Monday, January 31, 2011

Sausage, Pepper and Onion Hoagies

The inspiration for this recipe came from me scoping out the bakery clearance section at my local Kroger as I often do.  I got a 4-pack of hoagie rolls for $0.99 versus the $2.99 that they were at regular price.

You can save quite a bit of money by checking out the Manager Specials in each section of the store (like bakery, meat, frozen, produce, etc.).  And, if you plan on making the meal that same day or within a day (maybe more depending on what it is and the sell-by date on the package), you won't be compromising freshness.  Another money-saving tip?  My brother-in-law Justin says that if you go to the deli section near closing time, all the meat that is open is offered at half price.  He used to go to Meijer on his way home from work to load up on lunch meat and then make subs for the week. How's that for a deal?!

I had to buy other ingredients like the sausage (whoa that was expensive!...$2.99 for a package.) and bell peppers which increased the overall cost of this meal but if you shop right, this can be an inexpensive meal.  Better yet, it's pretty delicious.

I changed Rachel's recipe a little bit.  The original recipe called for 3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage AND 3/4 pound spicy Italian sausage.  Not wanting to be out $6 just for the meat and seeing that a single package was already about 1 1/4 pounds I decided to just go with a single package of sweet Italian sausage.  She also called for two cubanelle peppers (light green mild Italian peppers) but I couldn't find those so I decided to substitute a single green bell pepper instead.  It gave it a nice color contrast and the flavor was right for me.  Last but not least, instead of investing even more money on a jar of the types of peppers Rachel suggestions, I decided to just use some of my giant jar of sliced jalapenos.  Since I knew this would carry a bit more heat than the more mild peppers she suggests, I figured if I went with the sweet sausage I wouldn't miss the mix of sweet + spicy sausage.

Overall I'd say the filling is very flavorful with the sweet and spicy sausage and the addition of the pepper juice gave it a unique tang.  I loved the crispy bread in this recipe and was reminded how good hoagies can be for a quick dinner.

One Year Ago: Mexican Chicken Spaghetti 

Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Hoagies
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Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 4 Servings

  • 1 package (~19 oz) Italian or hot Italian sausage links  
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan  
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed   
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced  
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced  
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced  
  • Salt and pepper  
  • 2 or 3 jarred hot cherry peppers, banana peppers, pepperoncini or jalapenos, finely chopped  
  • 2 tablespoons hot pepper juice, from the jar

For Assembling Hoagies:
  • 4 crusty, semolina submarine sandwich rolls, 8 inches, sesame seeded or plain
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning (or 1/2 teaspoons each oregano, thyme, parsley)
  1. Place the sausages in a large nonstick skillet. Pierce the casings with a fork. Add 1-inch water to the pan. Bring liquid to a boil. Cover sausages, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
  2. Heat a second skillet over medium high heat. Add oil, 2 turns of the pan. Add garlic, onion, cubanelle and red peppers. Season vegetables with salt and pepper.
  3. Drain sausages and return pan to stove, raising heat back to medium high. Add a drizzle of oil to the skillet, brown and crisp the casings. Remove sausages, slice into 2 inch pieces on an angle and set pieces back into the pan to sear.
  4. Split and toast the bread under broiler. Melt oil, butter together in small pan over medium heat. Add garlic and let it sizzle 1 or 2 minutes. Brush rolls with garlic butter and sprinkle with a little dried Italian seasoning blend.
  5. Combine the cooked peppers and onions to the sausages. Add hot peppers and hot pepper juice to the skillet. Toss and turn the sausage, peppers and onions, picking up all the drippings from the pan. Pile the meat and peppers into the garlic sub rolls and serve.
Source: Slightly modified from Rachel Ray

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