Boudin Balls

There might be no better food to encompass Louisiana cooking than Boudin sausage. Simply put, it’s a pork sausage made with rice and seasoning stuffed in a casing, but there are as many variations as there are Cajun chefs making them.

Originally, it was made every year before the onset of winter, thriftily using every part of the pig so nothing went to waste. Like many similar regional traditions, what could have been a massive family chore was turned into a community event, where butchers and chefs came together in celebration of the year’s bounty.

You can avoid the sausage making but carry on the tradition of celebration with these boudin balls, the perfect appetizer to bring to any party. They keep the Cajun spirit of economy by using leftover rice and whatever sausage you have on hand, and we love how quickly they come together! Simply roll your sausage mixture into balls, bread them, and deep fry them until perfectly crisp. If you can find pre-made boudin sausage, all the better! Just remove them from their casing, roll into balls, and follow breading and frying instructions below. If you want to avoid pork, you can substitute the sausage mixture with dirty rice, though the resulting balls will have a higher rice to meat than traditional Boudin balls (kind of like arancini, yum). 

Whichever you choose, feel free to experiment with spices and herbs to your liking, particularly if you don’t have Cajun seasoning at home. We recommend sticking with paprika for the zesty, mild spice it adds, but you do you!

We like to serve our Boudin balls with a versatile Creole mustard dipping sauce, otherwise known as remoulade. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a number of fried foods, but it’s also a great way to up your mayonnaise game anywhere, from on sandwiches to egg dishes. While you could serve it right away, it tastes even better after being chilled for at least an hour. 

Made this? Let us know how it went in the comments below!

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Yields: 8
Prep Time: 0 hours 15 mins
Total Time: 1 hour 0 mins
Ingredients
For the Remoulade:
1 c.

mayonnaise

1/4 c.

Creole mustard, or other whole-grain spicy mustard 

2

cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp.

sweet pickle relish

1/2 tsp.

cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp.

freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp.

lemon juice

1 tbsp.

finely chopped fresh parsley

For the Boudin Balls:
1 tsp.

extra virgin olive oil 

1

medium onion, diced

1

stalk celery, diced

1

green bell pepper, diced

4

cloves garlic, minced

2 lb.

pork sausage, removed from casing

1/2 lb.

chicken livers, chopped 

1 tbsp.

kosher salt

2 c.

cooked rice

2

jalapeños, seeded and minced

1 tsp.

dried thyme

1 tsp.

dried oregano

1 tsp.

paprika

1 tsp.

freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp.

cayenne

2

scallions (green part only), chopped

1/2 c.

fresh parsley, finely chopped

2/3 c.

flour

Kosher salt

2 tsp.

Cajun seasoning

2 c.

panko breadcrumbs

2

large eggs

Splash of milk

Vegetable oil, for deep frying

Directions
For the Remoulade:
  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Refrigerate until chilled before serving, for 1 hour up to overnight.
     
For the Boudin Balls:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 6 to 7 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Set aside and let cool.
  2. Combine ingredients from sausage through parsley in a large bowl. Add cooled onion mixture, and stir to thoroughly combine. Set aside while you set up your breading station.
  3. In one shallow bowl, combine flour with 1 tablespoon of salt. In another, whisk eggs together with milk. In a third, combine breadcrumbs with Cajun seasoning.
  4. With damp hands, roll 2 tablespoons each of sausage mixture into balls. Dredge the balls in the flour, then dip them in the egg wash, letting the excess drip off. Lastly, dredge the balls in the breadcrumbs, coating them evenly.
  5. Transfer the boudin balls to a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to set.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the vegetable oil 350°F in a deep fryer or Dutch oven. Line another baking sheet with paper towels.
  7. Using a slotted spoon or culinary spider and working in batches, slide the balls gently into the oil and fry until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, turning frequently to ensure even cooking. Move to the paper towel-lined baking sheet.
  8. Serve boudin balls hot with chilled remoulade dipping sauce.


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CHELSEA LUPKIN

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