Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spicy Sausage Sauté with Gravy over Grilled Potatoes

One sad potato with demon sprouts, a few borderline-expired homemade veggie sausage links, and a week-long hankering for gravy…these were the real ingredients on hand before coming up with this recipe. Sometimes, despite a fruitful visit to the food store and a newly replenished green supply, you still need to follow the first-in, first-out principle before enjoying the fresh goods. In this case, there were a few items that really needed a chop and chomp before succumbing to the useless, futile fate of the garbage bin - a travesty in my house. Potatoes and veggies sausages.

Sausage and potatoes is not an odd pair in the least nor is it difficult to muster up a recipe that calls for both. Luckily, with my gravy-craving pangs, both pair well with a thick white sauce. I thought of mashed potatoes and gravy, sausage gravy and biscuits or a breakfast-like hash with sausage for dinner, but none of the more conventional recipes involve many vegetables. And while they sound delicious, I still always need a colorful edge to my food, especially after a good, hot run. With all of these recipes ideas paired with my color craving, I starting cooking this dish with no idea of what I was making.

Over the weekend I came across a grilled potato recipe on Epicurious that sounded delish. I also have an unused grill pan that came into my possession when I acquired roommates. Easy enough as a base or side… I then had a sausage scramble idea in mind to go on top, but I knew it would fare on the dry side, especially over grilled potatoes that would themselves be dry unless I completely doused them with oil. So the solution was…gravy! I had only made vegan gravy once a very long time ago, but it didn’t seem that hard. Onion and garlic powder can turn a dull combo like flour, margarine and water into a tasty treat. Maybe it took a little more sprucing than that, but you get the point.

I like to make my own veggie sausages, but I realize it is a lot of work. This was quick, because I had them on hand, but you could also use store-bought links. I’ll include my recipe below, and it’s worth making the whole batch over the weekend to eat throughout the rest of the week. Whichever you choose, this will end up a tasty meal to be sure. As my designated omnivore taste-tester claimed, “This is my kind of meal!” To which this vegan replied, “Meat and potatoes…?” – Well, yeah.

Spicy Sausage Sauté with Gravy over Grilled Potatoes
Makes 2 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes


For the Sauté
½ T. Olive oil
½ c. Onion, chopped
1 Medium celery stalk, chopped
½ Large carrot, chopped
¾ c. Green bell pepper, chopped
1 Garlic clove, minced (about 2 tsp)
½ tsp. Sage, dried
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Fennel seed
¼ tsp. Crushed red pepper
6-8 Veggie Sausage links (store bought or homemade – recipe below), chopped

For the Potatoes
1 Medium russet potato, ½ inch thick slices
1 T. Canola Oil
Salt & Pepper

For the Gravy
1 T. Earth Balance
1 ½  T. Flour
½ c. Almond milk
½ c. Water
¼ tsp. Onion powder
¼ tsp. Garlic powder
¼ tsp. Thyme, dried
¼ tsp. Salt
Pinch of white pepper


For the Sausage: Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large non-stick skillet and cook onions, celery, and carrots until vegetables are translucent and tender, 8-10 minutes. Add green pepper, garlic and spices to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in sausage and cook until brown, another 8-10 minutes, coating with cooking spray if mixture becomes too dry. Set aside.

For the potatoes: Put potato slices in a medium sauce pan and cover completely with water. Bring to a boil and reduce water to simmer. Parboil potatoes until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside in a medium bowl. Coat with canola oil, salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan over high heat and coat with cooking spray. Cook potatoes until grill marks are dark brown, about 3 minutes per side. Set aside.

For the Gravy: Melt the Earth Balance in a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Add flour and stir until roux forms. Whisk in almond milk, water, and spices. Whisk until mixture is well-blended and heat until just bubbling. Lower heat to medium and cook until desired thickness is reach. Remove and set aside.

To Assemble: Place 6-8 potato slices on a plate. Top with 1 cup of sausage sauté and 3-4 tablespoons of gravy.

Veggie Sausage Links (Adapted from Bryanna Clark Grogan's Veggie Ground Pork Recipe)
Makes 10 patties, or 14-16 links
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes


2 T. Soy sauce
1 tsp. Sage
1 tsp. Onion powder
1 tsp. Garlic powder
¾ tsp. Paprika
½ tsp. Fennel seed
½ tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
¾ c. Boiling water
1 c. TVP

4 oz. Extra firm tofu, crumbled
½ c. Wheat gluten flour


Mix soy sauce and spices together in small mixing bowl. Whisk in boiling water and stir to completely blended. Pour liquid over TVP and let rehydrate about 10 minutes. Mix in crumbled tofu and let mixture cool completely. Stir in gluten with hands and shape into patties, links or balls. Wrap in aluminum foil and steam or simmer for 20 minutes. After steaming, sausages can be frozen, cooled or sautéed.

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