Friday, February 23, 2007

Andouille Sausage and Shrimp with Pasta - Adapted from

The dish can be prepared in about the same time as it takes to cook the pasta. Prepare by slicing 1/2 lb. of the sausage links into 1" pieces, cleaning 1/2 lb. of shrimp, and dicing a small onion and 1/2 of a red bell pepper. Brown the sausage in 3T olive oil, remove it and cook the shrimp in a similar manner. Remove the shrimp and saute the onion and pepper until just tender. Stir in 4-5 T of a spicey mustard and 2T thyme. We used a chipotla mustard we recieved as a gift. Add 1 1/2 C chicken stock and simmer to reduce by 1/2. Finish the sauce with 2t red wine vinegar. Add the sausage and shrimp back to the pan. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan as well, tossing the pasta to coat with the sauce. Garnish with some freshly chopped cilantro. We served the dish with a chilled dry white wine. A quick dish easily prepared in less than 30 min.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Beef Paprikas - Adapted from Bon Appetit, 1992

We used leftover Outback steak as the basis for this dish. Melt 2T butter in a skillet. Add a large chopped onion and a chopped bell pepper. Saute until the onion is lightly browned. Add 8oz. sliced mushrooms and saute for another 5 min. Mix in 1T flour and 3/4t sweet paprika, stirring for about 2 min. Min in 1 1/4C of stock and 1T tomato paste. Stir letting the flavors meld for about 5 min. Mix in 1/2C sour cream, remove from the heat and stir in 1T chopped dill. If you are starting with raw beef, brown it in butter and mix in 1/4C dry white wine. Mix the meat with the sauce mixture. Serve over pasta or rice. We also served sauted brussel sprouts which have appeared here before. Basically, the sprouts are sliced vertically and sauted in butter with thinly sliced onion.

A delicious use of left over roast beef or steak.


Jerked Pork with Bean Ragu

The pork was rubbed with a com-mercial jerk mixture and allowed to marinate for several hours. For the beans, we mixed 1/3C of dry black beans, pinto beans, great northern beans, and kidney beans. They were boiled for about 2 hrs. or until the beans are tender. While the beans are cooking, saute a diced small onion and 3 cloves of minced garlic in 2T of olive oil; add 1/2t of thyme, corriander, and cumin. Add a can of diced tomatoes and simmer until the beans are ready. Drain the beans and add them to the tomato mixture. We served this nicely spiced pork dish with a green salad.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Torta - From

This is one of the most com-plicated dishes we have prepared but it was well worth the effort. The only change we made from the Epicurious recipe was that we used spicey bulk sausage rather than sweet links. The dish is assembled and baked from three components: crepe like pastry, sausage and broccoli rabe filling and a cheese besiamella sauce.
For the crepes: Beat until smooth 1/2 C flour, 2 eggs and 2/3C milk. Brush a hot saute pan with melted butter and ladle in 1/4C of the mixture. Working quickly, swirl the pan to spread the mix and allow to cook until it sets. Loosen and turn out onto paper towels. Only cook one side of the crepe. Repeat to make 5 crepes. This took a bit of practice with the temperature of the pan being most critical to getting a crepe brown but not burned that would release from the pan. Set the crepes aside while the filling and sauce are being prepared.
For the filling: Coursely chop 3/4 lb. rabe and boil until just tender, about 5 min. Drain and set aside. Saute 4 cloves minced garlic red pepper flakes to taste in 3T olive oil. Add 3/4 lb. sausage, breaking it up as it browns. Remove excess fat and mix with the rabe and set aside.
For the sauce: Melt 1/4C butter in a pan and add 1/4C flour. Mix until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in 1 3/4C milk and salt and pepper to taste. Heat the mixture until it is smooth and bubbly, about 5 min. Stir in 1/2C finly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Stir until smooth.
Assembly: Prepare a 8" spring form pan by brushing it with melted butter and dusting with bread crumbs. Place one of the crepes in the bottom of the pan. Cover with 1/5 of the filling and drizzle on 1/3C of the sauce. Repeat using all of the filling, sauce and crepes. Top the entire tort with 1C of Fontana cheese mixed with 1/4C grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Bake the tort at 425 Degrees for 25 min. Allow it to rest for 10 min before slicing.

We served the torte with a green salad and a bottle of dry white wine but we think a rose` would work as well. A truely delicious dinner that was fun to cook. This recipe is pretty rich and serves 4-5 generously.


Friday, February 09, 2007

Pork Carnitas with Carmelized Onions and Chipotle - From Cooking Light

This is a delicious recipe for an in-expensive cut of pork. It can be served on tortillas or over rice. Start by rubbing the pork with a mixture of chopped oregano and ground pepper, two bay leaves and 2T of olive oil. We used country style boneless pork ribs, about 1 1/2 lbs served 2 generously. Allow the pork to marinate with the rub for several hours or over night. Cut the pork into 1" cubes and brown in olive oil. Remove the pork and add, 2C chopped onions, 6 cloves of minced garlic, 1t salt, 1/2t ground cumin, 2T chopped chipotle in adobo sauce. When the onions are golden brown, add 14 oz. of chicken stock, add the meat back to the pan and simmer until the pork is fork tender, 2-3 hrs. Remove the bay leaves, stir in 2t fresh lime juice and some chopped cilantro. Serve with sliced avacado, tomato and grated cheese.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Roasted Garlic Schmeared Chicken with Bacon Lentils - Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

Emeril uses a whole chicken for this dish. We just used boneless skinless breasts. In a food processor combine 1/4C chopped garlic, 3T parsley, 2T crushed red pepper and a small onion, diced. Add salt and pepper to taste. While processing drizzle in 1/2C olive oil. When the mix is smooth, rub onto the chicken. We did this about 1 hr. before cooking. For the lentils, fry 1/4 lb bacon until nicely browned; Saute 1/3C diced carrot, 1/3C diced onion and 1/3C diced celery in the bacon fat until they are translucant. Add 1C green lentils and a bay leaf and continue sauteing for another minute. Add a 14 oz. can of chicken stock plus 1/2 can of water. Heat the lentils to a simmer and maintain for about 30 min or until the lentils are done to your liking. Crumble the bacon into the lentils at serving. At the same time, put the chicken in a 450 degree oven, turning twice for a total cooking time of 30 min. We served this with a Crane Lake Chardonney. Here's a review: