My booboo finger is still quite unable to knit -- bending it really hurts, so I'm still not knitting. So you'll have to hear about sausage -- one of my other obsessions!
When we got back from New York I wanted to try to make a nobblewurst sausage like that they serve at Katz's on 2nd Avenue -- full of garlic, moist, full-flavored beef.
So I made a nice beef sausage, using a moderate amount of suet, plenty of chuck I ground coursely with the fat, cayenne, curing salts, lots of black pepper, and a whole head of garlic. I'm still not good at the stuffing and twisting part, but it all tastes good.
I let the sausage mature at room temperature (cool -- in front of the air conditioner) for 3 days, then moved it to the refrigerator. I think this might have a different effect in winter, when the room can be cool but more humid. The air conditioner drys out the casing, which I think makes a difference. If I have to do it again in the summer, I'll probably mist the sausages down once a day.
Anyway, Friday evening I poached the sausage, then crisped it on the grill and served it with the best sauerkraut I've ever had. I made the saurekraut Julia Child's way -- soaked it in water, squeezed it dry, sauted some onions, carrot, and (beef) bacon in oil, then added the saurkraut and chicken broth au fleur -- until almost covered -- and let it braise for a couple of hours. Man, it was good. I served it for my friends Ben and Nancy and their two boys.
Today we were at Costco, and I was looking at the chicken sausage, which is delicious, but is $13.85 for 3 pounds. Right across the aisle was boneless, skinless chicken thigh meat, 6 pounds for $15. So I decided to make my own.
When we got home I put up a small (2 pound) batch of chicken and apple sausage, trying out a trick I had picked up using ice cubes to keep the sausage moise instead of additional fat. Not only is it beautiful, but it was among the best sausage I've ever had. (Tho you can see the unfortunate air bubbles. Oi!) It was so good, I decided to makie it for Rosh Hashanah dinner. (The apple thing makes it work.) I'm thinking with a gratin of vegetable maybe and a waldorf salad? Suggestions, anyone?