Appetizers that work with any sausage, but try Andouille
One day, I’m going to get the nerve to make my own sausage. If I do, I know that I will make some andouille. As you may know, it is the sausage of my choice. It’s so easy to just pick some up at the store instead of spending hours with the grinding and smoking process. I know that I always prefer homemade to store bought. With andouille, I am just a little lazy.
Of course, you can use your favorite sausage in the following recipes, if you don’t care for andouille. The first is an appetizer, Andouille Chips and Beer-Cheese Dip. Yes, you read that right. The second one, Gnocchi with Andouille Cajun Cream Sauce, introduces a different accompaniment for proteins. Lastly is Smothered Chicken and Andouille, a good old fashion Southern dish. Go to the refrigerator for the andouille, and Let’s head to the kitchen!
Andouille Chips and Beer-Cheese Dip
Here’s a good appetizer for those who count carbohydrates. Using the andouille in place of the chips greatly reduces carbs. Of course, the dip also taste great with the usual accompaniments of crackers or tortilla chips.
1 pound andouille sausage, cut on a bias into 1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup pilsner beer (Sub Non-alcoholic beer or chicken broth)
1 tablespoon Creole mustard
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups grated Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350℉.
On a large rimmed baking sheet, arrange sausage in an even layer. Bake until well browned, 30 to 35 minutes; let drain on paper towels.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth; cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk milk until smooth. Whisk in beer, mustard, salt, garlic, and both peppers; cook, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low; gradually whisk in cheese until melted. Serve dip with andouille chips.
Gnocchi with Andouille Cajun Cream Sauce
Gnocchi is Italian dumplings made with flour, egg and potatoes. Homemade gnocchi is just a little more difficult than homemade pasta. You can find them pre-made in the grocery store in the pasta isle. If you’re not sure if they are your cup of tea, use the store bought before you put the time and effort in to making them at home.
8 ounces gnocchi, cooked
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound andouille, sliced into disc
1 medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
4 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons Tabasco
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Over medium heat, brown andouille and drain. Add onion, garlic and Creole seasoning. Sauté until the onions are clear. Add cream, Worcestershire and Tabasco; bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until reduced by 1/3. Add green onions and mix. Add Parmesan Cheese, stirring constantly, until the cheese has incorporated into the sauce. Add the cooked gnocchi and toss.
Smothered Chicken and Andouille
This recipe is close to an étouffée. All that’s missing is flour to make a roux. It’s a great variation that brings a lot of flavor to your plate.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in half
Creole seasoning, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound andouille, quartered and sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Season chicken breast with Creole seasoning. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside. Add sliced sausage to skillet and brown, approximately 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Lower heat to medium. Add onions, celery and bell pepper, and sauté until onions are translucent. Return chicken and sausage to the pan, and add garlic and water. Stir to incorporate. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 45 minutes. Add green onions and parsley. Serve over cooked rice.
There a many different varieties of andouille on the market today. While I try new brands as I find them, here, in Arkansas, my andouille of choice is Manda. It’s fun to experiment with different brands. Everyone’s taste buds are different.