Italian Sausage Sandwich, Chicago-Style

Italian Sausage, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
This similar to the Italian Beef Sandwich recipe I previously posted, but uses large Italian sausage links instead of Italian Beef.  

I grew up liking both, but my mom's favorite was sausage which was more available at the grocer or butcher shop, plus she used it for other Italian dishes.  I like it spicy, even hot, but mild sausage is just as tasty for this sandwich.

It's meal by itself, or serve with a side:  slaw, cottage cheese, fries, or tossed salad.

Italian Sausage Sandwich, Chicago-Style
4 Italian sausage links, about 4 oz. in size
1 green pepper cut in strips
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves of minced garlic
4 slices of Provolone cheese or cheese of choice
4 hoagie buns
Italian Sausage, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone Appsalt and pepper

Italian Sausage, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppSaute onions, peppers and garlic until soft and translucent on one side of the pan; season to taste.  Saute sausage on the other of pan until browned.

Meanwhile open and lightly toast the buns, then spread on mayonnaise on each half. Slice each sausage down the its length to open butterfly style. Place cheese on bun, then sausage, then top with pepper and onion mixture.

Note: I've made these using warmed flour tortillas, and rolling everything up in them, and they're just as tasty.

Estimated Cost: $6.00 or less; $1.50 per serving or less with bun

Tilapia with Salsa

Tilapia with Salsa, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppIn recent years my local grocer began carrying Tilapia, an economical mild tasting white fish, firm enough for several kinds of seafood recipes.  Since I try to serve fish one or twice a week, I watch for sales then stock up.

I've used it in fish chowders, made it blackened like blackened salmon, or baked with a mayo Parmesan topping, but the easiest way is sauteed and topped with warm salsa.  I'm all for attractive, fast, and easy when it comes to cooking, so I probably make it this way more often than any other way.

Tilapia with Salsa
4 Tilapia fillets 3 to 4 oz. in size
flour for dusting
salt and pepper
2 Tabs. each oil & butter for frying
1 to 1-1/2 cups of salsa
parsley for garnish

Tilapia, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppHeat skillet on medium high with mixture of oil and butter.  Salt and pepper fillets and dust or lightly coat with flour.

Frying about 2-3 minutes on each side until cooked and lightly browned.  Place on serving platter. Meanwhile, warm salsa and spread over fillets before serving. Top with sprinkle of parsley or other herb.

With this dinner I served a salad and fried red potatoes.

Estimated Cost: $5.00 or less; $1.25 per serving or less.

Italian Giardiniera Mix, Homemade

Italian GiardinieraSprinkle these treat on salads, or serve on a relish tray.  My husband especially likes pickled cut veggies, and for years bought jars at the grocery store.  

Several years ago a golfing friend shared this recipe, and I tweaked it adding celery, jalapeno peppers with a few red pepper flakes, as fresh chili peppers aren't an ingredient always on hand.

Examining jars in the store I noted they mostly contain cauliflower, carrots, celery and a pepperoncini or two, so I improvised using my melon baller to cut out rounds of onions as a substitute for pearl onions.  All in all it's a very good clone, and of course saves money over buying commercial jars.

You can be creative by combining the kinds and amounts of cut veggies you want in the jar, but cauliflower florettes are the main ingredient.

Italian Giardiniera Mix, Homemade
Fresh chili peppers of choice, or red pepper flakes, or jalapeno slices
2 cups water
2 cups vinegar
2 tsp. salt
cauliflower, cut in florettes or smaller
carrots, cut in thin coins or use baby carrots
pearl onions or largely chopped
garlic cloves, whole, or a  tsp. of minced
pitted green olives
sliced red and/or green pepper pieces
sliced celery pieces
2 quart jars

If using fresh chilies, poke several holes near the stem, or use pepper flakes.
Combine water, vinegar, salt and pepper flakes and boil for one minute.

Fill jars with assortment of veggies and pour hot liquid over and screw on lid.  Cool and refrigerate for two weeks.  This recipe makes enough liquid for two quart jars.  If making more double the water and vinegar.  Store in refrigerator.

Estimated cost: for 2 quarts  $3.00 or less.