Monday, October 24, 2011

Cheating on the Diet - Sweet Sausage, Tomato, Sauerkraut and Hot Pepper Hoagie

Sweet sausage hero

Even though I can be a fanatic about eating properly, I think it's important to throw caution to the wind every now and then and chow down on something that is decidely not skinny.  That's what I did this weekend.  Amazingly, the world didn't come to an end.

There goes the diet!

Sweet Sausage and heirloom tomatoes

I went 7 days of being very strict and only having fish for dinner and my usual low fat or no fat soup and salad for lunch and cereal and fruit for breakfast, time to live it up a little. 

Love heirloom tomatoes!

Whether you're cooking fat or skinny, presentation is almost as important as taste.  And\ easy way to amp up the visuals (and taste) is to use heirloom cherry tomatoes.  The flecks of color really brighten up a dish, and they're as tasty as they look.  Always cut them in half.  I sprinkled with coarse sea salt above.

Start cooking the sausage first - the tomatoes cook very quickly

Once one side has the char flip it and add the tomatoes

Everyone in the pool

I tried two different methods of cooking this sandwich.  The first go round I cooked everything in my cast iron skillet - the sausage, tomatoes and sauerkraut.  I added the roll at the end of the process.  The roll got a little extra charred and absorbed some of the liquid from the sauerkraut.  It was actually delicious - I added a little Dijon mustard to the sausage and piled everything else on top.

First method

Second method

The second time around I grilled the roll first and put it in a warm oven.  I cooked the sausage and added the tomatoes, but I microwaved the saurkraut in a separate dish.  This was very good, too.  If you want the roll dry and crispy go with the second method.  Method two will probably appeal to more of you.  With the first method and you grill everything together, the roll gets a bit soggy - but I like it because it was soggy with the saurkraut liquid.  

Decide for youself.  Life is full of such tough decisions!


1 link sweet Italian sausage (or hot if you prefer)
1/2 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes sliced in half (or regular if you can't get heirlooms)
1 tspn extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup saurkraut
1/4 cup hot banana peppers (from a jar)
1 brioche hero roll
Dijon mustard to taste


Pre-heat cast iron skillet over medium heat
Split roll and grill face down for a few seconds (or wait till the end if cooking everything together)
Place roll in a 200 degree oven
Add oil to pan
Grill sausage until grill marks form - about 1 - 2 minutes each side
After the first side of the sausage is cooked add tomatoes
Prepare sauerkraut - either add to pan or put in microwave for 20 - 30 seconds - it cooks very quickly
When the sausage has the grill marks on the second side remove from heat and finish off in the microwave for 45 seconds.  You don't want the inside to be raw.

Note:  I purchased sausage at Citarella and at Eataly.  The sausage from Eataly was far superior.


  1. Chris this looks yummy. But reminds me of that classic Golden Girls episode when they went grocery shopping.

    Blanche asks Dorothy "What's that?"
    Dorothy: "It's an Italian Sausage."
    Blanche: "It's OBNOXIOUS" (add Southern accent here).