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

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

Caldo Verde

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Caldo Verde

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Was in a doctor’s office yesterday and, with time to kill, I started flipping through a magazine when I came across a recipe for Caldo Verde or “Portuguese Green Soup”. What immediately caught my eye with this one is two of my favourite ingredients….. Chorizo sausage and Navy beans and so I knew I just had to make it.

Traditional Caldo Verde, from what I have managed to find out, contains ( amongst other things) Kale and Potatoes but seeing how I didn’t have Kale and didn’t really feel like peeling potatoes I left them out and substituted Savoy cabbage for the Kale. In addition I strayed a little bit more from the recipe I found by adding a bit of spice in the form of a Poblano pepper and some Cajun seasoning. The addition of the Cajun seasoning and the Poblano pepper makes this a perfect “I feel awful from a cold” type of soup since it provides a warm and comfy feeling and the spices help clear your sinuses.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 5 Chorizo sausages cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups Navy beans – washed and rinsed
  • 1 medium Poblano pepper – seeded and diced
  • 1 medium yellow Onion – diced
  • 1/2 head of a small Savoy cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 4 Garlic cloves – finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 cups low sodium Chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • Sea salt and fresh ground Pepper to taste
  • Olive baguette (optional)

Putting it all together:

  1. Place the Navy beans in a large non reactive bowl, cover with water and set aside for about 2 hours
  2. When the beans have softened place the Olive oil and Chorizo in a large pot or Dutch oven and brown on medium high heat – about 5 to 8 minutes
  3. Remove the sausage and set aside.
  4. Add the onion, Poblano pepper and garlic to the pot and sauté for about 3 minutes
  5. Add in the chicken stock, Navy beans and the remainder of the seasonings and simmer for about 15 minutes
  6. Add back the Chorizo and mix well
  7. Mix in the cabbage and continue simmering for about 10 minutes or until the cabbage has softened
  8. Adjust the seasonings and enjoy

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

Until next time……

                            Bon Appetit

Sausage and clam Carbonara

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Sausage and clam Carbonara

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Let me first begin by wishing one and all a very Happy New Year and may the coming year be filled with nothing but joy and happiness.

I chose this recipe for this post as it is something I have never tried before and to be quite honest I’m not entirely sure I have ever had it before in a restaurant and so it seemed rather apropos to ring in the new year with something fresh and new.

You will notice that I have rated the difficulty for this one as “Medium” and the reason for that is there is a step that is kind of tricky and if it is not done correctly you will wind up with “scrambled egg” pasta.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • One large package of Penne
  • Five Sun-dried Tomato Turkey sausage – cut into bite sized pieces
  • 20 Pasta clams – Scrubbed and de-bearded
  • Three tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Three garlic cloves– crushed
  • Six Eggs
  • 12 ounces diced Pancetta
  • One medium Onion – diced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley for garnish and colour

Putting it all together:

  1. Cook the Penne in a large pot of salted water until just al dente
  2. While the pasta is cooking heat the oil in a large sauce pan and add the onion and garlic cooking until the onion is translucent and the garlic has infused the oil
  3. Remove the garlic and discard
  4. Add the pancetta and sausage and cook until both are cooked through
  5. While the meat is cooking crack the eggs in a large mixing bowl along with the salt and pepper and beat well
  6. Add the Parmesan to the eggs and mix until well incorporated. Set aside
  7. Add the cooked pasta, along with a little of the pasta water, to the pancetta and sausage and mix well
  8. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly, about five minutes.
  9. While the pasta is cooling steam the clams until open discarding any that don’t as they are dead
  10. Pour the egg  and cheese mixture over the pasta and blend until smooth. If the pasta is too hot the egg will scramble
  11. Plate the pasta and top with the clams and some parsley

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

Until next time………..

                           Bon Appetit

Grilled Pork Butt chops

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My dad worked for a company, for 42 years, that had a close affiliation with slaughter houses and more in particular with Hog Farmers so it’s no wonder I am completely gonzo for PORK. I love pork in its many splendored ways such as Pork Chops, Pork sausage, Pork tenderloin, Bacon and of course Pork Butt.

One of the cuts of pork I have recently embraced with a passion is Pork Butt Chops and one of the reasons I have jumped on this particular cut from the humble porcine creature (that’s a pig y’all) is because I get the great flavor that the butt provides without having to cook a huge amount of it all at once oh and, the store I get mine from sells two to a package for about $8.00 and the chops more resemble the side of a cow instead of pork chops. THEY ARE MASSIVE.

I have two different ways that I do these chops. The first is to hit them with a simple dry rub and then grill them. The other and this is only if I have time, is to marinate them for about an hour before grilling.

Here’s my Marinade method:

Ingredients:

      –    Two large Pork Butt chops

     –     Three minced garlic cloves

    –      1 Teaspoon salt

     –     1 ½ Teaspoons ground pepper

     –     1 ½ Teaspoons granulated onion

      –    ¼ cup Chopped Cilantro

      –    3 Tablespoons Olive oil

 

Method:

     –    Place the chops in a zip lock bag or any other type of sealable container

    –     In a separate mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix until a paste has formed

    –     Add the paste to the bag or container and mix well until the chops are evenly coated

     –    Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour

     –   Grill for approximately 20 minutes, turning over at the half way mark (about  10 minutes) or until the internal temperature hits 160 degrees

Serve this with whatever side you wish, I’d suggest some grilled corn on the cob (see sides) and roast potatoes.

So there you have it —– another “tasty but simple dish for the grilling season and beyond”.

Until next time

               Bon Appetit

Bangers and mash

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The United Kingdom has given the world many wondrous things such as Stonehenge, The Highland games ,Knights, Castles, Damsels in distress and people such as Monty Python and the Late Benny Hill but they have also given us something else that is oft times thought of as bland, tasteless and just plain boring—— FOOD.

They have given us such things as English Fish and Chips, Yorkshire Pudding, Spotted Dick (that’s a pudding not some strange male disease) Steak and Kidney pie and one that I really like for its taste and simplicity… Bangers and Mash.

Now bangers and mash is very simply Sausage and Mashed potatoes with a vegetable, usually peas, and a beef gravy. This dish gets its name from the original type of English sausage that was used because when it cooked it would literally “bang” and pop in the pan.

The other great thing about this dish besides its simplicity is it is relatively inexpensive to make. The ingredients at the market I use would run about $15.00 and depending on the number of sausage in the package, usually 6, I could feed a family of 3 and they would be rather well fed.

Ingredients:

–         One package sausage— English bangers if you can find them or if not mild Italian will do

–         5 or 6 Medium Yukon Gold potatoes

–         4 Tablespoons butter

–         ¼ Cup Milk

–         2 Tins of No Name peas

–         2 Tins of beef gravy

Method:

–         Pre heat your grill to 350 degrees. If you don’t have a grill then pan fry on medium heat until done

–         While the sausage is cooking boil your potatoes on medium high until fork tender

–         Mash the potatoes and add the butter and milk and incorporate well

–         Heat the peas and the gravy in separate pots

–         When the sausage is cooked put some mashed potatoes on part of your plate and top with the sausage and gravy

–         Add the peas and enjoy

If you feel ambitious and the budget can handle it you may also wish to add some mushrooms to the gravy or sauté some onions.

In any event this is a “simple but tasty” recipe that also happens to be inexpensive.

Until next time…………

            Bon Appetit

Biscuits and gravy

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I’m not a morning guy which by extension means I’m not a breakfast person either or let’s say not a traditional breakfast type of guy. My breakfast may be anything from peanut butter toast to a fried egg and cheese sandwich however when the mood strikes me or we have brunch quests I will put out quite the spread and one of my favorites is Biscuits and Gravy.

This is the quintessential Southern breakfast dish which is right up there with Grits and one that I trot out when I have a lot of hungry people to feed.

Gravy Ingredients:

–         1 pound sausage meat

–         1 medium White onion – diced

–         2 Garlic cloves minced

–         1 Tsp salt

–         1 Tsp fresh ground pepper

–         4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

–         3 Cups milk

Biscuits Ingredients:

–        2 cups flour

–        1/4 cup sugar

–        1 teaspoon vanilla

–        4 teaspoons baking powder

–        1/4 teaspoon baking soda

–        1 pinch salt

–        3 ounces cold butter, diced

–       8 ounces buttermilk

Method:

–         Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

–         For the biscuits combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until combined

–         Using two knives or a pastry blender cut in the butter

–         Slowly add the buttermilk and begin to mix all the ingredients trying not to overwork the dough

–         Turn out your dough on a table dusted with flour and knead for approximately 4 minutes (dust your hands with some flour so the dough will not stick)

–         Flatten the dough with the heal of your hand until it is about ¼ inch thick

–         Using a standard water glass cut out your dough and put it on a baking pan

–         Put the biscuits in the oven for approximately 12 minutes or until the top is golden brown

–         While the biscuits are baking heat a large frying pan and brown the sausage meat

–         When the sausage is browned remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon while RESERVING the grease in the pan

–         Add the onion and garlic to the grease and sauté until the onion is translucent, about three minutes.

–         Add the flour and whisk until blended— this is a Roux

–         Slowly add the milk while constantly whisking and you will see the gravy start to thicken

–         Add back in the sausage and salt and pepper to taste

–         Split a biscuit and pour the gravy over top.

Now I never claimed this was a healthy recipe in fact a friend of mine calls it a heart attack on a plate but this is just so darn good and when you add scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage and toast you just may die. The other thing I wish to point out is that this is not just a breakfast dish but one that can be used for dinner all on it’s own.

I hope you enjoy this one and if you try it be prepared to loosen your belt.

        Bon Appetit