Crockpot Spaghetti with Terranova Italian Sausage

teranova

Spaghetti with Terranova Italian Sausage

I’m usually not a huge fan of Italian sausage, more of a meatball gal. Terranova’s Italian sausage has changed my mind. They don’t use a huge amount of fennel and have a perfect balance of spicy and sweet. I specifically go to Katie’s in Mid-City b/c they use Terranova’s sausage on their pizza (which is super tasty). Scott cooked up the sausages in his crockpot spaghetti recipe. So good……

Ingredients:

1 lb. Terranova Italian Sausage
Jar of your favorite marinara sauce
1 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup beef stock
1/2 cup red wine
4 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil and oregano
1 small onion, diced
2 cups of mushrooms
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 package of spaghetti
salt
pepper

Directions:

Saute onion with red pepper in 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add all ingredients (except for spaghetti) into crockpot. Cook 6 hours on high and switch to low.

Prepare spaghetti according to package. Season sauce to taste.

Chicken Marsala

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After purchasing basically a lifetime supply of chicken thighs from Cosco, we decided to make Chicken Marsala. I wanted to avoid a thick, sauce using flour and opted for something more light. The result was the best Chicken Marsala recipe I’ve ever tasted! 

Chicken Marsala w/Kale and Spaghetti

2 pounds chicken thighs, with skin (can be substituted for the breast if you prefer white meat)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 pound mushrooms, sliced thin
3/4 cup Marsala
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 cups of trimmed kale
6 servings of spaghetti

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large heavy skillet heat oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown chicken in 2 batches, transferring with tongs to a large plate as browned.

Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and sauté onion and mushrooms, stirring occasionally. Add garlic. Cook until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated. Add Marsala and cook mixture, stirring, until Marsala is almost evaporated and scraping up any browned bits that might be stuck to the pan. Add kale. Add broth and chicken with any juices that have accumulated on plate and simmer, turning chicken once, until cooked through, about 15 – 20 minutes. Transfer chicken with tongs to a platter.

Simmer mushroom sauce until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Remove skillet from heat and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and salt and pepper to taste, stirring until butter is just incorporated. Toss in spaghetti. Place chicken a top pasta.

Inspired by: http://theredspoon.com/2011/02/chicken-and-mushroom-marsala/

Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein mit Kohl und überbackene Kartoffeln

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Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein mit Kohl und überbackene Kartoffeln

Wiener Schnitzel 

Ingredients:
4 pork chops (about 4 ounces each), pounded very thin, scallopini style
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons water
2 cups plain, dry bread crumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying
Lemon wedges, for service
Directions
Pat the chops dry with paper towels. Season them with salt and pepper. Set up a standard breading procedure in 3 shallow bowls or pie plates. Put flour in 1, eggs and water in another, and bread crumbs in the last. Beat the eggs and water together. Dredge each of the veal cutlets first in flour, then egg wash and then the bread crumbs. Transfer the coated cutlets to a platter.

Heat a large straight sided skillet, filled half way up with vegetable oil, over medium-high heat. Carefully, transfer the coated cutlets into the hot oil to fry. Since they are so thin, the veal will cook very quickly, about 2 minutes per side. Drain the cutlets on a paper towel lined plate.

Inspired by: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/wiener-schnitzel-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Sauce:

Ingredients

3 ounces chopped onion
3 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 ounce red wine
1/2 ounce sour cream
3 ounce brown gravy
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions
Add chopped onion and mushrooms to the pan, and then saute. To finish, add red wine, Worcestershire sauce, sour cream, and brown gravy. Place on serving dish and top with sauce from pan.

Inspired by at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/homemade-schnitzel-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Cabbage:

Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
1/3 cup white or apple cider vinegar, eyeball it
2 rounded tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon mustard seed
Salt and pepper

Directions
Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and onion and saute 2 minutes. Add cabbage and turn in pan, sauteing it until it wilts, 3 to 5 minutes. Add vinegar to the pan and turn the cabbage in it. Sprinkle sugar over the cabbage and turn again. Season with mustard seed, salt and pepper and reduce heat a bit. Let cabbage continue to cook 10 minutes or until ready to serve, stirring occasionally.

Inspired by: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/sauteed-red-cabbage-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Scalloped Potatoes:

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more to finish
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Unsalted butter
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for broiling
Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a saucepan, heat up the cream with the bay leaves, thyme, garlic, nutmeg and some salt and pepper.

While the cream is heating up, butter a casserole dish. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bay leaves and thyme. Pour the heated cream into a large bowl with the potato slices. Mix gently to coat the potatoes. Dust the Parmesan over the potatoes. Season the mix with a little bit of salt and pepper. Mix to gently incorporate. Spoon a little bit of the cream into the bottom of the casserole dish. Then spoon the potatoes in. Level out the potatoes for uniform cooking time. Pour the remaining cream at the bottom of the bowl over the top. Top with some Parmesan and fresh thyme leaves. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, but pull back one corner for the steam to escape. Bake for 40 minutes.

Inspired by: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/scalloped-potato-gratin-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Spinach and Cheese Ravioli in a Butternut Squash Sage and Brown Butter Sauce

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Spinach and Cheese Ravioli in a Butternut Squash Sage and Brown Butter Sauce

Ingredients:

Package of frozen spinach ravioli
1 medium butternut squash, about 2 pounds
1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
1 scant teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 dozen sage leaves
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, plus more for garnish

Preparation:

Heat oven to 375°.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the squash. Scoop out seeds and cut into 1/2- to 1-inch cubes. Combine squash, chopped onion, and 1 scant teaspoon kosher salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss to coat and spread out in a large jelly roll pan or roasting pan.

Roast for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned, turning about halfway through the roasting time.

Meanwhile, cook pasta as directed on the package; drain and rinse with hot water. Set aside.

In a large saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat, cook butter and sage leaves until the butter begins to brown. When the sediment turns medium brown, add the garlic and continue cooking for about 1 minute. Do not let the butter burn. Remove from heat and remove the sage with a slotted spoon; use a spoon to crumble. Add the cooked and drained pasta to the butter mixture, along with the crumbled sage and roasted butternut squash and onions. Put back on the heat and continue cooking stirring, until pasta and squash are hot. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. Toss with the 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese just before serving. Garnish with more Parmesan.
Serves 4 to 6.

Inspired by: http://southernfood.about.com/od/wintersquashrecipes/r/r91115a.htm

Guinness Braised Steak with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

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Guinness Braised Steak with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

Steak:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chuck steak, trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle Guinness Stout

Potatoes:

  • 2 pounds peeled baking potatoes, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. To prepare steak, sprinkle steak with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add steak; cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove steak from pan; set aside. Add 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped carrot, 2 tablespoons broth, and sugar. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 10 minutes. Stir in rosemary, mushrooms, and garlic. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Add bay leaves, stout, remaining broth, and steak; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 30 minutes or until steak is tender.
  2. To prepare potatoes, place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain. Return potatoes to pan. Add butter; beat with a mixer at medium speed just until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients. Keep warm.
  3. Remove steak from pan; keep warm. Discard bay leaves. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Spoon stout mixture over steak. Serve with potatoes.

Inspired by: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/guinness-braised-chuck-steaks-with-horseradish-mashed-potatoes-10000001108312/

Gumbo Pizza

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Gumbo Pizza

Perfect and delicious way to reinvent leftovers. I remember a friend talking about making this and I didn’t believe it could be this good!

Ingredients

2 cups of seafood gumbo
1/2 green pepper, sliced
2 green onions, chopped
1 tbsp Louisiana hot sauce
1 1/2 cups of Italian blend shredded cheese
1 pizza crust

Directions

Spread out crust and laddle gumbo on crust until fully covered. Top with hot sauce,  green pepper, onions, and cheese. Follow pizza crust package cooking instructions.

French Onion Soup

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French Onion Soup
This is one of Scott’s favorite dishes and this recipe from Julia Child knocked our socks off! 

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 lbs. or about 5 cups of thinly sliced yellow onions
3 T butter
1 T vegetable oil
A heavy-bottomed, 4 quart covered saucepan
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
3 T flour
2 quarts boiling brown stock, canned beef bouillon, or 1 quart of boiling water and 1 quart of stock or bouillon.
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry white vermouth
Salt and pepper to taste
3 T cognac or sherry
Rounds of hard-toasted French bread (see recipe following)
1 to 2 cups grated Swiss or Parmesan cheese

CROUTES — HARD-TOASTED FRENCH BREAD:
12 to 16 slices of French bread, cut 3/4 to 1 inch thick
Olive oil or beef drippings
A cut clove of garlic

PROCEDURE FOR THE SOUP:

Cook the onions slowly with the butter and oil in a covered saucepan for 15 minutes.

Uncover, raise heat to moderate and stir in the salt and sugar.  Cook for 30 to 40 minutes stirring frequently, until the onions have turned an even, deep golden brown.  Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 3 minutes.

Off heat, blend in the boiling liquid.  Add the wine and season to taste.  Simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 minutes or more, skimming occasionally.  Correct seasoning.

Set aside uncovered until ready to serve.  Then reheat to the simmer.

Just before serving, stir in the cognac.  Pour into a soup tureen or soup cups over the rounds of bread and pass the cheese separately.

PROCEDURE TO MAKE THE CROUTES:

Place the bread in one layer in a roasting pan and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for about half an hour, until it is thoroughly dried out and lightly browned.

Halfway through the baking, each side may be basted with a teaspoon of olive oil or beef drippings; and after baking, each piece may be rubbed with cut garlic.

NOTES:  After making this soup for over 30 years, we have learned a few things that affect this soup.  First, do not use “sweet” onions.  Second, be patient in making this soup.  Do not hurry the onions as they are browning.  You may end up with black onions, which means starting over,  perhaps a trip to buy more onions or–worse–canned soup if the stores are closed on a holiday.

Third, though I hesitate to admit it, I have never made beef stock.  I use canned broth, and the soup is still darned good.   Heat the broth just until it steams while the onions are browning.

Fourth, cognac is expensive; a good domestic brandy works just fine.   Today, I use dry or semi-dry Madeira wine instead of cognac or brandy because we prefer the flavor it adds to the soup.  This is the one major change I have made in Julia’s recipe.  You might want to try the recipe both ways to see which flavor you prefer.

And fifth, for the dry white wine, sauvignon blanc or Chardonnay are both good choices.  If you plan on serving wine with the soup, choose one that you enjoy drinking to use in the soup.

When making the croutes I arrange the bread on cookie sheets.  If you discover that you are out of garlic cloves, you can mix a dash or two of garlic powder into a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to baste the toasted bread rounds.  Don’t overdo the garlic; you want just a hint of garlic on the bread.

Instead of pouring soup over the toasted rounds of bread I usually float a croute on the soup in each soup bowl, sprinkle a little Swiss cheese on top and offer extra cheese at the table for guests to add more if they like.  We prefer a good aged Swiss cheese to Parmesan on this soup, but try both to see which one you like better.

Inspired by: http://kitchencourage.areavoices.com/2012/10/31/julia-childs-french-onion-soup/#sthash.m7P5JtUp.dpuf