Saturday, February 05, 2011

Hot and Sweet Sausage Sandwich

On the eve of Super Bowl Sunday I always get a little nostalgic. I think back to that hot August day when I first hear the catchy NFL theme song and I know that what awaits me are many a Sundays napping in front of the TV while that creepy Fox Network robot does his darnedest to make me watch only the games being aired on Fox. Lucky for him, Fox is the station that airs my beloved Panthers’ games so in spite of his weirdness, I inevitably spend at least four hours a weekend marveling at his quirkiness.

Alas, the Panthers haven’t played since December but that doesn’t mean I have been disinterested in the game. In fact, instead of feeling obligated to pull for my hometown team, I now have the freedom to do more research on each game and make a more-educated choice on what team I will be rooting for. Or I have been pulling for the team with the cutest quarterback. Hence my choice to pull for the Packers tomorrow. (I think Aaron Rodgers looks a lot like Jim from the Office.)

So, in honor of this last-Sunday-of-football-for-the-next-six-months-(pending-a-lockout), there is no reason not to have a party and celebrate the culmination of another season. And so you can spend time decorating homemade sugar cookies with both the Steelers and the Packers logos (kudos if you make jerseys with the name and number of each person on both rosters), I recommend making this hearty sandwich dish for dinner. Made in a slow cooker (old-school, right?), you can set everything up before you go about your Sunday morning business and have it ready to eat by game time. Touchdown!

Hot and Sweet Sausage Sandwich*
Makes 8 to 10 Servings
From the
Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes

4 to 5 pounds hot Italian sausages (If you follow this recipe exactly, you will purchase a boatload of sausages. Four pounds of sausages turned out to be 20 good-sized links. Robbie will be eating off of this for days.)
1 jar (26 ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 large onion, sliced (Vidalia preferred) (Dear Cookbook Authors, Did you know Vidalia onions have an incredibly small growing season and are therefore not available on a regular basis? Therefore, please encourage your readers to use any sweet yellow onion. Love, MJ)
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
¼ c packed dark brown sugar
Italian rolls, cut in half
Provolone cheese, sliced (optional) (Or, mandatory if you are in my house.)

Brown sausages in a skillet on the stove (this is optional but I found it useful). Combine sausages, spaghetti sauce, onion, bell peppers and sugar in a 5-quart slow cooker. Cover; cook on Low 8 to 10 hours or on High 4 to 6 hours. Place sausages on rolls and top with vegetable mixture. Add provolone cheese if desired.

*This was originally called “Big Al’s Hot and Sweet Sausage Sandwich.” I have no idea who Al is nor do I feel it is that much of a compliment to have a sandwich named after you so I will keep it just “Hot and Sweet Sausage Sandwich.”

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