Welcome to the first recipe of many in our Sunday Sweets and Savories series! Sundays are for food and football, and we know we have been neglecting the food so far, but that change today! You can Meat the Chef and make his first recipe! Today, Chef Nick has started us off with a family recipe that he has made his own and is now sharing with you, our dedicated sun-babes!
Spicy Sausage Dip
⁃ 2 lbs pork sausage (spicy or original)
⁃ 1 (14.5oz) can fire-roasted tomatoes
⁃ 1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes w/ medium green chilies
⁃ 1 (8oz) bar of cream cheese (cubed)
⁃ 1 (16oz) container of sour cream
⁃ 2-3 lemons, juiced (OPTIONAL)
⁃ 1 half-bunch of chopped parsley (OPTIONAL)
⁃ tortilla chips of all shapes and sizes
⁃ fresh bread (Italian or Challah)
⁃ fresh, crunchy veg of all varieties and colors (carrots, celery, peppers etc.)
So, before we get to cooking, let’s gather up all our ingredients and make sure we have everything laid out and organized.
Technique #1 – Organization
In the restaurant industry- the term, “Mise en Place” is a universally recognized French term meaning “everything in its place” aka, the very essence of organization in professional cooking.
***Examples in this post include opening the cans and draining the tomatoes, removing the lid from the sour cream, cubing the cream cheese, chopping the parsley and slicing the lemons are all prime components of setting your “mise en place.” So, what does this mean for you, the humble home cook? Well…EVERYTHING! Staying organized and prepping a little ahead of time is the secret sauce (I’m a huge Marc Cuban fan) to becoming a rockstar in your own kitchen. Ask any novice cook or professional chef alike, staying organized in the kitchen is essential to your success.
Now, before you even turn the stove on, get everything together. Gather the ingredients, a large 6-8 qt pot with high sides, a wooden spoon (or potato masher if you have one) some olive oil, and a little seasoning (I use Morton’s Natural seasoning for just about everything).
Step 1: HEAT pot on medium-high heat and add enough olive oil to slightly coat bottom. Crumble the sausage (with your fingers) first into a bowl and then add to the pre-heated pot. Season and brown the sausage; cook all the way through, constantly crumbling and breaking up the pieces. You are going for crispy crumbly goodness…
***Generally speaking, I will season any type of meat, fish or veg with 1 teaspoon of seasoning per pound of product. In our case today, 2 lbs of sausage, 2 teaspoons of seasoning.
Step 2: ADD both cans of drained tomatoes, parsley and lemon juice to the sausage. Stir to combine and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.
Passion point: parsley and lemon juice are optional in this recipe. Not everyone reading this will want to put extra effort into chopping fresh parsley and squeezing lemons, but these 2 unassuming ingredients really brighten up the dish and add a little taste of love. For me, passion is all about the effort you put into something to yield a more rewarding outcome. It is what you make up it to be.
Step 3: REDUCE heat to low and stir in the cubed cream cheese until fully melted and combined. Now add the sour cream and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step 4: Staying or Going?
This dip is versatile and travels well. At this point in the cooking process, you can either transfer the hot-dip into a crockpot for traveling or right into a serving dish for gatherings at home base.
***if serving at home and don’t have or don’t want to use a crockpot try this:
Heat up a microwave-safe beanbag, or corn bag and put it under the serving dish to keep it warm. Wrap her up in a kitchen towel and she’ll stay warm in that for at least an hour, no crockpot needed!
Pro Tip: make it ahead of time! Just keep warm in your crockpot until you leave. Thin it out with a little warm water right before serving if it tightens up, you want it to be spreadable enough to eat with tortilla chips and bread.
Small or large, a little extra color on a veg plate makes a huge impact. Consider using some celery with the leaves attached or use some sturdy inner-Romain leaves for a little extra dimension. Fresh, soft, un-toasted bread is the way to go with this dip. I usually shy away from bread in favor of tortilla chips or veg but this dip just loves to be eaten with soft bread 🤷🏻♂️ Idk I just let the food speak for itself sometimes.
What will yours look like?
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