Turkey Breakfast Sausage (and Camp Day)

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I’m deviating from my typical weekend posting schedule to bring you a special message:

“Buy a Coffee and Send a Kid to Camp!”

Wednesday, June 3rd is Camp Day, when Tim Hortons stores donate all proceeds from coffee sales to the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation. Last year, Camp Day raised $11.8 million! The “Foundation” operates seven camps across Canada and the USA, including a new leadership camp opening this summer in Manitoba. Underprivileged children from all over North America attend summer and March break camps, and have the opportunity to return for leadership programming. The camps are used all year by schools and community groups. I encourage you to buy a coffee or participate in a fundraiser at a Tim Hortons store this week, or donate online:

https://thcf.akaraisin.com/Donation/Event/DonationInfo.aspx?seid=4159&mid=48

I worked at one of the THCF camps for three summers while in university, and it was an incredible experience. Camp truly can make a difference in the life of a child. I know that I personally grew a lot as a person during my time there as well. I use many of the skills (and games) I learned at camp almost daily as a teacher. I look back very fondly on my time as “Kermit” (we all had camp names – mine came as a result of having a frog jump on my face.)

Bringing this back to food…camp was a time of change in my taste buds as well. As a picky eater, having limited choices meant that my tastes expanded greatly. I started eating cereal, eggs, rice, meatloaf and many other meals at camp. I also discovered things that I absolutely would not eat, including mussels and roast beef sandwiches!

My all-time favourite meal at camp was sausages and mashed potatoes. When this fact became known during one very silly meal at the senior staff table (with no campers around!) “Kermit loves sausages” became a catchphrase of the summer. I was very shy and innocent and mortified at the time, but I look back on the teasing fondly now.

I’ve always enjoyed sausages – hot or mild, breakfast or Italian. These days, I find pork sausages quite greasy, and usually choose turkey instead. The selection of turkey sausage at our grocery stores isn’t always great, and they’re often full of breadcrumbs, other fillers and things I can’t pronounce. I set out on a quest to make a homemade turkey breakfast sausage, and I’m quite impressed with what I’ve created!

Just a heads up in case you’re squeamish, there are some photos of raw ground meat coming up! I couldn’t have made this a few years ago – I didn’t like looking at ground meat, let alone touching it. I’ve only recently gotten to the point where I can take sausage out of the casing!

You’ll need a package of ground turkey and a whole pile of spices. Don’t worry if you don’t have everything, you can easily leave some seasonings out or make substitutions. I usually buy spices at Bulk Barn, which allows you to buy just a bit of spice if you’re not sure you’ll use it frequently.

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It looks like my whole spice cupboard is out here, but you’ll need: seasoned salt (like Lawry’s), pepper, sage, garlic powder, thyme, marjoram, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. You’ll also need maple syrup (the good stuff, not Aunt Jemina) and brown sugar. I’ve been cutting back on refined sugar, so I used coconut sugar.

Place the ground turkey in a large bowl and break it up with your hands. Add each of the spices in turn.

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I keep marjoram around to make a kick-butt garlic bread seasoning, but it works well in lots of Italian dishes too.

Fennel seeds are what gives this a “sausage” flavour. You don’t need much, but they really add to the finished product.

Feel free to add more red pepper and cayenne if you like things hot. This much will give you flavour without too much heat, but you can leave it out completely if you’re very sensitive.

Mix the turkey and seasonings together really well. Hands are your best tool here, just make sure to wash them thoroughly when you’re done. You don’t want to get a pocket of cayenne in the middle of your sausage, so mix as much as you can.

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One of the difficult things about cooking sausage is that you can’t taste as you go. The trick is to make a tiny test patty to check your seasonings. I’ve read that you should actually do this when you make meatballs, meatloaf or any dish where things are mixed into ground meat.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add 1/8 teaspoon olive oil. Isn’t this little pan super cute? I got it free at a figure skating event years ago that T-Fal was sponsoring. Fun fact about me: I’m a huge figure skating fan. Nationals are out east this year and I’ve already got my tickets.

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Form 1 teaspoon of the meat mixture into a small patty (about 1 ½ inches across.) Fry the patty for 1-2 minutes per side, until browned and no longer pink in the centre.

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Taste the patty and adjust seasonings if necessary. Does it need more sweetness? Add some sugar or syrup. More heat? Add red pepper flakes, cayenne or Tabasco sauce.

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Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours.

After chilling, use wet hands to shape meat mixture into 2 tablespoon balls (a cookie scoop works well – just wash thoroughly before using for cookies!). Flatten into 3 inch patties and place on a wax paper lined plate.

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Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil. When the oil is hot, add half of the sausage patties. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes per side (until an internal temperature of 165° is reached.)

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Remove the sausage to a paper towel lined plate and cook the second batch, adding more oil to the pan if necessary.

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These sausages make a great accompaniment to any breakfast dish. We’ve enjoyed them alongside pancakes, waffles, French toast and eggs. Serve with maple syrup or ketchup if desired. Yields 10 3-inch patties.

Turkey Breakfast Sausage by the Bluenose Baker

For a breakfast sandwich that puts any fast food breakfast to shame (even Tim Hortons!), top the sausages with thin cheese slices during the last minute or two of cooking. Fry or scramble an egg for each sandwich (my tiny T-Fal pan makes perfectly sized egg patties, you could also scramble an egg in a ramekin in the microwave.) Sandwich the sausage and egg between the halves of an English muffin, bagel or biscuit. Stay tuned this weekend for my easy recipe for perfectly fluffy biscuits!

Breakfast Sandwich with homemade turkey sausage

Do something awesome; buy a coffee, help send a kid to camp, and make some sausages!

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Turkey Breakfast Sausage

  • Servings: 10 patties
  • Print

Adapted from:

http://divascancook.com/turkey-breakfast-sausage-patties-recipe/

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound/450 grams ground turkey
  • 1 ½ teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons brown or coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • Olive oil for frying

Directions:

Combine ground turkey and spices in a large bowl. Mix with hands until very thoroughly combined.

To test the sausage seasoning, heat a small skillet over medium heat and add 1/8 teaspoon olive oil. Form 1 teaspoon of the meat mixture into a small patty (about 1 ½ inches across.) Fry the patty for 1-2 minutes per side, until browned and no longer pink in the centre. Taste the patty and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours.

After chilling, use wet hands to shape meat mixture into 2 tablespoon balls. Flatten into 3 inch patties and place on a wax paper lined plate.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil. When the oil is hot, add half of the sausage patties. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes per side (until an internal temperature of 165° is reached.) Remove the sausage to a paper towel lined plate and cook the second batch, adding more oil to the pan if necessary. Serve warm with pancakes, waffles or eggs or use to make breakfast sandwiches. Leftovers may be frozen. Yields 10 3-inch patties.

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8 thoughts on “Turkey Breakfast Sausage (and Camp Day)

  1. Sneha says:

    Heyya.. I don’t drink coffee, but I’ll spread the word to my coffee-drinking friends! 🙂 Moreover, This makes me want to go to camp and eat lots of sausage!

    Like

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