Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Breakfast "hot dogs"

I don't know if you've heard, but I have a thing for planning.  And making lists. "Spontaneous" is a word that hasn't even met the rest of my vocabulary.

The last time I used "spontaneous" was when making the itinerary for my recent trip to Las Vegas.  And it went something like this: "1:30-4:00pm - Plan to be spontaneous!"  True story.

For the record, we did use that time to totally indulge our whims.  Our lunch ran late -- gasp! -- and we traipsed around with reckless abandon, stopping at a mega mall and for two desserts, none of which were on the itinerary -- rebels on the run!

One thing I'm rarely spontaneous with is my grocery shopping.  I create a meal plan, make a list, and visit the store once a week to buy food and stick to said list.  I've discovered that I spend much less (and waste less food!) with  my once a week strategy.

But rules are meant to be broken.  Especially when a) a scheduled dinner out is canceled and more food is consumed at home than planned during the week, and b) you get an idea and won't let anything stand in your way of getting it right this instant.

I suppose this is what happens when you regularly watch Food Network while at the gym.  Usually it's after work and before dinner, but this time it was early one weekend morning when the idea hit me.

Breakfast hot dogs!

Still wearing gym clothes, I high-tailed it to the store to pick up the the goods to make a special breakfast.

Juicy chicken sausage, sauteed peppers and onions, all nestled in a freshly toasted bun with maple honey mustard sauce.  Because a hot dog wouldn't be a hot dog without mustard, right?

The maple honey mustard took the breakfast hot dog from great to grand!  Sweet, tangy and lick-the-ramekin good.  The maple in the mix really brought out the maple flavor in the chicken sausage.  Perfect with the seasoned peppers and onions, too.

This little foray into early morning spontaneity was not only inexpensive (excluding pantry ingredients, $6.56 for 6 buns, 2 sausages, pepper, and onion) but such a delicious departure from staples like cereal, smoothies, and eggs.  And, truth be told, it didn't take all that much more time than it would to make a regular omelet.  Treat yourself some morning ASAP!

Sorry, Kashi.  I love you deeply, but you had a snowball's chance in Hell competing with a breakfast like this!  Sorry, I'm not really sorry.

Two years ago: Zucchini bread
Three years ago: Walnut shortbread wedges

Breakfast "Hot Dogs"
-serves 2

A few notes: Any sausage would do, but the subtle apple and maple flavors mixed with the chicken seemed so breakfast-y. 

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small green pepper, julienned
1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
Ground black pepper
2 apple maple chicken sausage
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
Butter, room temperature
2 sausage rolls

In a skillet over medium heat, add oil, peppers, and onions, tossing to coat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, until onions are translucent and peppers have softened slightly.  Add sausage and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side.  Remove onions and peppers to plate and cover pan with lid, cooking 5 minutes until cooked through completely.  (Cut open to check doneness.)  Remove from heat. 

Preheat broiler.  While sausage is cooking, whisk together mustard, honey, and maple syrup in a small bowl.  Lightly butter, if desired, sausage bun and place under broiler briefly to toast.  To assemble, place sausage in bun, top with peppers and onions, and drizzle with sauce.  Enjoy immediately!

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