I learned very quickly as a new wife that when it came to game day food (and particularly for Steelers game day) there was really only one option...Italian Sausage. After a couple football seasons as husband and wife, I can make a mean sausage and peppers hoagie...but it is usually around this time in the season that I'm over the hoagie and looking for something different. I found this recipe last year and it is definitely one of our favorites. It combines his hometown tradition with my good ol' southern staple...grits! And not just any grits...perfectly cheesy parmesan grits. I made some healthier substitutions to the original November 2006 Southern Living Recipe which I included below.
Italian Sausage with Tomato-Pepper Relish
(Serves 5...or 2 really hungry guys and a girl)
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
1 (16-20-oz.) package uncooked hot Italian chicken sausage links
1 cup water
1 large green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Parmesan Cheese Grits (Recipe below)
1. Drain tomatoes, reserving juice; set tomatoes aside.
2. Brown sausage links in a nonstick skillet over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Add reserved tomato juice and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer, turning occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.
3. Sauté peppers and onion in hot oil in another large nonstick skillet 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in tomatoes; cook until thoroughly heated. Remove sausage links from skillet, discarding liquid; cut links into bite-size pieces. Serve sausage over Parmesan Cheese Grits; top evenly with pepper mixture.
Parmesan Cheese Grits
1 (14-oz.) can low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups skim milk
3/4 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1. Bring chicken broth and 1 1/2 cups milk just to a boil in a large saucepan. Slowly stir in grits and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 7 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Add Parmesan cheese and pepper, stirring until cheese is melted.