After living in New Jersey for the past 5 years I have had my fill on Italian food. There is one restaurant that I could literally eat at every night of the week and that is Guerriero’s in Morristown. This place is unbelievable. One of Tanner’s and my favorite appetizers is sausage and peppers topped with homemade potato chips. This is my copycat version of their amazing appetizer.
16 oz mild Italian sausage
16oz spicy Italian sausage
3-4 long hot peppers (its a New Jersey thing, never heard of them until I moved here)
2 cups peanut oil
1. We are going to start out by taking out a mandoline slicer and slice our potato extremely thin. Essentially we are making potato chips.
***TIP: you don’t need a super fancy expensive mandoline. I got mine from Bed, Bath, and Beyond for somewhere around $10. Its a hand held mandoline that works just as well and any expensive one out there.
2. Once sliced we are going to soak the potato slices in a bowl of water for 30-60 minutes. This allows us to get rid of some of the starchiness of the potato. By getting rid of some of the starch, the potato will fry nicely.
3. After 60 minutes we are going to lay the slices out onto a paper towel to let COMPLETELY dry!!! This is very important because if you try to fry a potato that has water on it, the oil is going to freak out and you will get burned. So please let the potato slices dry.
4. While those are drying we are going to pour our peanut oil into a large sauce pan. I like to also attach my candy thermometer onto the side of the pan so I always know what temperature the oil is during the frying process. You want your oil to reach 350 degrees F.
5. Ok, your potatoes are dried and your oil is set. Do small batches of potatoes for about 2-3 minutes in the oil. The potatoes won’t be fully fried when you remove them because you are going to fry them again for about the same amount time until golden brown. So essentially you will be frying them twice to get a solid chip with a good crunch.
***TIP: don’t just remove the fist batch of potatoes and then throw the second batch in the oil. Take the time to spread the ones you removed from the oil back out onto a paper towel, allowing your oil in your pot to return to 350 degrees F. When you place items in oil to fry, it always drops your temperature so you have to allow the oil to return to temperature before frying another batch of potatoes.
6. Now that you have double fried the potato slices they should be golden brown and sitting on a paper towel to get rid of the excess oil. I like to immediately salt my chips once they are done frying, because I love salt and a plane chip doesn’t do it for me.
7. So our chips are done lets focus on our sausage and long hot peppers (seriously that is their name, who knew!).
8. Place a large sauté pan over medium to medium high heat with a little bit of olive oil in the pan. I don’t have a huge skillet so I do each sausage one at a time.
9. Sear each side of your sausage, about 3-4 minutes on each side until browned.
10. Remove the first sausage from the pan and cut into small chucks. Place the other sausage into the pan and repeat the browning instructions.
***TIP: the sausage won’t be fully cooked the first time you move it and cut into chunks, so don’t panic
11.When the second sausage is browned remove and cut into chunks as well. Place all chunks back into the sauté pan and brown all sides of the sausage chunks.
12. Once all the sausage chunks look browned and cooked through add your long hot peppers to the pan with the sausage. You are going to sear all sides of the pepper and also gain flavor by cooking it in the oils from the sausage. The peppers take about 5-8 minutes cooking, just remember to rotate the peppers so they brown on all sides.
13. Finally it is time to eat. Plate the peppers and sausage onto a large plate. Top the sausage and peppers with your homemade potato chips. These chips will help cool off your mouth from some of the heat from the peppers, but also add a much needed crunch for the appetizer.