As the weather warms and the calendar starts to fill up with barbecues and picnics, many of us are racking our brains for some fun and tasty recipes to share with friends and family. Summer sausage is one of those foods that many people enjoy but often don’t consider for use beyond the usual cheese and meat plate. This is a shame because summer sausage is actually much more diverse and adaptable than people assume.

Here are four unique ways that you can use our summer sausage to create delicious snacks and meals.

1. Mini Sausage Sandwiches

There are a couple of different ways that you can use summer sausage as "mini-sandwiches." The method you're probably thinking of is placing small slices of summer sausage on top of crackers or slices of baguette and topping it with a bit of sharp cheddar. While definitely delicious, there is an even better way to make mini-sandwiches: by using the summer sausage as the bread.

That's right: you're going to cut your sausage into thick slices and place cheese, turkey, and your favorite sandwich dressing between the summer sausage slices. This might seem a little strange, but trust us when we say it's shockingly good. It's also a great way for people who are cutting back on carbs to still enjoy the treat.

2. Hot & Honey-Glazed

Summer sausage is traditionally served cold or at room temperature, but it doesn’t have to be. When cooked, summer sausage takes on a unique flavor and texture that is merely hinted at when it’s uncooked.

Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees. While the oven is heating, slice your summer sausage accordion style (¾ the way through), place in a small baking dish, and drizzle with our delicious Triple Treat Honey Glaze Spread.

Once the oven is done heating, slide the dish into the oven and let it cook for approximately 40 minutes, basting the sausage with the glaze halfway through. Then, take the sausage out of the oven, finish slicing, and serve it with a side of potatoes. Mix the leftover meat drippings with some extra glaze for a smoky-sweet dipping sauce.

3. A Zesty Salad Topping

People often consider salads to be a somewhat boring food. However, there are a variety of ingredients that you can use to spice up your salads, including delicious salad dressings, croutons, and, of course, summer sausage.

The tangy flavor of our summer sausage is perfect for just about any salad type, but we think it goes best in a Caesar salad with tomatoes, herbed croutons, cucumbers, and fresh mozzarella. Drizzle with a simple dressing of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and herbs, and you’re ready to eat!

The trick to this recipe is to dice your meat small enough to make it easy to sprinkle on your salad. The bits should be just a little over bacon bit size. Sprinkle them directly on top of the salad before adding your dressing, and then mix everything together. You'll be surprised at how good these homemade summer sausage bits are on your salad. You might never use bacon bits again!

4. Spicy Sub Sandwich

Sub sandwiches are always a delightful lunch or dinner, and they can be made even better with our Ragin Cajun Summer Sausage. Use a meat slicer to cut your summer sausage 1/8th of an inch thick, and layer it onto a homemade sub. Now you can do one of two things: eat the sub as is or toast it in your toaster oven.

Heating it will bring out some of the flavors of the meat and give the bread an extra crunch. Next, add lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, or any other veggies you like. Just before serving, add mayonnaise, one of our delicious cheese spreads, or some Big Bad Bubba’s BBQ Sauce, and enjoy!

As you can see, summer sausage can be used to add a unique and tangy flavor to a variety of dishes. The ways that it can be integrated into multiple recipes makes it an indispensable part of any kitchen. To learn more about our summer sausage or to place an order, contact us today.

With Oktoberfest here, we couldn’t resist talking about summer sausage. European in origin, it captured Wisconsin residents’ hearts during the German migration. Many people settled in the Badger State during that time and shared their sausage recipes with others. Of course they also brought that other great staple with them, beer.

Summer Sausage and Beer Please!

So, if you are going to serve a summer sausage on an October afternoon, choose a German beer to match. Smoky, spiced varieties tend to pair well with strong stouts and amber lagers. And let’s not forget the Braunschweiger liverwurst. It generally stands up well to a robust brew too. Light sausages, on the other hand, are probably best served with one of Germany’s pale ales.

Round Out Those Snack Platters

We know that quite a few Germans will also be slicing up cheese to go with those summer sausages. After all, many of those early immigrants went on to start their own dairy farms and sell cheeses to their neighbors. Plus, Germans have always loved cheese. Bearing that in mind, our cheese wheels, spreads and blocks would really compliment a Oktoberfest meal. The same is true for our dipping pretzels, pretzel dips, limited edition steins, horseradish products and pickles. They’ll round out snack platters and bar setups perfectly.

Go for a Meaty, Main Meal

If a main meal is on your mind, summer sausage is still sure to please. Combine it with drunken potatoes, German casseroles, meat pies, European beer breads, hot slaws and other cherished dishes. A few that will taste fabulous are sauerkraut, pierogis, fruited cabbage, beer-battered veggies and currywurst sandwiches.

To find all the German deli essentials you need to usher in Oktoberfest 2015, please contact Deli Direct and place your order today. We'll ship the summer sausages and other items directly to you right away.

No matter their age, they are still our babies and we worry about them when they enter college. We wonder, “Will they make friends?” and “Are they eating enough?” Now there is a way to ensure that they’re doing both. It starts with choosing cheese and sausage gift baskets. Traditionally filled with enough food for more than one, they make excellent going away presents. This is especially true for college kids that plan on rooming with strangers.

Go Back to Cool and Classic

Let’s take our Gourmet Deli Classic Treasures basket as an example. It holds six pounds of meat and more than two pounds of cheese. Plus, there are additional items included, like cookies, chocolates, condiments and wasabi peas. So there is enough gourmet, snack food for our babies and the people who will hopefully become their new friends.

Furthermore, the kids can use the accompanying wicker basket, cutting board and cleaver in their dorm room or off campus apartment for other things. For instance, they may want to toss their keys, mail, student IDs or notes in the basket after all of the cheese and sausage is gone.

As for the cleaver and cutting board, it’s perfect for divvying up other snacks or a quick meal. The kids can clean them up afterwards and tuck them inside of their desks, night stands or allotted bookshelf space. Of course they could put them in the wicker basket too.

Variety without the Cutting Edge

Don’t want to give them a cleaver for the dorm? No worries there. We’ve got cheese and sausage gift baskets that are devoid of sharp-edged cutlery. One that tends to perfect for kids is the Special Variety Pack. It still has enough meats and cheeses for a small gathering of students as well as a cutting board. However, knives and cleavers are not included.

To find the perfect sausage and cheese gift baskets for your big babies, please contact us.

With Summer coming to a close, it's time for your back-to-school party. You may have the guest list, decorations, place, and time, but it's time to start planning your food.

When planning your menu, don't forget the ever important meat and cheese platter. A meat and cheese platter is perfect for a party. Not only is it delicious, but it offers a quick and easy way for you guests to fill up on some food.

What are the best Deli Meats for a meat and cheese platter? Summer sausages are great for platters. Pieces of summer sausages do not fall apart easily and are a cinch to eat on a cracker. Their strong flavor can stand on its own, but it pairs well with the creaminess of cheese.

In a mood for a different kind of summer sausage? You can try our Ragin' Cajun Summer Sausage. If you're in a mood for something a little more traditional, try our Beef Summer Sausage.

Other meat that are a hit on the platter are pastrami and ham. The ham is a staple for the platter, and pastrami is a great way to mix up the flavor profile.

Why buy online? Planning a party takes time and effort. Why not cut yourself a break, and save time, by not taking that extra trip to the store. Buying online gets you exactly what you want, delivered right to your door, without you having to fight crowds and traffic.

If you have any questions about deli meats, or meat and cheese platters, please, contact us.

It never fails. The temperature zooms to over one hundred, and you have to make supper for the family. The air conditioning unit can only handle so much and it’s too hot for you to handle much more! It’s time to decide whether to call out for pizza and wings or think of something a little cooler. Then your eye falls on your Deli Direct Deli Classic meat and cheese gift basket. Walking to the fridge, you open it to see how you can combine its contents with the goodies in the gift basket. Grab some skewers, something to use for marinade (we suggest olive oil or Italian salad dressing) and all the fresh veggies you've got. Have we got some cool ideas for you (pun intended)!

Caesar Surfer

For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Romaine lettuce with leaves separated
  • Diced tomatoes, cucumber and stuffed olives from your Deli Classic gift basket
  • Diced meats and cheeses

Combine all ingredients and drizzle with classic Caesar salad dressing. Finally finish off with Gourmet Chocolates from your Deli Classic gift basket!

Skewer Fun

Ingredients:

Thread the ingredients onto the skewer. Fold the spinach leaves until they’re the size of the other ingredients. Marinate in a Pyrex dish using the olive oil and a little basil or Italian salad dressing for two to three hours.

Of course, you can always just chunk everything in the fridge into a gigantuous bowl and make a rocking salad. A different meal idea would include flour tortillas, your choice of Deli Direct cheese spreads, a little lettuce, a few chunks of summer sausage, diced tomatoes and strips of red onion for a new twist on a wrap. However you choose to beat the heat, we have the best quality meats, cheeses, pickles, olives, spreads and sweets. Just contact us when the heat is too much for you to stay in the kitchen.

Let’s face it. It’s summer and sometimes it is just too doggone hot outside to cook a big meal. The next time that “I don’t want to turn on the stove” feeling washes over you, reach for the meat snacks, Wisconsin cheese, diced tomatoes and mushrooms. We’ve got a quick, easy and earthy recipe that you won't want to miss:

Choose a Meat Snack

Start by going through our online offerings and choosing the right smoked meat snacks or beef summer sausages for your family’s palate. Many folks we know love to go with the Smoked Pepperoni Curls & Sticks. Chop or slice up your selection and combine it with some diced tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste before reaching for the Wisconsin specialty cheeses.

Pick a Wisconsin Specialty Cheese

Shred the Wisconsin specialty cheeses and place them into a big bowl. Next, wash the mushrooms and remove the stems. Prepare an open-top, vegetable basket for the grill or choose a non-stick one. When you’re ready, place the mushroom caps, depression side up, in to the grill basket. Then carefully fill each one with a mixture of diced meat snacks, tomatoes and shredded cheeses from Wisconsin.

Achieve Grilling Perfection

Turn the grill on and let it reach anywhere from 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it reaches temp, place the prefilled grill basket on to the grates and let the meat snacks cook for roughly 10 minutes. Afterward, remove the grill basket from the grates and grab a flexible, metal spatula or a pair of tongs. Carefully remove the hot, stuffed mushrooms from the grill basket and place them on to a lovely serving tray.

Serve with a Robust Red

Serve them with a great bottle of wine. Reds like syrah, burgundy, sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon make excellent choices. The same may be said for champagne and dry Rieslings. We promise, you’ll love the way our grilled mushroom and meat snacks taste no matter which beverage you choose. To learn more creative ways to serve up Wisconsin’s best meat snacks, please contact us.

Summer sausage has been a delicious food staple since the famous Greek playwright, Aristophanes, mentions them in his play in 424 BC. Even the Odyssey mentions sausage. They were a favorite with the Ancient Romans, too, and they spread their use throughout Europe, where it became the go-to food throughout the Middle Ages and down to the present.

It's no wonder it has lasted as a staple, too. Summer sausage can be kept without refrigeration because of its low pH, which also gives it a tasty kick. This combination of kick and portability makes it a favorite at picnics, parties, and anywhere one might want to travel and have a quick snack.

Summer sausage is also very versatile for cooking, and we have found the perfect recipe for our beef summer sausage. It's Summer Sausage Jambalaya, made in under an hour!

Summer Sausage Jambalaya

You will need:

  • 8 oz of our beef or Ragin' Cajun Summer Sausage
  • 2 tbsp of canola oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 diced red bell pepper
  • 2 stalks of celery that are, you guessed it, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic that is different: it's minced.
  • 1/2 tsp each of rosemary, dried thyme, ground cumin and chili powder.
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cups of water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Add the oil to a 2-quart saucepan pan. Sweat onions, bell peppers and celery until the onions are translucent. Add garlic, spices and rice to the pan and stir until the rice turns golden. Throw in the bay leaf, tomatoes, and our beef or Cajun sausage. You probably shouldn't throw water, but this is the point where you add that, too. Put in your salt and pepper and bring everything to a boil. Let the whole thing simmer for 20 to 30 minutes while the rice gets soft and all the water disappears.

Now this will be the difficult part: Take your jambalaya off the heat and cover it for 10 minutes. This will let the sausage and the veggies blend their flavors. By then, everyone will be hungry from smelling it, so you will want to serve it immediately.

There are many other uses for this classic food, and we want you to experiment with them all. To get started, contact us and get your summer sausage.

Bolognese schmolanese, who needs pure beef to make great, Italian meals when there are deli meats like old-fashioned bologna there for the taking? For centuries, Italian-Americans have been using the hickory-smoked, pork and beef delight to whip up a variety of tasty meals. Can anyone say, “Fried bologna sandwiches and faux ham spread?” So, why not reach for a two-pound roll and rediscover what our parents and grandparents have known for years? Old-fashioned bologna is one of the most versatile deli meats available.

Remember how your elderly relatives would put chunks of bologna into the food processor and use the shredded mixture to make deviled ham spread and salads? Well, that mixture is good for more than just that. You could use it to make a stroganoff, casserole, meat sauce, stuffed bell peppers or lasagna. Simply treat the ground bologna like you would hamburger meat or pork. If done right, it will deliver a similar texture and outstanding flavor.

Still not sure if old-fashioned bologna is all that and a jar of pickles? Check out what we found on the Food Network. It’s a brown sugar-crusted, baked bologna recipe that is a real jaw-dropper. Maybe you watched Chef Emeril or Chef Jamie prepare it on television. They typically use brown sugar and Dijon mustard to make their out of this world, baked bologna. However, you could try making it with any number of our sweet, hot and spicy specialty sauces. Like really, just imagine how awesome it would be to given a fork full of barbecue, baked bologna.

Want one more great way to use old-fashioned bologna? Try wrapping your mouth around one of Pillsbury’s baked bologna and cheese roll-ups. They’re made with refrigerated dough, old-fashioned bologna and Wisconsin cheese spread or specialty cheeses. Of course you could also substitute the bologna for other deli meats instead. To learn more about making the most of our deli meats, cheeses and other gourmet goodies, please contact Deli Direct today.

Has National Celiac Disease Awareness Month got you thinking about going gluten-free? If so, it may be time to share your growing passion for a gluten-free lifestyle by presenting friends and family with the best cheese and sausage gift baskets for people with Celiac Disease. Check out our Gluten-Free Sampler for instance. It contains cheeses, horseradish, two meats and a packet of “A Spice Above” Tuscan Tomato Basil Dip. The 100% Super Hot Horseradish, Tuscan Tomato Basil Dip and cheeses make excellent additions to mayonnaise based, potato salads.

The Smoked Ham Roll and Cajun Summer Sausage could be chopped up and added to the potato salad as well. However, there are other gluten-free ways to enjoy a slice or two. For instance, you could grill them up alongside of thick slices of eggplant, beefsteak tomatoes, pineapple slices or portabella mushrooms. They are super substitutes for bread. On days when you feel like turning on the stove, add the meats to chowders, quiches, gluten-free stratas, potato skins and potatoes au gratin instead. For a light snack, try putting the meats and cheeses on gluten-free crackers. They are readily available for purchase online as well as through brick-and-mortar stores.

Of course our Gluten-Free Sampler isn’t the only cheese and sausage gift basket to consider. We can work with you to create the gluten-free gift of your dreams. Remember gourmet meats and cheeses are inherently gluten-free. Consequently, you don’t have to feel restricted by the ones readily offered in our pre-made sampler. We can add Old-fashioned Bologna, Canadian Style Bacon, Super Stick Pepperoni, Gourmet Hard Salami and Braunscheweiger Liverwurst to the basket too. To learn more and start building your ideal, gourmet cheese and sausage gift basket for National Celiac Disease Awareness Month celebrations, please stop by or contact us at Deli Direct today.

Don't let the name fool you, because summer sausage is truly a year-round treat.

Sure, the sausage originally got its name because back before the days of refrigerators and freezers, folks had to plan out their eating habits so their food wouldn't spoil. Summer sausage is basically any sausage that is kept without refrigeration, allowing folks to eat it in the warm summer months throughout the centuries that it has been getting made.

But you're not held to the same restrictions as those early sausage makers, so you can enjoy your summer sausage experience any day of the year, be it hot and sunny or cold and blustery.

While summer sausage is enjoyable all on its own or on some crackers with a lovely cheese spread, block cheese or even with a sauce.

But what if you want to depart from the same ol' song and dance? You're in luck. Summer sausages are very versatile, and with original, lite (95-percent fat-free!) and Ragin' Cajun varieties available, there is a way to fit it into everyone's lifestyle or taste.

So what can you do with your summer sausage? Here are three fun and tasty recipes for you to consider trying out:

Summer Sausage Sliders:

Sliders are all the rage in the culinary world, and this grilled version bring a completely different style to those tasty little sandwiches. Make sure to cut the sausage to the right thickness so it stands up well to the grilling. Get the recipe here.

Potato Salad with Summer Sausage:

There is a reason meat and potatoes go together so well. One flavor truly helps balance the other, and there is no place this is more evident than this dilly potato salad that features summer sausage as the main attraction. Go to this link for the recipe.

Summer Sausage and Cheese Omelet:

Honestly, this just seems like a natural combination, doesn't it? Eggs. Cheese. Maybe some onions. Toss in a tomato or some mushrooms. And that oh-so-tasty summer sausage? What a breakfast! Now that's a great way to start your day. The recipe is available at this website.

It doesn't matter if you want to cook it up or eat it all by itself, summer sausage is versatile, it pairs well with multiple foods and, most importantly, it's a tasty treat any time of year. Contact us to order the best hand-crafted varieties straight from the Midwest.

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