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The beloved outdoor gatherings of Spring and Summer truly run the proverbial gamut, ranging from exquisite afternoon brunches to messy Paleolithic reenactments. As a result, it can be difficult to strike the proper balance, especially if your guest list ranges between those who would prefer to be basking poolside over wine, and those whose hearts can only be tamed by the scent of a steak roasting over bourbon soaked hickory logs.
Over the years, one of the most versatile grill items I’ve found is actually one that I least expected to become a barbecue favorite – sausage and peppers. More typically associated with stovetop sauces and traditional Italian fare, this simple, grill-friendly dish is a perennial crowd pleaser at my summer gatherings. Elegantly rustic, while remaining hardy enough to be enjoyed by those starved for barbeque after a long winter, this recipe strikes a deceptive balance. Served either on rolls or a sturdy Italian bread with a splash of yellow mustard and a heaping pile of steak fries, these sausage and peppers are equally suited to sitting down with as a proper meal, or to just eat grill side.
While grilling techniques are as varied as those standing in front of the flame, for the best results I grill strictly with charcoal. I prefer the flavor the open flame imbues to the meat, and the greater control it allows me over my ‘char textures.’ For example, I dare anyone to try and properly flavor a stake with whiskey soaked oak using a gas powered grill. Pro-Tip: It never comes out right, but that’s another post.
Also, I like to take a simple preventative measure against sticking, especially when dealing with more ‘delicate’ items such as sausages. To do so, I light the grill, allow the grate to heat, and then soak a paper towel or rag in vegetable oil, and then, using a pair of tongs, I rub the oiled napkin over the grate until it’s coated in a fine layer of oil. This can be repeated as needed.
As the mustard for this dish, I recommend basic New Heinz® Yellow Mustard, and for several reasons. First, it’s made with 100% all natural ingredients, and stone-ground mustard seeds. Secondly, its blend of spices and vinegar make for a perfect balance of flavor and tang against the acidity of the pepper based sauce, while melding perfectly with the grilled sausages. Finally, its flavor profile is simple and familiar, meaning it will compliment rather than overpower the meal as a whole.
On a side note, Heinz Yellow Mustard also has the added benefit of preventing the bread from becoming soggy, since while it is a thicker mustard in general, its bottling also prevents that ‘first squirt’ of watered down product. Available at Walmart right alongside the Heinz ketchup, they come in bottles of eight, fourteen, and twenty ounces. On an aside, I also like to offer Heinz Ketchup, since I know a few of my guests prefer it regardless of what’s on offer.
With the Spring and Summer grilling only just beginning, these sausage and peppers are sure way to start things off right, while impressing your guests.
Post by Michael Pappas | Recipe by Catherine Pappas