Summer is my favorite time of year!  The flowers are blooming, the hummingbirds have returned, the parties are happening and the grill is smoking!!  🙂  Here are some small bites that I served at one of my recent summer gatherings.  They were a big hit!!!

Italian Sausage Skewers

1 1/2 Pound Ground Pork

½ Small Onion –Finely Diced

2 Clove Garlic –Finey Diced

1 Cup Chopped Dates – Diced

1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano

¼ Teaspoon Dried Thyme

¼ Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

½ Teaspoon Salt- Divided

½ Teaspoon Pepper- Divided

¼ Teaspoon Dried Sage

Olive Oil for Grill

1 – 15 Ounce Can Mandarin Oranges

½ Teaspoon Dried Rosemary

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

Splash Water

4 Ounces Spring Mix

1 Cup Chopped Walnuts

In large bowl mix together pork, onion, garlic, dates, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and sage, until just combined and not over mixed.

Preheat gas grill to medium – high heat, with lid closed.  Grease grill well by brushing with olive oil.

Take a palm full of pork mixture and wrap around a small appetizer skewer. Place on cookie sheet.  Continue using all meat making 24 sausage skewers.  Place skewers in freezer for 15 minutes.  Remove from freezer, and place skewers on preheated gas grill.  Cook for about 4- 5 minutes on each side, only turning once, until eternal temperature reaches 145 Degrees.

Meanwhile; place mandarin oranges with liquid into a blender and blend until smooth.  Place in saucepan; add rosemary, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.  Cook on side burner of gas grill on medium low- heat for about 7 minutes or until reduced by ¼, stirring occasionally. Mix cornstarch with water.  Whisk in cornstarch and simmer for another 2 minutes or until thickened, continuing to stir occasionally.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Place an even amount of spring mix onto 24 small bite plates.  Place cooked sausage skewers on each, Drizzle each with orange sauce and top with walnuts.  Serve.  Enjoy!



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