Andouille and Skillet Potatoes with Chiles and Radicchio

skillet taters and kielbasaSo I was looking for something fairly fast, and very tasty, and I remembered this great potato side dish that turned out so well, and I thought, hey, add some Andouille sausage and it is a nice meat salad dish!

And so I did.

And it was.

And I came, I saw, and I conquered.

This was a real pleaser all the way around.

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Prepare as normal, adding the sausage at the end and warming through.
  2. Dress with the salad dressing while still warm.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: Other types of sausage can be used, as well as left over skirt steak, ham, pork roast. It works fine with any meat.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

 

Mexicali Hash

green-chile-chorizo-hash-food-lab-17-thumb-518xauto-395511This is simply a superb Sunday brunch.

But make it any time.

Because it’s grand.

Eat it in a traditional way, or do it the Mexican way, wrapped in a tortilla and sprinkled with salsa or pico de gallo and slices of avocado.

Either way, it fills the bill.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 pounds russet or Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 3/4- to 1/2-inch dice (see note above)
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 ounces Spanish chorizo, diced (If you can’t get Spanish Chorizo, then you can substitute with bacon, other sausage, ham, etc)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable, canola, or olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 scallions, white and light green parts cut into 1-inch lengths, greens sliced and reserved separately
  • 2 poblano or Anaheim (Hatch)  peppers,  charred, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 small avocado diced
  • 1/2 cup salsa or pico de gallo for serving (optional)
  • 12 warm corn tortillas for serving (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with 2 quarts cold water. Add vinegar and 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until barely tender, about 5 minutes after coming to a boil. Drain potatoes in a colander and let drain for 2 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, place chorizo chunks in a cast iron skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until chorizo is crisp on all sides and fat has rendered out, about 10 minutes total. Remove chorizo with a slotted spoon to a large bowl, leaving fat in skillet. Set chorizo aside.

  •  When potatoes are drained, add 3 tablespoons oil to skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add drained potatoes and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until potatoes are deep brown and crisp on all sides, about 20 minutes total. Add cumin and paprika and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer potatoes to bowl with chorizo and set aside.
  •  Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet and heat over high heat until shimmering. Add scallion whites and light greens and poblano and cook, stirring occasionally, until charred, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper then transfer to bowl with potatoes and chorizo. Toss contents of bowl and return to skillet. Make 4 wells in potato mixture.
  •  Carefully break 1 egg into a small bowl and slide into a fine mesh strainer over the sink. Swirl egg very gently until excess loose white drains away. Carefully add to one of the cavities in the skillet. Repeat with remaining three eggs.

  • Drizzly eggs with a few drops of oil, season with salt and pepper, and transfer to oven. Cook until whites are barely set but yolks are still runny, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, garnish with sliced scallion greens, chopped cilantro, and avocado. Serve immediately with salsa and tortillas.

     

    SERVES: 4

    NOTES: You can skip the swirling of the egg in a strainer and just crack directly over the hash with no alteration of taste, and very little of the “look”.

    SOURCE: adapted from Serious Eats

 

Ratatouille with Sausage over Polenta

rata2I love ratatouille. I have always considered it to be a peasant type food, that was best made sans formal recipes. Get your hands dirty! Figuratively speaking that is.

You get the best ingredients and you love them until they reduce to this delightful silken wonder of melded tastes.

See? I wax poetic when it comes to ratatouille.

Anyway, so dearly do I love the stuff that it seemed only fair to marry it to another favorite, Parmesan Polenta and some great sausages. This makes such a great meal.

I hope you enjoy it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 recipe of Parmesan Polenta, made the day before. If you want your polenta pourable, then you can make it at the same time.
  • 1 medium to large eggplant, diced (depending on age, peel, salt, and rinse to remove bitterness. I try to obtain small young eggplants and not have to peel or salt)
  • 1 lg onion, sliced semi-thinly or in a larger dice
  • 2-3 medium zucchini, or any variety or combination of summer squash, diced
  • 1 lg sweet pepper, diced. Italian frying peppers are superb here if you can get them.
  • 4 lg cloves garlic, microplaned
  • 3 c seeded tomatoes, diced (you can peel them if you wish, but this is rustic)
  • 6 crimini mushrooms, diced
  • olive oil
  • 1/3 c chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 sausages (any type you like)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano, grated (at the table)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large saute pan, heat up some olive oil, about 1/4 c. When shimmering, add the eggplant, onion, zucchini, and sweet pepper. Fry, letting them get some nice char on the edges before stirring. Allow to get softened. Medium heat.
  2. Add the mushrooms and garlic and continue sauteing until the mushrooms have softened.
  3. Salt and pepper generously, at least a teaspoon of each.
  4. Add the tomatoes and stir, reducing the heat, and covering the pan. Cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid and continue cooking the mixture down until the tomatoes have broken down nicely and the mixture starts to get a saucy consistency but while the vegetables still retain their integrity. This can take a long time if done slowly which is what you want. Plan a good hour for this step.
  6. Meanwhile, place the sausages in another pan and saute just enough to get some nice char. You can leave them whole or slice as you wish. Don’t put them in the ratatouille however, since the intense flavors of the sausage will get leached out and they will be too bland. Add them to the dish and then stir in just before serving.
  7. Add parsley also at the end just before serving.
  8. Add additional olive oil to get a nice sheen on the dish at serving time as well.
  9. Slice the polenta into squares, saute in olive oil until warmed and just toasted on the outside. Turn and do the other side, browning slightly. (You can do this on the grill if you like as well. Brush with olive oil before placing on the grill)
  10. Plate with a slice of polenta and a couple of ladles of the ratatouille.
  11. Dust with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

SERVES: 4

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

NOTES: Because it takes a bit of time to cook down the ratatouille properly, this is a perfect recipe to start in the morning. Take your time and reduce the sauce until its glistening, and thick and the tomatoes are nicely broken down. You can just turn it off,  cover and leave it on the stove for later at this point, or refrigerate if you desire. Since it will water up a bit when cooled, when you reheat, plan on reducing it a bit further, about 30 minutes on low heat, just letting it bubble and steam away the accumulated liquid. You don’t want it dry, but just not watery.

Lazy Lasagna Bake

LazyLasagnaHungry for some lasagna? Not up for all that work?

Well, a bit of planning ahead will make this dish an easy no-brainer on a busy day. It doesn’t take long at all, and it will satisfy just as well as the more elegant stuff does.

So, next time you are making some spaghetti sauce, make a double batch, and freeze half. Then when the lasagna cravings start, you are already half way there.

This works great as a football day gathering meal centerpiece, so do consider it for Super Bowls and March Madness festivities.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 c rigatoni or other semi-large dried pasta, cooked and drained.
  • 1 lb Italian sausage hot or mild, or other sausage or kielbasa, removed from casings and either diced or broken into pieces and browned until done. Drain as well.
  • 1 16 oz container of ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz diced fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 3 cups of spaghetti sauce (can used bottled of course, but it’s never as good as homemade!)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Butter a large baking dish at least 10 x 14.
  2. Pour in the cooked pasta.
  3. Take 1/2 of the spaghetti sauce and stir into the pasta.
  4. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella over.
  5. Spread the meat in.
  6. Mix the ricotta, egg and Parmesan together and then spoon over the pasta.
  7. Spread remaining spaghetti sauce over all.
  8. Spread the rest of the diced mozzarella over this.
  9. Grate a half cup or so of Parmesan over the top.
  10. Cook uncovered  at 350° for one hour.
  11. Let rest for 15 minutes or so before serving.

Serves: 8 good servings.

 

Gumbo Chicken With Pizazz

tumblr_lvrhyfJtK21r4vlobo1_400Oh Cajun loves come this way!

I love Cajun food, and this is pretty darn good.

This recipe comes from Simply Recipes and I changed very little. I thought it was perfect.

For those of you who hate to spend extra for somebody else to mix your spices and herbs, then listen up too for the Cajun spice mix which is simple but perfect and can be used for other things as well.

Do try to get fresh Andouille sausage. It’s so much better than any of the commercially packaged kinds, but of course availability does depend on location.

For instance I can’t really get much fresh okra here or at least I haven’t seen it, so I used frozen, which I don’t think changes the taste at all.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 lb bacon, diced
  • 2-3 lbs of chicken thighs, skin on
  • 1-2 lbs andouille sausage
  • 1/2 canola oil
  • 1 c flour
  • 2 medium green peppers, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 lg onion, diced
  • 4 gloves garlic, microplaned or minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 qt of chicken stock (unsalted preferred)
  • 1 qt of water or as needed to get the consistency you desire
  • 1/2 – 1 lb of okra, or 1-2 cups frozen
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped
  • Approx. 3 tbsp of Cajun spice mix (store-bought or home-made–as much as you wish)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook the bacon until crisp in a large stew pot (Cast iron would be perfect). Remove the bacon and set aside.
  2. Set the thighs skin down and brown well. Salt the meat while it is cooking. Don’t move the chicken for a good 4-5 minutes. It tends to release and turn easily once the skin is nicely browned. Turn and brown the other side.
  3. Remove the chicken. Brown the sausage. Roll as needed to brown all sides decently. Remove this to the chicken.
  4. You need about 1/2  c of fat from all this. If you don’t have enough, use the canola oil up to that level. This isn’t rocket science, just be in the ball park. Once heated up, stir in the flour and stir. At first stir almost continuously, then every couple of minutes. Turn to low-medium heat and cook until the roux is a dark caramel. This will take about 30 minutes. Don’t let it burn, cuz if you do, it’s a complete loss. So watch carefully.
  5. You can warm the chicken stock and water in the microwave, but it’s not essential. It makes everything blend a little faster is all.
  6. Add the veggies all nicely diced to the roux when it is ready and stir often for about 5 minutes until they are softened. Add the garlic, and continue cooking and stirring for about 2 more minutes. Add the tomato paste and whisk into the roux and veggie mix.
  7. Slowly pour in the chicken stock, whisking it in a bit at a time until you have it all in. Continue to scrap the bottom of the pot, and whisking away.
  8. Stir in 3 tbsp of the Cajun spice mix, taste, and add more in you desire.
  9. Add the thighs back in. Simmer for 90 minutes. Remove the chicken, let cool.
  10. While chicken is cooling, cut the sausage into discs and add to the gumbo. Then add the okra. You can cook this for 1 hour or if you wish, longer to cook down the soup. It’s your call as to how thick you want things. If it’s too thick for you now, add water or more stock.
  11. Pick the meat off the chicken bones and chop and add back in.
  12. Add the green onions, parsley and bacon back in at the very end before serving.
  13. Serve over rice or with bread.

Serves: 10-12

Note: This makes a big pot, but this freezes really well. I thought it was better after it came out of the freezer frankly.

Sausage and Rigatoni Bake

 

 

Nothing like some good Italian food. A side salad and some garlic bread, a bit of Chianti, and well, can you get much better than that?

This is a bit time consuming if you make the sauce from scratch which I do, but I find it worth it since most store-bought sauces are lacking a lot in my opinion.

If you do buy a sauce in a jar, then you can whip this up in no time, and place a first-rate meal on the table worthy of guests.

So do give it a go.

Soon.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb of Italian sausage, mild or hot, or other sausage that you love.
  • About 2 -3 cups of marinara sauce.
  • About 2/3 of a lb of rigatoni, or use other hefty dried pasta.
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 8 oz Asiago cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 c butter, cubed
  • 4 oz – 6 oz Parmigiano cheese, shredded or Romano
  • 1/4 c chopped parsley

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make your sauce. Set aside.
  2. Crumble the sausage and cook. Add to the sauce when browned and simmer until finished. Set aside.
  3. Boil the rigatoni in salted water until al dente. Drain.
  4. In a large baking dish, grease the surface with some butter.
  5. Add the cooked pasta and the cubes of butter, mix.
  6. Add the Mozzarella and the Parmigiano cheese, mix.
  7. Pour the sauce over the top and top with the Asiago cheese.
  8. Bake in 350° oven for about 30 minutes, until warm and bubbly and the Asiago has melted.
  9. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

 

Serves: 6 generously

Note: vary the cheeses, the sausage used, and the sauce as you like. This reheats nicely for leftovers too.

 

Sausage-Cauliflower Cheese Bake

I’m a big fan of comfort food. I figure you should eat some about once a week.

This definitely fits the bill. It’s brought to you by Tracy Joyner at JustaPinch.

I changed things up a bit, but the basics are hers. You can add a lot of twists on this recipe, which always keeps it fresh.

Since my husband adores cauliflower with a cheese sauce, this recipe really is a home run because it works as a main dish.

So do enjoy it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lg head of cauliflower
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 1/2 c milk
  • 3 c shredded cheese (cheddar)
  • salt
  • peppeR
  • 1 lb of any sausage you enjoy. I used smoked kielbasa

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut up the cauliflower into the florets. Throw in a plastic bag.
  2. Slice up the onion and add to the bag.
  3. Pour in about 3 tbsp of oil, and massage until the veggies are coated.
  4. Spread on a baking sheet and roast until done about 40 minutes, turning once. (just fork tender)
  5. Make your white sauce (bechamel) by making a roux of the flour and butter, and then adding the milk, bringing to a boil and stirring until it’s thickened.
  6. Add the cheese.
  7. Roughly cut up the cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Add with the onion to a casserole dish.
  8. Slice the kielbasa into diagonal pieces and layer on top.
  9. Pour the cheese sauce on top.
  10. Place in a 375° oven for 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Don’t over cook or your cauliflower will be mushy.

Serves: 4

NOTE: You can also add broccoli stalks or tops if you prefer, corn, carrots, etc. as additional veggies. Vary the sausage of course as you wish, and consider using other cheeses as well.