Wednesday, May 9, 2018

You better have a high tolerance for sausage-based innuendo

Yeah, the old "Meat Dept. $1.00" sticker is pretty cool (and coincidentally, the same price I paid, even though this was from an antique mall rather than a meat department). The lavishly be-sesamed bun is eye-catching. If I'm going to be honest, though, I really picked up Jimmy Dean's Best Sausage Recipes (1973) because I was cracked up by how excited Jimmy Dean seemed to be about exhibiting his foot-long sausage right on the cover. This is definitely a guy who can tell you all kinds of things to do with his sausage.

Of course there's something very '70s for breakfast should you still be at the ranch in the morning:

It's a sausage ring! Filled with scrambled eggs! Everything (except maybe the eggs) is in the ubiquitous '70s brown-tone.

Start your day with 40 minutes of baking and two rounds of draining drippings out of a piping-hot ring mold without dislodging the sausage. Plus make a skillet full of scrambled eggs, chop, slice, and sauté veggies for the Spanish sauce, and assemble the whole thing on a heated platter. That should be a fun morning.

If you want the old classics, Jimmy Dean offers them too. In need of some stuffed peppers that look like shrunken heads with extra brain sauce?

I like the way they're slightly out of focus, as if even the camera couldn't get itself to look too closely.

These go all-in on the sausage. No rice or breadcrumbs for binder! Just sausage, egg, a little celery, and a little Romano, with a barbecue-sauce type topper. Those peppers are sausage stuffed.

We all know that a book designed to sell a single product can't rely entirely on the old dependable recipes. Jimmy Dean wants his sausage in everything.

Here's Sausage Fudge! It's a peanut-butter-and-marshmallow-based fudge rather than a chocolate variety. I'm not sure whether that makes it better or worse...

The best blending of the expected and unexpected might be in the appetizer section. Tiny little meatballs served on picks are pretty standard '70s party fare, so it's not exactly a shock to find recipes for little balls of sausage and cream cheese mixed with chili powder or parsley. Some of the mixtures, though, are a bit more exotic.

Sausage mixed with bananas and rolled in graham cracker crumbs, anyone? Or how about this:

My thought process as I read this recipe: "Avocado and sausage might be goo... Holy crap! Did I just read instructions to whip an avocado in a blender with sausage, dry lime gelatin, and potato chip crumbs?" Comical double take. (Pretend it's a spit take if you want.) "Yep!"

To make it even better, all the little surprising and delightful sausage balls are to be served in very '70s fashion:

Stick 'em all on picks and stab 'em into a hollowed-out cabbage filled with dip, like so:

Mmmm. Ballsy.

I can't help imagining the cabbage as some kind of massive deep-sea tube worm just covered in weird little debris-covered parasites. (Not sure just how much shredded cheese debris is on the ocean floor, but indulge me on this one!)

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed ogling Jimmy's sausage!


  1. This post is a real sausage fest!

  2. And I roll my eyes when I read current recipes for protein balls. At least all the sugar and coconut oil people use to cover the awful taste of protein powder go together. I could see sausage and avocado, maybe add some cream cheese and crushed saltines to help bind them together, but NO LIME JELLO!