Sunday, July 3, 2011

Street Food at Home

Last year on what was a glorious, celebratory July 4th weekend (do you remember the heat wave?) I enjoyed the company of my very good friend Sharon on Boston's waterfront. This year I've been laying low, hanging out at Fran's pool and cooking some of my favorite dishes. I've always been a sucker for street food and fell in love with sausage, onion and pepper hoagies the first time I had them at a festival in the North End. I knew then they'd become a finalist on my list of favorites. So today, after a balmy day at the pool I decided to give this dish a try at home. I perused the internet for some tips and ideas and came to the quick realization that nobody makes sausage, onions and peppers the same way. I turned off my computer, relied on my instincts and I must say, I'm pleased with the results.

Sausage, Onion and Pepper Hoagies

1 large onion sliced
2 green peppers sliced
1 clove garlic chopped
2 T olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 cup marinara sauce
3/4 cup water
Small sub rolls or sliced Italian bread

Heat oil in large pan on medium low heat. My stove top cooks high, so medium might work for you. Add onions and cook uncovered 5 minutes. You want the onions to soften and not brown too quickly. Add peppers, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes if using. Cook about 10 minutes.

Remove onion/pepper mixture from pan and keep warm. To same pan add sausages and cook on all sides until brown. The sausages are not cooked yet, so add water and marinara sauce, cover pan and simmer about 10 minutes. This will finish the cooking process. Uncover the pan, and cook a few minutes more to let most of the liquid evaporate.

Remove sausages from pan and either leave whole or slice. I cut the sausages into 1/4 inch rounds and mixed with the peppers and onions. I toasted slices of Italian bread since I didn't have any rolls on hand, added a little mustard and chowed down. What a simple way to celebrate America's birthday. Yum!

This recipe will serve four to six people, but with the same amount of sausage and twice the amount of onions and peppers, you can really get a bang for your buck. You should be able to feed 10 people. Very cost effective, unless they want seconds.

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