Tuesday, March 14, 2006

thai-style sausages and hash

Yup, folks, this is a make-it-yourself sausage recipe. Actually, I was rather surprised how easy it was to make your own sausages. Skinless, of course - I couldn't be arsed to get intestines to stuff sausages in anyway, and the sausage mix is good enough to make meatballs or meatloaf. I was toying around with the idea of sausages because well, i felt like it. Sausages get a bad name because sometimes they're made up of all the crud that one doesn't normally eat. But if you can control the composition of the sausage meat, then you've got one truly satisfying sausage. This Thai-style sausage was made with ingredients I had lying around in the spice racks and in the pantry. I call it thai-style primarily because of the lemongrass and the fresh chillis that I used to spice up the mix. Believe me, the end result isn't even remotely spicy.

Thai-style sausages

2 big red chilli
1 stalk of lemongrass, cleaned and sliced finely
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of onion powder
1 tsp of garlic powder
Olive oil
1/2 kg minced pork
1 cup of breadcrumbs (I used Japanese breadcrumbs, but only because they're the only ones i have in the pantry right now)

1. Blend everything except the minced pork and the breadcrumbs until it becomes a fine paste. Use olive oil to help with achieve paste-y consistency and make sure the lemongrass is chopped finely or you'll end up with strands.
2. In a mixing bowl, mix the the spice paste, pork and breadcrumbs together. Best to mix with wet hands so that it doesn't stick. Once mixed through and through, cover with cling wrap and leave in the fridge for an hour or so.
3. Shape sausage mix into, well, sausages. Or meatballs. or patties. Pan fry on each side until golden brown. Makes many many sausages. About 15 - 30 sausages, depending on the size you want them to be.


To go with the sausages (it was lunch time), I decided to make a quick and easy hash using thre two basic ingredients, potatoes and onions. Everything else was improvised and you can stir in your choice of spices.

1 large potato, cut in 1-cm cubes
1 onion, chopping in 1-cm pieces
1 clove garlic, mashed
Oil or butter for frying
Olive oil
Spices: I used oregano, chilli powder and black pepper

1. Heat a little oil or butter on low heat and toss in potatoes and onions. Sprinkle with salt. When onion becomes translucent, toss in garlic and continue cooking.
2. Cook for 20 min, stirring occasionally. When whole mix is soft, turn off heat, sprinkle with spices and let cook without direct heat.
3. Drizzle with olive oil, stir and serve. Generally 1 potato and onion per person.


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Thursday, March 09, 2006

happiness is...

a hot serve of chili dogs, especially after your friend tuahs you for dinner.

For the longest time, like, since I was a kid, I was always facinated by the Americanese version of chili. For starters, they weren't chillis. As in the hot pepper,but more like a thick beef stew that used to garnish the tops of hot dogs. I loved them the moment I saw them on TV. I loved them even more when I first ate them as A&W's coney dog. Then only recently I discovered how easy it was to make it... and the rest is history. The best part is, it's really made up of the simplest of ingredients!

Noel's Chili

One small onion, chopped finely
Two red chillis, seeded and chopped*
Two tomatoes, chopped*
200 - 300 gm of minced beef
1 tbsp butter
5 tsp cumin
2 tsp chilli powder
1 cup beef stock

1. On medium heat, fry onions in butter. When softened, add beef.
2. Once beef is browned all over, add red chillis, cumin and chilli powder. Mix well, unti fragrant.
3. Add chopped tomatoes, including liquids, and stir in beef stock. Bring to a boil and let simmer until desired thickness.
4. Eat with hot dogs! or nachos and guacamole!

* For better consistency, try running the red chillis and tomatoes through a blender. Just an idea. Haven't tried it out myself.


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