Oh em gee, y’all. Cover your ears real quick because I’m about to toot my own horn (I know I’m ridiculously cheesy and lame but I can’t help myself). I made a homerun tonight. Matt loved it. I mean LOVED. Muggsy went totally crazy over not being able to have it (sorry muggs it has onions). And I had to keep myself from going back for more, but packed some up to bring to work for lunch tomorrow. It also had the added benefit of taking 30 minutes (and like 5 minutes hands-on time, which is usually all I take into consideration when I think about how long something is going to take). Like it will literally take me longer to write this post than to make this meal. It ALSO cost me like $3 per serving (maybe) thanks to my couponing (I’ll get into that later)
This is seriously the simplest, easiest, (I might even say cheapest) meal that I have made to date. It’s so simple I’m not even sure I should be telling you about it because you could easily figure this one out yourselves, but in case there is someone out there who reads this blog who doesn’t know that much about cooking, or thinks they are a bad cook, try this one out. Seriously, I promise you cannot mess up. It’s so simple that I feel like I have to give knife-skill tutorials and a couponing blurb along with the recipe so you don’t think this is a total cop-out.
Honestly, I know there are some people out there who read this little blog who call themselves people who “can’t cook” but you CAN…and if you are a little nervous, that’s ok, but this is a great place to start and this would be a FANTASTIC recipe for 4th of July! It’s perfect to bring to an outdoor barbeque or even make it on a grill (I chose roasting because I don’t have a grill) but it would be a great option for people who don’t eat red meat. And if you feel like trying something a little more complicated, here is a video tutorial for making an American Flag Cake!
So y’all know I LOVE couponing right? It is so fun and easy and I really can’t believe I didn’t start until now. This week was SUPER DOUBLES at Harris Teeter. That means that they will double any coupon up to $2.00 (normally they double everything up to $.99). SO, as you probably know if you follow me on instagram, I engage in “dumpster diving”… except that’s slightly misleading because you are probably imagining me in an actual dumpster looking for coupons and seriously, I’m not doing that. What I mean is that I go down to our mailroom on Sundays and take all the extra coupon inserts that people get in the mail from the mailroom recycling bin. So everything in there is paper and it’s just a little tub not a dumpster, but I can usually get about 10 extra coupons of things that I want if I go on Sunday.
I know that sounds totally insane and why the heck would I need 10 of the exact same coupon? Truthfully, I don’t always use all of them, and what I’ll usually do is if they are close to expiring, I’ll leave the extras next to the corresponding products in the store to hopefully have others benefit from my couponing efforts. But sometimes, when there is a really good sale and I can use coupons, it’s good to have the extras.
This week is a perfect example. I have been trying to get back into my healthy ways, as I sort of fell off the wagon…so I’m back to my calorie counting ways, and I saw a coupon for chicken sausage and thought “hey, that’s probably not terrible for you, and I can use it in all kinds of things so I’ll try it!” and I clipped like 10 coupons for $1 off one Al Fresco Chicken Sausage pack. I know that seems totally crazy but it paid off because then I got the weekly special email from Harris Teeter and saw that not only was it SUPER DOUBLES but the Al Fresco Chicken Sausage was 2 for $8. That means that each package is only $4, and I had a $1 off coupon that doubled to $2, making each package only $2, or FIFTY CENTS per sausage link. Holy cheap!!
Amazing. I was all over it.
I bought EIGHT packs. I couldn’t help myself. They were SO cheap and, thankfully, I actually like them! I got them in four different varieties (andouille, sweet italian sausage, roasted pepper & asiago, and sundried tomato). For the recipe in this post, I used two of those varieties:
I’m sure the sundried tomato variety would be good with this two but I only wanted to use two packs. I don’t know that I would use the andouille flavor one but I’m not saying it would be bad… I’m just saying I don’t want to be the one to try it. If you do, and it’s good, let me know!
So enough talk… let’s get started shall we?
2 packages of chicken sausage (you could use pork as well, but I chose chicken because it’s healthier and because I had a coupon)
1 red pepper
1 orange pepper
2 small onions or 1 large onion
salt and pepper to taste (I used very little as the sausage already had great flavor and the peppers, when roasted were fantastic)
First thing I did was preheat the oven to 400. Then I put a pan on low-medium heat and sprayed slightly with olive oil spray. I then opened the package and put the sausage in the pan. I let the sausage brown on one side while I sliced the onion. Then I flipped them over to brown the other side while I rinsed and sliced the peppers. I would say overall, this took about 5-7 minutes. I let it char a bit because I like that flavor on hot dogs and sausages, but if you don’t want the char, perhaps brown for less time.
Now I’m going to walk you step-by-step, how I would recommend cutting the peppers and onions. You can, of course, do it however you are used to doing it, but I have found these ways to be the most effective in getting even slices, and the most efficient ways to cut these veggies. Especially the peppers, because those little seeds can be so pesky.
PS. The first thing I would suggest is getting a very good sharp knife to do all these things!
Gently run the knife at that same angle, turning the pepper as you go. This is the best way to avoid all of the seeds and only leaving some of the ribs to trim out (which is super easy when you are just slicing strips, because you just slice them out!):
So the goal is to have as even slices as possible. The reason for this is for even cooking. I’m no expert at this, and it’s really a practice makes perfect kinda thing, I think. You could do the strips thinner if you choose but I didn’t want them to roast too much and become like realllyyyy roasted (aka mushy)… I wanted them to be crunchy in texture and I was quite pleased with the way these turned out. The onions were much thinner because I did want those to soften. So overall, texturally, I thought it was best this way.
The next step is to take the onions and spread them on the bottom of a roasting dish. Then place the browned sausages in the dish and then top with the peppers. Cook at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until the peppers look how you would like them to (again, I wanted texture so I didn’t let them get too roasted and squishy).
The next step is to pick out your bread. I used this whole wheat poppyseed loaf from the Harris Teeter Bakery. I placed it directly in the oven on the lower rack (cut side down) for the last two minutes of cooking to let it toast up a bit. PS see that strange serrated knife? That’s what crippled me in my last post, so beware of handling sharp knives!
I used this mustard… not because I love French’s… but because they were on sale for 2 for $3 (meaning $1.50 a piece) and I had a .40 coupon that doubled to $.80, so I paid a whopping $.70 for this whole bottle…
And then stacked it UP! YUM…so good. Still thinking about it.
Price-wise, it can’t be beat. With each link costing $.50, the mustard being $.70 for the whole bottle, the bread being about $2 and the peppers each being under a dollar (and I already had the onions), this meal was a STEAL. It also tasted phenomenal. I personally preferred the Roasted Pepper variety of sausage, but the Sweet Italian Sausage was the more traditional taste of “sausage and peppers”. Both were great and I will definitely be making this again.