Fresh Roasted Pepper and Sausage Dip – Is cream cheese considered a seasonal food? Well…maybe not. But the variety of freshly roasted peppers in this sinful sausage dip might just make it okay to ignore that little oversight. I used a red bell pepper, for color and sweetness, and then a mix of yellow and green peppers including Pasilla, Anaheim, yellow pepper or banana pepper, Serrano and Jalapeno. see also : Fresh Skillet Tomato Sauce and Parmesan Egg
Each has a different flavor and level of heat that it brings to the dip give the overall a dip a more complex layering of flavors. If you really like spice you could roast a Habanero in there, which has a wonderful flavor and the roasting process will mellow out the heat a bit.
And try to use the best quality sausage you can find. If you have a local butcher shop or a Whole Foods nearby I’d go with their house sausage. This dip has a lot of sausage in it and the quality of the meat is going to come through in every bite. I used half spicy and half mild but you could use any combination you like to vary the heat more or less.
- Rub a small amount of oil onto each pepper and place under a broiler or on a gas grill and turn with tongs until all sides are charred. The bigger peppers will take a little longer to char all the way around so watch and turn carefully. Remove from oven or grill and place in a glass bowl and cover with saran wrap. This step helps remove the skins. When cool enough to handle, and wearing latex gloves if your hands are sensitive, remove the skins, tops and seeds from the peppers and chop into even pieces. This step can be done several hours ahead of time or even a day ahead and refrigerated.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium to medium high heat and then add the olive oil and leeks and sausage. While cooking break the sausage down into smaller even sized chunks with a wooden spoon. Cook until the sausage is browned and then remove from heat and let cool.
- In a large bowl place the softened cream cheese and mayonnaise and add in the onion granules and garlic powder, Tobasco, ¾ cups parmesan cheese and lemon zest and juice. Season with a little salt and pepper and mix to combine with a rubber spatula until all the flavors are incorporated evenly.
- Gently fold in the roasted peppers and the cooked sausage and leeks. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Place in an oven proof baking dish and top with the remaining parmesan cheese. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
- Bake on 350 for approximately 25 minutes and then place under the broiler for 3-4 minutes to brown the top. see also : Habanero Spiked Ketchup recipe
Serves 8-10 as an appetizer