Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sausage, peppers and onions

loves to cook and have guests over to enjoy the meal. What do I make that seems to please everyone?

Momma Explains: One of my favorite standby meals is sausage with friend peppers and onions, served on crusty Italian bread and dripping in juices and goodness. You can use sweet or hot sausage or a combination. If you use a combination of sweet and hot, cook the sausage separately as the spices from the hot links will overflow into the sweet. I normally make extra sausage as my family tends to wander back into the kitchen long after dinner is over just looking for a snack, and what a glorious snack. The sweetness from the onions and peppers, sauteed in olive oil just coats the sausage. A medium bodied Chianti Classico goes well, stay away from heavily oaked or woodsy wines. Ruffino makes awesome chianti and I have always liked Antinori as a solid chianti producer. Price ranges vary but both these producers are trustworthy.

Fried peppers and Onions with Sausage : This is a popular dish so I count on 1/4 to 1/2 pound per person, so what if you have leftovers!! You can either fry your sausage in a pan with some olive oil, do this on medium heat and cook according to package directions. If you are having a large crowd, I take my giant roasting pan, fill it with sausage and cover the sausage 3/4 of the way with water. Pierce the sausage a few times to allow some of the fat to escape. The water keeps most of the sausage moist and the tops brown where exposed. Try cooking it on 350 F for about 50 minutes. Oven temperature and cooking times vary so use your knowledge of your own kitchen. While the sausage is cooking, take out your BIGGEST frying pan and thoroughly coat the bottom with a good amount of olive oil. I always use extra virgin olive oil in a ll my dishes. There should be about 1/4 inch of oil in the bottom of the pan, better too much than too little. Next, slice sweet onions and place in pan after oil has been heated, sprinkle onions with some salt as it helps the caramelizing. When onions are opaque in color add your green and red pepper slices and fry on medium heat until they are softened and the whole house smells so awesome that when people walk in the front door, they drool. Set the cooked peppers and onions to the side and add your sausage when cooked. Simmer on low heat together for about 20 minutes so the juices can blend and the flavors dance together. Slice the nice crusty rolls, and let guests help themselves to a truly big bite of comfort food.

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