Monday, March 23, 2015

Turkey Breakfast Sausage

I really, really, love breakfast. Really. I'm not exactly sure when this love affair began because growing up when my mom would ask me what I want for breakfast, my response was normally a bologna sandwich, or hostess cupcakes or sometimes, leftover lasagna. Otherwise, I rarely requested actual breakfast food. Breakfast was the only time of the day that mom would play the role of short order cook. At dinner you ate what was on the table or you didn't eat. I had no problem with this as my mom is a great cook and never tried to trick us with anything like beef liver. There was the one incident where she tried to pass off sweet potatoes as carrots. My sister and I were no dummies. We knew carrots and that wasn't them. Chicken livers were a dinner staple in our house growing up. I'm not gonna lie. I loved them. Especially smothered in her white chicken gravy. I know what you're thinking. Don't knock it till you've tried Patsy's. Let's face it though, anything is edible as long as there is enough gravy piled on top. 

This post isn't about dinner though, it's about breakfast! To get me through the week I usually prep stuff on Sunday's. Who has time on a weekday morning to cook an egg, much less fry up some sausage or bacon? Not this girl. (If you have found a way to do this AND put on makeup AND get to work on time, email met HERE. I need your tips!)  This week I had some ground turkey hanging out in the freezer and I knew exactly what I was going to do with it--breakfast sausage! Because, why not? 

I like my sausage flavored with sage but I'm also a fan of spicy and since I'm making my own I thought why not add a touch of sweetness with some maple syrup? We all remember that first time our sausage or bacon ended up covered in syrup that had lusciously bathed some pancakes or waffles. How on earth could that be good, you wonder to yourself, but you go ahead and eat it anyway because why would anyone waste sausage or bacon? And to your surprise it's good. No, it's better than good! It's delicious! And from that moment on you throw the bacon and the sausage right onto the same plate as the pancakes and you actually end up dipping them into the syrup. Well, that's what I do. And now I want pancakes. Great. 

So I tried this sausage two different ways. I baked it on some foil and fried some up in the pan. I recommend the pan method as it didn't brown as well as pork sausage does in the oven. There is a bit of a texture difference since it's ground turkey but the blend of spices with the sweet undertone is to die for. Basically what I'm saying, is that you should make this now. 

Turkey Breakfast Sausage

1 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients together by hand. 

Form into equal sized patties.

Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Cook 3-4 minutes on each side.  Remove from skillet and serve hot. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Turkey Sloppy Joes

I love the month of March.  The weather feels a little warmer, the snow melts, the days get longer and well, basketball.  I'll go out on a limb and say that basketball is my favorite thing about March.  Who doesn't love this time of year?  Maybe non-Kentuckians?  For those of us who bleed blue, March is our super bowl, only better.  2014 was legendary with last second shots culminating in an appearance in the championship game. We're on the road to win our ninth NCAA title this year.  That's right.  9.  We are a basketball mecca.  36-0.  Making history.  Don't hate.  Also, watch "The 6th Man Movie" and you'll get an understanding of our craziness.  You'll cheer, you'll cry, you'll celebrate.  Basketball makes me a little emotional.  I digress.

Turkey Sloppy Joes is a perfect game day food--a little messy but definitely a worthy competitor of burgers and hot dogs, wings or anything else you might serve while cheering on your favorite teams. It's also a great weeknight meal, midnight snack, breakfast--ok, that might be taking it a little too far but if you throw an egg on top, voila!  This is a perfect blend of savory and sweet--bell peppers, onions, tomato and brown sugar.  All from scratch and it comes together in about 30 minutes.  Serve it up with potato wedges or a garden salad and dinner is served.  No more canned sloppy joe sauce will be needed in your pantry. And to top it all off, it's made with ground turkey.  (Dear beef, I still love you and have many other uses for you.  Please don't be hurt.) 

What else is great about these sloppy joes, you ask?  You can make it ahead and just re-heat on the day you want to serve it.  It also freezes well.  Double the recipe and freeze half of it because I promise there will be no left overs.  Just thin it out with a little chicken broth or water after thawing and heat! 

My stomach is now telling me it's hungry so gather up these ingredients and get cooking!

Turkey Sloppy Joes

Serves 4

1 medium onion, diced
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 (6 ounce) can of tomato paste
1 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon oil

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and bell pepper.  Saute for a 2-3 minutes.  

Add ground turkey and break it up.  

Stir in garlic powder, salt, pepper and chili powder.  Mix well.  

Add tomato paste, water and brown sugar.  Stir until everything is well incorporated.  

Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25- 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened.  

Taste to adjust seasonings, remove from heat and serve with your favorite bun.  

These also freeze well.  Add some chicken broth or water to thin out after defrosting.