Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sausage and Peppers Casserole - Food Allergy Friendly Recipe

       Have you missed me? I know I was out of the circulation again. Why? Well, I have extra mommy duties lately because Child #3 is currently suffering from pneumonia. Ugh! The good news is that he's responding quite well with his medication and now on the way to full recovery.  Thank God! 

       Moving on, have you been enjoying the sudden weather change? For the past few days, the people here in New Jersey (and the entire East Coast) have been experiencing summer like temperatures. You know what that means right? Time to enjoy the outdoors and casual entertaining.  

       Since our grocery bill has tripled after the food allergy diagnosis, I am now challenging myself to create recipes which are not only safe for the kids to eat but are also crowd "pleasers" and most of all, will not burn my wallet.  Though buying organic and specialty ingredients are quite pricey, I can attest that these items usually are loaded with more flavor.  By adding less costly and  healthier "fillers", we can literally feed an army. 

        Check out my take on the common Sausage and Peppers. Instead of serving whole or big chunks of sausages on a roll, these are thinly sliced and are served on top of rice.  The onions and bell peppers not only add flavor but are filling too.  Yes, your guests should eat their veggies!  The flavorful cooking broth doubles up as a sauce that gives the rice a homey taste.  No waste thus making it very affordable.  

         Bring this dish to your next gathering.  I'm sure your friends as well as you wallet will love you. 



1 lb. Italian style Pork Sausage (sliced diagonally)
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
3 big cloves of garlic (sliced thinly)
2 cups onions (sliced in in half moons)
5 bell peppers (sliced into strips)
1/4 tsp. chili flakes (you can add more)
1/2 cup marsala wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt  (you might use less depending on the brand of sausage and broth you are using)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
8 cups cooked rice (steamed)

1. Pan fry the pork sausage in heated pan with olive oil. Do it in batches so that the sausage will have nice sear marks.  Set aside.
2. In the same pan, saute the garlic, onions and bell peppers for 3- 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
3. Add the Marsala wine and chicken broth. Scrape the pan to get all the brown bits incorporated in the sauce. Bring to boil.
4. Put the cooked sausage pieces back in the pan. Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes.
5. Lower the heat and let the dish simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Mix well and turn off the heat.
7. Put some sauce on the bottom of a casserole pan.  Then arrange a nice layer of rice.
8. Top the rice with the sausage and pepper mixture.  Make sure to add all the sauce.
9. Serve hot.

 - Slightly frozen sausage is easier to slice.  Place the sausage in the freezer for 2 hours before slicing.
  - Make sure to double check the ingredient list of the sausage you are using for allergens.  My favorite is the Wegmans brand because it is free of gluten, dairy and soy.
 - For this recipe, I used the Sweet style sausage because my kids can't handle the Hot/Spicy variety.

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