Valentine’s Day. If there is one holiday that really rewards a young person’s ability to cook, it’s February 14. There is nothing that earns brownie points quite like cooking someone a romantic dinner. So what should we make this week? Coq au vin? Risotto? Both of those are great ideas.
Or, we could do what I’m doing: celebrating UGA baseball’s opening weekend with tailgate food! So with that in mind, let’s make some Chicago style sausage sandwiches.
1 lb. bratwurst (5-6 sausages)
1 package fresh hoagie rolls (Kroger sells them for $2 a pack)
1 yellow onion
1 red and 1 green bell pepper
Cheese slices (I prefer Muenster or Swiss)
Mustard, for serving. Spicy brown or regular yellow.
1) If you have a grill, which hopefully you do because Spring is coming, grill the sausages until they are cooked through. If you don’t, get out a large frying pan, put a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil in it, and turn the heat to medium. Toss in the sausages and cook until brown on all sides, then lower the heat and cook for 5-10 minutes until fully cooked.
2) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When it’s preheated, peel open the rolls and put them in the oven for 3-5 minutes, or until slightly toasted. You can do this on a grill by placing the open rolls inside the grill, but as far away from the actual fire as possible.
3) Thinly slice the onion, tomatoes, and peppers into strips and sauté them in a separate pan in a bit of oil. Cook the vegetables until they’re soft and slightly browned. If you have a grill, you can cook these veggies on a cast iron skillet over the fire.
4) When the sausages are done (however you cooked them) slice them in quarters (lengthwise then laterally.) Put two to three on each roll, and lay a slice of cheese over them. Smother in vegetables. Smother that in mustard. Close the roll. If you made this entire recipe at the grill, give yourself a pat on the back.
For maximum Valentine’s Day effect, you should cook these before the game (starts at 4) and bring them to the game wrapped in foil like a ballpark dog. You should also eat this while seated at your tailgate in Foley Field’s parking lot and drinking a beer…because of Valentine’s Day.