Thursday, July 27, 2017

Len's Recipe of the Month - July 2017

Ah, sausage and peppers.   If you're here on this blog often and note my "dinner last night," you will know that this is my favorite dish.   One meal on a desert island?  Yep, this is the one.   

I've sampled this classic Italian meal in a variety of restaurants and a myriad of styles.  Some successful, others disastrous.   I can remember one night in my favorite Yonkers eatery, Carlo's. Usually top notch all the way, I wound up with sausage and peppers in a brown sauce like pot roast.  WTF???   When I complained to the waitress, I was told this is how they always made it.   Um, no. As I left that night, I peeked into the kitchen and noticed the chef for the evening.   Let's just say you would be more likely to see him playing in the NBA than cooking in an Italian restaurant.   Nuff' said.

Growing up in New York and, specifically, an Italian neighborhood, I know what marries this meal to your stomach best.  I've tasted a bunch of good, home-cooked versions of it.   My writing partner does it the way I like it.   So does my grade school pal Diane and she should know, since she owned a restaurant for a while.  

But, like a good chef, I've taken it and added a little twist here and there.   Not revolutionary, but enough to make it my own. And, in my view, perfect!

Take a nice large non-stick skillet and coat it with a decent EVO. If you don't know what that is, come back to this blog when we are talking about movies or politics.   You have no business in a kitchen.

Take two large Italian sausages and give them a quick turn in the skillet.  You can use a combo of sweet and hot sausage.   I prefer the former.

Once nice and brown, remove them from the skillet and slice them into 1/4 pieces on a cutting board.   They'll drain a little there and that's a good thing.

Simultaneously, throw about three sliced cloves of garlic into the skillet and then slice up one medium size sweet onion.   Toss that in with the garlic and oil. Your kitchen will smell like you know what you're doing.  

After about five minutes, toss the sausage back and let it dance with the garlic and onion.   Now, you'll need to slice up two peppers.   For optimum flavor, use one red and one either yellow or orange.   I've used green and don't like what it brings to the dish.  

Add the peppers to the skillet.   A little Kosher salt and pepper.   A tablespoon of dried or fresh oregano.  You're almost done.   Here comes another twist.

Take a pint of fresh cherry or grape tomatoes and throw them into the skillet as well.   You will be astounded how they enhance the dish.  I don't like a soupy sausage and peppers meal, so don't include any sauce.   The grape tomatoes will take care of that flavor.  You could add a small can of tomato paste if you want extra sauce.

Since you all know that I am a fan of the slow cooker, you might wonder if I have tried any of this in a crockpot.  You're so smart.  I have and I don't think it works as well.   Instead, simply lower the heat under the covered skillet and let it add some wonderful aroma to your home for the next hour.   The more all the ingredients meld, the tastier it gets.

Eat up.

Dinner last night:  Pepperoni pizza at the Dodger game.

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