If ever there were a time for informal foods, it’s Super Bowl Sunday. Forget the sit-down dinner. This is a day for hand-held and finger foods. A bowl for chili should be the most conventional piece of tableware on the TV tray.
If ever there were a time for informal foods, it’s Super Bowl Sunday.
Forget the sit-down dinner. This is a day for hand-held and finger foods. A bowl for chili should be the most conventional piece of tableware on the TV tray.
Sausage lends itself to a tube-gazing menu. It adds heft and flavor to appetizers, chili, sandwiches, main dishes and breakfast casseroles. Choose from Italian, Polish, bratwurst, breakfast links, smoked turkey sausage and more.
Remember these simple rules when cooking up a sausage link:
- Thaw sausage, if frozen, prior to cooking. “It’s a good idea to thaw. You won’t have to cook it as long to get the center done,” said Henry Humphrey Jr., a meat-cutter.
- Cook a sausage slowly so the skin doesn’t burst. “The casing holds the juices in and it’s the juices that get hot and cook the sausage,” Humphrey said.
- Don’t pierce the sausage. “You shouldn’t stick it or the moisture will drain out,” he said. Turn the sausage with a pair of tongs.
- Make sure the sausage cooks to an internal temperature of at least 180 degrees.
“If you’re cooking sausages on a grill, put a pot lid over it to create a heat barrier,” advised Humphrey. “A lot of people precook them. Boil them in beer before they go on the grill.”
Recipes are from sausage-maker Johnsonville, based in Sheboygan Falls, Wis.
1 medium sweet red pepper, sliced
1 medium yellow pepper, sliced
1 medium green pepper, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup Cheez Whiz process cheese sauce
5 hoagie rolls, split
Grill brats according to package directions; keep warm. In skillet, sauté peppers and onion in oil until tender. Place a brat in each roll. Top with peppers, onions and cheese sauce. Makes 5 servings.
Italian Seafood Portobellos
25 to 30 medium portobello mushrooms (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon each salt, pepper and garlic powder
1 can (6 ounces) lump crabmeat, drained
1 package (5 ounces) frozen cooked salad shrimp, thawed
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon pepper
16 ounces ground Italian sausage
Remove stems from mushrooms; chop stems and set aside. Place mushroom caps on wax paper, bottom side up. Mist or brush caps with oil; sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
In food processor, combine crabmeat, shrimp, cheeses, garlic, pepper and mushroom stems. Pulse 10 to 15 seconds until coarsely chopped. Transfer to large bowl. Crumble sausage over crabmeat mixture. Add egg; mix just until combined. Spoon into mushroom caps.
Place in greased shallow baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until thermometer inserted into filling reads 160 degrees.
Tips: For a spicier version, add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. To make this appetizer a meal, serve over a bed of pasta with Alfredo sauce. Makes 25-30 appetizers.
Cheese-filled Breakfast Puffs
12 ounces breakfast sausage links
2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent-roll dough
5 slices deli cheese, cut into thirds
Cook sausage according to package directions; drain. Unroll crescent dough; separate into 14 triangles (there are two extra triangles). Place one strip cheese and one sausage link onto wide end of each triangle. Roll up, starting with wide end. Place seam side down on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Tip: Great for dipping. Serve with cheese sauce, salsa or spicy jam. Makes 14 puffs.
Touchdown Italian Chili
1 package (18-20 ounces) Italian sausage links
1 cup chopped onion
3 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 each large sweet red, yellow and green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cans (14.5 ounces each) Italian-recipe stewed tomatoes
1 can (16 ounces) dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
3/4 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup cream sherry (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 teaspoons baking cocoa
1/2 to 1 teaspoon pepper
Grill Italian sausage according to package directions; cut into half-moon slices and set aside. In soup kettle, sauté onion, celery, sweet peppers and garlic in oil until tender. Add sausage and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes or until flavors are blended.
Tip: Sprinkle chili with grated Asiago, Romano or parmesan cheese. Makes 12 servings.
Kathryn Rem can be reached at 788-1520.