Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Easy Sausage Dinner

Lately, one of my favorite dinners has been sausage.  It's easy, it's tasty...and, guess what, it can be healthy!  The Sprouts Farmers Market that I shop at has so many varieties of pork and chicken sausages that are handmade in the store with no MSG or nitrates added, so I don't have to feel guilty cooking them for my family once or twice a week.  In general, the chicken sausages tend to have less fat and calories than the pork varieties, so I try to save the pork sausages for a special meal as a treat.

There are so many ways to cook sausages.  Of course, grilled sausages on whole wheat buns are great for a weekend cookout.  But lately I have been making sausages on the stove, and they have been turning out juicy and flavorful.

Sausages in beer
Pork green chili sausages cooked in beer

Here is how I make them:

Easy Sausage Dinner (serves 4-6)

Ingredients:
2-4 sausages (about 1/3 lb each)
cooking spray or olive oil
1-2 cups liquid (water, broth, beer, or apple juice)

Heat a drizzle of olive oil or a generous spray of cooking spray in a large heavy skillet/frying pan over medium heat.  Add the sausages to the pan and brown on both sides (about 3 minutes each side).  Then, add 1 cup of liquid to the pan and bring to a boil.  Cover the pan and reduce the heat so the liquid simmers allowing the sausages to steam.  Cook the sausages for at least 20 minutes (sometimes I let them cook 40 minutes) adding more liquid to the pan as necessary.  I always check that the sausages are done with a meat thermometer (160 degrees for pork, 165 degrees for chicken or turkey) before I serve them.

sausages with rice and beans
Pork green chili sausages served with rice and beans

I serve them whole or sliced, and we sometimes have mustard or horseradish for dipping.  Add a salad and another veggie, and you have a great meal!  They are also delicious sliced and added to spaghetti sauce.