August 17, 2012 by Helen Nowotnik
Take me out to the ballgame. Take me out to the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and overpriced Cracker Jacks. I don’t care if I have college debt, overdue apartment rent and life necessities like water to pay back.
Wait, those aren’t the words.
Yes, the dog days of summer are winding down, and with that, unfortunately, so is baseball season. Tickets for the Phillies are selling on StubHub for as low as $4 per seat. Lucky for us, the Phillies will be playing at home in Citizens Bank Park Aug. 20-30.
I understand the ballpark hot dog tradition, but I’ve found some cheaper, tastier alternatives around Philly to have a pregame barbecue with or cook in the offseason when you’re feeling nostalgic. I’ll pair these Philadelphia homemade sausages with a recipe for baked avocado fries.
First things first — where to get your wienerwurst. I found some places with high reviews. The Renaissance Sausage Truck makes highly-regarded homemade sausage patties and sandwiches and uses its Facebook page to alert fans where they are. Fiorella Brothers Sausage on 817 Christian St. in the Italian Market also makes homemade sausage but uses classic Italian ingredients and methods.
I decided to go to Martin’s Quality Meats and Sausage in Reading Terminal Market. The owner, Martin Giunta, started selling his handmade sausages in Reading Terminal in 1986. All his sausages are made in his plant in East Greenwich Township.
I asked the man behind the counter for four of their weirdest sausages, and he delivered. He gave me a broccoli rabe, red pepper and provolone sausage; an andouille sausage; a chicken pesto sausage; and a granny smith apple sausage for $6 total.
They were all astoundingly delicious. I would recommend the broccoli rabe, red pepper and provolone sausage to anyone and everyone. On the other hand, the andouille sausage has classic spicy New Orleans seasoning, and I would recommend it for those who enjoy heat. I would recommend the chicken pesto sausage for the picky eater just looking to dip into sausage flavor. And the granny smith apple sausage is in a league of its own. It literally had chunks of fresh granny smith apples encased in the meat. If you’re looking for something weird and new, definitely give the granny smith apple sausage a try.
The sausage can be cooked on the grill or in a pan. To cook them in a pan add about a quarter inch of water and a tablespoon of olive oil with the meat in the pan. Cover them for 8 to 10 minutes, and then take off the cover and cook them until the water dissipates and the sausage starts to brown. If the initial step with the water is taken out, the sausage can get burned before the insides are finished cooking.
For the baked avocado fries you’ll need:
3 ripe avocados
½ cup all-purpose flour
Salt and black pepper
1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
Start by preheating the oven to 450 degrees. Next, cut the avocados into half-inch slices. This is done by cutting the avocado in half and slicing it while it’s still in the peel. Using a spoon, scoop out the avocado and separate the slices. A tip to get the pit out: dig a knife deep into the pit and then turn the knife and pit sideways. It helps so you won’t have to deal with the sliminess of the pit.
The next step is to set up a breading station. Put the flour with a pinch of salt and pepper into a pan. Lightly beat the two eggs, and put these into another pan next to the flour. Lastly, mix the panko breadcrumbs with the melted butter and the rest of the spices, and put these into a final pan.
The next part is just a classic breading technique. Lightly coat each individual slice of avocado in the flour, then transfer them to the egg pan. Coat them with the egg, and then put them in the panko breadcrumbs for their final cover-up.
Put the freshly coated avocados on a rack with a sheet pan under, and then put them in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the panko breadcrumbs start to brown.
And, *crack of the bat,* it’s outta here! You’re done. Put your fresh, pan-seared, handmade Philly sausage into a fresh bun, and add a handful of avocado fries on the side.
The Phillies might be performing dismally this year, but at least you’ll have some good eats!
As usual, if you have any questions or suggestions, email me at [email protected]