Monday, August 22
Walking from my Craft Shop to the Big House (all 1100+ square feet of it!), my fresh herbs began calling to me. Had already planned on sausage balls for the market and was letting that idea roil around in my brain, while keeping my hands busy. Most recipes I knew used biscuit mix and very few spices and herbs, letting the sausage carry that weight; but, I would be doing mine from scratch and decided to let my herbs speak to me as I wandered through the garden. Turned out to be a great idea.
Preheat solar oven to 225F.
Homemade Biscuit Mix: 1 cup flour, 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon lard/tallow/butter, 1 /3 cup powdered milk, 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Mix all dry ingredients together. Using two knives or pastry blender or processor, cut shortening into dry mix until thoroughly blended.
[NOTE: Do NOT add shortening, unless ready to use. Or, keep mix in refrigerator and use within a week.]
Herbalicious Sausage and Cheese Balls
1 pound mild or hot sausage
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
2 cups biscuit mix or Bisquick
1-1/2 cups mixed shredded cheeses (I used sharp cheddar, parmesan, and fontina)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon melted butter
That's pretty standard for southern sausage balls. I added these fresh herbs:
4 5" stems of fresh rosemary
3 large leaves of fresh stevia
2 3" stems of spearmint
6 5" stems of Greek oregano
5 stems of Italian parsley
Remove leaves from rosemary stems; add to rest of herbs. (If the stems are not woody, I don't remove the leaves from fresh herbs, just chop them all together.) Using a butcher knife or processor, finely chop all the herbs together and add to sausage mix. Unless making a pesto, I prefer the butcher knife method for evenness and less clean-up.
Directions: In heavy skillet over med-high heat, saute sausage until crumbly, move to sides of pan; add chopped onion and celery to center and cook until soft. Set aside to cool slightly. In large bowl, combine biscuit mix, herbs, cheeses. Add sausage mixture, beaten eggs and melted butter. Mix thoroughly. Using large end of melon baller or 1/2 teaspoon, (or your hands) drop balls of sausage mix onto lightly sprayed cooking tray. I was able to get 48 mini balls on those throw-away trays, and then stacked them in the solar oven. I also forgot to take pictures of this step. Sorry.
Bake in solar oven for approximately an hour. Test after forty-five minutes, so they don't get too dry. The herbs added an extra oomph to this Southern tradition and I don't think I could go back to the old recipe, myself. Here, try one:
Posted by SharleneT at 1:51 AM