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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Italian Sausage & Peppers

Happy fat tuesday!  It seems fitting enough to share this recipe with you on this day.  It's not one of my healthier fares, but it sure is one of my favorite!  Italian Sausage and Peppers.. Mmmmm.   Takes me to a good place.  This is Italian street fair food at it's best.  Right up there with zeppolis, calzone, broccoli rabe, cannolis and really good pizza.. this is it for me.  My recipe came from Michael and Sharon Coyne, a couple in our church that were amazing cooks.  And it taste exactly like what I would buy every September at the feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy.  September is one of my favorite months for this reason. Well, this and fashion week! Oh, and no tax week. September is just a wonderful time to be in NYC.  Autumn in New York one of the best things in life. 

Back to the recipe.  This is comfort food at it's best. Serve it on good french bread.  I think it needs the crust, otherwise it gets too soggy from the juice.  The delicious juice you will want to sop up.  I have friends that are happy to eat it alone or with rice or even pasta.  That is all good, but the best way for me is on a bread like a sub.  Yes, east coast, more specifically South Jersey.. it's called a sub. 

Recipe Notes...  
Sausage:  It must be Italian sausage.  I prefer Hot.  It's never really that hot, just has nice spice.  Especially here in Seattle.  I buy Iserno's which has no nitrates and is very tasty.  The "hot" is not hot.  In Jersey or NY, the "hot" is nice and spicy hot!  You can use sweet or mild, if you truly are chicken and have to. I kid, I kid.  Speaking of chicken, you can use any variety.. I just don't guarantee the results to be AS good.  I am sure it will be good, though.  It can't be bad! 
Peppers:  normally I do not care for green peppers.  But in this recipe, I love them. Actually, demand them.  I do a mix of red and green.. whatever you have.. it will be delish.  
I forgot to take the end result photo while making this time!  I probably was diving in head first and once you try this, you will see why it was easy to forget the final photo!  But don't worry.. I require this at least once a month, so I will take one and add it next time. (photo is added directly below)
This recipe is perfect for parties.  I love to make it in an old square electric skillet.. my mom had an avocado green one we used growing up.  It works perfectly.  Plus, it can be turned to warm and dished out of for a large group.  It is "guy" food.. they will go nuts for it!  If I had a restaurant, this would be on the menu.  It's classic, delicious and you will keep going back for more. 

Italian Sausage And Peppers (NYC Street food style)

1lb. Hot Italian Sausage
2 T. Olive Oil 
1 very large Onion, cut in half and sliced
2 large Peppers (1 green and 1 red or orange or yellow), seeded and cut into strips (about the same size as the onion slices)

1 c. Chicken Broth
ground Black Pepper

Brown sausage whole according to package directions.  (Isernos is to place sausage in pan with enough water to cover bottom of pan and boil for however many minutes.. remove water and let sausage brown on 2 sides.)
Once sausage is brown, remove from pan and set aside in a bowl or plate.  Add Olive oil and onions and saute 3 minutes over med-high heat.  Add peppers and saute 2 more minutes.  
Slice the sausage on the diagonal.. this is preference.  (At the street fairs they are usually sliced straight into 2" pieces.. I like them a little smaller, see photo below.)
Add the sausage back to the pan with the onions and peppers.  Add any juice from plate or bowl. 
Turn the heat down to simmer, add the chicken broth and lots of pepper.  (When I say lots of pepper, I mean lots of pepper.  When you have shaken what you feel is too much.. shake it about 5 more times!  Seriously.  This makes it.  It simmers into the broth.) 
Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, til juices are reduced by half and thickened a bit.  (You might have to go up to 10 minutes longer) 
Right before serving drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Serve warm on sliced rolls.   

Sausage browning.

Onions, sliced and cooking.  I often use a mix of red and white.
Red seems to hold it's shape better in the end. 

Added peppers, a healthy boost! Don't overcook, 
as they will cook more with the sausage.

I like to slice it on the diagonal about an inch

Add a lot of black pepper. Now add some more.  
More than you think.. it will all work out, trust me.
Ready for the lid.  It will now cook down and become one. 

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