Spicy Stewed Sausages with Peppers
I have been away from the blog, lately. Lots of heavy stuff at work and traveling have kept my nose to the grindstone, sorta. I travel a bit for work and when I do, I always try to drive if at all possible. I enjoy the solitude and get a lot of thinking done. I may not get much resolved but my head feels clearer. That and flying is simply not natural. I avoid it like my taxes (and various health screenings …).
On my way to my destination, it became clear to me that I cannot continue eating what I have been eating if I want to lose weight. And I want to lose weight. I long to anguish over the fact the clothes I want to wear are too expensive instead of not caring at all what I put on. It’s a personal thing. While working on the road this past week, I spoke with my good friend Kevin Hawk (BASSMASTER Elite Series Pro for anyone out there who fishes …) about his Paleo lifestyle. He’s recommended it to other acquaintances of mine and I’ve seen the results. I think it’s time for me to make a change.
I won’t go on and on about what, exactly, a Paleo “diet” is or isn’t – I will say it is a way of eating that highlights lean animal protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. What it doesn’t recommend is grains of any kind. Like wheat, rice, corn and beans and legumes. This would mean no bread, no pasta, no rice, no quinoa (I was JUST getting into quinoa!) no wheatberry, no polenta, no oatmeal … eh!
I’m seriously not hear to preach about the evils of grain. I’m just pretty sure that for me, it’s what’s keeping me from losing the weight. Since I’ve started the blog, I’ve eaten well – focusing on whole foods freshly prepared and trying to cut down on the carbs (unsuccessfully). I feel healthier, but still, something is missing.
So I’m going Paleo. I admitted to Kevin that I don’t know how strictly I can adhere to this, if I can give up carbs completely. He suggested I try a 80/20 ratio. That’s something I think I can take on.
The blog will be changing a bit. This is about my journey to get healthy, so most recipes are going to be carbless for some time. I don’t want to chase the MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WHO READ MY BLOG so I’ll be sure to include suggested sides that may involve grains, but I won’t be eating them, or shooting lovely pictures of them (sniff). Today is September 24, 2013. I’m anxious to see where I’m at next year.
This recipe, my first Paleo, is not labeled as such. I like that because it makes me feel I’m just eating a super yummy meal I found on Food & Wine’s website, featuring a hearty Italian dish contributed by Mario Batali. This dish comes together quickly after you get all the veg chopped up. It’s hard to imagine a dish of sausages and sweet peppers being boring, but Mario bumps up the flavor factor another notch by stewing everything in a bit of red wine. He recommends the dish be served with crusty bread but it would also be great with pasta. It would also be fantastico on a roll of Italian bread – Sausage and Pepper Hoagie!!!!
Sans bread and/or noodles, this dish was extremely satisfying. Be careful with the Serrano and habeñero chilies – they are fiery. I love spicy dishes but if that sounds like too much heat, bump the quantity down on the Serranos and omit the habeñero (whimp).
I prepared this dish outside on my grill as the recipe recommended. Enjoy dining al fresco as long as you can!
Spiced Stewed Sausages with Peppers
From http://www.foodandwine.com, contributed by Mario Batali
- 2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, pricked all over with a fork
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch dice
- 2 green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch dice
- 2 yellow bell peppers, cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small fennel bulb—trimmed, cored and thinly sliced
- 4 serrano chiles, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 habanero chile, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese (3 ounces)
- Crusty bread, for serving
- Light a grill. Brush the sausages lightly with oil and grill over a medium-hot fire, turning, until nicely charred and just cooked through, about 16 minutes total.
- Set a large cast-iron skillet on the grill and add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the peppers, onion, fennel and chiles and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt. Add the sausages and wine to the skillet and simmer until the wine has reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Remove from the grill and sprinkle half of the pecorino cheese over the sausage and peppers. Serve with bread, passing the remaining pecorino at the table.