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

Ground Beef Stuffed Shells

 

Ground Beef Stuffed Shells II

Ground Beef Stuffed Shells

  • Servings: 8 - 10
  • Difficulty: Easy
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This is a recipe I have wanted to try for some time now but for some reason I just never got around to it until today.

Now since I have never made this one before I am borrowing a recipe from Taste of Home Magazine but of course I will be adding my own little flair to it.

Cooks Note: This recipe is a bit labour intensive so give yourself adequate time to prepare it. 

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 package Jumbo Pasta Shells
  • 3 tbsp Canola Oil.
  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion – diced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves – chopped
  • 5 cups Baby Spinach
  • 15 ounces Ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 8 ounce jar Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
  • 1 jar Spaghetti Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • chopped Parsley for garnish.

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. In a large pot of salted water cook the shells according to the package instructions. When cooked run under cold water.
  3. While the pasta is cooking brown the  ground beef in a large pan, drain and remove to a bowl.
  4. Return the ground beef to the pan and add in the onion, garlic, spinach, pesto, salt and pepper and simmer for about ten minutes.
  5. In a separate bowl mix the Ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 cups Parmesan and egg.
  6. Mix half the beef mixture with the cheese.
  7. In a greased 13×9 baking dish spread 3/4 cup of pasta sauce. Stuff the shells with the beef and cheese mix and place in the dish.
  8. Mix the remaining pasta sauce in with the remaining half of the ground beef and pour over the stuffed shells.
  9. Top with Parmesan and Italian blend and bake until cheese has melted and is bubbly, about 15 mins.
  10. Garnish with Parsley and enjoy.

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

Until next time……..

                            Bon Appetit

Seafood Linguine Alfredo

Seafood Linguini

Seafood Linguine Alfredo

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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“Everything you see I owe to pasta.” – Sophia Loren

The last time I posted an Alfredo type recipe was TWO years ago (time sure does fly) so I thought I would do another one but with a couple of variations this time around.

Now the Alfredo Sauce itself is staying the same (why mess with a good thing) however this time around as a time saving element I will be using precooked Clam meat and Mussels along with uncooked Shrimp in addition to Shallots and Spinach. I will also be using TAIL OFF shrimp as I personally can’t stand biting into a succulent shrimp only to try and find a place to dispose of the tail.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 package thawed 31-40 White Shrimp – peeled and deveined
  • 2 1/2 cups Clam meat
  • 2 1/2 cups Mussels
  • 2 Shallots – diced
  • 2 medium Garlic cloves – finely diced
  • 3 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Heavy cream
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cups Grated Parmesan
  • 1 pkg (350 grams) Linguine noodles
  • Shaved Parmesan and Parsley for garnish

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large pot of salted water cook the Linguine according to package instructions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan and add in the garlic and shallot and cook until the shallot is translucent. Add the butter and mix well.
  3. When the butter has melted add the heavy cream, spinach and the grated Parmesan and stir frequently.
  4. Reduce the heat and let the sauce thicken.
  5. Add in the shrimp, mussels and clams and continue cooking until the shrimp has turned pink.
  6. Plate the pasta, top with the sauce and garnish with the shaved Parmesan and Parsley.
  7. Enjoy.

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

Until next time……

                          Bon Appetit

Tuscan Style Spaghetti with Chicken and Pancetta

 

Tuscan style spaghetti with Chicken and Pancetta

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Tuscan style spaghetti with chicken and bacon

As someone who cooks on a daily basis every once in a while I run into the “cooks” version of Writer’s Block and have absolutely no idea what to make for dinner and as any seasoned cook knows this can be very frustrating so when I ran into this particular issue tonight I turned to the Internet and searched for some inspiration and “what do you know”…. I found some.

I stole this particular recipe from Delish.com and I modified it ever so slightly and to say it was a hit would be an understatement so thank you Delish for the inspiration.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 12 ounces of Spaghetti
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless Chicken Breast – sliced into strips
  • 6 ounces Pancetta – diced
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Garlic cloves – finely chopped
  • 5 ounces sliced Olives
  • 2 cups Tomatoes – diced
  • 3 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large pot of salted water cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and reserve one cup of the pasta water.
  2. In a large skillet heat the oil over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Add the Pancetta to the skillet and cook for about 6 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain half the fat.
  4. To the skillet add the garlic, tomatoes, olives and spinach. Season with salt and pepper, then add the heavy cream, Parmesan and half a cup of pasta water and let simmer. Add the past and mix until well coated.
  5. Add back the chicken and Pancetta, mix well and serve.

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

Until next time…..

                           Bon Appetit

 

Stuffed Chicken Breast

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Stuffed Chicken Breast

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
― Julia Child

This is one of those “I can’t believe healthy tastes so good” recipes and that’s due to it not being your “traditional” stuffing of stale bread and spices.

Now to be honest I don’t have the slightest idea where this recipe first came from but it is one that I have NOT tampered with (much to my wife’s delight) and it is so good that I don’t feel the need to try and change it however feel free to put whatever spin on this dish you like.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 boneless/skinless Chicken Breast
  • Handful of Spinach roughly chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 4 ounces dried Sundried Tomatoes
  • 8 ounces Goat Cheese 
  • 2 small Shallots – chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. In a non reactive bowl cover the Sundried tomatoes with boiling water and set aside for 20 minutes.
  3. In the thickest part of the chicken breast cut a pocket being careful not to cut all the way through.
  4. Mix the remaining ingredients together and stuff into the pocket of each breast.
  5. Lightly sprinkle the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper and put in the oven for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°.

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

Until next time……….

                         Bon Appetit

Spanakopita in a Croissant

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  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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The Greeks have given the world many many great things over the centuries…… Democracy, Theater, Philosophy and of course—- FOOD. While most of us tend to forget that they gave us Democracy, Theater and Philosophy we can all certainly remember the Food. I mean, seriously, who can forget such toothsome foods as Souvlaki, Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) and one of my all time favs Spanakopita which is a Greek spinach pie. Just the thought of spinach with onions, garlic, ricotta and feta cheese nestled between flaky Phyllo dough has me drooling. The fly in the ointment for this recipe, for me at least, is that I simply despise using Phyllo so when I found this particular recipe in my book Grilled Cheese & More (Publications International Ltd) I could not have been happier.

Here’s how we do this one…..

Shopping List:

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 package (ten ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 4 ounces crumbled Feta cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 4 medium croissants
  • 8 slices (1 ounce each) Monterey Jack cheese

Putting it all together:

  1. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heaat. Add onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add spinach; cook 5 minutes or until spinach is dry. Remove from heat; stir in Feta cheese, oregano and nutmeg. Season to taste with black pepper. Divide spinach mixture evenly among croissant bottoms; top with Monterey Jack and croissant tops.
  2. Wipe out skillet with paper towel; place over medium heat until hot. Add sandwiches; cover with large lid. Cook sandwiches over low heat 5 to 6 minutes or until cheese melts and bottoms are golden brown.

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

Until next time……….

                    Bon Appetite

 

Cheese stuffed cedar planked figs wrapped with Prosciutto

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I thought I would continue the “simple but tasty” apps path with another one I happen to have stolen from Chef Ted Readers dynamite BBQ book and the fact that this one uses a part of the noble pig, in this case Prosciutto, is no mere coincidence. Now to be honest I have never really eaten figs other than in Fig Newton cookies and I have not really seen them outside of an old movie or two where some Bedouin sheikh is lounging on an overstuffed pillow watching some dancing girls and munching on fresh figs but over the past few months I have started to see them being sold in more and more grocery stores and they reminded me of this particular recipe and so I thought I would pass it on to you…… oh and of course this is not the original recipe in Chef Ted’s book since I have tweaked it to my own tastes.

Ingredients:

Untreated 12 inch Cedar plank soaked overnight

1/2 cup creme de cassis

1 Tablespoon cracked black peppercorns

12 Medium to large fresh black or green figs, halved lengthwise

3/4 cup Goat cheese

3/4 cup crumbled Blue cheese

Four ounces sun dried tomatoes, chopped

1 green onion finely chopped

1/2 cup baby spinach, chopped

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon fresh Sage, finally chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

12 thin slices Prosciutto

Liquid honey to drizzle (optional)

Putting it all together:

In a small flat shallow dish put the creme de cassis and sprinkle the cracked peppercorns on top

Add the figs, cut side down, and marinade for about an hour

While the figs are marinating soak the sun dried  tomatoes in hot water until they are reconstituted (about 20 minutes)—— there is nothing like biting into a rubbery piece of sun dried tomato…. well maybe there are a few things but that’s for another day.

Pre heat the BBQ to 450 degrees

In a medium bowl mix all the other ingredients, except the Prosciutto and honey.

Take one half of a fig and place a good amount of the cheese mix on it and then top with the other half and wrap in Prosciutto. Secure with a toothpick

Repeat until all the figs are stuffed and wrapped

Place the figs on a cedar plank and place in the BBQ for five to six minutes or until the cheese starts to ooze

Place on a platter and drizzle with honey if using it.

The great thing about this recipe is that the figs can be assembled a day in advance and brought out to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.

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

So until next time…………

                                                         Bon Appetit