Texas has many fine eating traditions, with food styles borrowed from dozens of cultures, all fused together to make a uniquely Lone Star cuisine. One thing many of those traditions have in common is sausage. The ground meat and spice mixtures found in Texas come from Spanish (chorizo), European (wurst and klobása), Cajun (boudin) and Western (beef links) cultures. Award-winning food writer Robb Walsh takes a look at these culinary styles, and many more, in his delicious tour of the state’s five major geographic regions in Texas Eats, The New Lone Star Heritage Cookbook (Ten Speed Press, 2012). Besides recipes of all kinds gathered from Beaumont to El Paso and Amarillo to Brownsville, Walsh includes stories of the people behind the food. Among the hundreds of recipes in the tome are several for sausage. Two of them are especially well-suited for breakfast and can be made in a food processor.
Sage Breakfast Sausage
10 ounces boneless pork loin, finely diced
6 ounces sliced bacon, finely diced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon minced fresh or pickled jalapeño, or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process for 10 seconds, or until coarsely ground.
- Fry a small nugget of the mixture in a hot skillet and taste.
- Adjust the seasonings if necessary and process another 5 to 10 seconds, until well ground.
- Shape the mixture into patties, about 1/2-inch thick.
- In the skillet, cook the patties over medium heat, turning once, for about 5 minutes total, until cooked through. Serve hot.
Servings: 4. Serving size: 1 patty. Per serving: 316 calories, 31.9 g protein, 17 g fat, 3.6 g carbohydrates, 0.5 g dietary fiber, 680 mg sodium, 2.3 g sugars, 81 mg cholesterol
8 ounces boneless pork chops or ground pork
1/4 cup roasted green chiles, seeded and cut into strips
1 clove garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped green onion (white and green parts)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil, for frying
- Remove the husk from the tomatillo and blanch for 5 minutes in simmering water. Cut into quarters.
- If using the pork chops, cut them into a 1/2-inch dice, removing any gristle.
- In a food processor, combine the pork, roasted chiles, tomatillo, garlic, serrano, cilantro, green onion, parsley, oregano, vinegar and salt. Pulse until finely ground.
- In a skillet, heat a few drops of the oil over medium-high heat, add a small nugget of chorizo and fry until cooked through. Taste and adjust seasonings. Process again until seasonings and meat are well combined.
- To cook chorizo, heat remaining oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and fry, breaking up the meat with the side of a wooden spoon or spatula until cooked through and browned.
Servings: 2. Serving size: 4 ounces. Per serving: 327 calories, 18.2 g protein, 24.4 g fat, 3.6 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g dietary fiber, 1,428 mg sodium, 1.6 g sugars, 65 mg cholesterol