My husband and I are empty nesters and travel the country in our 5th Wheel due to his line of work. And we have a blast doing so!
Constantly being in an RV has a few cooking hindrances, but we manage. The refrigerator is small which means I go to the store a couple times a week, but I’ve got the time. The kitchen space is quite tight but luckily, we both enjoy grilled food so we are outside cooking a lot. Counter space is limited, very limited but we make it work.
We are currently near Watertown, SD and the local grocery store is HyVee . Today I picked up some sweet red pepper sauce by a brand that is new to me, Gustara. I think the marketing caught my eye. I figured I would grill some jalapeno sausage that I have in the refrigerator that I picked up here a few days ago. We love grilled red peppers and they were on sale at an amazing price, so I snatched some up. We usually grill a few on a regular basis and use them throughout the week on whatever we choose or simply by themselves.
I knew I had penne pasta and fresh parmesan cheese at home but I wanted some mushrooms added to this and since I am going to light the grill, I might as well use it to its fullest and pick up an onion and asparagus too.
We also have a small grill since we have to pack it up and make room in the basement when we move locations. So, I usually have to grill in rotation. I started with the red peppers and onions. I will be putting both of these in the red pepper sauce along with the mushrooms, jalapeno sausage and a can of diced tomatoes. I have 3 large red peppers but will probably only use 2 in the sauce and save the other for another use or a light snack tomorrow.
I want the red peppers to actually char black so I cook them on high after rinsing, drying and rubbing olive oil on them. I used to season them with salt or garlic salt but my husband has to limit his salt intake so I don’t season them any longer. It is quite windy today too so the grill probably won’t get as hot as usual. This is one of those obstacles of living on the road but one that we can hurdle through. Once the peppers heat and char, the skin will begin to crack and they will peel very easily. I will cut the tops off and scrape the seeds out with a knife, then slice them in strips. The juices will run and they will be extremely moist, sweet and delicious.
The onions have been drizzled with olive oil and a small amount of salt and pepper. We prefer them to be somewhat firm so I won’t leave them too long before flipping them. I do want the char marks, but no soggy onions here. You can see I am losing a few through the rack. I don’t have my vegetable pan with me. Otherwise, they would be safe but this will do.
The mushrooms are on the stove in a frying pan, sautéing in butter and are about browned enough that I can now add the sauce to a low simmer. I will be back in to add the grill items throughout the process. I am really hoping this new sauce is as good as it appears. I paid $3.99 for the small bottle but I want to stretch this meal into a few days of lunch too so I will be adding a can of diced tomatoes.
The peppers will need to be rotated on all sides, peppers can be odd shaped and sometimes only want to rest on 3 sides but I think these will be fine to rest on all 4 sides, making my job easier.
The onions and sausage is cooked. My husband likes to know what he is eating so he likes big chucks of vegetables so I will cut the onions in 1/4ths and consider them ready to drop in the sauce as we get closer to finishing as I don’t want them to cook anymore. I will slice each sausage link in approximately 1/2 inch pieces.
Now there is room on the grill for the asparagus. Typically, I cook the asparagus differently than I chose to today. But I have the sauce cooking on the stove, the noodles will be cooking soon and I have food on the grill. So running up and down the steps and back and forth is making me consider taking a short cut today. Plus, my husband will be home soon and I have my hands full. I have the olive oil already outside, so I drizzle it over the asparagus after I cut about 1 inch off the ends, shake some salt and pepper and minced garlic over the oil and they are ready to go on the grill. My husband and I like our asparagus charred also, so I am hoping the wind dies down a bit and allows the grill to get a bit hotter. But we’ll see.
The peppers are about as charred as they are getting due to the grill not getting as hot as I wish, but they will do. The skin slides and peels off nicely, then I will scrap the seeds out and slice in strips and place them in the sauce with the onion.
I have loved my husband since I can remember and have memory of being 5 years old. (he was 11 then) But we’ve only been married 2 ½ years. I always say, he kept me waiting 47 years. I love cooking for him and I know he will enjoy this dish.
1 jar of Gustara Sweet Red Pepper sauce
1 large can diced tomatoes
4 jalepeno and cheddar sausage links
2 large red peppers
1 large sweet onion
1 box penne pasta
1 package baby bella mushrooms
Fresh grated parmesan cheese to top it off with.
I hope you enjoy as much as we did!