Sausage and Peppers Over Cheesy Grits is whole lot of New Jersey mixed with a traditional taste of the South. I started experimenting with Sausage and Peppers after I married a Jersey boy. And the grits? Those I first made when I moved to Florida nearly 25 years ago. Talk about cultural appropriation.
I like this dish for a smaller football-watch party. Not all of us have a big gang to entertain, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to have a feast. This recipe serves four and it can double for eight easily. Today’s Big Game event features more than 60 Sunday Supper recipes fit for a crowd. Versatility is the name of the game here. (The Denver Broncos squaring off against the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m. Feb. 7.)
Most sausage and peppers are made on the stovetop. I like to bake mine after sauteing onions and peppers and browning fresh sausages. The whole mess goes into a big baking dish, covered with foil and then baked for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees. I don’t think it tastes any different, but it frees up the stove for other dishes. Hey, it’s just the way I make it.
I often cook a mix of mild and hot Italian sausage and then try to guess which is which when serving. In this version, it’s easy because I cut the cooked sausage on an angle because I am not putting them in sub rolls. (Hubby tells me not to call them hoagie rolls. “That’s Philly,” he says.) Whole sausages require knife and fork, not such a great deal when you are eating in front of the TV.
I always use green peppers and then mix in either a red, yellow or orange pepper, all of which are more expensive than the work-a-day green pepper. If they weren’t I’d use more.
The cheesy grits make a tangy, creamy base. Use kind of grits (instant, quick-cooking or stone-ground) following the directions on the packaging, but I l prefer long-cooking stone-ground grits. Like polenta, these types of grits require about 45 minutes of cook time and plenty of stirring to keep them from sticking. They can be cooked in water, chicken broth, half-and-half or a mixture of all three. I use two parts water to one part half-and-half, which makes them creamy. To me, the end result is worth the time. Stone-ground grits, which have not been stripped of their covering, are corn kernels crushed between stones, rather than steel rollers.
These type of grits have more body and bite, and they hold up well to the heavy sausage and peppers mixture. I also use stone-ground grits when I make Shrimp and Grits, a dish from the Low Country of South Carolina. (Another cultural appropriation. I come from Northern California, Italian polenta country. Polenta could also be the cradle of this dish.)
Sausage and Peppers is filling and for a smallish football party you won’t need much more. I serve it with a green salad. Maybe chips and dip to start. Oh, and dessert. Lots of dessert.
- Olive oil for sautéing
- 2 green peppers, cleaned and cut into strips
- 1 yellow, orange or red pepper, clean and cut into strips
- 1 large onion, cut in half and sliced
- 2 large garlic cloves, cut in thin slices
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1.25 pounds uncooked Italian sausage (5 links)
- 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes with garlic and onions
- 6 cups liquid (any combination of water, broth and half-and-half. I use 4 cups water
- and 2 cups half-and-half.)
- 1 ½ cups stone-ground grits (See note)
- 2 cups shredded white sharp Cheddar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, sauté pepper in thin coating of olive oil, until just soft, about 7 minutes. (Don’t over cook because they will go in the oven.) Remove to a baking dish, big enough to fit all ingredients. Do the same with the onions, stirring in sliced garlic and red pepper flakes if using for the last minute of cooking. Add to baking dish. Brown sausages on all sides. Top peppers and onions with browned sausages.
- Add diced tomatoes to the skillet, scraping bottom to release all the bits and incorporating them into the tomatoes. Pour the tomatoes on top of sausage and peppers mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until sausages are cooked through. (There will be a lot of liquid created in the cooking process. Make sure the pan is large enough to hold the mixture.)
- While sausage and peppers are cooking, heat liquid for grits in a large saucepan. When it is bubbling, whisk in the grits slowly so that they don’t clump. Turn down heat so the mixture is barely bubbling. Add a large pinch of salt. Stir regularly to prevent sticking. The grits will take about 45 minutes to cook through. When done, add shredded cheese and butter. Stir until butter and cheese has melted.
- To serve, cut sausages into four pieces each. Scoop grits into a shallow bowl and top with pieces of sausage and spoonfuls of the peppers and onions.
- Note: You can use any other type of grits that you liked, including quick-cooking. Follow instructions on packaging for cheese grits.
Join us on tonight for Sunday Supper’s Big Game Twitter Party at 7 p.m. ET. Until we chat, check out this week’s amazing and exhaustive list of party recipes.
Appetizers and Sides
- Atomic Buffalo Turds by Wholistic Woman
- Avocado Egg Rolls by My Imperfect Kitchen
- Bacon Wrapped Potato Wedges by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Buttermilk Battered Chicken Wings by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Cajun Okra Fries by Food Lust People Love
- Cheddar Sausage Balls by Tramplingrose
- Cheese Board and Baguettes Make for the Start of a Great Game Day Feast by Delaware Girl Eats
- Cheesy Crabmeat Canapés by Meal Planning Magic
- Cheesy Sausage Dip by The Bitter Side of Sweet
- Chicken Fajita Nachos by Sweet Mornings
- Chipotle-Ranch Chicken Wings by Casa de Crews
- Corn Dog Muffins by Noshing With The Nolands
- Crock-Pot Bean Dip by Confessions of a Cooking Diva
- Deep Fried Pimento Cheese and Celery Bites by Granny’s Down Home Sassy Southern Cooking
- Dill Pickle Dip by Seduction in the Kitchen
- Fish Taquitos by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Gluten Free Asian Sweet Chili Wings by Flippin’ Delicious
- Healthy Guacamole Recipe by Real Food Real Deals
- Hogs in a blanket by Cooking on the Ranch
- Hot Pork Roll and Cheese Dip by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Nacho Waffle Fries by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Patatas Pobres for a Crowd by Lydia’s Flexitarian Kitchen
- Pepperoni Pizza Bites by Family Foodie
- Philly Cheesesteak Sliders by Daily Dish Recipes
- Pimento Cheese-Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates by The Healthy Fit Foodie
- Rajas by Pook’s Pantry
- Roasted Broccoli Artichoke Dip by Cooking Chat
- Slow Cooker Thai Wings by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Smoky Blender Salsa by What Smells So Good?
- Southwestern Eggroll Cups by A Gouda Life
- Southwestern Flatbread and a “Design Your Own Flatbread” Table by The Freshman Cook
- Spicy Szechuan Shrimp Lettuce Cups by Palatable Pastime
- Sweet and Spicy Hummus by Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
- Texas Caviar by Books n’ Cooks
- Tex-Mex Egg Rolls by Cookin’ Mimi
- Thai Beef Taco Bites by Brunch-n-Bites
- Three Cheese Macaroni Bites by Tara’s Multicultural Table
- BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders With Tangy Warm Cabbage Slaw by Taste And See
- Buffalo Chicken Chili by Monica’s Table
- Cheeseburger Pizza by Life Tastes Good
- Cheesy Cheesesteaks by Family Around The Table
- Emeril’s Chicken and Andouille Gumbo by The Texan New Yorker
- Game Day Chili by Our Good Life
- Handy Beef Buns by Get the Good Stuff
- Lahmacun – Turkish flatbread by Caroline’s Cooking
- New Jersey Sloppy Joe by kimchi MOM
- Pizza Pasta Bake by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Pork Italiano Sandwich by The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine
- Puerto Rican Pernil (Garlic Roast Pork) by Curious Cuisiniere
- Ree’s Philly Cheesesteaks by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Cheese Bombers by Kitchen Gidget
- Spicy Tuna Croquette Sliders with Avocado Pesto by The Crumby Cupcake
Desserts and Drinks
- Chocolate Football Cookies by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Cinnamon Sugar Chex Mix by Pies and Plots
- Game Day Mocktails by Beauty and the Beets
- Gluten Free Football Potato Candy by Gluten Free Crumbley
- S’more Poutine by Desserts Required
- Super Duper Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn by Only Taste Matters
- Plus Big Game Party Recipes plus Sausage and Peppers Over Cheesy Grits by Sunday Supper Movement
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Janet K. Keeler
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