Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

My friend Brook recommended this dish and it was delicious. Absolutely loved it!  A new holiday favorite. Taken from Food Network.

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, about 2 tablespoons
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock, canned or paper container
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup (3 turns around the pan) heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 pound penne rigate, cooked to al dente
Romano or Parmigiano, for grating
Pumpernickel or whole grain bread, as an accompaniment

Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion:

1 pound triple-washed spinach, de-stemmed
1 small Golden Delicious apple, quartered, cored, and sliced
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons (a couple of splashes) apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon grain mustard
1 tablespoon (a good drizzle) honey
Coarse salt and black pepper

Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion, as an accompaniment, recipe follows

Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.

Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce.

Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and sage leaves.

Serve pumpkin sausage pasta with pumpernickel or whole grain bread and Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion.
Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion:

Place spinach, apple, and onion in a salad bowl. Place oil, vinegar, mustard and honey in a small plastic container and fit lid on container. Shake dressing to combine, 1 minute. Pour dressing over salad, toss, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Yield: 4 servings

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Garden Tinfoil Dinner

A few days ago I gathered a lot of different vegetables from my dad's garden and have been trying to figure out new things to make with them every night. With fall in the air I decided it was time to light the fire pit and make some Tinfoil Dinners. What a treat!

Vegetables picked fresh from the garden.

The finished product was absolutely delicious! I sliced up some cucumbers and tomatoes for the side.
Step 1: Cut the potatoes & squash into cubes. Slice onion, drizzle olive oil, sea salt, pepper and Italian Season and toss until covered (I also added in some leftover corn on the cob from the previous night that I sliced off the cob. Tear sheets of tinfoil enough to fold up. Place the mixture in the cent of the foil.
Step 2: Form loose balls with the ground meat and place on top. Seal the foil then wrap in a second layer of foil and seal.
Start a fire and get some nice hot coals from it. Place the foil dinners on the hot coals and cook for 30 minutes. Safely remove from the coals with long tongs and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Then open up and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Crunchy Cheetos Meatballs

Recently I cooked dinner for my brother and his two boys. While making the meat balls I couldn't find bread, breadcrumbs or even crackers to use as a binding agent. The only thing that would hopefully work was a bag of Crunchy Cheetos that was sitting out on the counter. So Crunchy Cheetos it is...

1 Package of Spicy Italian Sausage
1 Package of Ground Beef
2 Eggs
1 Cup of chopped Crunchy Cheetos
Italian Seasoning
2 Garlic Cloves diced

Mix all together with your hands and form round meat balls. Cook them over medium heat in a pan with just about 1-2 tbsp of olive oil. I think toss them in with my home made red sauce and let them simmer until cooked all the way through.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Curry Crab Salad

This dish was really good.

Serves 4

Mix baby spinach with 3 pressed garlic gloves, olive oil and sea salt to taste. Add some cherry tomatoes cut in half.

Divide equally amongst individual plates.

1 (8 ounce) package imitation crab meat - chunked
1/3 cup mayonnaise
4 tablespoons sour cream
1 small onion, finely chopped (or use 1 green onion, chopped)
3 -4 teaspoons prepared mustard
1/4-1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon curry powder
Juice from 1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Mix all the above together and serve on top of the spinach salad top with sliced avocado.