Tag Archives: sausage

Smashed Potatoes and Sausage

12 Sep

Slowly but surely I am making my way through Giada’s cookbook “Weeknights With Giada” and one Saturday afternoon I flipped through the book and landed on the Fried Smashed Potatoes with Lemon. It was a recipe I had been looking at for a while and it seemed like the perfect day to try them out. So I walked over to Vons and in addition to the fixings for my smashed potatoes I picked up some of my favorite Aidells chicken and apple sausages. I love Aidells sausages. They come in lots of varieties and can be paired with lots of different things. I love to include them with pasta.

Making the smashed potatoes wasn’t as easy as the recipe made it seem. I may not have let them dry long enough before smashing them, or I just didn’t have enough patience while frying. I guess I’ll just have to make them again to find out ūüėČ I also ended up with extra dressing that I used the following week for a completely different recipe, so keep your eyes peeled for that post later!

Smashed Potatoes Ingredients L-R: Thyme, Garlic, Baby Potatoes, Aidells Sausage, Citrus Salt, Parsley, Lemon, Pepper, Olive Oil

Smashed Potatoes Ingredients L-R: Thyme, Garlic, Baby Potatoes, Aidells Sausage, Citrus Salt, Parsley, Lemon, Pepper, Olive Oil


  • 2 Aidells Sausages
  • 1 Pound Baby or Fingerling Potatoes (I used red, white and purple)
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil, Plus Extra 2 Tbsp
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (feel free to add more or less depending on your love of garlic)
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice (about half of a lemon juiced)
  • 1 Tbsp Chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 2 Tsp Chopped Fresh Thyme
  • 1/4 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
baby potatoes

Boiling the baby potatoes

Fill a large pot with water and add the potatoes so they are fully covered at least two inches. Place on the stove and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. When done, drain and allow to dry for 5 minutes. Lay out a large cutting board or a plate and take each potato (make sure they’re also cool to the touch) and gently press them until they are smashed. I used the flat side of my chef’s knife which I think worked better after having a tough time with my hand.

I smashed my potatoes with my chef's knife

I smashed my potatoes with my chef’s knife

Time to fry! First, peel and cut your garlic cloves in half. In a large skillet (preferably nonstick), heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat. Toss in the garlic and cook for about a minute, or until you can smell the garlic and it has become slightly brown. Remove the garlic and discard and then add in the potatoes and cook.

Fresh Garlic

Frying Potatoes

Frying the smashed potatoes

Only add as many as will fit in the pan without crowding them. Do not stir them, let them sit for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the bottoms turn golden brown. (This might have been my downfall.) Turn the potatoes over and cook for another 5 to 8 minutes, drizzling with oil if needed (more so for second batches). Once done remove to a plate or bowl for serving.

Frying Potatoes

After the potatoes have been turned

While you’re waiting for each side to cook make your dressing and cook your sausage. For the dressing, in a small bowl combine the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. The best tool to use for grating is a Microplane grater. I like the one that the cover doubles as a holder when grating (see the photo below). Whisk together and when all the potatoes have finished cooking spoon enough of the dressing over the potatoes to coat.

Fresh Thyme

Chopping fresh thyme

Microplane grater and lemon

Use a microplane grater to get the zest from your lemon

Lemon juice and zest, thyme, olive oil, parsley for the dressing!

Lemon juice and zest, thyme, olive oil, parsley for the dressing!

For the sausage you have a couple of options. The advantage of Aidells is they are actually precooked, so you just have to heat them up. You can use the microwave, grill on the stove (or a grill), or boil in a pot of water. For this dinner I heated mine in small pot of water (much like you can do with a hotdog). Boil for about 4 to 6 minutes. I served with the smashed potatoes and drizzled with some leftover honey mustard sauce. I also still had a leftover roasted bell pepper that I cut up and mixed with the potatoes too. Yum indeed!

Smashed Potatoes and Aidells Sausage

Smashed Potatoes and Aidells Sausage

Bangers and Mash

14 May

I love “Harry Potter“. I remember when my mom bought me the first book, I was in 8th grade. We were at B. Dalton Bookstore in the Visalia Mall (the chain has now been acquired by Barnes & Noble and is no longer in Visalia), and there was a small display with “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in paperback. I picked one up and my mom asked if I wanted it. I said “sure.” And my life would never be the same. I devoured the first book and immediately asked for the second book and then the third. Then I had to wait for the fourth book, but I did. Then the fifth book, the sixth book, and finally the seventh book. Along the way the movies came out, and at first I didn’t want to see them, but finally I went to see “Harry Potter And the Prisoner of Azkaban” with my parents and it was so amazing that my dad immediately bought me the fifth book and the first two movies as we walked through Borders after the movie was over. And when we got home, he read the first four books on my shelf. My mom continued to watch the movies with us and then she listened to the audio books and absolutely loved the series even more! So when I saw there was an “Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook” I just HAD to have it! And when I unwrapped my Christmas gifts last year I was a happy chef indeed!


So when I discovered I had frozen sausages in my freezer a couple of weeks ago I knew I wanted to make Bangers and Mash, ie. sausages and mashed potatoes. I’ve also been craving this dish after my “Trainspotting” folks and I went to a British pub one night and someone ordered it and I stole a couple of bites-yummm! So I put them in the fridge to defrost and last weekend I went to the store and picked up potatoes and heavy cream to complete my bangers and mash. My mouth was watering just thinking about it! The recipe actually gives directions to make your own sausages, but you can also use pre-made sausages, which is what I did. I also made a smaller amount of mashed potatoes, but am including the full recipe below. I plan on visiting this recipe again and trying the homemade sausages though. There are so many recipes in this cookbook that I want to try and I can’t wait to share them all with you! For now, enjoy a classic British dish-Bangers and Mash.

BANGERS AND MASH (about 6 servings)


  • 6 Individual Serving Sausages, your choice of meat (you can also use smaller ones and serve 2 or 3 to each person)
Mashed Potato Ingredients L-R: Salt and Pepper, Gold Potatoes, Butter, Whipping Cream

Mashed Potato Ingredients L-R: Salt and Pepper, Gold Potatoes, Butter, Whipping Cream


  • 6 Potatoes, Peeled and Quartered (I leave the peels on and use white or gold potatoes)
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk or Half-and-Half (I used heavy whipping cream)
  • Black Pepper to taste
Onion Gravy Ingredients L-R: Chicken Broth, Yellow Onion, Flour, Salt, Olive Oil

Onion Gravy Ingredients L-R: Chicken Broth, Yellow Onion, Flour, Salt, Olive Oil


  • 3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 3 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • Salt to taste

You’ll be working on the potatoes and the gravy at the same time, so be very aware of your timing, especially with the gravy. Peel your potatoes (or not if you like the peels on, like me) and quarter the potatoes. My dad always uses gold or white potatoes during Thanksgiving so that’s what I used for this. If you prefer russet they work too. Fill a large pot with about 3/4 water and add your potatoes, turning the heat up to high. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Have a large strainer/colander ready by the sink to drain when they are ready.

Gold potatoes quarter and ready for the pot of water.

Gold potatoes quarter and ready for the pot of water.

Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes all cooked and drained and ready to be mashed.

Potatoes all cooked and drained and ready to be mashed.

While your potatoes are boiling start working on the gravy. Finely chop your onion and in a medium pot or saucepan heat your oil, then turn heat to low and add your onions. Stir occasionally until your onions are golden, should take about 25-30 minutes so it should be done at about the same time your potatoes are. Before continuing with the gravy, check your potatoes and drain if ready, otherwise you won’t be able to get to them for at least 5-10 minutes. If drained set aside to finish later.

Slice lengthwise, stopping just before the root of the onion. Keep slices about a quarter of inch or less apart. Then chop from top to bottom and you'll have a fully chopped onion.

Slice lengthwise, stopping just before the root of the onion. Keep slices about a quarter of inch or less apart. Then chop from top to bottom and you’ll have a fully chopped onion.

Chopped Yellow Onion

Cooking down the onions in the oil.

Cooking down the onions in the oil.

Onions reduced down and ready to be made into gravy.

Onions reduced down and ready to be made into gravy.

Once the onions are done cooking, make sure you have your chicken broth all measured out and easily reachable, then add the flour to make a roux. Stir constantly so it doesn’t burn. Keep stirring until it forms a smooth paste. Then add your chicken broth and turn the heat up to medium, continuing to stir constantly until it’s thick and starting to bubble. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Remove from heat when finished.

Making a roux.

Making a roux.

After adding the chicken stock it's still really thin. Keep stirring!

After adding the chicken stock it’s still really thin. Keep stirring!

Onion gravy is almost thick enough.

Onion gravy is almost thick enough.

Mashed potatoes all ready!

Mashed potatoes all ready!

My pre-made banger (aka, sausage) cooking in oil in a skillet.

My pre-made banger (aka, sausage) cooking in oil in a skillet.

To finish your potatoes, once drained, return to the pot and add the salt, butter, cream and pepper. Mash with a potato masher (or use a hand mixer like I had to do since I didn’t have a masher), until they are light and fluffy. Serve with 1 large sausage or 2 or 3 smaller sausages and gravy on top. Enjoy!

Bangers and Mash are served!

Bangers and Mash are served!

Sausage Carbonara

10 Dec

What do you when you have 1 egg? Or even worse, 1 egg yolk? Make pasta alla carbonara of course! Pasta alla carbonara is traditionally made with bacon (usually something like pancetta or guanciale), but I had sausage still in my freezer (remember my Sausage and Warm Potato Salad?) so I decided to use sausage instead. Why buy more food when I have food in my freezer to use up? So I opened my Cooking Light cookbook and found a recipe to base my cooking off of. Their recipe calls for egg substitute and reduced fat milk,¬† but I had a real egg to use so I also googled the traditional recipe and found one on Food Network here from the fabulous Jamie Oliver that I liked since it also used sausage (although I didn’t use it the way they say, sorry Jamie). Remember, don’t be afraid to experiment in the kitchen. You never know what kind of creations you’ll make because you decide to take a chance. Examining the two recipes I knew I could do a version that included items in my fridge. So I sent a message to my friend Erin to see if she wanted to have a girl’s night in and she agreed: she’d bring the wine and we’d watch a movie and catch up.

Dinner is served! Pasta all Carbonara with Sausage

Dinner is served! Pasta all Carbonara with Sausage


  • 4 oz Fettuccine (or round spaghetti if that’s what you have)
  • 4-6 oz Sausage (depending how much you want per person)
  • 1 Egg (or 1 Egg Yolk if that’s all you happen to have, lol)
  • 2 oz Half & Half
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Chopped Fresh Parsley (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove (optional)
  • Sliced mushrooms (optional, used above)
Chopped Garlic, Parsley and sliced Mushrooms ready to go in the pan.

Chopped Garlic, Parsley and sliced Mushrooms ready to go in the pan.

I started water on the stove to boil for my pasta. Meanwhile, I first sliced up my sausage into about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick slices and set aside. Then I chopped my parsley, garlic and sliced a few mushrooms that I had leftover. In a medium saucepan I heated the oil and then saut√©ed the garlic and mushrooms and then added the sausages. In a small to medium bowl I whisked together the half and half and egg. By this time the water should be boiling and I added in my fettuccine. Pasta takes about 7 minutes to cook al dente, but for this, drain it at 5 minutes and add to your sausage and mushrooms and reduce heat to low and stir altogether, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add your egg mixture to the pan and stir constantly so that the eggs don’t scramble, but it becomes a thick sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes. Serve and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy! (I apologize that I can’t recall the wine, I thought I saved the bottle, but alas, I did not.) In 2013 I will make traditional pasta alla carbonara, as it’s also a yummy and easy dish!

Sausage and Warm Potato Salad

13 Nov

On a Saturday afternoon I was trying to decide what to make for dinner. I had 3 red potatoes that would soon go bad if I didn’t do something fast though. I pulled out my current favorite cookbook, “The Pleasures of Cooking For One” by Judith Jones, and started leafing through. This was a book that my parents gave me for Christmas last year and is awesome! Judith had worked with the infamous Julia Child at one point in her life so many of her recipes are French inspired. The recipes are mostly pretty simple, and she talks about things like what “half an egg” actually is and making your own soup broths.

So back to my search for red potato recipes. As I leafed through I saw the words “potato salad” and “sausage” and I stopped. It was an uber simple recipe and I had most of the ingredients in my kitchen. So I made a quick run to the grocery store for the sausage (I bought a 1 lb Smoked Sausage from Hickory Farms and cut it into 4 oz pieces and froze 3 of them) and a couple other fresh ingredients needed. Before buying the sausage double check the weight, as Hillshire Farm packages a 14 oz. sausage and not a 16 oz one. While I did discover it was a slightly messy recipe, the final dish was delicious! I paired it with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon from Terrazas de los Andes that my roommate brought back from a restaurant in San Diego. So delicious that a few nights later I unfroze another piece of sausage and made it again. (I had made 2 servings of the potato salad Saturday night.) Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Yummy deliciousness!


  • 2 sausages, 3-4 oz each, your choice of flavor
  • 3 red potatoes
  • 2-3 green onions
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • Red Wine Vinaigrette
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Splash of Red Wine
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

In a large pot boil 4-6 cups of water. Once it’s at a roiling boil, place your potatoes in the water. Boil until they are tender and a fork can easily go in and out, but they shouldn’t be falling apart. While you are waiting for the potatoes to boil make your dressing and start your sausage.

In a small/medium bowl combine your Dijon mustard, red wine vinaigrette and olive oil and whisk. Then finely chop your green onions and add to the mix, stirring well. Set aside. In a small pan heat about a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add your sausage to the pan once it warms up, rotating it so it’s evenly cooked. It should take about 7-9 minutes depending on how hot the pan is. Once it’s done remove from pan to your plate and turn heat to low. Now comes the messy part…very carefully (slowly) and very close to the pan pour in about a tablespoon or two of your red wine. WARNING: it will splatter and you will be cleaning later (see picture below). Stir around, deglazing the pan. It will become a syrupy mixture. Pour that over your sausage on the plate. Mmmmmm……

By this time your potatoes should be done. Drain over your sink and cut up into bite size chunks on your cutting board. I like to cut the potato in half, then half, and sometimes half again. Since no two potatoes are the same, sometimes I do it each half in thirds. Either way, think “bite size” so you don’t have to cut at the dinner table. Throw into the bowl that has your dressing, add salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly. Divide in half for each serving and enjoy! (P.S. Save the clean-up for after!)

The dressing for the potato salad all mixed together.

After adding the red wine to the sausage pan to deglaze. Yummy sauce!

See all those spots? That would be the result of the (hot) olive oil being mixed with the (warm/cool) red wine. It was also on the wall and the rest of the stove top. Oh well.

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