From For the Love of Food, Denis Cotter, Collins, 2011.
I picked up For the Love of Food in the bookshop and, after a quick flip through the pages, turned to the contents page. That itself was basically enough to convince me that I had to have this book. It had a whole section on risottos and, what was even more exciting, a section on mash. I love potatoes, especially mash, so a collection of mash recipes sounded totally inviting.
However, the first dish I settled for when delving into this book was to make sausages. These were sausages that came from a recipe of Lucy Stewart of Café Paradiso in County Cork.
I began by cooking fresh chestnuts (which was not actually suggested by the book where they recommend using pre-cooked vacuum-packed chestnuts to save a bit of time). So I was hampered at the beginning by the slow process of digging out the contents of the chestnut shells. Once I had this it was pureed in the food processor.
This was added to a bowl with all the other ingredients: mashed firm tofu, a grated onion, chopped sage and rosemary, some grated strong cheddar cheese, soy sauce, lemon juice, chilli powder and a beaten egg. These were all mixed together to make a reasonably firm mixture. Hands seemed to be the ideal tool for this. Now breadcrumbs were added, just sufficient to make a consistency that would hold. The sausages were then shaped and put into the freezer. It was suggested that they cook better if they came straight from the freezer to the frying pan.
The sausages were then fried in a little butter and olive oil. I had a little difficulty at this stage for they tended to want to stick to the pan and lose some of their crisp edge as they were turned. However, despite the slightly messy look they were excellent to eat. I was glad I had made a quantity and stored the extra in the freezer.
A couple of days later I thought I would try them again. This time I rolled them in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs to make crumbed sausages and the result was perfect. I’ll always crumb them in future.
These were a great find for they do appear to store well in the freezer and, while not real sausages, they are a really close alternative. It’s great to have them as a standby waiting in the refrigerator.
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔