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Cooking with Ease: The Perfect Sausage Ball

(ROCKWALL, TX — June 4, 2019) Most people think of sausage balls as a holiday treat. I am here to shift your perspective. Sausage balls are sausage, cheese and biscuit mix. They are basically a sausage breakfast biscuit. You see where I am going here? Sausage balls are truly an ideal breakfast. Even more so, an ideal summer breakfast! They can be prepared at the beginning of the week, stored in a Ziploc baggie and kept in the refrigerator for up to four days. Kids love these things and can easily pop a few in the microwave for a simple and mess-free meal. And if easy summer breakfasts aren’t something you are into, sausage balls are also a great option when hosting a brunch or carrying something to a potluck.

A couple of years ago, I accidentally created The Perfect Sausage Ball recipe. I was at Target doing some shopping when I decided to make sausage balls for the following morning. For convenience sake, I went ahead and got all of the ingredients there. Now… Target does not have cheap cheese. And on this particular day, they were out of shredded cheddar cheese, so I was forced to get the blocks of extra sharp Cracker Barrel brand cheddar cheese. I grated the cheese and added it to my normal recipe. Those sausage balls were the best I had ever had. The bottoms were a crunchy layer of cooked cheese while the outside took on its own wonderful texture, somewhere between crispy and perfectly soft.

At this point, I was convinced that the game changer was shredding my own cheese. I’ve always known there is a big difference between the way a bag of pre-shredded cheese and a block of freshly grated cheese cooks up in a recipe. On my next trip to the grocery store, I bought a block of my old faithful, Kraft cheddar cheese, grated it up and tossed it into a batch of sausage balls. To my surprise, they were not the same as the magnificent sausage balls we had previously. So just like anytime you lose something, I retraced my steps. I went back to Target and got the only block cheese they had – extra sharp Cracker Barrel brand cheddar cheese. This, my friends, was the missing ingredient. There is something different about the way this particular brand of cheese mixes with the sausage and Bisquick to make a perfect sausage ball. From there, Evan and I tweaked the recipe just a bit more. We added less biscuit mix, more cheese, more sausage and so on. Throughout the process, we may have disagreed on ratio of ingredients but we always agreed that the freshly grated extra sharp Cracker Barrel brand cheddar cheese was a must. This recipe is so easy and such a great way to free up some of your precious time in the mornings. You can find Cracker Barrel brand cheese at most grocery stores, and definitely at Target!

Enjoy,

Melissa Tate

-1 lb regular breakfast sausage
-2 cups Bisquick, (Do not pack the cups. More biscuit mix leads to a drier sausage ball)
-5 cups of freshly grated extra sharp Cracker Barrel brand cheddar cheese (almost 2 8-oz blocks)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix sausage, biscuit mix and cheese. Form into 1-inch balls, rolling into palms of your hands to form. Place sausage balls directly onto a metal baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Let stand for one minute before removing from pan. A couple of tips: I use my Kitchen Aid electric stand mixer to combine the ingredients. I also use a cookie dough scoop to get the mix into uniform balls.

 

Melissa TateBy Blue Ribbon News guest columnist Melissa Tate of Rockwall. Melissa is a freelance food writer and owner of Photo-Wagon mobile photo booth. She also helps her husband run their family farm, Tate Farms, and event center, Summerfield at Tate Farms. They are currently managing the Smirl Chapel Relocation & Preservation Project. Find Melissa on Facebook or Instagram at @melissatatetx to follow the adventures. Headshot by Kelly Alexander Photography.


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