N'Awlins Superbowl Sausage Rolls

Imagine a stack of Italian salsiccia (that's sausages for all you non-Italians), smothered down in an pile of sauteed red and green bell peppers and sliced onion rings until the entire pan full is richly caramelized and golden brown, then stuffed inside yet another stack of French pistolette-style breads. Ummm! Now you're not gonna tell that even just the description doesn't make you hungry!

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 stick unsalted butter
3 jumbo onions, sliced into half rings
3 large green bell peppers, sliced
3 large red bell peppers, sliced
3 large orange (yellow) bell peppers, sliced
3 tsps. Frank Davis Sicilian Seasoning
2 tsps. kosher or sea salt
1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
3 Tbsps. minced garlic
3 lbs. Italian sausage (10-12 links average)
1/2 cup Swanson's or Campbell's chicken stock
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup parsley for garnish
1 dozen French Pistolettes, oven-browned and toasted
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

First, take a heavy 12-inch aluminum skillet and heat the olive oil and the butter together until the butter sizzles. Then, after turning the heat up to high, cook the onions and the bell peppers together a few at a time! until the mixture wilts slightly and the onions begin to caramelize (they'll turn a rich golden brown). Note that if you overload the skillet, the veggies will 'sweat' instead of 'caramelizing.' You don't want that to happen!

At this point, remove the peppers and the onions from the skillet and set them aside for awhile. But first, sprinkle them with the Sicilian seasoning, the salt, and the pepper and fold in the minced garlic.

Next, put the same skillet back on the fire and once again turn up the flame to high. Then, in order, drop in the sausage links, pour in the stock, and pour in the wine, combining the liquids as they are added to the pan.

When the liquids come to a slow bubble, reduce the heat to medium and simmer the sausages turning them frequently until no more (or at least very little) liquid remains in the pan. Rolling them over and over at this point will cause them to brown nicely.

When they're the right color, all nice and toasty-looking, all you do then is top them with the onions and pepper just put everything together in the skillet. Then, either by flipping the pan or by using a spatula and folding the ingredients over each other a few times, nestle the sausages, onions, and peppers together, put the lid on the skillet, turn down the heat to low, and simmer the dish until it's piping hot and the flavors marry (or place the pan of sausages and veggies uncovered into a 350 degree oven and bake them until they marry).

When you're ready to eat, stuff a pistolette with a sausage link and dress it out with a generous scoop of onions and peppers. All that's left then is to garnish the sandwich with a little parsley and douse it with grated Parmesan and you got yourself one of those meals that is almost impossible to equal!

Chef's Notes:
There are a number of white wines which will work with this dish, but I like the results I get with cocktail sherry or Chablis. Both of these produce the subtle flavor you want.

Be sure to use both the butter and the oil do not eliminate either one to save on fat or calories. Flavor is critical in this recipe and you need the combination of butter and olive oil to produce that flavor.

Don't foul up and add the garlic to the onions while the onions are cooking. The garlic needs to go in after the onions and peppers come off the fire to keep the caramelization sweet. Garlic fried down with the onions and peppers could cause the mixture to become bitter should the minced garlic become too hot and scorch!

Let me reiterate that the onions and peppers, as well as the sausages, initially are cooked uncovered in this recipe. If you cover either of them you 'sweat' them; that means you lose the beautiful rich color as well as the crispiness of the vegetables and you drive out all the moisture in the sausages. Of course, towards the end of the cooking process, it is okay to cover the skillet when you're 'marrying' all the ingredients together.

This is another one of those dishes that instantly becomes no less than wonderful the next day! Oh, it's good right when it comes from the pan; but allow it to marinate in the 'fridge overnight and whoa. . .!
It's a good idea to prick the sausages with the tip of a knife or a sharp fork before you cook them. This procedure keeps the casings from popping and splattering drippings all over as they simmer. And yes if you don't have time to actually stand there at the stove and cook the sausages in a skillet, you can always cook them in the oven. Simply place them into a baking pan, pour in enough water to cover the sausages about halfway up, and bake them uncovered at 375 degrees for about an hour (or until the links are a beautiful golden brown).

For detailed information on sausages and sausage making, you can always talk with master butcher Pete Giovenco at 504-469-4369. And if you can't find Sicilian seasoning where you shop, simply visit my web site at www.frankdavis.com or call 1-985-643-0027.

Usually, these sausage rolls are made with 'just onions and peppers' and oil-butter from the pan. Some folks, however, insist on tweaking the sandwich with mayonnaise and yellow mustard. You call!!

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