Spicy Italian Sausages With Mustard-Mayonnaise Dip Recipe

I offer this simple Spicy Italian Sausages Hors d'Oeuvres recipe you can use to round out your entertaining. This recipe consists of succulent oven-baked balls of fresh, homemade sausage, accompanied by a quickly prepared mustard-mayonnaise sauce.

Many people think of sausage as something you have to start far in advance, adding salt and spices to the meat and then stuffing and hanging the sausages until they're cured. But fresh sausage doesn't really need curing. All you have to do is mix ground meat with the kinds of robust seasonings sausages typically feature, and cook it right away. Shape the sausage mixture into meatballs and you have tasty, bite-sized morsels perfect to set out on the buffet or the coffee table for your family and friends to enjoy while they're watching the big show.

What I like about this particular Spicy Italian Sausages Hors d'Oeuvres recipe is its flexibility. To start off, you can use any meat you like. Here, pork is called for, but ground beef, lamb, turkey, or chicken are also delicious choices.

As the recipe title implies, the seasonings I give here yield pleasantly spicy, Italian-style results. But there is no end to the possibilities. Try using garlic, ginger, fresh cilantro, and some soy sauce and rice wine vinegar to make Asian-style sausages. Dried oregano, ground cumin seeds, minced fresh chilies or dried chili flakes, and maybe some cilantro again, would be a good formula for Mexican sausages. Use whatever spices and herbs you enjoy from your own pantry, taking care to follow the general proportions I give for the seasonings in the recipe here.

For this Spicy Italian Sausages Hors d'Oeuvres recipe it's easy to do most of the work several hours ahead, too, combining the meat and seasonings, shaping the mixture into meatballs, putting them into the baking pan, and refrigerating them until you start preheating the oven when guests arrive. Instead of baking the sausages, you can also shape them onto skewers for grilling and broiling -- another great way to serve them.

As for the dipping sauce, it's as easy as stirring together mayonnaise and mustard. The only chef's secret you need for this part of the recipe isn't really a secret at all: Start with the best quality bottled products you can find.

Spicy Italian Sausages With Mustard-Mayonnaise Dip Recipe

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook time: 20 minutes

    Yield: Makes 40 sausage balls

Spicy Italian Sausages With Mustard-Mayonnaise Dip Recipe Ingredients

    2-1/2 pounds ground pork

    1-1/2 tablespoons sea salt

    1-1/4 tablespoons ground fennel seed

    1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

    1/2 teaspoon hot or sweet paprika

    1 cup dry white wine

    For the Whole-Grain Mustard Mayonnaise

    1/2 cup mayonnaise

    1/2 cup whole-grain mustard

Spicy Italian Sausages With Mustard-Mayonnaise Dip Recipe Ingredients

    In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, sea salt, fennel, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and paprika.

    Stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon until the seasonings are fully blended into the meat.

    While stirring continuously, pour the white wine into the mixture until fully incorporated into the meat.

    With clean hands, shape the meat mixture into even balls measuring about 2 tablespoons each, placing them about 1 inch apart on a clean baking sheet.

    Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you're ready to cook them.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator.

    When the oven is hot, remove and discard the plastic wrap and put the baking sheet of sausage balls in the oven.

    Bake for about 20 minutes or until the sausage balls are nicely browned and cooked through; they're done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball registers 165 degrees F.

    Transfer to a heated platter and place a dish of toothpicks or small hors d'oeuvre forks nearby.

    For the Whole-Grain Mustard Mayonnaise

    In a mixing bowl, stir together both ingredients until thoroughly blended. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time.


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