Wednesday Night Home Cooking becomes a tradition this week as I barged through the door at 1221 last night with my bags, having taken a leisurely lunch in order to shop for my menu. I’ve been wanting to make sausage and peppers for weeks now, waiting until I could get my hands on some quality product. Nothing compares to the juicy, flavor-packed links made by Flying Pig, but I was really happy to discover that Whole Foods makes their sausages in house. I will 9 times out of 10 opt for the spicy Italian sausage, (unless there are any merguez sausages to be had…then there’s no contest). Nostalgia takes me back to those sloppy hoagies from the Oktober festival in little ole’ Germantown in upstate New York - red and green peppers, onions rolled around in grease, all stuffed into a soft roll that quickly becomes a bit soggy due to the flowing juices. Wrapped in tin foil, you would have to tackle this sandwich bending over so as not to get it all down your front. I selected a white baguette for this meal hoping the crust would keep it all together. Something light on the side - Cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and feta drizzled with lemon, olive oil and balsamic is the perfect, refreshing salad to accompany the spicy sausages. Top it all off with 4 beers, and you’re good for the night.
**Good sausages are not the only key to this County Fair staple, rather the onion and pepper preparation has more to do with it than you think. Cook the onions until they are sweetly caramelized and deglaze the pan with beer when they start to stick. A smear of mustard on the baguettes as they come out of the oven along with a little drizzle of the salad marinade gives another great acid contrast. Little makes me happier.
Makes 3 servings..and then some.
3 sausages (Spicy Italian pork sausages are great for this)
1 very large yellow onion or sweet white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bell peppers (a red and a green) cut into strips
Slice the onion in long, thin strips instead of mincing. Sautee these with a bit of olive oil. I always add a bit of soy sauce to start the caramelization process (again, soy sauce ends up in everything I cook). Add the garlic and the peppers over medium heat. These really need to cook down a bit before you add your sausages. Add a few tablespoons of beer to deglaze the pan whenever the onions looks like they’re beginning to stick or burn. Add the sausages and cover. If these have not been par- boiled, it will take longer than you think to cook them through. Also I made the mistake of slicing one open to see if it was still pink inside, which is a shame because then all the juices flow out….keep it sealed if you can. Throw the bread in the oven after you’ve portioned it out for three sandwiches and sliced one end open lengthwise. Give it a good spread of mustard or vinegar before adding the sausage and peppers mixture.
1 pint cherry tomatoes
Feta cheese- as much as you like. I just tried barrel aged goat/sheep’s milk feta and it was great
Dice it all up, throw it all together. Give it a few minutes to marinate in its own juices for best results.