Okay, if you didn’t get the idea already, quiches are a perfect excuse to use up odds and ends of meats and vegetables in your fridge. This particular day I had sausage and spinach on hand. Other times I have combined bacon and spinach or packed loads of vegetables and topped my quiche with potatoes in this Potato-Topped Quiche recipe.
At any rate, these pies are great to eat any meal of day and you can prepare everything ahead of time (up until the baking part) and then bake it when you’re ready to eat it. Eat a slice with a simple salad or fresh fruit and down it with your favorite cocktail.
That’s how you should enjoy a slice of quiche anyway (in my humble opinion).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare pastry shell and set aside.
Crumble sausage in medium skillet; add onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat till sausage is browned, stirring occasionally; drain well.
Thaw spinach, drain well. Remove remaining moisture by pressing spinach between layers of paper toweling. Add spinach to sausage mixture; mix well.
Sprinkle cheese evenly in pastry shell. Top with sausage mixture. In a medium mixing bowl combine eggs, milk, dill, salt and pepper; mix well. Pour egg mixture over sausage mixture and sprinkle in the halved tomatoes.
Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted halfway between center and outer edge comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
If you’ve never had Chinese sausage, you are in for a special treat today. Chinese sausages are dried and are made with sweetened pork and various spices. They have a very high fat content, which becomes ideal when they steam with your rice and flavor the entire pot. I usually have my friends pick up a few packs of them for me when they visit Hong Kong or San Francisco. If you aren’t planning a trip to either of those places anytime soon, you can order them online here.
There are two types of Chinese sausages. One is red and made purely out of pork (pictured above). The other is darker in color and is made out of liver (typically duck liver). There are different varieties of each too.
Whichever you prefer, these sausage keep for a long time and are super versatile. Add them to stir-frys, in soups, asian meatballs, or make Sticky Rice.
The recipe below is very forgiving. Add or omit ingredients as you see fit. This is the base recipe I use when I make this dish.
3 cups Chinese or Japanese short-grain sticky ("sweet") rice*
1 cup Chinese dried black mushrooms* or dried shiitake mushrooms (1 1/2 oz)
5 Chinese sausages* (6 to 8 oz total)
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion (white and pale green parts only; from 1 bunch)
1 1/2 cups bottled peeled cooked whole chestnuts (from a 14- to 15-oz jar), drained and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup Chinese rice wine or medium-dry Sherry
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
Cover rice with cold water by 1 inch in a large bowl and soak at least 2 hours. Drain in a sieve and rinse well under cold running water.
Soak mushrooms in warm water 30 minutes, then drain, squeezing excess liquid back into bowl, and discard liquid. Rinse mushrooms to remove any grit, then discard stems and coarsely chop caps. 3Quarter sausages lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
Heat a wok over high heat until just smoking. Add peanut oil and heat, swirling in wok, until just smoking. Add ginger and scallion and stir-fry 30 seconds. Add sausage and stir-fry 1 minute, then add mushrooms and stir-fry 1 minute. Add chestnuts and stir-fry 1 minute. Stir in rice wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, salt, and white pepper and remove from heat. Add drained rice and stir to coat.
Transfer mixture to a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot and add broth (broth will not completely cover rice). Bring to a simmer, stir once, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 25 minutes more, then remove from heat. Stir from bottom to distribute ingredients and let stand, covered, 10 minutes before serving.
The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous this week. I don’t want to jinx anything, but I’m afraid the weather wont last. Every year for the last three years the midwest experiences their Spring thaw while Colorado gets hit hard with late-season snow storms. I thought I would get one last “winter-esque” recipe in before our thaw hits. Here’s hoping that Spring is just around the corner – I’m so excited to plant my fresh herb garden again this year!
Ragoût is a the French version of thick, hearty stew. Like any stew you can put just about whatever you want into the pot. I had some chicken sausage and leftover kidney beans so I threw those in here. The result was super satisfying and relatively low in fat content, which is always a nice bonus. Plus this is a perfect weeknight meal seeing that it only takes 30 minutes to complete.
With Mardi Gras just around the corner I figured it was time to dust off the ol’ beads and bring out the andouille. Now, I haven’t been to New Orleans myself but it’s definitely on my list of places to visit … mostly to eat all of the food I can get my hands on!
None the less, I wanted to do something in the spirit of Mardi Gras while still keeping things light. This is my healthier version of Jambalaya – my tip of the hat to New Orleans!
I cut the fat by substituting this wonderful chicken andouille sausage instead of using traditional andouille sausage (made out of pork and pork fat). I also used brown rice instead of white rice to raise the fiber content.
I thought the dish was delicious with the mingling of spices from the andouille and the fresh shrimp, but if you’re feeling extra inventive you should throw in other lean proteins like chicken breast, turkey sausage, or heck, even some tofu (although not a protein, per se). Just remember that anything labeled “andouille” means that there are a lot of spices (and some heat) in the sausage already. Anything you add outside of that will not contain that well-loved heat that is so characteristic of Cajun food. i.e. taste test and customize!
Here is how you make this surprisingly tasty Jambalaya. This recipe is loosely based on this Pasta Jambalaya recipe and Running Love. Thank you!
First, brown your delicious little sausages.
Then chop your veggies and add those to the pan too. Let those soften a bit before…
…adding your spices, rice and wet ingredients.
Once your rice is cooked, add the shrimp and cook until pink (or until your cooked shrimp is hot). Really easy!
Serve and imagine yourself people watching on a balcony in the French Quarter (that’s what I do).
12 to 16-ounces of chicken andouille sausage, casings removed and sliced into coins (sliced in half again if the coins are large)
4 to 5 scallions, chopped, reserve a couple tablespoons for garnish
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced petite tomatoes, with juice
2 cups low sodium chicken broth (you may need more for simmering)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup brown rice
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning, or to taste
1/2 to 1-pound of uncooked shrimp, cleaned and tails removed (jumbo preferred)
Tabasco, to taste
Lemon wedge, optional
Heat the oil in a very large skillet or large saucepan over medium to medium high heat. Add in your chicken sausage pieces and let them sizzle until they are brown, stirring occasionally. Add the scallions, green pepper, and minced garlic and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes, until the veggies have softened.
Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, rice, thyme, paprika and 1 teaspoon (or less) of Cajun seasoning (remember, you can always add more later). Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. Add more broth if the contents start to look too dry. Stir this mix occasionally so your sauce doesn't stick to your pan.
After the rice is cooked, add the shrimp and cook for a couple more minutes, covered, until the shrimp is pink. Taste test to see if there is enough heat for your liking. If not, add more Cajun seasoning. Remove from heat, garnish and serve with Tabasco for heat and a lemon wedge for brightness.
Need more Mardi Gras ideas? Take your andouille sausage leftovers (if you have any!) and make a hash out of it! Try out this Framed Cooks recipe.
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.