Tuesday, June 10, 2008

TGIR... and a Sausage Supper

Thank God It's Raining!

It has been disgustingly hot over the last few days here in Central New York. And I mean hot. 90 degrees (Fahrenheit) in the house hot.

And that means too hot to eat, much less cook.

But it's been raining today. And thank goodness, because it's cooling things off nicely--inside and out. It's amazing how creative one can be when you want that cool breeze to come inside, sans water, of course.

Thundercat is frantically bouncing from window to window to make sure she's not missing a thing. The life of calico cat ownership, I suppose.

Today's supper began with a desire to heat the kitchen as little as possible, and to achieve a grilled outdoors flavor without actually grilling outdoors.

It's not as difficult as it sounds.

I use a grill topper pan right on the stove. You know the ones. Sometimes they're made of wire mesh, other times they're black metal with lots of holes. They allow you to grill veggies without them falling into your bbq fire.

These pans work great on top of the stove, both for grilling bread and vegetables. (Anything else will drip too much and make a mess on your stove.) I don't have a hard-and-fast recipe, but I'll share my method with you.

I grilled a sliced yellow onion, a quartered green pepper, several quartered mushrooms, and a sliced eggplant (all the vegetables were lightly brushed with olive oil before cooking). This was all done in stages, and as each veg was lightly charred and tender, they were transferred to a saucepan.

I also pan fried about a half-pound ring of sweet italian sausage, cut into chunks (casing left on), which was also transferred to the saucepan after browning, followed by one 8-ounce can of tomato sauce. (And here is where you can get creative--add garlic, herbs, hot pepper flake, or anything you wish. Watch the salt, though--that sausage tends to be salty!) The lid went on and the whole deal simmered for about 30 minutes over low heat.

Wow! The veggies softened further--the eggplant fell right apart, which is really best here so that Mr.W won't know what he's eating--and melted right into that tomato sauce. We ate the whole deal with italian bread for sopping. (It could also be served over your favorite pasta, along with some yummy melted mozzarella or provolone cheese.)

It is a perfect hot-weather meal--easy fix on the stove that didn't really heat up the kitchen at all, made early in the day and reheated in the microwave at dinnertime, served with a nice chunk of italian bread. Yum!

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