"Inside-Out" Sausage & Peppers

The Community Plate would like to welcome it's second guest blogger, one of my very best friends in the whole entire world!  Kerry and I have been friends since we were little kids.  We played soccer together and her dad was our coach.  Her father also worked at the supermarket that my mom worked.  His nickname for my mom was always Meat, so when I came around, I was referred to as Chunk.  "Like a chunk of meat," he'd always say.  (Insert goofy-faced emoji here.)

Well, 20 years later, we are still besties.  Even though I live an hour and a half away from home, Kerry still goes over my mom and dad's house every Wednesday night to catch up on all the shows she watches with my mom and sister.  She is over for nearly every holiday, and every family dinner.  Recently, she came to visit me in Baltimore with Roger... her boyfriend that I had yet to meet!  Well, he's wonderful, of course, and when Kerry told me she was cooking for them the other night, and needed a good sauce recipe, I really didn't hesitate. (That is, after I woke up, considering it was the crack of dawn.)

Here is Kerry's blog post - enjoy!

"Inside-Out" Sausage and Pepper Sandwich 

Like everyone, I wake up in the morning and immediately begin to think about the meals I am going to have throughout the day. (Everyone does that, right?).  Well, first comes coffee and then I think about food. 

So Thursday morning was like every other weekday morning, and the first thing on my mind was DINNER. The night before I had a delicious Primo Hoagie for dinner and my craving for a sandwich did not end. So, on my commute to work, the wheels in my head were turning. I was in a heated mind-debate with myself over just ordering another sandwich for dinner, or try to create a meal that would satisfy my never-ending sandwich craving (by the way, I love sandwiches). And yes, in case you were wondering, this all occurred at 6:30 in the morning.

I was trying to figure what ingredients, if I did get a sandwich, I would want inside of it.  Obviously, cheese.  Who doesn’t love cheese? (::cough, cough:: Andrea Casella.  I actually don’t even think Andrea is Christina’s sister because of her dislike for cheese). 

Sharp provolone -- God, I die over sharp provolone -- peppers, onions... then, it clicked. Sausage and Peppers!  A sausage and pepper sandwich housed in a pepper. Of course, also stuffed with sharp provolone cheese. 

Now, if I was just cooking for myself, the stuffed pepper alone would have been enough. But, I was also cooking for my boyfriend -- who is Latin American -- and he has to put all of his meals over rice. I couldn’t possibly just put a stuffed pepper over rice, it would be too many dry ingredients. That’s when I decided that my meal would be perfectly complete with a sauce. 

That’s when I texted Christina at 7:30AM for ideas about a sauce to go with my meal. And, like every good best-food-loving-friend, a half hour later, she got back to me with a sauce idea. And 10 hours later, my meal was completed!

Here's What You’ll Need:
  • 1 packet of Hot Italian Sausage (or Sweet Italian Sausage)
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, diced
  • 1 whole sweet onion, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, divided and chopped
  • 1 Poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine 
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • Oregano, Chili Powder, Hot Pepper Flakes, Parsley, Cumin, Salt & Pepper
  • 1 whole tomato
  • 4 bell peppers  
  • ½ cup of Panko Bread crumbs
  • 3 cups rice, divided and cooked according to package
  • ½ lb of sharp Provolone cheese
  • EVOO

  1. Place sausage links in a skillet with 1 tbsp EVOO until all sides are browned and center is cooked half way through. Remove sausage and cut into bite sized pieces. Place bite-sized pieces back into the skillet along with mushrooms, 1 chopped garlic clove, onion, and ¼ of the Poblano pepper. Cook on medium heat until vegetables are soft and sausage is cooked through.
  2. In a saucepan, add a tbsp. of EVOO, remaining Poblano pepper and a small portion of the sausage/vegetable mix. Add tomato paste and red wine, cooking on medium heat, until the mixture has become a smooth paste. Add crushed tomatoes and all seasonings to taste. Cut 2 garlic cloves into slices and place in mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low. Be sure to stir, so that sauce does not burn.  Later, as the peppers were cooking, I cubed 1 tomato and added it to the red sauce for the peppers.
  3. Cut off tops of the 4 bell peppers and remove seeds. I like to cut the bottom of “feet” of the peppers so that they can stand on their own. Place in an oven safe dish.
  4. In a separate bowl, add the sausage/vegetable mix, Panko breadcrumbs, and 1 cup of rice. (The rest of the rice is for the plate.)  Mix together. Cut provolone cheese into cubes.
  5. Begin to fill the peppers, my strategy was to fill ¼ of the pepper with the sausage mix, add cubed cheese. Repeat until fully stuffed and layered with cheese and sausage mixture.  Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, uncovered.
  6. At the 20 minute mark, I topped my peppers with provolone cheese and Panko breadcrumbs.  Drizzle the Panko with a touch of EVOO so they brown up nicely.  Cook the peppers for 5 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and breadcrumbs are toasted.  Serve over bed of rice. (For this recipe, I made my own yellow rice, but you can use white or brown rice.)



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