Tuesday, May 31, 2011
It's Not Green Eggs and Ham, It's Green Sausage!
What is that in the photo, filling that taco with such a vibrant hue??? Why, it's green sausage, purchased at my new favorite place on Earth, Dos Hermanos Market near my summer sublet apartment!!!
Is this just about the coolest food item you've ever seen???
When I meandered into the market awhile ago and found it in the meat case, I simply had to have some. At just over $3/pound it's an incredible deal, even if it doesn't look particularly appetizing (colossal understatement!) before being cooked and transformed into the crucial ingredient for my tacos.
There were loud fans and music playing overhead, so it was difficult to talk to the man behind the meat counter; thus I don't have much information about the sausage, but I was feeling adventurous and so I bought it anyway. Suffice it to say I learned that this is handmade pork sausage, its vivid color coming from green salsa.
I recently made soft tacos with some lovely sauteed peppers, some pan-toasted corn, and -- of course! -- my green sausage. Or, let's give it a better Latin flair: Green Sausage = Salchicha Verde!
The salchicha verde isn't spicy at all, providing only the tiniest twinge of tingle at the end of my meal; if you like hotter food, you'd need to toss some potent salsa into this mix.
But it is still immensely flavorful; there is clearly a taste of cilantro, and a hint of sourness from the acidity of the salsa. This was a perfect contrast to the sweetness of the red and yellow peppers, as well as to the richness of the sour cream.
Dos Hermanos has an amazing array of spices, hot sauces, cheeses, traditional breads such as conchas (round loaves of a sweet bread with a swirled pattern on top), cactus leaves and plantains, spicy snacks, and even piñatas for sale. (And oh, you should smell the tantalizing aroma when you open the bread cabinet!!!) They even fry up their own pork rinds, which Jeremy and his dad adored when they were offered samples. (I'll eat pork, but not the fried skin ... ick. Jeremy thinks I'm a hypocrite 'cause my favorite part of the chicken is the skin! But I think I've been repulsed by the stench of the grocery store variety and can't get past it.)
Here are some photos:
Truly, a girl could have way too much fun shopping here!!!
But on to the tacos!
Interestingly, the sausage didn't brown; I probably cooked it for longer than was necessary, thinking that it would eventually. It was also fairly soft, rather than firming up as breakfast sausage patties do.
I tossed some frozen corn into a pan and cooked it just until it was starting to toast a bit and turn golden, and I grated a lovely Monterey Jack cheese (though a Pepper Jack could also work very well). I sauteed red, yellow and orange peppers with a sliced red onion in just a splash of salsa, as colorful contrasts to my attention-getting sausage.
Then I put it all together on corn tortillas and feasted ... truly! The meal was an absolute seduction of all my senses, from the colors to the aromas to the textures and tastes.
To each his or her own when it comes to putting these together; so there's no recipe "per se," but rather merely visual instructions.
It's too bad that those of you who are spread around the world can't just drop in on Dos Hermanos one evening and pick up some of this salchicha verde. All I can do is torment you by telling you how exceptional it was ... though maybe that's enough enticement for some of you to come visit me, huh???
Do come visit -- it'd be fun! And we'll go eating and grocery shopping throughout Southeast Michigan ... starting at Dos Hermanos, of course!
Dos Hermanos Market
412 W. Michigan Avenue, Ypsilanti
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