Encased Meat

When asked what my favorite cut of meat is I always answers “encased meat!” I love sausages, hot dogs, anything that comes in a casing. in fact here is a fun book on this very subject: https://www.amazon.com/Wurst-Lucky-Peach-Treasury-Encased/dp/0804187770

So naturally my favorite quick, week-night dinner  is sausages on the grill served anyway I can think of. Just unwrap and throw them on to cook. No marinading, no nothing and yet full of flavor. The endless variety of flavors available keeps things interesting.

The only thing I do if I am feeling ambitious on a hot night in July is slice up some peppers and onions, but these days you can get even those already prepped for you at the grocery store!

I use an all-metal (no plastic handles!) skillet directly on my grill to cook the veggies. You could use a grill basket too if you have one.  Make sure to have a pot-holder handy and don’t touch the pan and/or handle without it!

Toast some buns and assemble your sandwich when everything is ready.

Dinner is served!


The Sausage “Gal”

If you are ever in Boston and happened to catch a Red Sox game than of course you would have enjoyed a delicious sausage sandwich from The Sausage Guy! (well maybe not this year :()

For anybody who may be unaware of this delicacy (gasp!) – this is an Italian style sausage (hot or sweet) grilled “low and slow” with sliced peppers and onions, served on a soft Italian roll. Purists tend to not put on any condiments, but yellow mustard is acceptable. Anything else and you are clearly from out-of-town.

Sausage was a favorite of my father’s and I inherited the love for “encased meat.” I am sure my future cholesterol levels will reflect this someday but for now I will enjoy it while I still can.

Such an easy thing to recreate in your own kitchen, in fact even easier on the grill! Plus I “stepped” out a bit and actually put a little “char” on the peppers – they are usually cooked on a flat-top or pan.

I happened to use yellow/green bell peppers, but red and green are a bit more traditional. A little time directly on the grill and then into the pan with the onions to finish cooking.

Nothing brings the neighbors (and your husband) out of the house faster than recreating the smell of Yawkey Way!

So next time the game is on, fire up your grill and get the sausages on. Be sure to toast the rolls and personally I like a little cheese on mine…you know the kind that melts really well – nothing fancy.

And now the “beauty shot!”

Dinner…with a little help from my friends.

The frozen foods section of the store contains a lot of “friends” of mine.

Sure everybody has their old friends peas and corn. Maybe they even know carrots and Brussel sprouts too. But I have someone very special in my freezer. In fact a pair of them.

Frozen chopped onions and frozen sliced red/green peppers!

And before you wonder…the only ingredient in the bags.. are chopped onions and chopped red/green peppers. No additives, no chemicals, no nothing.

I think if more people knew about these the price might go up with the demand on the supply. Because did I mention these bags of veggies are cheap too?

Individually quick frozen veggies are great! They are usually picked and frozen at the height of their ripeness. And to be honest this time of year I am paying an arm and a leg for a sub-standard fresh red bell pepper. This is a great solution and great for dinners on the fly!

So here is what I made for dinner this week. Using these simple ingredients.

I sautéed all of this together while I boiled the pasta. Look at those peppers and onions!

I added a jar of red sauce, topped it with some cheese.

Baked in a 350 degree oven until hot, melty and bubbly.

Good to the last bite!

Pizza Night Re-Mix (with sausage)

The promised but conveniently forgotten sausage had to be eaten.

The turkey chili incident caused a craving and besides they were in the fridge.  I had always intended to use them as more than a decoy to get someone tricked into eating the turkey chili.

Sweet Italian sausages are always spicy enough for us but the level of spice can vary from brand to brand. I prefer locally made Bianco & Sons or DiLuigi’s but will buy the “Perri” brand made by Johnsonville when I can’t find my local favorites.

Sandwich as pizza

Around my house we love to convert our favorite sandwiches into pizza toppings. Last time it was green chili cheeseburgers and this time it was Italian sausage sandwiches.

It was easy – I just crumbled the sausages, sliced an onion very thin, sliced a sweet red pepper and threw the whole mess into a skillet with a tiny bit of olive oil and S & P. Cook “low and slow” like the “The Sausage Guy” cart and soon your kitchen smells like Yawkey Way.

We like a crispy thin crust so I make sure to get the pizza stone screaming hot for the pizza shell. (Too lazy to deal with fresh dough – plus a small allergy to yeast – means I buy the pre-made shells.)

Smooth on some tomato sauce, add some cheese and you have yourself a delicious pizza ready in about 8-10 mins in a 425 degree oven.

Ready for the close up of the finished piece? (the picture doesn’t do it justice!)