When does a recipe become your own? How many times do you have to make it without following the original step by step to call it yours? How many changes, however slight, give you ownership of a set of instructions?
I think about that often while reading food blogs.
After the April sausage making class we had an abundance of sausages. In fact the freezer was quite full and it's only now that the numbers have dwindled enough for me to think about purchasing sausages again. For awhile we ate our homemade, artisan sausages with glee and they did in fact taste delicious - pride does add flavour! But then I started getting bored and looked around for sausage inspiration. I found a recipe on Jamie Oliver's site for sausages roasted with tomatoes to form a lovely sauce. Excellent. I followed the recipe and made the dish. Great - delicious, absolutely a make-again. And dead simple.
So the next time I glanced at the recipe and then went forth and made some changes. And then I made it again and didn't consult the recipe. And now, while the inspiration may have come from Jamie Oliver, the recipe is mine and it is one of my favourite comfort foods at the moment.
Four sausages (Italian, cumberland, whatever. Preferably homemade ;)
A small mountain of cherry/grape tomatoes. I usually use a punnet and a half or so.
4 cloves of garlic, still in their skins
Rosemary, a sprig or two, finely chopped.
Thyme, three sprigs or so, finely chopped (or about a teaspoon of dried).
Oregano, half a teaspoon or so
Salt and Pepper
The tomatoes get thrown into a roasting tin, the herbs sprinkled over top, douse with a bit of olive oil, be generous. Then add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Mix about. Toss in the garlic.
Roll the sausages in the oil and place them on the tomatoes. This whole thing goes in the oven (180 degrees) for about 45 minutes. Turn the sausages and mix up the tomatoes about half through. You want them to roast and blacken a bit. Sometimes my sauce is too watery and then I pop in on the stove to boil away and simmer, adding the sausages at the end to warm up before serving.
It's unctuous and herby and warm and served over polenta that's got a shocking amount of butter and cheese in it it is one of my favourite meals of the moment.
The thing is, we are actually almost out of sausages and while the class was fun I don't really see us going back... so we'll have to BUY sausages like regular people. Ew. How common.