Mexican Chipotle Field Roast Sausages

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Mexican Chipotle seasoned sausages.

Though I do soy hotdogs occasionally, this is my first time to try a vegan sausage. It sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? I mean, traditional sausage is about as far opposite to vegan, vegetarian, or healthy as you can get. The Field Roast people do perhaps too good of a job of imitating the whole sausage experience. These are good. I tried the Mexican Chipotle version. Spicy!! They also make sausage with Italian seasoning, and one which is apple and sage. I pan fried these but the packaging says they can be pan-fried or grilled. They seem substantial enough to hold up to grilling, and I’ll try that next.

There are a couple of not-great things you should be aware of.  The individual sausages are encased in a very tough plastic wrapper, which naturally needs to be removed before cooking. They recommend slitting the casing lengthwise to remove them. I agree, but cutting the plastic was delicate process, trying not to damage the sausage, and the plastic was tough to cut. On the other hand, despite the thickness and toughness of the plastic, the sausages started leaking in the fridge after we bought them, so we had to clean up the orange grease and put them in a baggy until we cooked them. So even with tough plastic, be aware that the twisty tied ends may leak alarming orange grease. And that alarming orange grease is the other thing that I had a problem with. I get that sausages are supposed to be greasy, and the grease was orange because of all the spices, but by the time I managed to get the plastic on the sausages off, my hands were covered with thick orange grease, the sink was splattered with orange grease, the counter had orange grease drippings and splatter on it. Do not make these sausages wearing anything that you can’t afford to get grease on! Because it was basically everywhere.

But once past the unpleasant unwrapping and clean up, it was smooth sailing! There are four sausages per package. They are bigger than hot dogs and will really fill a hot dog bun! The sausages held up to pan frying well, though they did tend to stick a little (probably because all the grease ended up everywhere except the pan, probably should’ve opened the package over the pan). They didn’t brown up substantially. They were naturally rather brown, so it was hard to tell when they were “browned”, but I cooked them for a while, then slid them into buns. There was some discussion about what condiments to put on these Mexican Chipotle sausage dogs, given that they were already stuffed full of seasonings. My husband liked the traditional mustard option. I didn’t think mustard really complimented the spices, so I tried a little mayonnaise. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. I preferred the bare bun option. These sausages are so packed with flavor…and the flavor is hot and spicy…that my best guess is that BBQ sauce would be the best thing on it, if it wasn’t a super spicy BBQ sauce. This Mexican Chipotle version of the sausages has plenty of kick. You could have a satisfying hearty, spicy meal on a bare bun. Even though I love spicy food, I’d hesitate to add anything with much more spiciness to this. A regular not-too-hot BBQ sauce, or a very bland chili for a chili dog. (If your chili didn’t turn out as hot as you’d hoped, put it on these dogs for extra zing!)

For these Mexican Chipotle seasoned sausages, I recommend refried beans as a side dish. The flavor was complementary and it seem to cut the heat a bit when the spiciness built up after a few bites.

 

Kohl und Pinkel

kohl und pinkel

I know a lot of you are experiencing a season unknown to me – spring.  As I look out my window it is snowing and the windchill is -28C.  Spring seems foreign to me at this point.  So, we are still in the comfort food zone; anything to take away the pain of this winter.  A German comfort food, often eaten in November when kale is at its finest, is Kohl und Pinkel (Kale and Sausage).  Boyfriend, who is German, cooked it one cold winter’s night and it was gorgeous!  I’m sure it brought many lovely memories to mind for him and it will now start some nice memories for me as well.

The ingredients can be found at any supermarket:

  • 1 lb. kale, cleaned and chopped into manageable, bite-sized pieces (for variation, you can add other greens such as collard, mustard, or turnip)
  • 3-4 rounds of vegan bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup oats (we used quick-cooking oats)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. vegan beef bouillon
  • 1 tbsp. mustard
  • caraway seed to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • various sausage, such as Tofurky Kielbasa or Beer Brats

Clean kale, remove the thick middle stem and chop.  Blanch for 1 minute in boiling water and drain.

Brown the bacon in a pan (don’t forget – vegan bacon does not take long to brown), sauté the onion with it and add the kale.  Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add water to cover.  Stir in vegan beef bouillon.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Brown the sausages in a separate pan.

Add the mustard and caraway seeds and stir.  Place the sausages on top of the kale and simmer for another 20 minutes. Add the oats until softened (about 10 minutes) – they should absorb as much of the remaining moisture as possible.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with various cold mustards.

Traditionally, Kohl und Pinkel is served with boiled potatoes and Aquavit.