Making Homemade Italian Sausage

Making Homemade Italian Sausage

Making homemade Italian Sausage is really not that difficult. We haven't made our own homemade sausage for a long time. Sammy thought it was time to make some of our own again.

So, we set a weekend date and got to work. The best part of making your own Italian sausage is that you'll be able to season it to your personal taste.

The first thing that I did was check our local grocery stores for the best prices of pork butt. Luckily one of our local stores had it on sale for $.99 a pound.

Coarse ground pork

I ordered 20 pounds of pork butt coarse ground and asked the butcher for enough casings to stuff the sausage. If you grind the meat yourself cut it into about 1 or 2-inch pieces and coarse grind it. It is very important to keep the meat cold so work with small portions.

Making Homemade Italian Sausage: Our Spices

Italian sausage spices

We use some very simple spices for our homemade sausage. Garlic powder, coarse ground black pepper, fennel seed, crushed red pepper, Paprika, and missing for the picture salt. The amounts we use for 20 pounds will be below.

Mix Italian sausage

Next, we added our spices and mixed the pork. After thoroughly mixing we set it in the refrigerator to keep the meat cold. I recommend mixing the pork in smaller batches, maybe 5 pounds at a time. Mixing 20 pounds at a time is just the way we've always made it.

sausage taste test

After about an hour in the refrigerator and before we started stuffing our links. We fried some so we could taste-test our mixture. This is a great idea because you may want to add more spices. We found ours to be just the way we like it.

Making Homemade Italian Sausage: Stuffing the Links

making sausage links

We soaked our casings in warm water for about 30 minutes. Then we rinsed them with cold water before we used them.

We rubbed a little olive oil onto the stuffer threaded one casing over it and then tied off the end. We used our KitchenAid Stand Mixer with the grinder and stuffer attachment to stuff our casings.

We worked with 5 pounds of meat at a time and kept the rest in the refrigerator. Again it is very important to keep the meat cold while working. 

As Sammy loaded the hopper I made the links giving them a twist about every 6 or 7 inches. We find at this size four links equals one pound.

The first casing yielded 5.5 pounds. Some people like to cut the casings into a shorter length. It's up to you and is a personal preference.

Bobby making sausage

Bobby stopped over and gave me a little break. This is his first time making sausage and I have to say he is a natural. he took right over and didn't skip a beat.

  If you get any air bubbles while stuffing just prick them with a needle to let the air out.

Making Homemade Italian Sausage: The Recipe

Spices for 20 pounds of Sausage:

1/3 cup salt
1/4 cup coarse black pepper
1/4 cup Fennel Seed
1/4 cup paprika
1/2 cup crushed red pepper (optional)
1/3 cup garlic powder

Breaking this down to 5 pounds:

4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon garlic powder

I marked the red pepper as optional if you don't like hot sausage. We also made some sausage patties they're perfect for breakfast or a quick sandwich. It turned out to be a fun day making homemade sausage with my son and grandson.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

My KitchenAid is without a dought my best kitchen tool. For making more than 5 pounds of sausage I thought the KitchenAid was a bit slow. I'm going to invest in one of these to make the next 20 pounds.

Baked Butter Garlic Chicken Wings

Baked Garlic Butter Chicken Wings

These baked butter garlic chicken wings made the perfect game-day treat last week. You don't have to wait for a game day to enjoy these. Serve these for a nice appetizer or snack at your next party or just a snack for the family.

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of garlic. Butter and garlic are a perfect match for wings. I added some additional spices to these nice and crispy baked wings.

Baked Butter Garlic Chicken Wings:

butter garlic chicken wings recipe

I started off by placing the frozen wings onto a large cookie sheet. Then I baked these at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

While I waited I prepared the garlic butter by melting 2 sticks of butter with 6 cloves of fresh minced garlic. I added a tablespoon of McCormick Lemon Pepper Seasoning.

After 15 minutes I took the wings out of the oven and drained the excess water from the cookie sheet. Then I separated the butter sauce and brushed both sides of each chicken wing with a healthy dose of butter garlic sauce.

I baked the wings for 60 more minutes turning them every 20 minutes. When they turned a nice golden brown and the internal temperature was 180 degrees I knew they were ready.

I placed the wings into a plastic container and poured the remaining garlic butter sauce over them. Then I added some Parmesan cheese and gave them a good shake.

I like my wings crispy and these turned out perfect. Nice and crispy with a buttery garlic flavor and a hint of lemon pepper.

Baked hot wings

There was no way that I was getting away with just the baked garlic butter chicken wings. So, I made some tangy hot wings for the hot wing fans in the house.

I used 1/2 cup of Frank's Red Hot Wing Sauce and added 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Using the same process in a plastic container giving them a good shake and they were ready to serve.

If your wings are fresh and not frozen. Skip the first 15 minutes in the oven and start by brushing on the garlic butter sauce.

County Fair Fried Dough

County Fair Fried Dough

Last week as a Birthday gift for Fran and an early Birthday gift to me Sammy and Tricia got us a new 6 Quart Professional KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

Needless to say, I was delighted. We use our current 4.5 Quart KitchenAid constantly. For the longest time, I've wanted to upgrade to the larger machine and now I have it.

I just couldn't wait to mix up some of my Easy all-purpose dough in my new KitchenAid. So, I mixed up a batch and made some pizza.

I only made a couple of small pizzas so I would have some dough left over to make some fried dough.

County Fair Fried Dough:  

You don't have to wait for that annual county fair to have this sweet little treat. These are so easy to make and the perfect little snack. You can make your own dough or just pick up some fresh dough at your local grocery store.

making fried dough

I pulled off a handful of dough and then shaped it into as close to a circle as I could get. These are about 4 to 5 inches across.

Fried Dough

Using my 8-inch cast iron skillet I poured about 1/2-inch of vegetable oil into the bottom. I set the heat to medium and heated the oil to about 350 degrees.

Once the oil is hot they only take about 20 seconds per side to cook. If the oil is too hot they'll brown too fast and not cook on the inside.

Sugar Cinnamon Fried Dough

In a separate dish, I mixed 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. I used Penzeys Vietnamese Cinnamon it's a favorite of ours.

Out of the skillet and into the sugar and cinnamon coating on both sides. Then place them on another dish lined with paper towels.

Let them cool for about 10 minutes before eating. Now you can enjoy county fair fried dough any time of the year.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

Easy Homemade Ravioli Recipe

Easy Homemade Ravioli Recipe

When it comes to Italian food there is nothing like this easy homemade ravioli recipe. Ravioli are so versatile because there are so many options for the filling.

We happened to be visiting Sammy and as luck would have it he was in the process of making ravioli. This was a great opportunity to capture the process and post it.

The filling that Sammy had ready was ricotta cheese, sausage, and spinach. This is one of the many fillings you can use for ravioli.

Filling with ricotta cheese, sausage, and spinach:

1 lb. (16 oz.) ricotta cheese
1/2 lb. Italian bulk sausage (cooked, crumbled and cooled)
1 egg
2 cups chopped spinach (fresh or frozen)
1 clove minced garlic (Optional)
salt and pepper to taste

In a small frying pan cook the sausage. Break it up as fine as possible while cooking. Let the sausage cool before mixing with the ricotta cheese.

Mix the ricotta cheese, spinach, garlic, egg, and salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Now add the cooled sausage and mix well. Cover and refrigerate while you make the dough.

The Dough:

4 cups all-purpose flour (more if needed)
4 eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

We use our KitchenAid Stand Mixer for this. Add the flour, olive oil, and salt into the mixing bowl. Add one egg at a time mixing on low speed. Do this until a ball of dough forms, then knead it by hand on a floured surface. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

If you don't have a stand mixer you can mix the dough by hand. Mound the flour onto a clean surface. Use your fingers starting in the middle of the mound to create a well. Add your eggs, oil, and salt to the middle and work in the flour. Knead by hand until the dough is formed.

Tip: If the dough is too dry add a teaspoon of water or more as needed. Or, if the dough is too wet add a little more flour.

Ravioli Dough

Getting ready to roll the dough. Cut the dough into four equal sections. I know, here you only see three that's because Sammy has one in the roller.

Easy Homemade Ravioli Recipe: Rolling the Dough

Rolling ravioli dough

Using the pasta attachment for the KitchenAid. Take one section and begin on a wider setting running the dough through. Then, move the dial to thinner settings and then to the thinnest setting. Make sure you don't have any tears or holes in the dough.

Again if you don't have a KitchenAid or a pasta machine get out the rolling pin. Take one section of dough and on a floured surface roll into a circle as thin as you can without holes or tears in the dough. Cut about 4-inch strips.

Filling Ravioli

Lay the strip of dough on a floured surface and cut it in half. Sammy used a 1-1/2 tablespoon scooper to place the filling onto the dough. With two fingers, Sammy spreads a little water on both halves of the dough.  The water helps stick the dough together.

Form the ravioli

Place the second half of the dough over the filling. Lightly press around the filling to form the ravioli.

Cutting the ravioli

Now Sammy centers this handy ravioli cutter over the filling and firmly presses to cut out the ravioli.  Tip: If you don't have one of these handy cutters just use a mason jar you'll have the same tasty ravioli only it will be round.

Finished Ravioli

After cutting the ravioli carefully pull the extra dough away. Roll out the extra dough into another strip and make more.

Sammy yielded about 30 delicious ravioli from this recipe.

As I said, in the beginning, there are so many options for ravioli fillings here is our typical ricotta cheese filling recipe.

Ricotta Cheese Filling:

1 lb. ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons parsley
1 clove garlic minced (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy

Some Handy tools for making Easy Homemade Ravioli

“ I earn money from purchases on affiliate links at no additionl cost to you.” Disclosure Statement