JOE’S SPECIAL WITH HOME MADE SPICY SAUSAGE
Recipe Courtesy of Chef John Ash

4/2/2011

Serves 6

Every Joe's restaurant in the San Francisco Bay area has a version of this dish.  Some say it was devised by a San Francisco chef as a variation on the Italian frittata. Others insist it was created as an after-hours snack by dance-band musicians of the 1920's.  A third theory attributes the dish to miners who frequented the city's riotous Barbary Coast district in the1850's.

Whatever its origin may be, this hearty mixture of meat, onions, spinach and eggs makes a satisfying meal any time, day or night.  Traditionally it’s made with ground beef.  Here I’m using a spicy pork mixture which also makes a delicious breakfast side dish on its own.
 
 2 tablespoons olive oil
 1 pound homemade spicy sausage (recipe follows)
 2 cups finely chopped onions
 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms, sliced, (optional) 
 
 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
 Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a wide frying pan over moderately high heat. Crumble in sausage and cook, stirring often, until browned. Drain excess fat.

Add onions, garlic and mushrooms, if using, and cook stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and all moisture has evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Stir in spinach and beaten eggs. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, just until eggs are softly set. Serve with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese.

Homemade spicy sausage
1 small dried bay leaf
1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon powdered mustard
1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pound ground pork (70% lean)
2 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Using a spice grinder, grind bay leaf and chile flakes to a fine powder. Add sage, powdered mustard, and nutmeg; pulse twice to combine.
Combine the spice mixture with ground pork in a large bowl along with salt and pepper and mix gently with your hands until the spices are evenly combined throughout the meat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight so that the flavors can marry. Can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped well, for up to 3 months.


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