It's a challenge to put new items on the menu every day so you all don't get bored with me, but sometimes you have to go with what you know. We know the simple things in life as well as on the table are often some of the best and I'd put last night's dinner high on the list.
Mild Italian sausages browned till golden in a pan and cozied up with assorted mini peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes and a smidgen of spices makes for a pretty amazing entree. Put it on a bed of pasta or rice or cheesy grits and you've the whole meal deal.
Now there's all kinds of ways to make grits with cheese but it's ever changing in this household because I happen to think it's a great way to use up the end pieces hiding in the cheese drawer. In this case I threw in a half brick of cream cheese, some extra old cheddar, and an end piece of asiago along with a pinch of cayenne, a little garlic powder and lots of salt and black pepper. Had I a piece of gorgonzola, I'd have thrown that in too.
Creamy, rich and comforting - I darn near packed Big Guy a PBJ sandwich for lunch today instead of the leftovers but my conscience didn't allow it. Darn that thing - sometimes I just wish it would keep its yap shut.
Sausages, Peppers and Cheesy Grits (an original from JBug’s Kitchen)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 sweet Italian sausage links – about 1.25 pounds
All purpose flour
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
6 ounces assorted mini sweet bell peppers, quartered and seeds removed
1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high. Dust sausages lightly with flour and shake off excess. When pan is hot, brown sausages carefully on all sides until golden. Remove from pan and set aside. Add onion, garlic, and sweet peppers to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables start to soften. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, and Italian herbs. Heat to a simmer then return sausages to the pan. Cover pan, lower heat to a slow simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until sausages are cooked through. Uncover and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened. Serve over cheesy grits. Makes 4 servings.
3 cups water
3/4 cup old fashioned grits
1/2 cup half and half
3 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
1 ounce asiago or parmesan cheese, grated
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Dash cayenne pepper
Salt and coarse ground black pepper
Heat water until boiling. Slowly whisk in grits and continue to whisk for 1 minute. Lower heat and cook grits for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch pot carefully so grits do not burn. Stir in half and half, lower heat to low, cover pot and cook additional 10 minutes or until grits are not grainy. Stir in cheeses, herbs and spices. Taste for seasoning and add salt as required. Cover pot and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until grits are very smooth and cheese has melted. (It may be necessary to add more half and half as required for the right consistency).
A year ago - Tomato Cobbler
Two year's ago - Oxtails Braised in Red Wine