Allow me to explain: I was in Toronto’s Greektown, stopped to see my friends at Megas on the Danforth (near Chester Subway). The proprietor and chef, Niko had invited me to sit with him and a couple of other fellas as they were about to eat a late dinner, as Greeks often do.
Among the array of dishes came this sausage that was butterflied, pan-fried and topped with melted cheese, onions, ripe tomato slices, peppers and mushrooms. I loved it, made my own version and that we’re into Autumn, time to share this simple yet delicious dish.
You can use whatever sausage you like but I kept it Greek with a Peloponnesian sausage with orange zest (try some from Mr. Greek Meats on the Danforth). As for cheese, I like cheeses with flavour and a Cretan Graviera (much like a Gruyere melts well and it doesn’t steal the show.
The last component is the topping of sweated onions, peppers and mushrooms…something accessible to everyone. This is a hearty appetizer, account for half a sausage per person or a whole one if you’re eating for dinner.
Loukaniko Gemisto (Stuffed Sausage)
4 orange-scented Greek sausages
extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 bell pepper (choose your colour), halved and sliced
1 cup sliced white mushrooms
4 slices of ripe tomato
1 cup of grated Graviera cheese
salt and pepper to taste
dried Greek oregano
- Place your sausages on a cutting board and place one with the curved ends facing up then slice down the middle to open up into one flat piece of sausage (do not cut in two). Repeat with other sausages.
- Place a large oven proof skillet on your stovetop and add a little olive oil, bring up to medium-high heat. Place the sausages face down (skin side up) and saute for 2-3 minutes or until slightly browned and crisp. Carefully flip the sausages and cook for another minute then carefully remove and reserve.
- In the same pan, add some olive (if needed) and add the onions, peppers and mushrooms and over medium heat, sweat for 5-6 minutes, add some salt and pepper and once the onions are translucent. Remove all the veggies then add the tomatoes and cook them for a minute, just enough to soften and reserve.
- Place the sausages flat in the skillet (you may also grill), sprinkle each sausage with cheese, followed by tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and peppers. Pre-heat your oven to 450F and place the skillet in the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese has just melted.
- Carefully remove from the oven, sprinkle with dried Greek oregano and serve crusty grilled bread, fries or baked potato and a Greek beer, FIX beer that is!
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