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Sunday Supper & More

A dirty little secret to stretching a meal

Use sausage and peppers in Cajun rice

italian sausages and peppers (Karoline Boehm Goodnick for the Boston Glone)
Start with Italian sausages and peppers
dirty rice (Karoline Boehm Goodnick for the Boston Glone)
End with Dirty rice
By Karoline Boehm Goodnick
Globe Correspondent / August 4, 2010

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Italian sausage and bell peppers make a hearty pair, no matter how you do them — grilled and lightly charred, braised in beer, slow cooked, served on a bun, or tossed with pasta.

Another great way to present the satisfying duo is to cook them in a skillet and spoon them over soft polenta. Brown the sausages and remove them from the pan, then cook the onions and peppers in the meaty bits. Simmer them together in beer. Stir a potful of golden polenta while they cook. Slowly stream polenta flour into boiling water and keep stirring until it thickens. Season with butter and cheese.

The following day, leftover sausages, peppers, and onions become dirty rice, a Cajun specialty in which ground meat muddies (in a good way) white grains. The mixture is cooked pilaf style, typically with chicken livers. Cooking the livers separately guarantees a crispy exterior and pleasant flavor. Chop them finely and stir them into the cooked rice with a classic New Orleans garnish of scallions and parsley. Serve with a splash of Louisiana hot sauce. Beads optional.

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