Ms. Lyle's Sausages
BY CLARA LYLE
I have countless memories of my mother, standing at our butcher block, with a glass of red wine, eyes fixed on the newspaper, eating soft peppers with translucent onions and crackled hot and sweet sausages; each bite cloaked with large gobs of Maille Dijon mustard. Every good meat eater relishes in the feeling of biting into a hot sausage, dripping with fennel seed and fat. In this dish, the acidic red pepper and onion perfectly complement the crisped sausage.
Recently I had the privilege to invite my wonderful friends over for a reunion. I did not intend to spend the entire evening at my usual post in the kitchen, and so I made the classic and served it with a large green salad dressed in an herbed lemon dressing. Not only was the meal consumed with the finest of company, but in its simplicity I was able to sit down and enjoy it with everyone. So next time you are preparing a meal with good friends, consider this:
Shelley’s Bleeker St. Sausage
3 medium Spanish onions, julienned
¼ Cup of extra virgin olive OIl
4 red and yellow Bell peppers, cored and julienned
Salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons Vinegar (preferably Champagne or Red Vinegar)
5 Lbs of Sweet/Hot Sausage from Faiccos on Bleeker Street
Heat a medium cast iron and add the olive oil. When hot, add the onion and wait for it to be slightly translucent, about three minutes. Add the vinegar and cook for a minute longer. At a medium heat add the peppers and cover the pan partially, stirring occasional to prevent burning. Salt and pepper to taste.
Put a separate pan on medium heat and while waiting for it to warm, gently poke each sausage twice with a fork, making small holes in the casing to help release heat and allow for an even sear. Place the sausage in the pan ensuring that there is enough room for the sausage to cook evenly, work in batches if you have to.
When the peppers and onions are cooked all the way through they should be soft to the touch but still maintain the integrity of their original form, no mush allowed!
Finally, combine the sausage with the peppers and onions and cook on a slow, low heat for 3 more minutes, allowing the flavors to meld ever so slightly.
Serve with mustard.
Big Green Salad w/ Herbed Lemon Vinaigrette
1 head of romaine, washed and torn
1 head of escarole, washed and torn
½ cup of EVO
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp Dijon
1 minced shallot
½ cup of equal chopped parsley, chive, and tarragon
1 soft boiled egg
1 TBS capers (optional)