Though they may not be the most sophisticated or complicated of canapés, sausage balls have long been a staple of the holiday appetizer table and football tailgate spreads across the South. I like to dress them up and add texture by stacking them atop fried apple wedges.
As for the apple component, Southerners have been known to “fry” apples in bacon grease. I choose butter, but that doesn’t make them any less tasty when paired with breakfast pork. And since cheddar cheese also pairs well with apples, this makes for a spicy, cheesy combo.
- Yield: 50 pieces
- 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2¾ cups (330 g) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 pound (455 g) spicy breakfast sausage
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- Fried apples for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (190°C).
- Using your hands, combine the flour, baking powder, pepper, cheese, sausage, and butter in a medium bowl. Roll the mixture into walnut-size balls and place them on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving about 1½ inches (4 cm) between the sausage balls (you might need to make these in batches). Bake them for 15 minutes or until golden-brown.
- Place a piece of fried apple skin-side down on a platter and nestle a sausage ball in the curve of the wedge, securing it with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining sausage balls and apple wedges and serve.