Saturday, June 16, 2012

3 Cheese Hot Sausage & Peppers Twice Baked Potatoes

Hot sausage hoagies in Pittsburgh are a staple of life!  Check out the local sandwich shops (world-renowned Primanti's!), pizza joints, any picnic or wedding in the 'Burgh...yep, hot sausage is there.  Long red links of fennel-flecked, hot pepper-kissed grilled pork adorned with grilled red and green peppers and sweet onions nestled into crusty buns are being greedily consumed all over the city on every night of the week.  Sometimes those hoagies are even covered with oozy, melty provolone...yummmmm.  On Tuesday we tossed a few hot sausages on our own grill…a few too many, if there is such a thing as too many.  But there were plans for the extras.

A while ago I posted a recipe for another favorite sandwich – the Reuben – that was made into a stuffed baked potato.  Yep, last night the traditional hot sausage hoagie turned into a stuffed potato, too!  All the flavors of sweet peppers, garlic, onion, spicy pork, smoky provolone, that make this sandwich the glory that it is, made an amazing stuffed baked potato….and coincidentally stretched those leftovers into a whole new meal that didn't feel or look like reruns.  I added smooth, creamy ricotta and good parm to really take it over the top!  Nice.

Of course, grilled hot sausages with peppers & onions is our local warm weather sausages simmered in red sauce is the cool weather staple.  Wonder what I can do with THAT and a baked potato?  Hmmmmm....

 3 Cheese Hot Sausage & Peppers Twice Baked Potatoes

  • 4 large baked potatoes, slice the tops off & scoop out the potato into a bowl leaving a sturdy shell for stuffing

  • 1 Italian sausage link, cooked leftover - diced small
  • 1/4 cup peppers and onions, leftover - diced small
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • red pepper flakes, to taste - optional
  • 3 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • 6 slices provolone cheese, smoked if you can find it, regular otherwise -  4 slices diced small and 2 slices cut in half and reserved

Use a fork to scoop out the potatoes, scraping to fluff as you go, into a bowl.
Break up the potato well and fluff again.  Add all the ingredients (except the 2 slices of provolone that have been cut in half) and mix well.
Pile the mixture into the potato shells and mound high.  Top each with half a slice of provolone and put into a shallow casserole dish.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden. 

NOTE:  For a gluten-free version, be sure to use GF rolls or bread to make your sandwich!
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