Ahh, good morning!
Wait. What is that smell? It is savory and sweet and strong and... Wonderful.
Oh yes, that's sausage!
Such a classic breakfast food, packed full of the protein and fat I need to start my day. (I get sick if I only eat carbs... No pancake stacks for me. Sigh.)
But sausage is not just for breakfast food anymore! You can use it any time of day (or night)!
Imagine with me for a moment. I've convinced you that sausage will be the PERFECT addition to your morning routine, or lunch, or dinner. You walk over to your fridge, open the freezer and find... a rock solid tube of delicious sausage. You calculate in your head how long it will take to thaw in various ways, give up, and go back to your usual or worse! don't eat anything at all.
How can we avoid such a catastrophe?
There are two ways to do this. Patties and crumbles.
Take one partially thawed tube of sausage and cut off the plastic wrapper. On plate or cutting board, with a sharp, serrated knife, cut tube into 1/2" slices. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, and cook until cooked through. Lay in single layer on foil on a cookie sheet in freezer. When frozen, place patties in freezer bag. To reheat, either pop them on a plate in the micro for 30-60 sec or steam them on the stovetop. To steam, heat that skillet over medium-high heat, add your sausage and 2 Tbsp water, cover, and step away for 5 minutes or so. Flip to brown on the other side, plate, and enjoy.
I have found that you get more sausage out of the wrapper if it's partially frozen when you take it out than if you wait until it is totally thawed. So remove from wrapper when partially frozen, then complete thawing in a bowl in the fridge. Once thawed, add to skillet on medium heat and start choppin'. Now, you're looking for tiny crumbles, so you really need to stick with it and chop away while it's raw and cooking or you'll get huge chunks that are harder to separate. I like to use a certain tool from a certain cooking tools company. Then drain the fat (save it! It's great to cook with instead of oils and margarine), put the meat in a freezer bag, and freeze as flat as possible. Then, whenever you need some just break some off and heat it up!
And here's a recipe that uses those crumbles!
Sausage and Pepper Sauce
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 quart size bag frozen peppers
1 cup frozen sausage crumbles
Optional: (Choose 1)
Put sauce, peppers, and sausage in large skillet on medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer 15-20 minutes until everything is thawed. Serve over hot rice with whichever accompaniments you choose. Bon appetit!