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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

An Ode to Jimmy Dean: My Favorite Sausage Recipe!

When I was growing up in Texas, there was NOT a shortage of fat in our food. If it was healthy, the idea was to fry it to make it less so. The sooner the better! No time to waste!

Chicken: Fry it!
Hamburger meat: Bread it, pound it, fry it and call it Chicken Fried Steak.
Corn meal: Mix it with milk, onions and salt, make it into balls, fry it, and call it Hushpuppies.
Green Tomatoes: bread and yeah... fry it!
AND, If you made bacon, save the fat in a container, because you might need to FRY something later, or at least make Sawmill Gravy.

You get the idea. And well, the results are PRETTY darn awesome.

Plus if you add a few trips to the gym in between, it's okay to indulge every now and then, I think. :-)

So, in honor of the late Jimmy Dean who just left this world-- Country singer, songwriter, and breakfast sausage king-- here is one of my favorite recipes from my Childhood: Sausage Balls!!

The recipe's ingredients are as simple as simple can be: baking mix, cheese and....you guessed it....SAUSAGE!

Now, I had thought for some time that my Mom invented this recipe as I had watched her many a time whip it up in the kitchen without the benefit of written word to guide her-- most often for holidays or for card night, or for a Tupperware party-- like some magical kitchen wizard she just seemed to know how to concoct this little tasty miracle straight from her culinary mind.

Guess what? Turns out she didn't.

It was originally ON the box of Bisquick baking mix--itself a Southern staple, in case you don't know. And when I googled just now for some pics of Sausage Balls just on a whim, I was surprised with hundreds of photos of this beloved, albeit it fatty, treat.

Over the year's I've made this myself more times than I can remember, and find that it's still a favorite at parties. One of my friends even likes it on Valentine's Day in lieu of Chocolates. :-) And I usually double the recipe to make sure I have plenty of leftovers. They are good cold or hot, and fantastic well....for Breakfast.

Regardless, Mom's always taste the best. :-)

So here ya go. I'll share it with you all. And thank you Jimmy Dean for your amazing sausage (and your music too!).


* 2 cups Bisquick
* 1 pound sausage
* 10 oz. pack of shredded cheese (or just shred your own from a block of cheddar)


Put everything in the bowl and mix. This is easiest to do with your hands though it feels pretty yucky at this stage. But it's the same way as if mixing meatloaf, and there really is NO other way.

Roll the mixture into balls, a little smaller than golf balls.

Place the sausage balls on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes, depending. The Bisquick balls should be lightly browned with the meat cooked through.

If you have any left over (which is rare), then store them in an air tight container in the refrigerator. They can be reheated in the oven or the microwave. Eat hot or cold...assuming there are any leftovers!



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