Updated: Jan 11
Flexing your kitchen muscles can be as exciting and inspiring as it can be confusing and nerve-wracking. Sometimes it's an unfamiliar ingredient that can throw you off, like Andouille sausage, or a technical term, like 'on the bias', that can leave you scratching your head and scraping your plans. The beauty of this appetizer/snack/everyone-thinks-I'm-amazing recipe is these unfamiliars aren't that complicated:
Andouille sausage is like a smoked kielbasa that got separated from the group on a swamp tour. The lovechild of Acadian French exiles and Germans who immigrated to Louisiana from the Rhinelands, a true Andouille is coarsely ground, around 2" in diameter, and heavily smoked and spiced- not spicy- with garlic, black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne or paprika. If you can't find a true Andouille*, substitute with a high-quality, fancy-shmancy smoked sausage.
To cut on the bias simply means to cut your ingredients at an angle (usually 45°), and the goal is to increase the surface area that can be browned. Cutting roasted veggies like carrots or potatoes on a bias can really up the caramelized, crunchy bits and help the seasoning like salt or vinegar permeate the entire chunk.
For the Andouille Chips:
1 lb. Andouille
For the Roasted Garlic Dip:
1 large head garlic
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
zest and juice of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste
optional: chopped green onion, parsley, and/or jalapeno for garnish.
1. Gently run your knife along the length of the Andouille, just enough to pierce the casing**. Slice Andouille on the bias into 1/8-1/4" ovals.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay slices on paper, making sure they don't touch. Place the baking sheet and the head of garlic in a cold** oven. Heat oven to 325°. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the bottom side of the sausage is well-browned. Flip each piece, return to the oven, and cook an additional 10-20 minutes, until each piece is super crispy.
3. Place Andouille chips and garlic on kitchen paper or paper towels to drain and cool.
4. When garlic is cool enough to handle, remove each clove from its paper and smash with a fork. Add to remaining dip ingredients and mix using a whisk or hand mixer until cream cheese and sour cream are smoothly incorporated.
5. Serve before those sneaky, sneaky I-just-want-to-try-one-piece sneakers sneak them all.
* Here are two of my absolute favorite Andouille producers:
Bourgeois Meat Market in Thibodaux, Louisiana, in the heart of Cajun Country. Their Andouille is meaty, assertive in the smoke and seasoning, and won't be confused for any grocery-store variety.
Jacob's World Famous Andouille in LaPlace, Louisiana is located along the area still known as the German Coast. A little more subtle than Bourgeois, but distinctly more garlic-y.
**Breaking the seal of the casing and starting in a cold oven allows the 'chips' to heat evenly and reduces the buckling, bowling, and uneven browning that can happen. But really, if your Andouille chip is a bowled like a Frito Scoop, who's going to be upset?