Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Following the Recipe

I don't eat pork or beef anymore. Chicken and fish and turkey. I went looking for something different today and decided turkey sausage would at least taste a little different. I haven't been cooking for awhile because I haven't felt like looking at food, but today I was in the mood. Something quick and simple.

There's a site called where there are recipes from Gourmet, Bon Apetite and Shape Magazines and I went there and plugged turkey sausage into the search engine. Up came turkey sausage and onions and peppers. I've never cooked sausage with onions and peppers before, although I've eaten it often enough. Always good to have a recipe. I immediately flashed back to those New York City hot dogs with the onions on them. I don't like hot dogs, but oh those onions. The recipe wasn't for sandwiches but there was nothing to say I couldn't put the mess on a bun, right?

The recipe called for boiling the sausage and then adding the onion and pepper and some fennel, boiling away the liquid and finishing the dish with scallions. I don't eat scallions much these days because I have no immune system. So I decided to omit them. And I don't like fennel. Tastes like licorice and I didn't get the licorice gene. Bob did, but he's not cooking.

And to be honest, I'm not much for boiled vegetables, even if you boil them in chicken broth. So I roasted a red pepper. How do you roast a red pepper? It's very atavistic, at least on a gas stove. I just put the raw, whole pepper on the gas burner and let the skin char. You can also put it under a broiler, but I like to stand there, flaming the sucker, turning it so all four sides get really blackened. Then put it in a brown paper lunch bag for ten minutes to steam. Then just rub the blackened skin off and you have roasted red pepper. Something happens to a pepper when you roast it, something about the natural sugars in the vegetable, making the flavor sweeter and more intense.

I sliced the onions and poured some of my new, cool Lebanese olive oil in my big skillet. We eat a lot at a place called the Chicago Deli and the family that owns it is Lebanese. They have cousins back in Lebanon who press their own olive oil. We bought a gallon because George gave us some to taste and and it was great. Light, fruity, not commercial. I sliced the onions and I cooked them in the olive oil on low heat for over an hour, so they softened and carmelized. The last half hour I threw in some garlic (okay, it's not in the original recipe, but garlic, onion and olive oil? How bad could it be?) and tucked the sausages in the slow cooking onions and put in the peppers.

The sausages didn't get as brown as I like, so I ran them under the broiler until the skins got crispy. I slit the buns, put a little brown mustard on them (not in the recipe but mustard is a good thing, right?) covered the sausages with the onions, peppers and garlic, and served it all with a salad.

They turned out good. Recipe works great. I recommend it.


Blogger Darby M. Dixon III said...

Well, now, it's 10:00 a.m. and my stomach is growling. It's gonna be a long. long. long day. Thanks!

March 03, 2005 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Steve Dorato said...

I remember your jambalaya fondly....

March 03, 2005 10:23 AM  
Blogger David Moles said...

What's with scallions and the immune system?

March 03, 2005 11:13 AM  
Blogger Demented M said...

I am so sorry to hear about your illness!

I was just telling someone about how I met you at Marcon last year and found you so delightful--it was such an honor to meet you. All I ever tell people about Marcon is "Maureen McHugh is SO cool".

Anyway, I hope you feel better sooner as opposed to later. I will keep you in my thoughts.


March 03, 2005 11:53 AM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

David, if you wash scallions well, nothing. But contaminated raw scallions caused food poisoning in some surprising number of people at a Chi Chi's. Mostly I just thought scallions were kind of weird in sausage and peppers.

Michelle! Hello! I am getting better, although I won't be at Marcon this year because I'll be at Wiscon.

March 03, 2005 1:10 PM  
Blogger Greg van Eekhout said...

Oh, you're going to be at WisCon! Cool! I'll look forward to seeing you there.

March 03, 2005 3:37 PM  
Blogger Demented M said...

Hello again! So it's Wiscon this year? We'll miss you at Marcon.

If you don't mind, I've linked to you.

The sausage recipe sounds lovely, by the way (as I wait for the hubs to bring back a salad from Wendy's).


March 03, 2005 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Pat Cadigan said...

I remember a feast Chez McHugh that I still dream about.:)

And your description of roasting a red pepper brought back memories of when I was a kid and I'd go over to my best friend Rosemarie's house. Her mother routinely roasted red peppers this way on their gas stove. Nostalgic, slightly hungry *Sigh*.

March 03, 2005 7:55 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

Yum. Roasting peppers that way fills the kitchen (and the house) with a gorgeous smell. That's also the way I peel tomatos--which, oddly enough, makes the house smell like someone has been smoking pot.

Thanks for clarifying about the scallions. I was wondering.

March 04, 2005 11:33 AM  
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March 24, 2009 1:36 AM  

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