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Sausages: Sin in a Skin

Updated on October 24, 2020
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Lee has a degree in philosophy, but when cooking, Lee is more like an experimental scientist than an abstract thinker. Loves new ideas.

Dietary deviation?

Here are the facts: Simple hot dogs have 280 calories and 15 grams of fat, plus they are loaded with 1,250 mg of sodium, (i.e., salt). Three-quarters of the calories from a bratwurst comes from fat. Six ounces of something like kielbasa (Polish sausage) has 330 calories, 24 grams of fat, and 1,590 mg sodium.

If you are on a diet, watch out!

Just imagine: a meal of three kieldasa would have almost a thousand calories, almost 75 grams of fat and -- hold on to your hats -- over 4,500 mg of sodium. That is a real diet-buster.

Even if your goal is a carbohydrate free meal, and you see sausages as carbohyrate free, you are in for an awakening. There are carbohydrates in sausage. Not from the meat of course, but from additional ingredients as beer and sugar. Even a turkey sausage that is advertised as having reduced fat contains a little over 9 grams of carbohydrates. Not even vegetarian sausages will get you by; they typically have 6 grams of carbo.

But who can resist sausages?

Diets are dull and sometimes have to be put aside and replaced -- temporarily, for sure -- by something sexier, something with more culinary appeal. Sausages fit the bill. Sin in a skin.


Look at all that fat

If that isn't sin, then I don't know what is.

Look at all that fat!

But who can resist sausages?

Sausages are part of the diet of every culture on earth, no doubt. For all I know (and I don't) even Eskimos, living entirely in a world of ice and snow, prepare sausages when they return to their igloos.

The sausages shown in the picture at the very top of this hub are in a Carrefour in China. The sausages shown here, however, are something a lot more in the mainstream -- they are Italian sausages, ready for the grill.

The techniques shown here basically apply to all sausages, not just those from Italy or in the Italian style. Vegetarian sausages might require a few tweaks, but the general principles illustrated here still apply. Our intention is to make sin in a skin not only irresistible but easy to produce for the table as well.


These are garlic sausages, just off the grill. The Italians just off the grill are shown below.

These garlic sausages might, or they might not, have a few fewer calories than kielbasa.

They look scrumptuous and taste just as good as they look.

Preparing them on the grill is simplicity itself -- just turn them over when they show the degree of color you find most attractive, and then watch for the same on the other side. They don't take long on a preheated grill -- we always preheat our grill, of course. Very important.

Sin upon sin

These are Italian sausages.

Who can resist grilled Italian sausages? Mouth-watering good.

Just for a momentary diet deviation.

Grilled tomatoes are the perfect companion to any sausage, but especially to Italian sausages, of course. Grill the tomatoes on the top shelf of the grill at the same time you are grilling the sausages down below. This prevents them from becoming mushy and hard to remove from the grill and retains to a large degree the tasty texture they were born with.

Upon sin

Here are the Italian sausages combined with a garlicky tomato sauce made from the grilled tomatoes, a sauce containing not only EVOO and garlic, but seasoned with basil and oregano as well. For EVOO, click here.

Poor diet.

In the face of competition like this, it stands so little chance, at least for this day. Actually, you can hold to your diet, perhaps it would be better to say your culinary dietary intentions, somewhat by limiting the number of these sausages you eat. Difficult, but not impossible.

One problem

They outnumber us!

Wikipedia lists 44.

Not 44 types of sausage, but 44 countries that each have different types of sausage! Did I mention black pudding? Or andouille or boudin? Or . . . . .

The world must not be on a diet, at least not a strict one.

Time to tell on one of the more exotic sausages in that world out there. In Japan they have a sausage made with fish. This sausage is a kamaboko, and is made with a cured, white fish paste, surimi. The kamaboko doesn’t look like most sausages, however, but rather has the shape of half of a disk. The outside is dyed a sort of pink. Sliced, you see the pinkish rind and the white insides. Slices of this often appear in bento boxes. Dried, it is sold in stores as a sort of Japanese equivalent of beef jerky.

Parting facts

The traditional saying is that "you don't want to see sausages being made, you just want to enjoy their flavor." Sometimes to this is added that the other thing you don't want to see being made is a new law as the bill passes through Congress (or Parliament, etc).

Well, sausages have been made since men lived in caves, and it would be difficult to expect that something with such an ancient origin lacks anything crude. The part about enjoying the flavor, though, is right on.

Sausages have classical origins as well as primitive ones. They appear in The Odyssey, and Aristophanes made them central to his play The Knights, in which a sausage-vendor replaces a sort of Donald-Trump-like character (should the Donald ever achieve power). Aristophanes is probably also the source of the comparison between making sausages and making laws, for he compares the politics of his day to the boiling of sausage meet.

Real Meal

Real Meal. Unlike fancy food mags, where images are hyped and food itself is secondary, all pix shown here are from a real meal, prepared and eaten by me and my friends. No throwing anything away till perfection is achieved. This is the real deal --- a Real Meal.


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