Heathens, the Catholics in this world have a little Lenten observance of not eating meat on Fridays. Silly as it sounds, and inspired by an olden Papal conspiracy with the cod markets as it was, the tradition still holds true for many in America to this day. They avoid chicken, pork and red meat, abstaining, and instead feasting on fish fries, crawdads and other equally delicious sea life.
A day of the week without meat? Yeah, it sucks, but priests and heart scientists agree it is sometimes beneficial, for souls and cholesterol, respectively. Awful as it sounds to avoid steaks and ribs, seafood is awesome, so the practice of abstaining can be very easy. However for some, seafood is gross. For others, it’s relegated to cans and frozen bags of skrimp. Thus seafood is not always a delicious option.
Luckily, Chicago’s Italian community comes through yet again with a fantastic sandwich to fill the Friday void in Lent – the Pepper and Egg. They’ve given us the Chicken Parmesan and the Italian Beef, and they absolutely love fish (see “Feast of the Seven Fishes”), but interestingly enough their Lenten blessing includes neither beef, veal, chicken nor fish. It’s peppers, some veggies, and eggs… on an Italian loaf or hoagie roll. We’re going to doll ours up a bit with our own hints to heavenly eats, but rest assured, Mama Maria Scarpino-Giuloggio gives her olive-skinned blessing.
2 red peppers, stripped
mozzarella cheese (or whatever you have handy)
1/4 onion diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
hoagie buns, French rolls or baguette cut
Heat oil in skillet, about 3-4 tbsp.
Add pepper strips, season with salt.
Cook 5-7 minutes.
While that is cooking, mix eggs, a spoonful of sour cream, dash of milk and some cheese.
Turn peppers, add onion and garlic.
Cook until onion is translucent and peppers tender.
Add the scrambled egg mixture, dash of black pepper.
Cook over LOW until the eggs are no longer wet, but no longer than that. Dry eggs suck.
Serve on the roll, top with giardiniera or cheese, dash of black pepper.