David Theiss: Sports and eating are 2 of America’s favorite pastimes | NevadaAppeal.com

David Theiss: Sports and eating are 2 of America’s favorite pastimes

David Theiss
For the Nevada Appeal
This Italian sausage sandwich is a nice touch to your Super Bowl party.
Courtesy | Nevada Appeal

I was doing research the other day into how much food Americans consume during the Super Bowl, and it’s staggering. For American holidays, Super Bowl Sunday is second only to Thanksgiving in food consumption, although this sporting event is less traditional when it comes to what kind of food is prepared. Opinions differ as to what is eaten most, depending on the region of the game. Here are some numbers, according to the Huffington Post.

1.23 billion chicken wings

11.2 million pounds of potato chips

3.8 million pounds of popcorn

4 million pretzels

79 million pounds of avocados for dip

50 million cases of beer

$2.3 million on soda

2.5 million pounds of nuts

I have a suggestion for something different for your party. This is a great American sidewalk food, the grilled Italian sausage sandwich with sautéed onions and peppers.

Italian sausage sandwiches are known as an Italian sausage sub in most parts of the United States. Italian sausage originated in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan by immigrants from northern Italy.

In America, Italian sausage has a unique flavor profile described as a coarsely ground pork sausage uncured and not smoked with a delicate flavor of fennel. Usually stuffed into casings, it is linked and sold fresh. As with all sausages, flavor changes significantly from region to region and butcher to butcher.

Our Italian sausage has always been a staple sausage. We make it fresh and often, as it is a very popular product. We use only quality ingredients which shows in the final product. It is also very versatile and can be used for recipes as an ingredient for pizza toppings, lasagna or spaghetti sauce, or it stands alone as a tasty grilled sausage.

For this recipe you’ll need some of our Italian sausage, either mild or sweet — or if you like it a little hotter, try our hot Italian sausage.

italian sausage sandwich

Serves 4

1 pound Italian sausage 4 links

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow sweet onion

4 cloves garlic

2 bell peppers (green, red, or yellow or mix them)

1/3 cup white or red wine which ever you prefer

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 hoagie rolls

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

8 slices mozzarella cheese

To cook the sausages, use a large sauté pan and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place sausages in pan and cook over medium heat, turning several times to create a brown crust on the outside of the sausage. Total cook time is 8-10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Peel and mince garlic. Slice onion into quarter-inch strips. Remove stem and seeds from peppers, cutting into quarter-inch slices. In the same pan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and introduce the garlic, onions and pepper mixture with some salt and pepper, cooking for about five minutes over high heat. Reduce heat to low and return the sausages to the pan. At this time add your wine and simmer for another five minutes, covered.

While waiting for the meal to simmer, prepare your rolls. Slice and open rolls. Melt butter and mix one clove of minced garlic into melted butter and spread onto the rolls. Next, lay two pieces of mozzarella cheese opposite each other and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top of the mozzarella. Open-faced, place in hot broiler for about one minute until cheese is melted; remove from oven and place sausage into the roll and top with the onion-pepper mixture. Good mustard could be used as a condiment. Serve immediately.

David Theiss is the owner of Butler Gourmet Meats in Carson City.