Inspiration comes from all different places.
Sometimes it comes from a song, or a line of poetry. Some find their inspiration from religion. Some from loved ones. Maybe once in a while it comes from a thriving vegetable garden, or a baby bird testing its wings. Or waves crashing on a shoreline at sunset...
Sometimes my culinary inspiration comes from Julia Child...and yes, sometimes Rachael Ray.
I'm not a huge Rachael Ray fan, but I don't hate her either. The "garbage bowl" was an interesting idea that I use occasionally, but I'm not all that into using the term "EVOO", or "stoup", and sometimes I feel like I want to pelt her with throat lozenges or douse her with herbal tea and honey. I don't hate her cooking, but I've also never really been inspired to make any of her recipes or buy her cookbooks. Thirty minute meals? I'll put her out of business when I publish my "15-minute meals" book...or maybe "14-Minute", just to be safe....
One thing I like about her, though, is that she is NOT a trained chef, never went to culinary school, and yet, here she is - something of a cooking and entertaining mogul. Hmmm...there is hope for me yet!
So on this bright and sunny Sunday morning, after a night of Valentine's Day hedonism and debauchery (I had TWO glasses of wine.....), I was craving something healthy, yet hearty for breakfast. And in my mind, as I stumbled through my brand new "Walk Away The Pounds" DVD (which I LOVE, by the way!), my mind drifted back to an episode of 30-Minute Meals where she made chicken and apple sausage patties. As I finished my workout, and contemplated oatmeal for breakfast (again.....) I found myself drawn to the computer, and navigated my way to this recipe on Foodnetwork.com
"Sammies".....yeah, that's another one I don't use....EVER!
But I do tweak, and here's what I ended up doing:
Chicken Sausage Burgers with Grilled Apple Slices
1 tbsp. EV...er, I mean, olive oil
1 lb. ground chicken breast
1 Granny Smith apple, cored (I left peel on)
1/4 cup finely minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Bell's Seasoning or other poultry seasoning
1 1/2 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp. dried rubbed sage
1 tsp. dried thyme
Lots of freshly cracked pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
Finely chop about half of the apple. Reserve the remaining half (to be sliced later)
Combine the chopped apple, chicken, onion, garlic and all the seasonings in a bowl and moosh together. (See, I can use cute, annoying words too!)
(Oh, and by the way, this morning I halved the recipe as I had a half pound of chicken to use up. just in case you notice your's looks different....)
Shape into small patties - I got three from a half pound, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say you should have six. You can, of course, make them bigger or smaller. I'm not with the sausage patty police (Hello, Emeril! Now shoo...go away)
Grill for another 2 minutes or so. Meanwhile, slice the remaining half apples into 1/4" slices and place on the grill.
You want the apples to be still firm, not mushy. Another 2 minutes ought to do it, and by then your chicken patties should also be cooked through.
Toast a nice multigrain English Muffin or your other choice of bread. Top with a sausage patty and a couple grilled apple slices.
I thought about cheese, but skipped it. The chicken was savory and delicious, and the apples lent a nice sweetness to the sandwich, it just didn't need cheese and I didn't need the extra calories.
Mmmmm! Thanks for the idea , Rachael!
I wrapped the leftover sausage patties and popped them in the freezer, with intentions of reheating in the microwave for perhaps a Wednesday Morning Breakfast Burger! :)