine on the recipe my Dad used to make boerwors, a South African farmer's sausage. I used to enjoy making it with him. I did not enjoy the hand crank grinder and sausage maker, so my Kitchen Aid attachments made the work seem much lighter.
I went to Roxie's in Quincy, MA (where my dad and I used to go) and got the natural casings and the meat. That place is no joke! I got there a couple minutes before it opened one Sunday morning and the line was already out the door! The meat prices are great and it is good quality, but wow! I would have thought a rock star was inside.
natural casings (hog casings work best)
ground beef (I ground my own chuck)
ground pork (I ground my own tenderloin)
lard (I couldn't find lard, so used beef fat)
red wine vinegar
I cut the meat up into 1 inch pieces and added all the spices and vinegar and then put it through the grinder.
I cooked a small patty of the sausage to check the flavor and it was good. Then I put the sausage maker attachment on the KitchenAid and put the casings on and started putting the meat through. It was much easier than I thought! Karina even helped.
I let it rest for 24 hours and we had a feast the next night! Next time I would use lard or pork fat which is softer and more of all the spices.
If you want more details on the amounts and process, feel free to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The traditional boerwors sausage is grilled and served with "pap en sous" (corn porridge and a tomato and onion sauce). I made the rest of the meal easy and made polenta in the slow cooker (this is a good recipe, just add more salt and cheese as its a little bland) and served it some sauteed peppers, zucchini and onions, since I was out of tomatoes (canned or fresh).
Last night I baked the boerwors with sweet potato, potato and onion with a little red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and coriander. It was a hit.
Next month I am going to tackle souffle's I think. Might be fun for Valentine's Day.
Thank you to those who read my blog and give me inspirations! Woo hoo 100th post!
Labels: boerwors, polenta, sausage, slow cooker, sweet potatoes