Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sausage: Make It Your Gateway Drug For Exploring Local Butchers And Ethnic Groceries

Chorizo selections at the Family Market in Columbia
Eat different.  That's a theme to HowChow, and it's a fun way to shake up your menu.

Start with sausage.  It's not even healthy, so it's totally easy.  The butchers around Howard County grind their own meat into a variety of varieties -- breakfast sausage at Boarman's, Italian pork at Laurel Meat Market, chorizos in Family Market or Lily's Mexican Market.  Even Harris Teeter sells excellent spicy chicken sausage.

Sausage sandwiches are easy -- especially if you can grab some good rolls.  Personally, I like the baguette at Bon Fresco.

Sausage in risotto
Beyond that, sausage is convenience food.  You can buy them one at a time.  You can freeze them and break them out (or break off a link) to add flavor to dinner.  My new find was the chorizo, Mexican and Argentine, at Family Market in Columbia.  Those make great tacos or omelets.

But my favorite use is defrosting a sausage and pulling it out of the casing to zip up kitchen staples.  Brown a bit, then add to pasta sauce.  Crumble a sausage into the first stage of any mushroom risotto recipe.  Start with any recipe that you find on the Web, and brown the sausage before you add the rice to the pot.  If you have a basic risotto recipe, a box of chicken stock, some dried mushrooms from an Asian market, and an onion can make risotto right out of the freezer and pantry when you haven't had time to shop.

Consider sausage your gateway drug.  It's a guaranteed find at any market, and then you look around for something else.  Make your own personal burger blend at Laurel Meat Market.  Work your way up to trying Steven Raichlen's Planet Barbecue and its suggestions.

Find yourself a meat market on last month's post about places to shop.


Karen P said...

This has been an easy, go to recipe, at our house since it was published a few years ago. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Penne-with-Sausage-and-Tomato-Sauce-236013

Stephanie said...

The Italian sausage at Scittino's in Catonsville is the best I have found anywhere.

Rob said...

Boarman's has great italian sausage and spicy half-smokes too.

Vicky said...

Do you happen to know if Family Market has Spanish (Spain) chorizo? It's generally more of a reddish color, seasoned with paprika. It is absolutely delicious, and I often get it from relatives in New Jersey. I would love to get it locally!

Jess said...

Vicky - Have you tried Tere's Latin Market on Rt 40 in Ellicott City? I don't know for sure if they have it, but I remember seeing several varieties of chorizo there.

Morty Abzug said...

Vicky --

Harris Teeter has Aidell's chorizo. I don't know from Spanish chorizo, but it's an excellent sausage.