Monday, March 2, 2009

My Cousin Gina

Some of the best recipes are the ones you acquire from a family member-especially the ones that don't have an actual recipe. My cousin Gina made Italian Sausage & Peppers one year at Christmas. They were to die for. She graciously told me how to make them and while mine are pretty darn good, they don't handle a candle to hers.

Her recipe:
First & foremost get some good Italian sausage. I prefer something that is a little spicy. Cut up the peppers like I did and toss them with some olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, a little crushed red pepper, and oregano. Then just mix them in with the sausage and put in the oven at about 400. I'd say it probably takes about an hour. Check them every 10-15 minutes and stir it up so the sausage cooks on all sides. When it starts to get fairly brown (about 40 minutes) put in some chicken broth. You can also use a little white wine if you'd like. You want that to get a little dark which will happen with the browning of the sausage. I sometimes add a little more oregano, pepper, etc...if it seems to need it. I like to have a good amount of juice (its great for dipping bread) so I often end up adding a little more broth close to it being done if there doesn't seem to be enough.

I follow this word for word. Sometimes I skimp on the sausage & I think that is why mine aren't as good as hers.

This time I wanted to make some homemade bread for dipping. I pulled out the recipe for the Garlic Swirl bread

Garlic Herb Swirl Bread
3 ¼ cups bread flour, divided
1 tbsp. sugar
1 pkg. active dry or quick-rising yeast
½ tsp. salt
1 cup very warm water (115-125°)
2 tbsp. butter or margarine, softened or melted

For the filling:
4 tbsp. butter, softened
5-6 cloves roasted garlic
1 tsp. dried parsley
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried basil
¼ cup Parmesan cheese

In a large bowl or in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer combine 2 cups bread flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add in water and butter/margarine and mix by hand or on low speed for 1 minute. Add in remaining flour ¼ cup at a time until the dough is moist but not sticky.

Knead the dough for about 10 minutes by hand or with the dough hook on low to medium speed, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn it over to coat with oil. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 40-45 minutes.

Grease a 9×5” loaf pan. Punch down the dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a large rectangle no more than 9” wide. Combine butter, garlic, parsley, oregano, basil and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl and mix until well combined. Spread the butter mixture over the surface of the dough rectangle. Tightly roll up the dough into a cylinder shape, pinching and tucking ends to form a tight seal. Place seam side down in prepared loaf pan. Oil the surface of the loaf and cover loosely with a clean cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 20-45 minutes. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Preheat the oven to 450°. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° and bake for about 30 minutes more. To prevent over-browning, cover with foil toward the end of baking if necessary. Bake until crust is golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer from pan to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing.

Source: adapted from Amber’s Delectable Delights

I had a hair appt so the hubs filled in for me while I was out. I mixed it all up & left right as it needed to rise. He did the rest. Thanks Hubs!


~Amber~ said...

Sounds like an awesome dinner.

Jagged Diary said...

LOL @ "handle a candle"!!! This looks really, really good :o)

Anonymous said...

My husband loves Hot Peppers stuffed with Italian Hot Sausage, so he will probably love this meal. Thanks for posting it.