In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

The First Thing I Learned To Cook. Breakfast Vienna Sausages.

Like millions of children across the Caribbean and offspring (like my daughters) with Caribbean heritage around the world, cooking Vienna Sausages (or hot dogs) in tomatoes, is the first thing we learn to cook. We start flexing that culinary freedom, with this classic Hot dog and Sauce (as my girls call it) recipe.

Like most traditional homes in the Caribbean during my childhood, our stove had the propane tank on the side of the stove and mom would never allow us to engage in it’s use (especially since our family home was made of wood and VERY easy to catch on fire). So after we prepped the onion, tomato and sausage we were using (works with any type of hotdogs, sausages or the classic recipe, which is Vienna Sausages from the can), mom or dad would crank-up the stove for us. Yea, we used matches to start the stove too – no automatic starter.

You’ll Need…

3 cans Vienna sausages
1 onion (diced or sliced)
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tomato (diced)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon parsley (chopped fine)
Optional – Scotch bonnet pepper

NOTE! I didn’t take the normal step by step images for this recipe post, so please follow along via the video below.

Prepare the onion, tomato and Scotch Bonnet pepper (if using). Wash, peel, dice etc. For the Scotch bonnet peppers, slice thin and remember to wash your hands with soap and water immediately after handling them.

Add the oil to wide sauce pan on a medium/low heat, then add the onion and tomato and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Then drain, rinse and cut the Vienna Sausages into 1/2 inch pieces. Add them to pan, followed by the ketchup, black pepper and Scotch Bonnet pepper slices. (with hot peppers, note that the raw heat will be close to and including the seeds).

Turn the heat down to low and place a lid over the pan to create a little steam. Cook for about 5 minutes. They (my girls) like it when I’d put 1/4 cup of water and an extra tablespoon of ketchup to form a sauce.

The sort of NEW step is to top with the chopped parsley and in some cases I add a tablespoon of butter. Something we never did as kids growing up. Yea, no salt.. but you can add after you hit it a taste.

What was the first thing you made as a child? Share with us @ Ask Chris.

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1 Comment

  1. Samantha
    August 22, 2020 / 3:39 pm

    Chris, you’re so right, this was the first dish we learn to make too. We used to kind of roast the Vienna first in the pot, with the onions and ketchup. Tried it your way, came out great, had it with some seeded bread for breakfast. You bring back memories with this one. I only had one tin of Vienna so I made that do.

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