Now, there are recipes and then there are RE-CI-PES! Man, this one is out of the ballpark. I don’t know what it is — the creaminess of the pasta and cheese or the heat from the sausage, but boy this is a winner in my book.
One thing I love about this recipe is how quick and easy it is to make. Plus it’s super versatile too. You can use just about any kind of sausage and replace Pecorino or Grana Padano in place of the Parmesan. Heck, I even replaced the orzo with tiny star-shaped pasta. Okay, I named more than one thing that I love about this recipe… but who’s counting?
I like to think that because you can substitute just about everything in here, this dish could be a healthier version of an Italian meal. Substitute turkey Italian sausage for a lower fat content and low-sodium broth for the pasta water. You shouldn’t lose much flavor because of all of the spices that are waltzing around on your taste buds.
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth and 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the pasta and bring back to a boil. Cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. This will depend on your pasta so read the directions on the box, approximate 8 minutes or so. Drain your pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the sausage links, cover and saute until cooked through. You will need to turn these over after a couple of minutes to brown each side. Remove the sausage once they are cooked and cut them into coins. You may want to cut the coins in half to disperse the sausage throughout the pasta more. Place the sausage back into the pan and add the garlic, peppers, tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Stir for about two minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to form a bit of a watery sauce.
Add your cooked pasta into the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of parsley, most of your Parmesan and toss well to combine. Add the reserved pasta liquid to loosen the pasta if necessary. Top with Parmesan and sprinkle with remaining parsley before serving.
Happy belated Turkey Day everybody! I hope this post finds you (full and) well. At our celebration this year, we gorged on THREE different kinds of turkeys — smoked, deep-fried and traditional roasted. The holy trinity of turkey!
On top of that we had enough fixin’s to choke a horse (mind the expression). Even after everybody took their share of goodies home with them for leftovers, there is STILL a fridge full of food.
It’s been one turkey-filled weekend! I have had turkey for just about every meal this weekend… and that includes breakfast. I must add that pie is probably my favorite breakfast food. Don’t tell Aunt Jemima.
I am finding myself on the edge of full turkey saturation. I don’t know how much more I can take. It has been a fun adventure coming up with different ways to dress the leftovers to trick your brain into thinking you’re eating something different. Here’s a great breakfast to toss some of your leftover turkey into and an excuse to make Hollandaise Sauce too.
Thinking outside of the box: Instead of using English Muffins, make potato patties out of your leftover mashed potatoes. Take your cold potatoes and form them into patties. Dredge in flour, then egg, then flour again, and pan fry them in a little oil until crisp.
Bacon or parsley, for decoration (bacon is awesome but this dish is already very rich so I omitted using it in the actual dish)
Butter and toast your bread, cut side down, in a frying pan on medium heat (be sure to check these once in a while because if you're anything like me, they'll burn before you know it). Set these on your serving plates, cut side up, once they're toasted.
In a non-stick skillet, spray with non-stick spray and saute your spinach over medium heat. Add your turkey next to the spinach in the same pan to warm. Remove from heat and set aside after the spinach is wilty and the turkey is hot.
Fill a 10-inch non-stick skillet half full of water. Add vinegar to the cooking water (this will help the egg white cook fast so it does not spread). Bring water to a slow boil. Gently break 1 of the eggs into the water taking care not to break it. Repeat with remaining eggs. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 3 minutes until the egg white is set and the yolk remains soft. Removed with slotted spoon, allowing the egg to drain.
To assemble, add the spinach first, turkey then egg on top of your bread. Spoon hollandaise sauce over the eggs and garnish. Serve with crispy hash browns or a mixed green salad.
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil (sweet or thai)
2 teaspoons hot chili sauce (like Sriracha)
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 pound ground turkey
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons oil, for brushing
For the spicy garlic sauce:
1/8 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup water
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
2 teaspoons hot chili sauce (like Sriracha)
2 teaspoons cornstrach
Make the sauce. Whisk all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a minute or two until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (this happened really quickly for me! Don't walk away from your stovetop while you do this). Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix all meatball ingredients except for the oil with your hands (get messy). Roll the mixture into balls roughly 1-inch in diameter. Place them on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray, brush the tops with the oil, and bake them for 12 minutes, or until cooked through. Sometimes I put these under a broiler for a couple minutes too, depending on how brown they get.
Serve the meatballs with sauce and additional chopped basil and green onion, if desired.
Stir fry is one of my all time favorite dishes. There’s something about crisp, fresh veggies and a quick cooking method that makes me a happy girl. This stir fry recipe is especially rockin’. As Mary puts it, “The sweet and spicy combo kicks some major ass while the gooey texture of the fresh mango gives this dish a really great flavor and thickness.”
Fresh mangoes really make this dish. I absolutely love when mangoes are in season (and on sale!). I buy boat loads of them, slice and dice them and freeze them to use later on. Easy peasey and always on hand.
Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of garlic and ginger. Place the chicken in a large ziplock bag and add the corn starch. Toss to coat and add the marinade. Set aside while you prep the veggies
Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to a wok or large frying pan and place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and stir fry it until it is cooked. Remove the chicken, along with it's delectable juices, and set aside.
Add the remaining oil to your pan and heat it. Add the onion, remaining garlic and ginger, and hot peppers. When the onions are clear, add the rest of your vegetables. Stir fry for a minute or so and add the mango and curry powder. Continue stir frying until the vegetables are cook yet crisp.
Add the cooked chicken and chicken juice and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Serve hot over noodles or rice.
If you're not exactly sure how to pick out a sexy mango or how to cut a mango, check this article out.
I am sitting in my PJs watching Brazil and listening to the lid of the crock pot bubble and pop as my tri tip simmers. As I put my dogs up and sip my beer I have this sudden urge to get up and dance. I burst up, shooting droplets of beer everywhere in a golden frenzy and my feet start to move!
First, my toes begin tapping to a latin beat. Then my whole foot gets into it. Before I know it, I’m bounding and leaping across my entire apartment, spinning and dancing as if I were in a musical. Completely magical.
Anywho, this post has nothing to do with dancing, Brazil or tri tip for that matter (that will come in due time my faithful friends). Instead, I discovered this fantastic method of cooking chicken breast. The results are moist and tender and practically fool-proof. That’s right, I said it. I’ll even say it again … FOOL-PROOF.
Mix about a half teaspoon of salt in with the flour along with a little pepper. Chop the herbs finely, if using, and mix in well.
Quickly dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, so they are lightly coated with flour.
Heat the saute pan over medium-high heat. When it is quite hot, add the butter and the olive oil. Let them melt and swirl the pan.
Turn the heat to medium. Add the chicken breasts. Cook for just about 1 minute to help them get a little golden. Note that you are not actually searing or browning the chicken, you are simply creating a layer to lock juices in. Flip each chicken breast over.
Turn the heat to low. Put the lid on the pan. Set a timer for 10 minutes, and walk away. Do not lift the lid. Resist ever urge to peek!
After 10 minutes, turn off the heat. Reset the timer for 10 minutes and leave the chicken breasts in the pan. Again, do not lift the lid and do not peek.
After the 10 minutes are up you can finally peek! You should have soft, tender, juicy chicken that isn't dried out. Double check them to make sure there isn't any pink in the middle. Slice and devour.
This recipe was inspired by breakfast cafes across the Denver area. Recently, I’ve seen all sorts of fun french toast recipes popping up – from caramelized banana french toast to banana bread french toast to almond cream stuffed french toast. This was the first recipe I really wanted to try to make at home. I am so glad I did!!
The only bread I had on hand was a 9-grain bread, which turned out pretty tasty. However, like any good french toast, a good-quality white bread works best. Challah or French breads are my top choices.
Slice the bread about an inch thick. In a shallow dish, whisk eggs, milk, cinnamon, white sugar and salt. Dip the slices of bread in egg mixture and turn to coat. Cook in greased skillet till nicely browned and crisp on both sides.
Meanwhile, melt the butter and brown sugar in the other skillet, and cook banana slices in sugar mixture to caramelize, about 3-4 minutes on each side.
Arrange toast on plate and pour caramelized bananas and extra sauce on top. Top with more syrup, fresh whipped cream or dollops of peanut butter on top.
Your fork and steak knife are just aching to cut into this crunchy, chewy, sweet and savory dish.
The flavors in this sandwich are all unique yet they come together in a harmonious medley. Be careful – the apple butter can be overpowering if you use too much. Generous amounts of ham and mustard will help cut the sweetness if you find this to be true.
The chives add color and a pop of freshness to the sandwich. Be sure to borrow some from your friend’s garden if you do not have access to your own (don’t forget to ask for permission!).
There are these moments where I just can’t decide what I want to eat. I’ll practically sit in front of my open fridge just staring into the abyss. Eventually, these are the moments where I decide to get creative and compromise.
This taco pizza combines the powerful forces of both a taco and a pizza! That’s right, get this thing a red cape because it’s a super hero in my food world.
Get creative with the toppings on this bad boy. Add sliced black olives, avocado, cilantro, or jalapeno slices. Whatever your taco/pizza heart desires at the time.
2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken or cooked ground beef
1 1/2 cups (6-ounces) mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese blend
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 cup crushed natural tortilla chips
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place pizza crust on a cookie sheet. In a small bowl, combine meat and taco sauce. Spread chicken mixture over pizza crust, leaving a 1-inch border for a crust. Top with cheese. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Drop sour cream by the teaspoonfuls over the pizza. Add the lettuce, tomato and tortilla chips. Cut into wedges and serve.
Tuna always reminds me of Jessica Simpson and the “chicken of the sea” bit she had going years back. That or the school of tuna in Finding Nemo. When you think of tuna, I bet a burger is the last thing that comes to mind.
This original recipe came from Andrea from Can You Stay For Dinner? and appeared during her Hunger Challenge. Andrea explains it best:
“It’s Hunger Action Week from the 21st through the 25th of March and the challenge is to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner spending only $7 a day to get a sense of what people who rely on food stamps experience. $7 is the maximum food stamp benefit given to one person in the state of Washington per day. For a family of two, like us, we’d get $12 a day. This will be a way of expressing a sort of empathy for what millions of people deal with on a daily basis, and also a way of bringing awareness to hunger.”
She has some awesome, budget-friendly recipes that erupted from this challenge. This tuna burger is one of the best of ’em. I tweaked the spices here and there to cater to my own personal tastes and I could not believe how tasty these turned out! Tons of flavor AND they were healthy?? I was a foodie in food heaven. Next time I throw a little get together, I might turn these into sliders.
Combine tuna, bread crumbs, green onion, parsley, garlic, dill, salt, pepper, lemon, sour cream and egg and mix well with your hands. Form into 4 patties (they will be wet), place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Serve the burgers on toasted English muffins with romaine and sliced tomato. Spread additional sour cream on each burger, if desired.
Since I was a little girl, my grabby little hands loved to snack. There was something so therapeutic in munching and crunching and licking my fingers to my satisfaction. A movie wasn’t complete without a buttery gallon of popcorn. I couldn’t survive a day without eating Bugels off of the tips of my fingers. And that’s just how I was.
That was then, and this is now. Making healthier life choices has not completely depleted snacking from my daily routine, but now my snacks are no longer dripping with butter and salt or covered in chocolate bliss. I’m continuously inventing and discovering better ways to snack. You are what you eat, right?
This is a tribute to those radioactive-cheese covered stale tortilla chips gas stations and movie theaters like to call, “Nachos.” Although simple, I discovered this recipe on of my very favorite food blogs: canyoustayfordinner? I saw this article and had to satisfy my irrepressible craving for nachos.
Preheat your oven to broil. Cut the tortilla into small triangles, the size of standard tortilla chips. Lay the triangles on a wire rack set on top of a cookie sheet. Coat them generously with cooking spray and sprinkle them with a pinch of salt. Broil for 4-5 minutes on one side, flip and broil for another 1-2 minutes until crisp and light golden brown.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion softens. Add garlic and stir for 20 seconds. Add black beans, tomatoes, and a squeeze of lime (and jalapenos if you like that sort of thing). Sprinkle in cumin and chili powder. Stir and let the mixture simmer for a couple minutes, to heat through.
Place the tortilla chips on a foil lined cookie sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Pile the black bean mixture into the center. Sprinkle with desired amount of cheese and set under your broiler for a couple minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Slide the nachos onto a place and add avocado and a dollop of sour cream.
Ina Garten’s recipes are simple enough that anyone can make them, yet when you’re finished with your dish, there is a sophistication about it that makes you feel like you just cooked a gourmet meal. This is the beauty of the Barefoot Contessa.
Who knew that eating your greens could taste so good? If I tried this as a kid I would have eaten it all of the time! (Sorry Mom). This broccoli recipe is hers. It maximizes the flavor of broccoli without allowing it to get soggy and squishy. Roasting the broccoli at a high temperature allows the vegetables to caramelize. That’s the magic behind all of it. This recipe is so easy but it will become such a staple that it will be hard to eat broccoli any other way.
I added the shrimp and tomatoes to complete my dinner and served it on whole wheat pasta (see recipe note). Really tasty and healthy too. There is nothing wrong with that.
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Take two large bunches of unwashed broccoli (about 4 pounds) and cut them into large florets. Here's where you get to make an exciting decision. The key to this recipe is DRY broccoli. You can either wash your broccoli and thoroughly dry it, or cook the broccoli without washing it. The choice is yours. I didn't wash mine. I wanted the broccoli to get as crispy and brown as possible. If you're nervous about it, just wash and dry it obsessively.
Put the broccoli in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Add garlic to the bowl and spread onto a cookie sheet.
Roast in the oven for 20 minutes until crisp-tender and some of the florets are browned. You can toss the broccoli in the middle of cooking if you feel it's necessary.
Remove from the oven and squeeze lemon juice over the broccoli, add a bit more olive oil, fresh grated Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts.
It’s best to use fresh bean sprouts, not canned, if possible. This makes a world of a difference. Use julienned snow peas or zucchini or water chestnuts to mix things up (I even added broccoli and carrots in mine).
What’s in this Chinese 5 spice powder you ask? Prepare to be enlightened!
You make this yourself or buy this at most grocery stores. Asian markets will carry a more authentic spice mixture that’s typically cheaper. You can add some of this to stir-fries, soups, and it even makes a great marinade for Asian chicken recipes. A fair warning, a little goes a long way.
Once you make egg foo yung, you’ll create your own favorite combinations based on whatever vegetables are available at your market or what you have sitting around in your refrigerator. The important thing is to keep your ingredients thinly sliced. This will help keep everything together.
Whatever you add, the egg and sauce combination will send your taste buds into a happy little food coma.
Place the vegetables in a medium bowl and sprinkle on the flour and salt. Mix well to evenly coat the vegetables. Break the eggs into a small bowl and add the sesame oil. Beat the eggs with a fork to combine the eggs and oil, then pour the mixture into the vegetable bowl.
Heat a tablespoon of cooking oil in a nonstick skillet. Use a large spoon and scoop portions of the egg-vegetable mixture into the pan, flattening them as you place them. Fry on one side until golden brown, then flip and fry on the second side.
Meanwhile, heat the stock and soy sauce to boiling in a saucepan. Mix the cornstarch and five spice powder in a small bowl. Add the cold water and stir until the cornstarch is incorporated. Add this to the boiling stock and stir well. Let it boil for a few moments to thicken. If it's thicker than you'd prefer, add more stock or water. Taste for seasoning and add more soy sauce if desired. Serve with sauce on side or sauce spooned on top of the egg foo yung.
These can be made in advance and kept warm in a low heated oven, or rewarmed gently in the sauce.