Posts Tagged ‘cooking blog’

Bow-Tie Pasta with Sausage and Sweet Peppers

Bow Tie Pasta with Sausage

If you like sausage, you’re going to love this savory pasta. This dish is packed full of flavor–with two types of sausage, tons of fresh mushrooms, green and red peppers, onions, garlic, and beef broth, it’s a party in your mouth. I’ve been serving this dish for years and it always receives rave reviews. I found the original recipe in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine but I’ve changed it significantly over the years. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make bow-tie pasta with sausage and sweet peppers:

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. bow tie pasta
  • 3/4 lb. spicy Italian sausage, casings removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lb. bulk sausage
  • 1 medium red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 packages fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan cook the pasta according to package directions; drain. Return pasta to the  saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the casings from the Italian sausage and cut it into bite-sized pieces. In a very  large skillet (or wok) cook the Italian sausage, ground sausage, red and green peppers, onions, garlic, and mushrooms over medium-high heat until the sausage and mushrooms are browned. Drain well.
  3.  Stir the beef broth and black pepper into the skillet, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned bits. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour over the pasta. Toss gently to coat. Top with freshly grated parmigiana reggiano cheese.
  4. Enjoy!

Spiced Pork Chops with Fried Cabbage and Onions

Spiced Pork Chops1

The first time I made spiced pork chops with fried cabbage and onions (or haluski as my Polish grandmother called it), my boyfriend fell asleep early and I couldn’t wake him for dinner, so my daughter and I ate without him. The meal was so good that we finished our portions and ate his, too. Hey, you snooze you lose, right?

I found the recipe for spiced pork chops in Taste of Home magazine years ago and I’ve made it countless times. It always gets rave reviews and it’s one of my daughter’s favorite meals. Get the recipe here. I got the recipe for haluski from my grandmother. Normally I serve it over egg noodles but I didn’t have any on hand so I improvised and used bow tie pasta instead. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make fried cabbage and onions:

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cabbage, core removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 stick butter (don’t substitute margarine)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • hot cooked egg noodles prepared according to package directions

Instructions:

  1. Melt butter in a large fry pan (I used a wok)
  2. Add cabbage, onions, salt, and pepper
  3. Fry over medium heat until the cabbage and onions are golden brown
  4. Serve over egg noodles

This side dish isn’t fancy, but it sure is delicious.

 

 

Quick Macaroni Salad

Quick Macaroni Salad

I promised I’d share my recipe for macaroni salad when I posted my Texas Hot Dog Sauce recipe last week. Homemade macaroni salad is so easy and quick to prepare–it’s ready in about 10 minutes–that there’s no excuse for serving grocery store or deli prepared macaroni salad. Store-bought salads don’t compare in quality, texture, or flavor to homemade macaroni salad and they’re always a disappointment. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make macaroni salad:

Ingredients:

  • 1 16-oz. box elbow macaroni, cooked al dente (approximately 6-8 minutes)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 large tomato, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (I use Duke’s mayonnaise–it tastes closest to homemade mayo)
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare macaroni according to package directions (cook it al dente–approximately 6-8 minutes), drain, rinse, and place it in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add diced onions, tomatoes, and green peppers.
  3. Combine mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Pour sauce over the remaining ingredients. Stir until well combined.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Onion Tart (Torta di Cipolla)

Onion Tart

I found this recipe for an onion tart on CiaoItalia.com and tucked it away last summer, but it got lost in my ever-growing stack of recipes that I want to try. I had some onions that I needed to use, so I remembered this recipe and pulled it out of my stack. And, boy, am I glad that I did. This recipe was super easy to make, it calls for simple ingredients that are readily available, it looks gorgeous, and it tastes even better. It has a subtle flavor that would satisfy even picky eaters and could be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, plus it heats up in the microwave (1 minute per slice) beautifully. I served this onion tart for lunch yesterday with a side salad and then popped it into the microwave and ate it again for breakfast this morning with a cup of coffee–it was that good. Get the recipe here. Doesn’t this look great?

Onion Tart3

Chicken with Cashews

Cashew Chicken

I’ve been collecting recipes on Pinterest for a couple of months, and I’ve tried a number of dishes with mixed results. Of the roughly half dozen dishes that I’ve tried so far, only three recipes are keepers: this sweet and sour chicken with vegetable fried rice that I blogged about several weeks ago and this cashew chicken from SheWearsManyHats.com.

The original recipe is served on lettuce wraps but I wanted a more substantial meal so I served the chicken with steamed white rice. I made some changes to the original recipe to suit my taste. Specifically, I doubled the amount of brown sugar in the sauce and I substituted spring onions for the yellow onion (although the next time I make this dish I would toss uncooked spring onions on top of the completed dish instead of stir frying it with the garlic because the onions wilted immediately). I also doubled the amount of stir fry sauce and I’m so glad I did because the sticky sweet and spicy sauce was fabulous. Heat wise, I give this dish a medium rating, so folks who prefer less heat may want to reduce the amount of ground red pepper in the sauce, though I think it’s perfect. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this dish (my changes are included):

For the sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
For the cashew chicken:
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup spring onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup cashews, chopped
Instructions:
  1. Combine the stir fry sauce ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced chicken and cook until no longer pink in the center (about   4-5 minutes); set aside.
  3. Add garlic and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce to the pan; cook for a minute or two then add the stir fry sauce, cooked chicken, and cashews. Saute the mixture and stir to combine; remove from heat. Top with diced spring onions.

Weekend Chef: Meatball Gyros

Meatball Gyros

I love gyros so when I found this recipe for meatballs with cucumber sauce on flatbreads in the August 2012 issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine I just had to try it. The recipe calls for frozen meatballs, which are a real time saver for busy cooks like me. I served these Greek-style sandwiches with a tossed green salad and had dinner on the table in under 30 minutes. Delicious, easy, and quick–that’s a winning combination in my book. Get the recipe at bhg.com.

Bacon, Egg, and Potato Salad

Bacon Egg and Potato Salad1

This bacon, egg, and potato salad is one of my daughter’s favorite salads. It’s my variation of a spinach salad with a hot bacon dressing that my mother served years ago. This salad, however, is served cold and I’ve removed the bacon grease from the dressing. The end result is a sweet and sour, crunchy salad with a feather light dressing that’s truly a party in your mouth. This salad is a bit more time consuming to prepare than most salads since you’ll need to boil the eggs and potatoes and fry the bacon, but it’s well worth the extra effort. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make bacon, egg, and potato salad:

Bacon Egg and Potato Salad Ingredients

Ingredients:

1-2 heads Boston (or butterhead) lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 medium onion, sliced
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
6 Yukon gold potatoes, boiled and sliced (I don’t peel them)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

Combine the lettuce, onion, crumbled bacon, chopped eggs, and sliced potatoes in a large bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the cider vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar, and water. Cook over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Cool completely and pour over the salad.

Doesn’t this look good?

Bacon Egg and Potato Salad2