The good, the bad and the blood sausage

  • Recipe(s):All day breakfast salad (page 52) & Squid with black pudding stuffing and sticky tomato sauce (page 291)
  • Prep: Easy & Moderate
  • Taste: Very Good & Mediocre

Blood sausage…….

The last two nights (August 27th & 28th, 2014) have seen us make and consume some interesting dishes. One was good, one was bad and they both contained blood sausage. It has been a two night cooking affair with this very special ingredient. An affair that I am glad has come to an end.

Growing up in Canada I am not accustomed to this very special form of sausage. I had only ever had it a few times and I was not totally enamoured with it when I did have it. To say that I was looking forward to these recipes would be a lie. However, knowing that we have to complete all of the recipes to complete the challenge we decided to complete them in rapid fire succession on consecutive nights.

The prep for the salad was easy, as was the cooking process. The one difficult part to the recipe is the timing. You want to make sure that the fried ingredients (bacon, blood sausage, bread, etc.) come out of the pan and onto the greens just before your poached egg is done. I would recommend taking your egg out of the fridge about 10 minutes prior to cooking to allow it to get closer to room temperature. Unfortunately I used a cold egg, which prolonged the poaching process, throwing the rest of my timing off. Outside of the timing, do make sure to not overcook the egg. Having a nice oozy yolk is ideal.

Even though my timing was off the dish was still very good, bordering on excellent. We were both pleasantly surprised. For me it all started with the dressing. It had a nice little dollop of english mustard added to oil and white wine vinegar, which created a nice tangy, yet not overly acidic, dressing. Having this on top of the frisse and arugula (subbed for cress) alone would have been great. Adding the bacon (making everything better), bread and the blood sausage was an added bonus. Topping the dish off was the egg. I felt that you could eat this dish for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. I guess this is why Jamie gave it its name.

I am glad we made the all day breakfast salad first because if our first experience to blood sausage was the stuffed squid we may not have made the salad at all.

The prep for the second dish was moderate. Chopping, frying, stuffing, frying again and then braising (not quite but close to) takes quite a bit of time. While I thought I started the dish well ahead of when my partner would arrive home from work, I was still cooking when she walked through the door.

This dish did not even come close to the salad. The squid, which I picked up fresh from Granville Island this afternoon was pretty thick, which I think is why it seemed a bit rubbery when we ate it. It was fully cooked, so I had no worries there – it was more of a texture issue for me. The blood sausage was definitely more prevalent in this dish. While the salad contained bits and pieces here and there, the mixture for the stuffing in this recipe was more of a pate texture. Not…..pleasant….at….all. Now, this could be from my limited experience eating blood sausage, maybe it is an acquired taste, like scotch or kimchi. My partner did like the tomato portion and the sausage mixture in small amounts. Unfortunately, that was it. It would be unfair to rate this dish as poor as we are not accustomed to this type of sausage, so we ranked it as mediocre. We would not make it again.

We would definitely make the breakfast salad again, for any meal of the day.

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