Butcher’s Sausage with Peppers and Onions

When we lived in Frankfurt, there was a butcher located on the corner of our street where we would go and buy fresh meats for dinner. Here in Colorado, we have to go a little bit further to get to a butcher, but it is well worth the effort. Everyone talks about farm to table cooking, but for home-cooks it isn’t always as easy. We also go to a local farmer’s market every weekend to get fresh vegetables. This is a meal that definitely reminded us of Germany, not just because of the sausage, but also because of using the fresh ingredients with no preservatives. Butcher’s sausage is a sausage that is made up of meat scraps that the butcher saves as they trim up different cuts of meat. Our sausage had pork, beef, duck pate, chicken liver, and chicken. It sounds like a crazy combination, but it tasted really good. Obviously, this recipe works well with bratwurst, beef sausage, or almost any type of sausage. You can also use green pepper if you’d like, but red and orange peppers are a little sweeter. Because the sausage has a lot of seasonings inside of it, there isn’t any reason to add anything other than some salt and pepper.

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Peppers and Onion from the Farmer’s Market

INGREDIENTS

  •  Two Links of Butcher’s Sausage
  •  1 Red Pepper – sliced
  •  1 Orange Pepper – sliced
  •  1/2 Red Onion – sliced
  •  2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  •  2 Buns or Hoagie Rolls
  •  Dijon Mustard
  •  Salt and Pepper to taste
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Browned Sausage and Caramelized Vegetables

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat a large skillet with the oil over medium-high heat. Be sure to slice the peppers and onion into similar size strips. Place the peppers in the pan and sauté them for about 5 to 6 minutes, until they start to soften. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and continue to sauté until peppers and onion begin to caramelize, about another 4 to 5 minutes. Butterfly the sausage and place them into the center of the pan, moving the peppers and onion towards the edge of the pan, and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes per side until the sausage begins to brown. Spread the mustard onto the bun, place the sausage cut-side down, and cover with peppers and onion.

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Sautéing the Peppers and Onion
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Sausage and Pepper Sandwich

 

Enjoying the Food of the Southwest

Living in Colorado, we are surrounded by states that embrace southwestern flavors. Whether visiting New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, or our own state, southwestern flavors can be found everywhere. Tacos, burritos, Huevos rancheros, enchiladas, guacamole, and all kinds of peppers can be found on menus in almost every city. We have tried to recreate several of the dishes that we’ve had during our travels throughout the area as well as we have some of our own that we’ve grown up eating.

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Crab Queso in Austin, Texas
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Con Carne Burrito in Steamboat Springs, Colorado
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Huevos Rancheros in Sante Fe, New Mexico

Southwestern food is full of spices and packed with flavor, but usually it is just a mild heat. Some places offer the choice of sauce to put over your food, usually ranging from mild to hot, with the green sauce usually being the hottest. One nice thing about southwestern food is that the same flavors work with different types of proteins like pork, beef, and shrimp, but it can also be made to be vegetarian as well. Since we like to share anyway, the portions are usually large enough for us to still have leftovers to take home with us.

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Crab and Shrimp Stuffed Chili Relleno
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Pork Burritos with Spicy Green Chili Sauce
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Chili Pork Verde

As we get ready to leave for Moab, Utah tomorrow, we expect that we will likely find many southwestern options available to us when we arrive. Hopefully we’ll find some of the creative dishes that we found in Scottsdale, Arizona and Sante Fe, New Mexico. We don’t have a favorite type of food, but we certainly enjoy good southwestern dishes when we are in the mood for something a little spicy.

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Grilled Corn and Chipotle Soup from the Restaurant
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Carnitas Burrito Served Enchilada Style
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Our Version of Southwestern Corn Chowder

 

Salmon with a Spicy Pepper Sauce

During our trips to Mexico, we have always enjoyed having seafood cooked with local preparations. Not all food in Mexico is spicy and this recipe isn’t overly spicy, but it does have a little bit of heat. Although you can certainly use a fish other than salmon, we found that salmon was able to hold up to the bold taste of the creamy pepper sauce. We have often made a hollandaise sauce to go with salmon, but using the peppers provides a different alternative. With the summer months coming, the salmon could also be grilled instead of pan-seared, but pan-searing it does create a nice and crispy skin. We found this dish to be extremely delicious and relatively simple to make. It is also the type of dish that can be made for a more formal occasion or a simple weeknight dinner.

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Blistered Anaheim Peppers

INGREDIENTS

  •  2 Salmon Filets – about 5 ounces each
  •  3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  •  1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  •  2 Fresh Anaheim Peppers
  •  2 tbsp Corn Taco Shells – ground (or 2 tbsp of Masa Harina, which is a corn flour)
  •  1 1/2 cups Milk
  •  Salt and Pepper to taste
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Seared Skin on the Salmon

INSTRUCTIONS

Either by heating the peppers on the open flame of a gas stove or on a grill, cook the peppers until the skins are blistered and black. While still hot, put the peppers into a bowl and cover them with plastic wrap so that they steam. Once cool, you can use a knife or a paper towel to remove the charred skin of the peppers. Roasting the peppers gives them a nice, smoky taste. Roughly chop the peppers and set them aside.

Season the salmon filets with a half a teaspoon of the garlic powder as well as a generous amount of salt and pepper. Heat a large sauce pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is fully heated, place the salmon skin-side down into the pan and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes and the skin is nice and crispy. Flip the fish and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. If you are going to put the fish into an oven to stay warm while the sauce cooks, simply cook the fish a minute or two less before putting them into the oven. Otherwise, simply cover the fish and set aside and let the fish rest while the sauce cooks.

Add the peppers, remaining garlic powder, ground taco shells or flour, milk, and some salt and pepper to a blender (works better than a food processor for this sauce) and mix until smooth. Pour the pepper mixture into the same pan that the fish was cooked in while the temperature is still at medium-high. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until the sauce thickens. Be sure to taste the sauce and add additional salt or pepper if necessary. Plate the fish and serve with the sauce over top.

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Creamy Pepper Sauce
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Blister the Peppers on the Stove
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Ingredients
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Blend Until Smooth
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Salmon with a Spicy Pepper Sauce