Cornmeal Crepes with Jalapeno, Sage and Maple Chicken Sausage

A little simple math for you so you can play along at home.
What does this?
Plus these?
And some of this?
Equal? Some of you may have said "awesomesauce" You are partially correct. Some of you winced and said, "calories." You are wrong and deserve to be kicked in the face. These are crepes 'n' sausage, also known as pigs in the blanket, and our personal family favorite, pigtails, are a mouthwatering, comforting dish which can rack up to 829 calories per serving with 27 grams of fat and 1,502 grams of sodium. Kind of awful amidst all these holiday meals, no?
What if I told you we could cut that number in half? We totally can- but we have to go deeper. We'll start with the sausage. In the immortal words of Alex from School of Rock- pork, you're tacky and I hate you. Of course, I'm kidding, but yeah, we can totally do better. My homemade chicken sausage patties and links took about fifteen minutes to make and fifteen minutes to cook. Each link or patty has a whopping 60 calories and 2 grams of fat and have a bold, meaty flavor with a smooth, minced texture. For the crepes, I adapted my recipe from this one and thought it did the trick wonderfully. Next time I'd even use less butter. Three crepes runs you 280 calories with 10 grams of fat. A little high in fat, but still not completely insane.

I added some jalapeno maple syrup, two tablespoons of which has around 150 calories. That's optional, but damn, is it good. The total calorie count for this recipe without the syrup, per serving, comes to 460 calories and 16 grams of fat for three sausages in their blankets. Move over, Baby Jesus, this is the real Christmas miracle.

Jalapeno, Sage, and Maple Chicken Sausage Patties
Ingredients (makes 8 2 oz. patties or 20 links)
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon Root liquor (optional, but makes it awesome)
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chopped jalapenos
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large clove of garlic

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. The mixture will be a little sticky.
2. Form small patties and links with hands- don't worry if the edges are slightly ragged. It will give them a better, crispier texture.
3. Heat a small frying pan with a little olive oil and fry the sausages in sets of three or four until the meat is no longer pink around the edges and has a golden brown crust. Serve with pancakes, in a sandwich, or eat them on their own. They're best fresh, but can be frozen for up to three months and reheated on the stove or in the microwave.
Cornmeal Crepes
Ingredients (makes 8-10 5-inch crepes)
1/8 cup plus one tablespoon of ground yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup plus one tablespoon of all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 tablespoon of light brown sugar
2/3 cup of milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon of butter, melted
1 tablespoon of butter, unmelted

1. Mix wet ingredients together. Slowly, incorporate dry ingredients until the batter is smooth.
2. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter into a small frying pan. Take two to three tablespoons of batter and plop them in the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and swirl the batter around until it is in a thin layer.
If you can do this, you're doing it correctly.
3. When the edges of the crepe are crispy and brown, flip the crepe and cook for another 30 seconds until the other side is brown as well. Serve immediately on their own or loaded with toppings.

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