If you're running behind on making New Year's resolutions, you might consider trying all of the different sausages made in Oklahoma.
I know this is usually a time of year when we're vowing to reduce our intake of calories and fat, but the key to a sausage odyssey is portion control.
The great thing about sausage is flavor. It combines the simple majesty of pork fat with any number of distinct flavors with a peppery finish. Traditional bulk-style sausage usually includes an extra infusion of spices or herbs, such as sage or fennel, along with plenty of pepper. It can perk up everything from meatloaf or meatballs to lasagna and other casseroles. It makes a hearty addition to breakfast and, of course, the cream gravy that most Oklahomans plan to wed with hot biscuits.
One of my favorite recipes for winter snacking is sausage-stuffed mushrooms. I've managed to assuage that little voice reminding me to mind my health a little by including some extra vegetables in the stuffing.
If you are heading to Tulsa, drop in on Siegi's Sausage Factory and try some of their homemade sausages. The restaurant and deli offer plenty of opportunities for expanding your sausage horizons. Try their sausage sampler with three grilled sausages or their Spicy Chicken Sausage Sliders on buns with mustard and grilled onions. They've been making sausage since 1980 and even make custom game sausage for hunters. You can take your favorite sausage home or mail order from Siegi's Meat Market. Check out menus and details at http://siegistulsa.com.
You may know Schwab's in Oklahoma City does beautiful hams, but this company also makes hot links, jalapeno cheddar smoked sausage, Polish sausage, andouille rope sausage, German bratwurst and their Oklahoma smoked sausage. Check out their website for details and ordering information: http://schwabmeat.com.
Talk about Italian sausage — Lovera's of Krebs is the real thing. These spirals of Italian flavor stuffed into casings and wound in the traditional snail form are superb. If you haven't made a pilgrimage to this little market full of big authentic Italian flavor, then it's time to do so in 2014. The website is www.loverasmarket.com.