Oregon inspired Hazelnut Chicken Sausage resting in a red pepper cream sauce. More about that later in this post, but first let’s talk Oregonese.
Please don’t tell Colorado…but I’m having a love affair with Oregon. Look at this Oregon inspired hazelnut sausage snuggled against cranberry tangerine chutney, two over easy eggs and a nice big fluffy warm buttered croissant. Now if that doesn’t make your stomach growl! (Note to self: Pepper eggs after photo shoot).
Our two last vacations have been to the Northern Willamette Valley region of Oregon. What a foodie and wine lover’s paradise. The Willamette Valley is in the heart of Oregon Wine Country and contains two-thirds of the state’s wineries and vineyards. And the Pinot Noir…world class in my humble opinion.
And where there’s wine there’s always an abundance of cuisine. From wonderful restaurants, to farms where you pick your own bounty, to wineries offering up world-famous chefs to prepare winemaker’s dinners, to famous cheese factories like Tillamook. In Oregon you’ll find a culinary discovery around every bend in the road.
So with all that said, you can imagine how thrilled I was when I learned that I had won Cathy’s Oregon Food Sampler Basket giveaway over at Wives With Knives. Take a look at the loot that arrived on my doorstep. From left to right, cinnamon dusted hazelnuts and almonds, fruit candy, tangerine and cranberry chutney, marionberry jam, a package of fresh hazelnuts and a Wives With Knives Apron.
So let’s just take a peek at what I’ve been cooking up over the last couple of weeks with all of these wonderful items.
We’ll start with this beautiful and delicious Cranberry Tangerine Chutney. Rich in color and bold with delicious flavor…
simply slathered on a croissant with some turkey breast made for a fabulous sandwich.
or whisked with some lime juice and smeared on shrimp before grilling produced a wonderful caramelized and flavorful glaze. Yum.
On our last trip to Oregon I brought home these two cookbooks. Both books are authored by Chef William King a highly acclaimed and award-winning Pacific Northwest chef. As you can imagine, the books are chock full of wonderful recipes and some of the finest food photography I’ve seen…compliments to photographer Rick Schaeffer.
Which, of course, provided me with plenty of recipes in which to use these beautiful Oregon Hazelnuts that Cathy threw in the package as a bonus. I chose a Hazelnut Chicken Sausage recipe. Let’s take a look.
That’s right, I made my own chicken sausage, using my food processor to mix the egg, ground chicken, hazelnut mixture into a pasty texture to form into tubes. I’ve never done this before and it was quite fun and rewarding. Using plastic wrap to form the tubes, you just drop them into simmering chicken broth and they cook up like a charm. Look at my first roll, perfect! I have absolutely no explanation why the other two rolls became unruly. The lengthy recipe, which I won’t post, then instructs you to slice and saute the sausage until brown and lay on top of a wonderful red pepper cream sauce. As you can imagine, it was delicious. Recipe can be found in the Chef’s Bounty book.
When I started blogging, one of the first food blogs I followed was Cathy over at Noble Pig. You can imagine my delight when I found out that not only did she live in Oregon and featured some beautiful regional dishes, but also had graduated from UC Davis in California, majoring in oenology and she and her husband had moved to Oregon to plant their own vineyard and bottle wine under the Noble Pig label. Her first bottling was released this summer from Willamette Valley grapes and you can bet we ordered six bottles, four Pinot Noir and two Pinot Gris. We loved the Pinot Noir. In an email Cathy wrote: “It was my idea to make a true Burgundian Pinot I wanted a food wine, a real Pinot.”
The Pinot Noir was wonderful Cathy and we can’t wait to try the Pinot Gris.
Thanks to both Cathy’s from Oregon for some wonderful fare!
Oregon Food and Wine… It’s What’s For Any Meal.