Saturday, January 2, 2010

Mock Italian Sausage

Mock Italian Sausage
When you're working hard to cut calories but you're craving some spicy Italian sausage, try this quick mock version. It's great as a pizza topping and in soup when you're trying to "beef" up a broth to make it more substantial.

1/2 pound chicken tenderloin
1/4 of a small sweet onion, cut in half
1 clove garlic, cut in half
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seed
Coarse salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it looks like ground chicken or hamburger meat. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. When hot, add mock sausage mix and cook, stirring often until crumbly and cooked through, about 7–9 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Recommended substitution: If you like sweet Italian sausage, don't use the chili flakes. Instead, add 1/4 teaspoon of allspice and one teaspoon dried oregano.

Recommended technique: This recipe uses chicken tenderloin, which is usually cheaper than boneless breasts. You'll have to trim the vein, but it's really easy—like unzipping a zipper with your knife. You can ask your butcher to grind the tenderloin for you, or do it at home. Just cut the chicken into one-inch pieces and pulse in a food processor (about three or four quick pulses) until it looks like ground chicken.

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