Monday, October 4, 2010

Sausage and Peppers Shared with Friends

     We are having friends over for a relaxed informal dinner this evening. I wanted a fun casual dish that would be easy to serve and had lots of flavor. Sausage and peppers is that kind of dish. It is so fast and simple that I will have time to visit with friends instead of standing over the stove.

     I was thinking about how sausages have been grouped with the much maligned hot dog. The red Hot, the wiener, the frank all famed to be receptacles of all things frightening that remain once the choice parts of the beef or pork are cut away and packaged for sale. There is a world full of sausages that do not include the hot dog. It is a world worth exploring.
Beautiful hand made pork sausage
     There is an art and a beauty in the composition and versatility of the sausage. The ingredients often reflect the culture and tradition of a region. The butcher fine tunes the contents of a sausage the way a composer chooses the right note for a song chorus. Through time and experimentation a masterpiece of charcuterie evolves.  

     A good sausage is a careful balance of flavors and ingredients. A trained butcher evaluates which meats should be featured   and which meats should enhance the background. Does the sausage entice with heat and peppery goodness or comfort us with maple sweetness. Will notes of fennel be added to the mix or will it be garlic or tarragon? It makes me want to create my own sausages. The recipe possibilities are endless.
I love the bright fresh color of the vegetables
 Sausages $3.00
Hatch peppers $.50
Green peppers $.99
Onion $.59
Garlic $.35

Served atop leftover lasagna noodles I cut into strips  
Once noodles are cooked al dente I cut them into strips and then finish them
In butter Salt & pepper.

Served with John’s Struan Bread
Total $ under $7.00 
Tip of the day: There is a world of sausages to be discovered and enjoyed. Don’t be ruled by the simple pack of ten hot dogs wrapped in plastic. Experiment with bison, elk or Antelope sausage when you can find them. Add Hot or mild Italian sausage to your spaghetti dinner. Cut up a spicy andouille sausage to your chicken and rice dish and give it personality. A chicken apple sausage is great with crock-pot cabbage. Go introduce yourself to your local butcher and reevaluate the sausage.    

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