Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Meal Under $10: Sausage, Pepper and Potatoes Skillet...

With prices going up at the stores, it's nice to know you can still make a delicious and hearty meal for the family on a budget. Inspired by sausage links on sale for $2.99/lb., a bag of potatoes and ingredients in my fridge, here is a cheap and cheerful weeknight skillet that cooks up for under $10. Sausage, pepper and potatoes is quite a popular skillet dish, but with grape and plum tomatoes on my counter, they also went in giving the meal added flavour and dimension. To facilitate the cooking, I like to boil my potatoes first, before sautéing. And I've got a cool trick to share that makes peeling that much easier. In fact, I cooked up a few extra potatoes (not for the dish) just to experiment with the hack:).

Sausage, Pepper and Potatoes Skillet
Makes 4-6 servings

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small white onion, chopped or thinly sliced 
3 to 4 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes (see how to prepare in directions)

salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. Italian sausages (mild), cooked and sliced (I cook mine in the toaster oven until done)
1 coloured bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup grape tomatoes 
2 plum tomatoes, diced
2 green onions, chopped
1 jalapeno, sliced (optional)

I hate peeling potatoes, because frankly you never just peel one, and the irregular shaped ones (because wonky veggies are beautiful), makes it unfriendly to completely get around tidily with the peeler. I came across this neat trick in a video on YouTube, and couldn't wait to give it a try. This simple trick shows you a speedy way to peel your potatoes by boiling them but first you have to nick them. 

Hold a potato in one hand, and score all around the diameter of its centre with a knife nicking it about 1/4" deep. Repeat until all done. Place into a pot of boiling water to cover and cook until 80% done (the reason for this is that you will be skillet-frying them and don't want the potatoes to be mushy). Drain; run cold water in pot. Pick up each potato and the centre seam should be opened. Gently tug at the skins on both ends and they should pull away easily. (The potatoes may be cool on the surface but they are still hot underneath). Slice the potatoes into less than 1/2"-inch slices; set aside.

I should have cooked the potatoes in the same skillet so there's one less pot to wash!

See short video on how to peel potatoes super quick. 

Add the olive oil to large skillet. Fry the potatoes along with the onions for about two minutes, allowing for each side to brown slightly before flipping. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the sliced sausage links. Sauté sausage with the potatoes for three minutes to brown slightly. Toss in the peppers and mix them in with the potatoes and sausage. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute. Add the tomatoes and cook another minute more. 

Garnish with green onions and sliced jalapenos, and sprinkle with paprika if desired. A true hearty meal-in-a-skillet, this could become your favourite weeknight dinner to whip up in a flash-- loaded with flavour, meat, potatoes and veggies. All it might need is a little something something on the side like a leafy green or fruit salad. Try pairing it with our family favourite-- Creamy Dill Apple Salad for crunch. YUM!

What are your favourite meals on a budget?

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