Friday, January 27, 2012

Sausage & Pepper Pasta

This has to be the easiest dish ever but tastes so good! I love sausage, my whole family does actually. So what better way to have sausage then with pasta and veggies? This recipe started with my love for sausage and pasta and thought, hmmm I should experiment.  This is dry pasta but you could easily add your favorite marinara sauce to it, I am just not a red sauce fan! So I did and this is what I came up with.
·         1 Lbs. Hot Italian Sausage, casings removed if you get links.
·         2 Tbs. Olive Oil
·         1 Yellow Onion, sliced
·         1 Large pack of button Mushrooms, sliced
·         ½ Red Bell Pepper, Sliced
·         ½ Green Bell Pepper, Sliced
·         2-3 tsp. Garlic (more or less depending on taste)
·         Salt to taste
·         Black Pepper to taste
·         Red Pepper Flake to taste
·         Parmesan Cheese, Freshly Grated
·         ¾ Lbs. Pasta, cooked to package directions (I usually use penne or bowtie)

Cook and drain the pasta according to the package directions.
In a large frying pan, add sausage, garlic, pepper, salt, red pepper flake and cook through.  Once the sausage is cooked, remove onto a plate and set aside.  In the same pan, add the olive oil and all the veggies and cook until they are tender, making sure not to overcook.  Add the sausage back in and mix to combine.  Add the pasta and toss to combine.
When you are ready to eat, plate the pasta and sausage mixture and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese. 
This really is a quick weeknight meal you can make as long as you have everything on hand.  I use hot sausage, well because I love spicy food, but you can always use sweet Italian sausage or a combination of both.  However you make it, try it soon and remember to take the Thyme to Savor…

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Crispy Roasted Potatoes

These potatoes are amazingly delicious.  They are fairly easy to make and require not a whole lot of attention.  Here is the recipe that serves 2!

·         2 1/4 teaspoons melted butter
·         2 1/4 teaspoons olive oil
·         1 pound russet potatoes, peeled
·         2 shallots, thickly sliced lengthwise
·         pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
·         coarse salt
·         2 sprigs fresh thyme
·         Preheat oven to 375°. Combine butter and oil in a small bowl.
·         Brush the bottom of a small round baking dish (or two individual baking dishes) with some of the butter mixture and set aside.
·         Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice potatoes very thinly crosswise. The thinner the potato, the crispier it will get in the oven.
·         Vertically arrange potato slices in the baking dish(es) and wedge shallots throughout
·         Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and salt. Brush tops with remaining butter mixture.
·         Bake for one hour; then add fresh thyme and bake for an additional 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender and cooked through and tops are crispy.

These are a must try! They are a great side dish to steak, chops, or even chicken.  How ever you eat them, remember to take the Thyme to Savor...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Vegetable Manchurian

This is an extra special recipe.  I {LOVE} Manchurian.  It’s a vegetable dish with a sauce.  Manchurian typically refers to an Indian – Chinese (IndoChinese) dish, basically Indian Food with a Chinese twist.  This one is really good.  I got this recipe from my Sister-In-Law and adjusted it just slightly to my family’s taste.  See we like our food spicy, so have added that into almost all components of this dish from the fried Manchurian Balls to the Manchurian Sauce.  I do have to say, this recipe involves A LOT of vegetable chopping but {SO} worth it in the end, it’s that good! Try it out and let me know what you think…
Manchurian Balls
-          ½ bell peppers each (red, yellow, green) finely chopped
-          3 stalks of green onions, finely chopped
-          1 red onion, finely chopped
-          Few Handful of fresh green beans, finely chopped
-          2  carrots (shredded)
-          ½ each of red and white cabbage (finely shredded)
-          Handful of cilantro, finely chopped
-          ¼ Cauliflower, finely chopped
-          1-2 Serrano Chilies, finely chopped
-          3 Tbsp White vinegar
-          3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
-          4 Squirts of Siracha (more or less depending on taste)
-          3 -4 Tbsp Garlic, finely chopped
-          3-4 Tbsp Ginger, finely chopped
-          1 Cup All purpose flour
-          2-3 Tbsp Cornstarch
-          Salt and pepper to taste
-          Canola Oil for Deep Frying
-          Finely chop all the veggies and drain any excess water out of any of the veggie, especially the carrots.
-          Combine all the veggies in a large bowl; add garlic and ginger, pepper, 4 squirtssiracha, soy sauce and white vinegar and mix all the ingredients well.
-          Taste and add salt if needed.
-          Add the all-purpose flour and cornstarch and mix into the veggies thoroughly.  Add more flour and/or cornstarch if needed, keeping in mind the mix should not need any additional water.
-          The mix should feel a little sticky.
-          Fry the Manchurian balls at a low heat once the oil is heated. Taste and adjust as needed.
-          If it breaks in the oil you can add more flour and/or cornstarch.
Once the Manchurian Balls are fried, let them cool slightly.  At this point you can cool completely and freeze some if you desire.  While the Balls are cooling, make the sauce. 
Manchurian Sauce
-          3 Tbsp. Oil
-          3-4 stalks Spring onions - chopped
-          1  Jalapeño, finely chopped
-          3 Garlic Cloves, Finely Chopped
-          1 Teaspoon Ginger, Finely Chopped
-          3 Tbsp. soy sauce
-          1  cup water
-          1 Tbsp.  cornstarch and ½ cup water, combined
-          2 Tbsp.  tomato ketchup
-          2 Tbsp.  sweet and sour sauce
-          Siracha (add to taste)
-          Red Pepper Flake (to taste)
-          Heat the oil and sauté the spring onions and jalapenos for 2 minutes on high heat (don’t let them go golden)
-          Add ginger, garlic, and chill to taste – sauté for about a minute
-          Add soy sauce,  cup of water and salt and pepper to taste – bring to a boil and then simmer for 2 minutes
-          Add the combined mix of cornstarch and water
-          Stir in ketchup and sweet n sour sauce – cook for about 5 minutes
-          Add siracha if you want along with the Red Pepper Flake.
-          Taste and adjust.
When ready to eat, mix Manchurian balls and sauce.  Sauce should just cover the balls with a little extra sauce.  If you like more sauce, add more.  Keep the Manchurian Balls and Sauce separate until you are ready to eat, otherwise the balls will become too soggy and break apart.  Garnish with spring onions and cilantro.
Serve with Stir Fry Noodles or Fried Rice... making sure to remember to take the Thyme to Savor!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mexican Samosa Chaat

Chaat is typically known as “savory snacks” served road-side from food carts or stalls.  This is my take on reinventing something traditional for me into something a bit more nontraditional in flavors and ingredients.  This is basically my take on a Fried Wet Burrito, shaped like a samosa, of course!

This is a must try, a bit time consuming to make the samosas but if made in advance, they can be frozen so they are ready when you have the urge to have this dish. 

·         Any Uncooked Tortillas
·         1 Can Refried Beans
·         ½ Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped
·         ½ Red Bell Pepper, finely chopped
·         1 Yellow Onion, finely chopped
·         1 Jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)
·         1 ½ Cup Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
·         ½ Cup Enchilada Sauce
·         Water and Flour mixed to make a paste to seal samosas
·         Vegetable Oil for Deep Frying

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the uncooked tortillas.

To Prepare:
·         Cut the uncooked tortillas in half and form into triangle shapes using the flour and water mixture to seal.
·         Stuff the Samosa with the bean mixture and close using more flour and water mixture.  Make sure all openings are sealed shut otherwise it will open up during the frying process.
·         Repeat until all the beans are used up.
·         Deep Fry the samosa in hot vegetable oil when ready to eat.

Other Ingredients
·         Your favorite Enchilada Sauce, Warmed
·         Chopped Red Onions
·         Chopped Green Onions
·         Sliced Olives
·         Sour Cream
·         Guacamole
·         Shredded cheese

To Assemble:
·         Top the fried samosa with your favorite enchilada sauce and sprinkle your desired topping onto the Samosa and sauce.
·         Serve with your favorite Mexican Rice!

This really is a good hearty dish.  Its very filling and a crowd pleaser.  Try this at your next party and make a "bar" out of it and let guests top their own! Whichever way you have it, remember to take some Thyme to Savor...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tequila Lime Fettuccine

Hey everyone! Just wanted to stop by and share a recipe with you guys.  My hubby {loves} the Tequila Lime Fettuccini at CPK.  I found a recipe on line and gave it a try.  It turned out great! The only missing was the green spinach fettuccini pasta. I didn’t have any so I used regular fettuccini.

1 (16 ounce) package spinach fettuccine pasta
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

In a medium saucepan, sauté the cilantro, garlic and jalapeno pepper in 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the stock, tequila and lime juice. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until reduced to a paste-like consistency. Set aside.
Pour soy sauce over the chicken and set aside for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, In a medium sized skillet, sauté the onion and the red, green and yellow bell peppers with the remaining tablespoon of butter or margarine, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cook fettuccini according to package directions.
When the peppers have wilted, add the chicken and soy sauce. Toss and add the reserved tequila/lime paste and cream. Bring to a boil. Gently simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thick. Toss with well drained fettuccini and garnish with cilantro. Serve.
This is a must try recipe! The flavors are great together! Give this one a try… you might just find a new favorite! Remember take the Thyme to Savor….

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar... would could ask for a better combination? This dessert is a quick and easy treat that is just perfect for a cold fall evening. Served with a bit of vanilla ice cream and you will be in heaven.  This is a recipe adapted and modified from Ina Garten from the Food Network.
Pilsbury Pie Crust
1 1/2 pounds Green apples (3 large)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
For the filling, peel, core, and cut the apples semi thin wedges. Cover the tart dough with the apple wedges in a nice pattern leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Pour into a bowl and rub it with your fingers until it starts holding together. Sprinkle evenly on the apples. Gently fold the border over the apples to enclose the dough, pleating it to make a circle.
Bake the crostata for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. Allow to cool.  Serve warm with Vanilla Ice Cream and take the Thyme to Savor…

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

I {LOVE} Rea Drummond! I love her love for food. I have been tempted to try many of her recipes and most I modify to use oh not so much butter or cream and they are still amazingly good! This one was no different.  I have made this once before in the crock pot but let me tell you… this time was so much better. In a Dutch oven… in the oven, slow and steady! This meat is exceptionally delicious and has a tremendous amount of flavor.  The ingredients might scare you at first but trust me, trust Rea… it’s so, so good!
1 whole Large Onion
1 whole Pork Shoulder ("pork Butt") - 5 To 7 Pounds
Salt, Freshly Ground Black Pepper, and Garlic Powder
6-7 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (11 Ounce) Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce
2 cans Dr. Pepper

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay them in the bottom of a large Dutch oven. I love onion so I might have added more than just one!

Mix the salt, pepper, and garlic powder and season the meat, remembering it’s a big piece of meat so the more the merrier! Once it’s seasoned, rub the entire piece of meat with the diced garlic cloves! Then set it on top of the onions in the pan.
Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (include the sauce.) Pour in both cans of Dr. Pepper into the pan.

Place lid tightly on pot, then set pot in the oven. Cook for at least six hours, turning roast two or three times during the cooking process. After the 6 hour mark, check the meat to see how well its cooked.  It should easily fall apart, if it doesn’t, cook it for another hour or so and check again. 

Remove meat from pot and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, discarding large pieces of fat. Strain as much of the fat off the top of the cooking liquid as you can and discard it.

For the liquid, I removed all the chili peppers that are now plump and juicy and discarded those. I have little ones eating so wanted to control some of the spice. I placed the Dutch oven to the stove over high heat and reduced the liquid by half, maybe even more.  Because the majority of the liquid was the Dr. Pepper, the sauce was now nice and thick with amazing flavor.  We used this as our bbq sauce on our pulled pork sandwiches.  The added kick from the spice was incredible!

This is a must try  because it yields so much meat and you can have plenty of left overs with endless possibilities.  Try this today and when you do, remember to take the Thyme to Savor!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

We {LOVE} the Loaded Baked Potato Soup at Black Angus! I wanted to find a recipe that would replicate it but also remain healthy.  Here is the recipe I found on the Weight Watchers site that I modified a bit.  This soup is really tasty and has become a favorite in our house with some Cheddar Bay Biscuits!!

4 Large Potatoes
2 Teaspoon Olive Oil
½ cup Onions, Chopped
1 ½ cups Chicken Stock
2 Tablespoon Flour
2 Cups Milk
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder (more depending on your taste)
1 Teaspoon Parsley

1. Pierce potatoes with a fork. Microwave on HIGH 10-12 minutes or until tender. Peel and cut in half; cool slightly.

2. While potatoes cook, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 3 minutes. Add broth. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk and add to the pan along with the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk. Bring to a boil; stir often. Cook 1 minute.  Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley. Check seasonings and add more if needed.

3. Discard potato skins and mash 1 potato and add to the soup.  Chop the remaining potatoes and add them to the soup. 

4. Top the soup with normal baked potato toppings such as crispy bacon, cheese, scallions, and sour cream!

Give this a try even if you are not watching what you are eating.. its delicious! And always remember to take the Thyme to Savor!