If you've been a reader of my site, you probably already know that my favorite way to spend time with my husband is over delicious food, good wine, and classic music. Instead of going to the movies or to a fancy restaurant for date night, we head to the store, visit the butcher, pick up some fresh veggies, and head home to prepare for an evening of our favorites. We usually open a bottle of wine and go to our respective areas (me to the kitchen and him to the grill) as we cook a feast that leaves our mouths happy and our bellies full.
Sadly, we noticed that lately our cooking and grilling found itself in a rut. We started to get the nagging feeling that our date nights were becoming a bit too routine in terms of our recipes. That's when my husband turned to a book that I bought him for Christmas last year. You see, I know that my husband is quite the grill master. There is nothing I love more than to see him in his element while he stands by the grill...tongs in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. Hardly anything can get between the man and his grill.
Because he has such a love for the big, stainless steel giant on our deck, I thought I would spice things up a bit by getting him a grilling cookbook. Much to my dismay, the book sat for weeks and weeks...untouched. Oh, the horror. But then soon something started to happen. All of a sudden I saw the book being dusted off and flipped through. The next thing you know, I see my husband sitting down with a piece of paper and pen, jotting down notes and ingredients, and asking all sorts of questions like, "What the heck is Allspice...is it like a deodorant?" Oh my. He is too cute.
When questions like that started pouring out of him, I sat down with him and looked over the recipes that he was eyeing. We talked about certain recipes that peeked our interest, jotted down notes, visited the kitchen to see what ingredients we had on hand, and marked recipes. Before you know it, we had an entire menu planned for the next few days. The bonus part? They all involved the grill thanks to his cookbook. He couldn't have been happier.
After we compiled our list of ingredients, we treated our day just like any other date night. We visited the store, selected our meats, grabbed our veggies, picked out our condiments, and headed home for an epic adventure of grilling and cooking.
The first dish that we prepared together were Grilled Sausage Sandwiches with Onion Sauce and Grilled Red Pepper Relish. Please don't let the name scare you. It might sound like a ton of ingredients and lots of steps. However, I wouldn't be posting the recipe on this site if it wasn't super easy to make.
Once you sink your teeth into these sandwiches, your taste buds will do a happy dance and you will immediately look forward to preparing this dish again and again. I know we are.
Grilled Sausage Sandwiches with Onion Sauce and Grilled Red Pepper Relish
Grilled Red Pepper Relish:
- 2 red bell peppers, grilled, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons dried basil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Grilled Italian Sausage:
- 4 hot or sweet Italian sausage links
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 hoagie buns
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- Make the grilled red pepper relish by combining the peppers, garlic, red wine vinegar, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Toss to incorporate all of the items. Set aside and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
- Make the onion sauce by heating the canola oil in a medium pan. Add the onions into the oil and cook until translucent. Add the chile powder and cinnamon and saute for 1 minute. Pour in the ketchup and hot sauce. Cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
- Prepare the sausage by coating it the extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the grill to medium-high. Place the sausage on the grill and grill for 10-12 minutes or until brown.
- Open the hoagie buns and brush the insides with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on the grill, open-side down, until toasted.
- Create the sandwiches by spreading the Dijon mustard on one side of the hoagie bun. Place a grilled sausage on the mustard. Pour the onion sauce on the sausage and top with the grilled red pepper relish.
How often do you grill?*Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay's Grill It! Cookbook