Jalapeño Sausage Wheels

Sausage with a kick. Go team!

Sausage with a kick. Go team!

In the South, it goes without saying that almost all of our traditions revolve around food. Having a baby? Let’s get together, open pink or blue gifts, and try Aunt Pat’s cream cheese ball. Getting married? Let’s have a glass of tea, peruse a spread of engagement presents, and eat pimento cheese (this is also known as a “Sip n’ See”). Your favorite football team having a ball game? Come on over, I’ll tell you about the time I spilled the contents of a salad bar into the cuff of our ’92 national championship coach’s pants leg. And, let’s eat!

As fall is upon us, football has once again become all-consuming. I was born and raised around a team of crimson and white jerseys that symbolized everything great about our state- hard work, commitment, heart, legacy. For me though- besides the game, the roar of the crowd and being in one of my favorite stadiums in the world- the best part of football season is the pre and post-game eating.

This recipe for sausage wheels has been passed down through my family; I remember waking up on Saturday mornings to the smell of them. But let’s be honest- there isn’t much you can to to sausage and pie crust to make it taste better. My version just gives it more of a spicy kick, and ends with a sweet, smoky flavor that is absolutely addictive. Plus, I’m hoping the aforementioned kick can somehow serve as good luck for our special teams this Saturday.

You can serve these hot out of the oven; be warned that the sausage fumes may make your mind cloudy and cause unexplained overconsumption of pastries. Or, let them cool to room temperature and take them to the game (or your sofa). They also make a delicious post-game-night breakfast.

I hope you enjoy a beautiful, winning weekend- and that this recipe is good luck for your own tailgating tradition.

Jalapeño Sausage Wheels

What You Will Need

1 package pre-made pie crust (containing 2 pie crusts)

1 pound ground sausage

2 jalapeños, deseeded and minced (Thanks for the peppers mom!)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Sweet Heat spice

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

What You Will Do

1. Let your pie crusts come to room temperature.

2. In a large bowl, combine the ground sausage, jalepenos, garlic, Sweet Heat, onion powder, and cumin.

3. Lightly flour your countertop or surface of choice (I love my Silpat for this) and gently roll out both pie crusts until they form about a 11 by 11 inch rectangle. No need to measure; I just make sure the dough looks like a large rectangle and is a bit thinner than when I first unrolled the crust.

4.  Divide the sausage mixture in half, and spread it evenly on each pie crust.

5. Here comes the fun part. Starting at the top of your rectangle (the side facing you) gently roll the dough away from you, creating a tight roll. Pull the dough tight as you roll, making sure your sausage mixture stays inside the dough roll. A loose roll will spill it’s contents onto your counter, and why let that tastiness go to waste?

6. Repeat the process for the second pie crust.

7. Once you have your two rolls ready, wrap them in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer for 45 minutes to an hour to help them firm up.

8. Preheat oven to 450. Go ahead and find your broiler pan and spray it generously with cooking spray; you will need it at the ready.

9. Take your rolls out of the freezer, and slice them into thin wheels (about 1/4 an inch to 1/2 inch). Arrange the sausage pinwheels about a 1/2 inch away from each other on the pan.

10. Bake for 15 minutes, then take your pan out of the oven and flip the wheels over; bake for another 10 minutes. Go team!