Tag Archives: ginger

Turkey Pear Sausage with Ginger and Sage

8 Nov

There comes a time in every person’s life—that is, if the person in question likes to cook, and by “likes to cook,” I mean “is slightly unreasonable when it comes to wanting to spend time in the kitchen”—when you’ve just resigned yourself to the fact that, sooner or later, you are just going to have to learn how to make sausage. It’s not because you eat a lot of sausage (you don’t), and it’s not because you think that making sausage will be so much more economically sound than buying sausage (I have no idea if it is or not). It’s because, when you really, really like to cook, sooner or later the list of things you have made in the kitchen starts to seem a little barren when you add up the list of things you’ve never attempted to make.

I don’t mean to make it sound as though I am constantly trying to one up myself in the kitchen. I am not. Even the mere thought of that is too exhausting to consider. But I do like cooking, and I do like learning new things, so it seems only natural that, eventually, I was going to learn about how to make sausage. Because why not?

The first thing I learned about sausage is that sausage can be any number of things, but it is, generally speaking, a mixture of tiny bits of ground up meat and fat mixed with seasonings. That’s it. Does anyone else find that totally fascinating? No? Okay. Moving on. Because the relative simplicity of the very description of sausage, I found it the perfect medium for combining flavors and elements of my choice. Not being a fan of pork, I decided to make my sausage out of ground turkey (the higher the fat content the better), and, because I realize that ground turkey can have a tendency to get sort of dry, I added a shredded pear to the mix to stave off dryness. Because pears love ginger so much, it seemed only natural that I should add some ginger to the mix. Sage seemed like a natural progression after that, and by the time I was done, all I could do was wonder why it had taken me so long to make something so delicious. The bite is tender and juicy, the spices are delightful, and the mix of earthy sage and bright ginger are a perfect match. This took my morning scrambled eggs to a whole new dimension of enjoyment, making the morning seem instantly a bit more special.

Turkey Pear Sausage with Ginger and Sage Recipe

As you can see, this is a recipe for bulk sausage. I have never tried to convert this recipe to make sausage links, so, if you are in possession of some casing and a sausage stuffer and you think you might want to try this out as link sausage, please know that I have absolutely no idea if it will work or not. However, if you do try to make linked sausage from this recipe, please do let me know how it turns out!

1 pound of ground turkey, not lean

1 large pear, shredded using the larger shredding holes on a box grater (you should end up with roughly ¾ of a cup of shredded pear), drained of any excess juice

3 tablespoons finely shredded onion (again, use a box grater for this)

1 medium clove finely mashed and minced garlic

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

½ teaspoon finely minced fresh sage (or scant ¼ teaspoon dried sage)

¼ teaspoon dried marjoram

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon sea salt

pinch of ground nutmeg

pinch of dried coriander

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients (again, make sure the shredded pear is well drained of any excess juice, or else your sausage mix will end up too loose). Gently mix together using a flexible spatula or your hands. Mix until everything is well combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

To cook sausage, form patties in the size of your choosing. Heat a bit of olive oil in a nonstick pan or cast iron skillet set over medium or medium high heat, then add the sausage patties when the oil is hot. Cook patties, being careful not to crowd the pan, until they are sufficiently browned on each side and cooked all the way through, about 3 to 4 minutes for smallish-sized patties.

Makes a little over 1 pound of bulk sausage.

Peach and Ginger Brown Sugar Shortcakes

30 Jul

You have to eat this. No, really. This might be the best dessert I’ve had all summer, and, as you may have noticed, I tend to eat a lot of desserts.

I can’t really say what the secret to this dessert is, because it seems to me that this shortcake’s power lies in the collective virtue of several influences. The brown sugar in the shortcake plays wonderfully off of the unexpected notes of the ginger in each bite. The crisp edges of each shortcake, with their buttery flavor and texture, are made more notable by the exquisitely ripe peaches, all of which are touched with just a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream. Because the only thing that gets sweetened in this dessert is the shortcake pastry itself, the sweet ripeness of the peaches, along with the smooth mellowness of the cream, are really allowed to stand out. It’s ginger and brown sugar. It’s peaches and cream. It’s just so good.

It’s like a symphony, really. A decadent, summery symphony that beckons you to come closer, have a taste, then another taste…and then, perhaps, maybe, a few more tastes. So many that you just might, along with some assistance from an eager, peach-loving child, end up tasting an entire shortcake before dinner, which then means that, after dinner, when everyone else is having a bit of shortcake, you might be lucky enough to encounter even more shortcake. Not that anyone has to know about the first one. If you promise not to tell, I promise to give you some shortcake.

Last Year: Sour Cherry Pie

Peach and Ginger Brown Sugar Shortcakes Recipe

I was curious to see if peeled peaches would fare better in this dessert over peaches that still had their skins, so I peeled half of the peaches (which, if your peaches are extremely ripe, as they should be, will be a very simple and painless task—the skins should effectively just slip right off once the peaches are sliced) and left the rest of the peaches with their skins. The result? Both the peeled and non-peeled peaches tasted great, and I actually liked the look of a combination of the two. That said, if you don’t want to peel your peaches, you certainly don’t have to. The dessert will still taste wonderful.

2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

¼ cup dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon sea salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small squares

2/3 cup cold buttermilk

¼ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

6 or 7 very large, extremely ripe peaches

1 cup whipping cream

1 or 2 drops pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt, then whisk together. Add the butter and, using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the end result resembles coarse crumbs with a few pea-sized chunks of butter here and there. Stir in the buttermilk, then the ginger, and incorporate everything as much as possible.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Gently knead the dough a couple of times to bring together any stray shaggy bits or dry patches, then pat the dough into a 9-inch by 6-inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 8 squares. Place each square on the prepared baking sheet, gently rounding the corners of each shortcake as you space them apart.

Bake the shortcakes in the center of the oven for 12-14 minutes, until the bottoms are well browned and the edges of each shortcake have turned a dark golden brown. Remove shortcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the shortcakes are baking, pit the peaches and slice them into medium-thin slices. Toss all of the peach slices together in a bowl, then refrigerate until you are ready to assemble your shortcakes. Right before you want to serve your shortcakes, whip the cream with the drops of vanilla.

To assemble the shortcakes, slice the top 1/3 off of a shortcake. Layer a large amount of peach slices over the bottom 2/3 of the shortcake. Top the peaches with a dollop of whipped cream, then gently place the top 1/3 of the shortcake over the cream.

Makes 8 peach shortcakes.

Ginger Cardamom Cake with Lemon Glaze

25 May

As my week-plus of Indian food postings comes to a close, it would seem only natural thing I take the time to focus on an Indian dessert offering.  The problem is, I am not the most ardent fan of Indian desserts.  Though there are exceptions, I find most Indian desserts to be unbearably sweet, unpleasantly textured, and nearly always containing golden raisins, of which I am no friend.  With apologies to half of my genetic make-up, here is the part where I admit that, after a nice, satisfying Indian meal, I am 100% more likely to be found going out for gelato than reaching for the Indian dessert menu.

It is not as though a petite cup of gelato after an Indian meal is a crime against humanity, but, unless I happen to order a bit of mango sorbet, it is not the smoothest bookend I can think of to complete my meal.  And so, my dislike of Indian sweets, embarrassing as it is to admit, only compelled me to come up with a dessert that is at least slightly related to Indian cuisine, one that could be served at the end of an Indian feast and carry on the tone of the meal.

Though I can’t claim that this cake is in any way an actual Indian dessert, it is, at the very least, very much the type of dessert that makes for a satisfying end to an Indian meal.  Plumped up with three iterations of ginger (powdered, fresh, and crystallized), just barely scented with the aroma of cardamom, and brushed with a light, tart, lemony glaze, the flavor of the cake contains a subtle reminder of the savory foods that came before it.  If you are looking for something to bring your Indian meal to a gentle close, you should look no further.

You can, however, look beyond what I have initially come up with here.  Though a nice addition, the lemon glaze definitely takes this cake in a brighter direction than some people might like.  If you are looking for an even subtler presentation, omit the glaze and serve this cake with thin slices of ripe mango.  To make the ginger sit even more front and center, you can serve it with lightly whipped cream flavored with a bit of ginger extract.  No matter what you serve it with, you’re bound to be pleased with the result.

Last Year: Chocolate Cake with Coffee Frosting (and a Secret) This is one stand-out cake, my friends.

Ginger Cardamom Cake with Lemon Glaze Recipe

Ginger Cardamom Cake

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/3 cups sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Lemon Glaze

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/3 cup powdered sugar

Make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place an oven rack in the middle position.  Thoroughly butter and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, cardamom, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until light and creamy.  Add the sugar, and beat on medium-high speed until well blended, about 2 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition.  Add the vanilla and freshly grated ginger and beat until combined.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add one third of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.  Add half of the sour cream, and beat until just combined.  Add half of the remaining flour mixture, beat until just combined, then add the remaining sour cream, mixing only until just combined.  Add the last of the flour mixture and beat until just combined.  Stir in crystallized ginger

Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan, and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake emerges with just a few moist crumbs attached, and the top of the cake is golden brown.  Cool the cake in its pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool.

To make lemon glaze, in a small saucepan, combine lemon juice and powdered sugar over low heat and stir to dissolve sugar completely.  Heat the mixture very gently and do not allow to boil.  When sugar is completely dissolved, remove mixture from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

While cake is still slightly warm, brush all over with lemon glaze.

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