June 2011

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play with your food For Better or Wurst The quest to create 100 flavorful sausages By Michael and Jean Muckian A dam Naumann is a man with a mis- sion: The chef and former butcher has set out to create 100 different varieties of artisanal sausage. Progress toward his centennial wurst has slowed a bit since the Baltimore native, who began his journey in earnest behind the Jacobson Brothers meat counter in- side the Brennan’s Farm Market on Watts Road, became head chef at La Brioche True Foods on University Avenue in late March. But thanks to his new situation, Naumann thinks his creations will attract an even wider following. “Sausage is a composed dish,” he ex- plains. “At the restaurant I can [prepare and] serve my sausages the way I think they should be served.” Naumann, 27, arrived in Madison in 2007 intent on starting a blues band. In- stead, he wound up at the former Artamos Specialty Meats and Deli on Whitney Way, drawing on two years of culinary study to create soups and sandwiches while learning how to cut meats. When Artamos closed in 2009, Naumann and former deli owner Ja- son Kreutzer went to Jacobson Brothers. “There was no kitchen and I was going crazy,” he says. “That’s when I began ex- perimenting with sausages.” Unlike some sausage makers, who see their wurst as a way to use up leftover bits and scraps of the better cuts, Naumann uses fresh pork shoulder ground specifi- cally for the sausage. Simplicity in ingredi- ents is the key, he says. Consider the leekwurst, number 57 on Naumann’s list. The chef starts with cut leeks, parts of which remains fresh while other parts are roasted and fried before being added to the sausage. The idea, Nau- mann says, is to present the vegetable in as many forms as possible to give the sausage a variety of tastes and textures that all relate back to the source content. “It’s all in the way you prepare the con- tents,” he says. “It’s a matter of getting every flavor possible from that vegetable.” The chef took a slightly different ap- proach to the Dragonwurst, number 52 on his list. “I used about nine different types of fresh and roasted chilies in that one,” he says. “To date that has been my most popular.” Naumann makes 70-lb. batches of each kind of sausage and when they sell out they are generally gone. Find the featured sau- sage of the week at La Brioche, where Nau- mann’s sausages are served in breakfast dishes and on pizzas. The chef also spends each Monday back at Jacobson Brothers producing the weekly wurst, working his way toward his goal of creating 100 sau- sages (which he hopes to meet sometime in 2012) while satisfying the appetites of his growing legion of fans. Pass the Pralines Is there anything not to like about Gail Ambrosius chocolates? The cartographer- turned-chocolatier, featured on NBC’s “The Today Show” in April, recently released a line of pralines. Savor the pecan praline, a dark chocolate shell filled with pecan butter, toast- ed pecans and applewood-smoked sea salt, or luxuriate in the hazelnut pecan laced with hazelnut butter and bits of crushed, crunchy buckwheat crepes known as feulletine. We favor the spicy pistachio bomb, but then they’re all the bomb as far as we’re concerned. 68 BRAVA Magazine June 2011 Got Dough? Do-it-yourself pizza lovers can forget about brand name pack- aged crusts. Metcalfe’s Market at Hilldale offers raw pizza dough from Angelo’s Restaurant on Monona Drive. We’re hooked on the pesto crust, but Angelo’s also offers white, wheat and sundried tomato dough. At $1.49 for 12 oz. and $2.49 for 21 oz., the dough is cheaper and better than pre-made crusts. Photo by Shanna Wolf (top left) and courtesy of Gailr Ambrosius Chocolates (left)

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