I ran across this contest on www.tastespotting.com recently. Use Johnsonville Italian sausage in an original or not-so-original way – should be fun, right? It was. My first attempt was a sausage, cheese and maple scone that looked great but didn’t quite make the cut in the taste area. Needed probably more cheese and a bit more fluffiness. Probably needs to be a biscuit. A big, fat biscuit. I wanted the sausage and cheese to combine with the pure maple syrup to make the ultimate breakfast bread.
I will be tweaking this and trying to get it perfected because Joanna and I think it really has potential. So stay tuned for all that.
So, here’s the final recipe. Mr. Dixie thoroughly enjoyed it.
Italian Sausage Reubens with Caramelized Onions
1 pound Johnsonville Italian Sausage
10 slices Jewish Rye bread
5 slices Swiss cheese
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup sauerkraut
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup catsup (ketchup) what’s the difference? No one has ever told me
1 tbsp pickle relish
1 dash tabasco sauce
In a small sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat; add onions and sea salt. Combine and reduce heat to low. Cover, but leave a small opening for steam to escape. Simmer onions for 2-3 hours, until caramelized and very soft. Add sauerkraut and simmer for about 15-20 minutes longer.
Combine the mayo, catsup, relish and hot sauce in a small bowl; chill.
Remove casings from sausage. Slice sausages vertically (to make two long halves). In a large pan, saute them over medium heat until done in the middle and browned, turning about every few minutes; set aside. Heat a panini grill over medium-high heat. (You can also put these back in your pan if you don’t have a panini grill to grill the sandwich and melt the cheese). Brush melted butter on one side of each slice of bread. Spread the dressing on one side (unbuttered side) of 4 pieces. When the grill is ready, place one bread slice (or two, depending on how big your grill is), buttered side down and dressing side up. Layer the sausage first, followed by onion/sauerkraut mixture and then cheese. Top the sandwiches off with the remaining bread and grill for about 2-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the bread is nicely browned.
Dip in the remaining sauce.