Visit a sports bar anywhere in the U.S. and you'll likely find a "Philly" cheesesteak sandwich somewhere on the menu. Order said cheesesteak anywhere outside of Philly and you’ll likely have to choke down a combination of tough meat, stale bread, and some partially melted processed cheese singles.
This is why I’m glad sports bar chains haven't caught on to another East Coast sandwich specialty: sausage and peppers.
See, a sausage and peppers sandwich has the meaty satisfaction and hearty roll of a cheesesteak. But it also houses a luscious blanket of spicy marinara sauce. Add tender peppers and sweet onions to the mix, and you have yourself an awesome game day meal. (Dodge the deep fryer and make your chicken extra crispy with this Secret Trick to Great Game Day Wings.)
Plus, unlike a true Philly cheesesteak, it’s fairly easy to replicate the flavors of a real sausage and peppers sandwich at home. Give the following recipe from chef John Johnson a spin. He sneaks some smoked paprika into the sauce and tops the sandwich with fiery hot cherry pepper slices.
Enjoy -- before the sports bars catch wind.
Grilled Sweet Sausage and Peppers on Baguette
Recipe by John Johnson, executive chef of the Four Seasons in New York City and the Four Seasons Food Truck
What you'll need:
4 sweet sausage links
½ white onion, chopped
½ tsp minced garlic, plus 4 peeled garlic cloves
½ red bell pepper, julienned
½ yellow bell pepper, julienned
4 cups canned San Marzano crushed tomatoes
1 tsp tomato paste
Pinch smoked paprika
Pinch ground Espelette pepper or ground cayenne
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 baguette, preferably green olive, or ficelle bread
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 hot cherry peppers, thinly sliced
8 pitted olives, sliced
Compliment your homemade hoagie with our revision of delicious game-day nachos.
How to make it:
1. Fill a medium pot halfway with cold water and add the sausage. Bring the water to a boil and then shut off the heat. Let the sausage sit until the water cools to room temperature.
2. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic. Cook until tender, stirring frequently, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the peppers, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, smoked paprika, and Espellete pepper (or cayenne). Reduce the heat to medium-low, add a splash of water, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers soften, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Make an amazing meatless hero at home and learn how-to Pack The Ultimate Vegetable Sandwich.)
3. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium. Grease the grates or pan with the remaining olive oil. Add the sausages and sear until grill marks appear, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove the sausages from the heat. Slice the sausages and add them to the sauce. Stir to coat.
4. Cut the baguette lengthwise, but not all the way through, and then into 4 equal pieces. Drizzle the inside of the bread with olive oil and rub each with the garlic cloves. Grill the halves cut side down until well toasted, 2 to 4 minutes. Set aside.
5. Transfer a few spoonfuls of the sausage and peppers to the rolls. Serve topped with olives and hot peppers. Makes 4 sandwiches.
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