Shells with Sausage and Broccoli

Shells with Sausage and Broccoli

Shells with Sausage and Broccoli

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Pasta is one of those go to items when you really can’t decide what’s for dinner and since there are literally hundreds of variations you’ll never be stuck for a recipe.

I particularly like this one because my grandson inhaled it and wanted more for lunch at school the next day.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 1/4 cups Large Shells
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 6 Mild Italian Sausage – casing removed
  • 1 small yellow Onion – diced
  • 1 medium yellow Pepper – diced
  • 2 handfuls Spinach
  • 4 cups Broccoli florets
  • 3 1/2 cups Low Sodium Chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp granulated Garlic
  • Salt to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven and cook the onion and peppers with some salt until softened.
  2. Add the sausage and cook until broken up and brown then add the Broccoli and Garlic.
  3. Pour in half the Chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta shells and cook until the pasta is cooked through and most of the broth is absorbed.
  4. Mix in the spinach and cook until wilted.
  5. Place in bowls and dust with the Parmesan.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                                  Bon Appetit

Pork and Pancetta Pasta

Pork and Pancetta Pasta

Pork and Pancetta Pasta

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Pasta is a staple of traditional Italian cuisine with the first reference dating to 1154 in Sicily so it’s no wonder there are more ways to prepare it than one can shake a stick at but what I have found over the years is that Italian restaurants really only do a tomato sauce or cream sauce with the pasta dishes they put out all the while ignoring other ways of serving it. So with that in mind I decided to do this pasta dish “naked” ( no not me… the pasta) meaning I didn’t use a sauce and it was a huge hit.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 1 large package Compliments™ All Natural Fettucini
  • 2 pounds boneless Pork Loin – cut into bite sized pieces.
  • 12 ounces diced  Pancetta
  • 3 large Shallots – diced
  • 1 large Yellow pepper – diced
  • 1 large Red pepper – diced
  • 2 cups Baby Spinach
  • 3 Garlic cloves – fine dice
  • 2 Shallots – diced
  • 2 medium Tomatoes – diced
  • 2 teaspoons dried Basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste 

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and saute the Pancetta until just brown.
  2. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and add the pork to the same pan and brown all over.
  3. Add back the pancetta and remaining ingredients, cover and simmer until the pork is tender.
  4. While the pork is simmering bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the fettuccine. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Drain the pasta, plate and top with the pork and pancetta.

Cooks note: Fresh pasta cooks incredibly fast so keep an eye on it otherwise it will go mushy. 

There you have it another “Simple bust tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                            Bon Appetit

Coconut Cashew Rice

Coconut Cashew rice

Coconut Cashew Rice

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Rice is my usual go to for those occasions when I don’t want potatoes but need a tasty side dish to compliment the main ingredient in the meal.

Now if you simply Google “rice recipes” you will come up with approximately 60 million results so naturally a little thought is required to narrow down the results and not send you racing to the loony bin.

With this particular rice dish the Coconut and Cashew gives the dish a very unique flavour and anything else you add is gravy.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 1 1/2  cups Coconut milk
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 3 tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 3/4 cup Cashew pieces
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 medium Spanish Onion – chopped
  • 1 medium Red Pepper – sliced
  • 1 medium Green Pepper – sliced
  • 3 Garlic cloves – chopped

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and saute the onion for 2 minutes.
  2. Add in the rice and stir until well coated.
  3. Stir in the Coconut milk, Chicken stock salt and garlic.
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. In the last five minutes add the peppers and cashews to the rice, re-cover and let sit off the heat.
  6. Fluff with a fork and serve.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                             Bon Appetit

Sausage and Peppers Sandwich

Sausage and Pepper Sandwich

Sausage and Peppers Sandwich

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Quick and easy lunches and dinners can sometimes be elusive simply because we don’t have that much time to think about it. This particular recipe comes in very handy for just those occasions as there are not that many ingredients and the time from start to finish is short.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 package of six Italian sausage
  • 6 slices Provolone cheese
  • 6 Panini buns
  • 2 medium Red Pepper – sliced
  • 2 medium Green pepper – sliced
  • 2 medium yellow Onions – sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dried  Oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried Basil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large pot of water par boil the sausage until just firm.
  2. In a large saute pan saute the peppers and onions until just soft and add the herbs and salt and pepper
  3. Slice the peppers down the middle and flatten.
  4. Place the peppers in a large frying pan and top with some of the onion and pepper mix. Top with the Provolone and cover with a pot lid until the cheese has melted.
  5. While the cheese is melting lightly toast the panini buns.
  6. Place the sausage and peppers in the bun, slice on the bias and enjoy.

Cooks note:  Par boiling the sausage will make it easier to slice them down the middle and will stop them from falling apart.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                           Bon Appetit

Jambalaya

Sausage and Shrimp Jambalaya

Jambalaya

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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It’s no secret that I have a bit of a love affair with Cajun/Creole cooking. I mean what’s not to love? The depths of seasoning, the seafood, different vegetable combinations and various meats used in this cuisine open up a whole world of possibilities. The only thing is—— What took me so long to post this recipe??

Now this particular Jambalaya is a marriage of the “King of  Bam” ( Emeril Lagasse) and mine with most of the credit going to Chef Emeril.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 3 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 6 cups Vegetable stock or Water
  • 1 28 ounce can Diced Tomatoes
  • 3 cups Uncle Ben’s™ 5 Minute Rice
  • 1 bag 31 – 40 Shrimp – peeled, cleaned and tail off
  • 1 pound Andouille sausage – sliced on the diagonal and bite sized
  • 2 cups chopped Red Onion
  • 1 cup chopped Celery
  • 1 cup chopped Bell Pepper
  • 3 chopped Garlic cloves
  • 1 cup chopped Green Onions for garnish
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 3 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • 3 tablespoons Chipotle powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried Thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Seasoned Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. In a large dutch oven heat the oil and brown the sausage in batches removing to a holding bowl.
  3. In the same pot add the onion, celery, peppers and seasonings mixing well. Cook for about 3 minutes
  4. Add the tomatoes, stock and sausage. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover and put in the oven for about 35 minutes.
  5. Add the rice and shrimp and turn off the heat for another 5 minutes.
  6. Plate and garnish with the green onions if desired.
  7. Enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……….

                           Bon Appetit 

Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Tasty Thursdays around the old homestead have kind of warped into “Pick a country and do one dish from that country”. How we got to the point of Hungarian Goulash is a bit of an inside joke however it works for tonight as I have, and I hate to admit it, never made this classic Hungarian dish before and because I haven’t I Googled it and decided to use this recipe which comes from Taste of Home Magazine with a very slight adaption from yours truly.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 1/2 pounds Stew Beef – cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups Beef stock
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 3 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 2 pounds Pappardelle noodles
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Flour
  • 1 10 ounce can Aylmers Original Accent tomatoes
  • 1 large White Onion – peeled, cut in half and sliced
  • 1 medium Yellow Pepper – rough diced
  • 1 medium Red Pepper – rough diced
  • 4 Garlic cloves – chopped
  • 6 tbsp Paprika
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • Fresh Parsley – chopped for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° degrees.
  2. Toss the stew beef in the 1/4 cup of flour shaking off any excess.
  3. Heat the Canola oil in a medium sized stock pot and brown the stew beef in batches and set aside.
  4. To the stock pot add the butter, onions, garlic and peppers and saute for about 4 minutes. Remove the onion and pepper mix and deg-laze the pot with some of the Beef stock making sure to scrape up the Sucs (the little brown bits on the bottom of the pot).
  5. Add back the onions, peppers and beef mixing well. Add the remaining beef stock and the Aylmer tomatoes stirring well.
  6. Mix in the remaining flour and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and place in the oven for 90 minutes or until the beef is tender.
  7. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions
  8. Add the sour cream to the Goulash and heat through.
  9. Drain the noodles, plate and top with the Goulash.
  10. Garnish with Parsley

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                           Bon Appetit 

Souvalaki Pork Stir Fry

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Souvalaki Pork Stir Fry

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Anyone who has ever had Greek food has at one time or another had Souvalaki and those who make it at home know it can be rather labour intensive that is why this time I decided to make it into a stir fry along with some Greek style rice.

The main thing to remember with Souvlaki whether Pork or Chicken is it does not take long to cook and it can easily become dry.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 pounds boneless Pork loin chops – sliced
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata Olives
  • 1/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons  Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves – minced
  • 1 tablespoon Oregano (Greek if you can get it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Tumeric
  • 1 medium White Onion – diced
  • 1 each Yellow, Red and Orange Pepper – sliced
  • 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/2 English Cucumber – diced
  • 2 cups Long Grain Rice
  • 2 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • Sour Cream for garnish

Putting it all together.

  1. Mix together the pork, garlic, oregano, 1/4 cup olive oil and salt and put in a seal-able bag in the refrigerator for about 1 hr
  2. When the pork has marinated for about 45 mins preheat your oven to 350°
  3. When the pork has finished  marinating heat half the remaining oil in a dutch oven and add the onion cooking for about three minutes. Mix in the rice and Tumeric making sure to coat the rice well. Add in the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  4. Take off the heat and put in the oven for approximately 35 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. In a wok or a large fry pan heat the remaining oil on medium high and flash fry the pork. Pull the pork from the wok, add the peppers and garlic and saute for about four minutes. Add back the pork and continue cooking for about another 4 minutes.
  6. Plate the rice and top with cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and feta cheese.
  7. On the other half of the plate place the pork and peppers and top with sour cream.
  8. Enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……

                           Bon Appetit

Sweet Heat Marinade

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Sweet Heat Marinade

  • Servings: 1/2 cup
  • Difficulty: Easy
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At the beginning of the summer I got a late jump on my vegetable garden because I had not been able to build the raised bed due to the weather but here it is the middle of August and it is going gangbusters…. particularly ,the Herbs and Peppers.

With the cornucopia a mere 30 feet from the house is it any wonder that seasoning dinner has become easier?

The herbs and peppers in the picture are the stars of the marinade and they play very well together in this easy recipe.

Cooks Note:  The Pineapple Sage and Sweet Heat peppers may not be easy to find so feel free to substitute.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 1 Large Jalapeno
  • 1 Medium Poblano
  • 2 Sweet Heat peppers
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons fresh chopped Thai Basil
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup fresh chopped Pineapple Sage
  • 4 tablespoons Honey
  • 1/4 cup Canola Oil
  • Juice of half a Lime
  • 2 tablespoons granulated Garlic
  • pinch of Salt and Pepper

Putting it all together:

  1. Seed the peppers. Place all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor and pulse a few times.
  2. With the processor running add the oil in a steady stream until it is mixed thoroughly.
  3. Use imediately or put in an airtight container and store in the fridge.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                            Bon Appetit

Meat on a stick

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Meat on a stick

  • Servings: 18-20
  • Difficulty: Easy
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I love the culture of grilling. It creates an atmosphere that is festive but casual. 

Bobby Flay

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and instead of taking the women in my life….. my wife, daughter and daughter in law….. (my mom lives 2 hours out of town and at 85 doesn’t like to travel far anymore) out to a restaurant for dinner I did the next best thing….. I made them dinner starting with appetizers so they could do as they please and be waited on as befits the day.

The main drawback to this particular recipe is the prep time. The meat needs to be marinated and assembling the skewers is time consuming and somewhat labour intensive however as my son says “there is something about wood and meat that makes it all worth while” and I couldn’t agree more.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 pounds bottom Sirloin steak tails (see cooks note)
  • 9″ Bamboo skewers
  • 2 large Yellow peppers
  • 2 large Red peppers
  • 2 large Orange peppers
  • 1 large Red Onion

For the Marinade:

  • 1/3 cup sodium reduced Soya sauce
  • 1/3 cup Fish sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Garlic Chili sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sugar

Putting it all together:

  1. Cut the steak and vegetables into bite sized pieces.
  2. In a non reactive container mix together the soya sauce, fish sauce, garlic chili sauce and sugar. Put the steak in a zip lock bag, pour in the marinade and place in the fridge overnight.
  3. Soak the skewers in water for at least 30 mins as this will help to stop them burning on the grill.
  4. Preheat the grill to 375° and then build your skewers by alternating the meat and the veggies until all the skewers are filled.
  5. Grill and enjoy.

Cooks note: I chose bottom sirloin steak tails because one of our independent grocers carries them and the price is really quite good as is the product however feel free to use whatever steak you wish.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………..

                         Bon Appetit

Creole duck breast with mushroom Ragout

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Creole duck breast with mushroom ragout

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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May your sun always shine, and your sky be forever blue.
Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The reason I happened to pick this recipe is simply because for the first time in a while my wife and I have the house to ourselves and with the kids away I can indulge the both of US with something I can’t cook when my daughter is home and that is Duck which for me is sunshine and blue skies.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 Duck breast – approximately one pound
  • .5 ounces Morel mushrooms
  • 5 ounce button mushrooms – washed and halved
  • 5 ounce Portabello mushrooms – rough chopped
  • 4 ounce red onion – sliced
  • 6 ounces green pepper – rough chopped
  • 6 ounces red pepper – rough chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves – chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tsblespoons Olive oil
  • 1/4 heavy cream
  • 1 cup mushroom broth (can substitute chicken broth)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Score the skin side of the duck making a cross hatch design and rub the Creole spice into the skin and place in a zip lock bag for approximately one hour and keep in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In an oven proof pan sear the duck, skin side down, for about ten minutes and turn over when the skin is crispy. Put the pan in the oven for about another ten minutes for medium rare.
  3. Meanwhile in a large skillet heat the oil and the butter and add the peppers, garlic, onions and mushrooms and saute for about 5 minutes.Add the mushroom broth, thyme, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until nicely thickened.
  4. Let the duck rest for approximately ten minutes to allow the juices to redistribute through the meat and slice on an angle.
  5. Enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……….

                            Bon Appetit