Monday, June 22, 2009
For Christmas last year, I got a meat grinder. Fancy, huh? But, it was something I had really wanted and had thought about for a long time. Y'all, it was the best use of $45 ever. It makes it so easy to have sausage any time you want. I've ground 15 pounds of sausage over the last 6 months, and we've experimented with the flavorings that we like best. The best part? I use a boston butt to make the sausage, at less than half the price of store-bought sausage.
I haven't tried smoked sausage yet, but that's next on my list. Andouille--here I come!
So, this meal utilizes some of that homemade sausage. I season double ground pork pretty heavily to make the sausage. You could easily substitute non-seasoned ground pork, ground beef, or even (gasp!) store-bought sausage. Any of those would be good.
The above picture is stuffed eight-ball zuchinni squash. This week, Kroger has bell peppers on sale. This filling is appropriate for any vegetable. I've done zuchinni, peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms. For whatever vegetable I use, I like to chop the part that I scoop out and add it to the filling. Oh, and I use half peppers (cut lengthwise) for stuffed peppers. My husband will eat them, but they aren't his favorite, so I cut down on the size of the pepper serving a wee bit for his sake.
bell peppers--on sale 6/$2.99--use 2 for stuffing, plus 1 for the filling--$1.50
1 pound ground sausage--boston butt on sale $1.29/lb--$1.29
Italian seasoning--dried or fresh
salt and pepper to taste
1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes--$0.50 for FMV brand
mozzarella--on sale $1.03 when you buy 10--$0.52
Brown sausage with onion and 1 chopped pepper until meat is browned and vegetables are soft. Drain any excess fat from the pan. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning (or basil, oregano, and thyme). Add about 1/3 of canned tomatoes to mixture. Add bread crumbs until mixture has the consistency of meatballs. Stuff mixture into halved bell peppers. Place in baking dish, top with remaining tomatoes, and then top each pepper half with shredded mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for approx 30 minutes, until filling is hot and peppers are cooked through.
Serve over a bed of pasta (approx $1).