Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Pig Holiday

Holidays are usually filled with pigging out, and the 2009 Christmas season was no exception. Pig Out took a more literal meaning as we indulged on many pork delicacies. A few days before Christmas, my brother Matt and I spent about 1/2 day in his kitchen making sausage.

We made three varieties:

Sage Breakfast links- a thin all pork sausage seasoned with sage and salt & pepper

Hot Italian Sausage- a fatter link seasoned with fennel, crushed red pepper, and Pernod (a French anise liquor)

Boerwors- a South African style sausage (thanks to some tips from Chris Mattera at Belmont Butchery) that was 1/2 pork and 1/2 venison and seasoned with coriander, nutmeg, and salt.

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is a breakfast of Eggs Benedict- poached free range eggs, Canadian style bacon from Belmont Butchery, and asparagus, all topped with a rich lemony Hollandaise sauce ( as a kid I always thought it was Holiday sauce, because that was the one time of year we ate it.)

We had a few friends over for New Years Day to indulge in some traditional foods that we always eat for good luck or financial success. In addition to black-eyed peas and stewed tomatoes, I cooked a spicy cabbage dish. My favorite tradition dates from my time in Italy, eating cotecchino sausage, with lentils and sage. It's a rich sausage spiced with cinnamon and cloves.

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