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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Comfort food that incorporates different types of sausage

Walk through the meat department of any grocery store and you will find numerous brands of sausage. From Smoked and Kielbasa to Brats and Andouille, there’s a sausage for everyone. But, why just use sausage as a protein often cooked on a grill.

Of course, sausage is used in numerous Creole & Cajun dishes. From jambalaya to gumbo, there are many different uses for sausage. Today, I want to share with you two different ways to use sausage: Andouille Sausage Meat Pie and Sausage Mac & Cheese. Both of these recipes are comfort foods and will appeal to children and adults alike. Let’s head to the kitchen!

Here’s a take on the Natchitoches Meat Pie. The use of the andouille will add more flavor to the filling. These will make you feel like you’re at a county fair. It’s a great meal for a on the go family.

Andouille Sausage Meat Pie

1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for frying

1/3 cup onions, minced

3/4 pound andouille sausage, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup sweet corn kernels

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

Meat Pie Dough (recipe to follow)

1 large egg

2 tablespoons water

1 cup shredded mozzarella

In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onion: cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Add sausage, salt, paprika, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until sausage is slightly browned. Remove from heat; stir in corn and cilantro. Let cool completely.

Cut Meat Pie Dough into 20 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll 18 pieces of dough to a 5 1/2-inch circle, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Reserve remaining dough for another use. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Using a 5-inch round cutter, cut rounds from each piece of dough. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 2 tablespoons water.

Place 2 teaspoons filling in center of each round. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon mozzarella over filling. Lightly brush edges with egg wash. Fold dough over filling, and press to seal. Using a fork, crimp along edges of pie. Using a pastry wheel, cut along edges to further seal. Freeze pies before frying.

In a large Dutch oven, pour oil of a depth of 4 inches, and heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 370℉. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels and place a wire rack on top.

Remove pies from freezer. Using a slotted spoon, gently place pies, 3 at a time, in hot oil. Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from oil, and let drain on prepared pan. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Meat Pie Dough

5 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup lard

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cup whole milk

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut in lard until mixture is crumbly. zin a small bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Pour egg mixture over flour mixture, and lightly toss with your hands until a dough starts to form. Knead together twice, and let rest for 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until using.

From crawfish to tasso, I have included many different meats in Mac & Cheese. It’s the pasta equivalent to Jambalaya. You can add any protein to Mac & Cheese to make it an entree. Here’s what I did with some smoked sausage I had.

Sausage Mac & Cheese

1 pound smoked sausage, sliced 1/2-inch thick

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup all purpose flour

3 cups milk

1 1/2 cups shredded American cheese, divided

1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1 12 teaspoons Creole seasoning

1 (16-ounce) package macaroni, cooked

Preheat oven to 350℉. Spray a 2 1/2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Set sausage aside. Wipe skillet.

In same skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk; bring to a boil, whisking until slightly thickened, about 7 minutes. Stir in 1 cup American cheese, Cheddar cheese and Creole seasoning until smooth. Stir in cooked macaroni and sausage, spoon into prepared dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup American cheese.

Bake until bubbly and cheese melts, 18 to 20 minutes.

There is no right or wrong type of sausage for a particular recipe. If you don’t care for andouille, use a regular smoked sausage. The only sausage that is not a good fit for these recipes is Boudin. But that’s a whole other sausage. Any good meaty sausage will work in these recipes. So grab your favorite brand and get cooking!

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