Sausage, Tomato, and Pea Pasta

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Sausage, Tomato, and Pea Pasta
very slightly adapted from Good Fast Eats from Belly Full

Ingredients

  • 12 oz small shaped pasta, like rotini or small shells
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb Italian sausage (bulk or links, casings removed) (I used my homemade version)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 (15-oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • Grated parmesan for serving (optional)
  • Red pepper flakes for serving (optional)

Method

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta to al dente, according to package instructions.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and sausage; saute, breaking up the pork into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until no pink remains and the onions are softened, about 4 minutes. Season with a couple grinds of salt and pepper, the crushed red pepper flakes, and oregano.

Add in the tomatoes with their liquid, and chicken broth. Turn heat down to medium and gently simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the pasta is done cooking. Add the peas along with the half and half; mix and warm through.

Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Stir in the sausage mixture until thoroughly combined. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately, with grated parmesan and red pepper flakes, if desired.

NOTES

Another winner from my dear friend Amy. Really, it was a no brainer, since I never met a sausage pasta I didn’t like. This was awesome – and, as with all the recipes from her book – quick and easy as well.

Chicken Chow Mein

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img_7175Chicken Chow Mein
courtesy of recipetin eats
serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 12 oz chow mein noodles (I HIGHLY recommend these;  you can also buy them at Target or on Amazon)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6-8 cups green cabbage (savoy/green), finely shredded
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 2″ pieces, whites and green separated
  • 4 eggs, scrambled, cooked in a single layer, cut into bite-sized pieces (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Chow Mein Sauce (recipe below)

Chow Mein Sauce

  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce (ordinary all purpose soy sauce OR light soy sauce)
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (or sherry)
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • White pepper

Method

Combine chicken and baking soda in a small bowl and toss to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes to marinate, then rinse chicken well and pat dry.

In the meantime, make the Chow Mein Sauce: mix together cornstarch and soy sauce, then mix in remaining ingredients. Pour 2 tbsp of Chow Mein Sauce over the chicken and set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.

Prepare the noodles according to the packet instructions.

Heat oil in wok or large fry pan over high heat. Add garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds until the garlic is golden brown and you can smell the garlic in the oil. Add chicken and stir fry until the skin is white but the inside is still raw – about 1 minute. Add the cabbage, carrot, and the white pieces of scallions. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until the cabbage is just starting to wilt and the chicken is cooked through.

Add the noodles, Chow Mein Sauce, and water. Stir fry for 1 minute, tossing to coat the noodles in the sauce. Add bean sprouts, remaining scallions, and eggs. Stir through quickly then remove from heat. Serve immediately.

NOTES

Nothing to say except that this was perfect, savory, Chinese noodly goodness. 10/10 will make again. Often.

Note about the eggs: I am terrible awful not good at doing the scrambled eggs in the wok thing. If you would rather do it that way, just add them after the cabbage and chicken are cooked: make a well in the pan, pour in the eggs, scramble, let cook fully, toss with other ingredients, and continue on with the recipe. Or, you can omit them altogether.

Bacon Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole

img_7161Bacon Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole
with thanks to The Saucy Southerner

Ingredients

  • 4 slices thick bacon, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups frozen tater tots, thawed (I weigh out about 6 servings from the bag)

Method

Heat oven to 400°F. Prepare a small casserole dish with a light coat of cooking spray.

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp; drain on paper towels. Drain bacon fat from skillet.

In same skillet, add the beef, onion, and garlic and cook over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain if necessary.

Stir in ketchup, mustard, pickle relish, salt, pepper, 1/4 of the crumbled bacon and 3/4 of the cheese.

Spoon into prepared casserole. Top with tater tots.

Bake uncovered 30 minutes or until bubbly around edges and potatoes are golden brown. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and crumbled bacon.

Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

NOTES

When I saw this, I knew immediately Steve would go crazy for it, and he did. I’ve made it three times in the last five weeks and don’t plan on putting it off the menu anytime soon. So easy, so good!

Note: the original recipe was exactly double mine, but since I only needed four servings, I cut it right in half. It scales perfectly.

 

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Beef Tacos

img_7025Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Beef Tacos
(courtesy of Belly Full, serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 pound boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 jar (16 ounce) salsa verde
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed

For serving:

  • 12 corn tortillas, warmed
  • Monterey jack cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Avocado, diced
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Limes, sliced

Method

Coat a 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large pan, heat the oil over medium-high. Season the beef with the cumin, salt, and pepper. Add to the pan and cook for 3 minutes, per side, to a nice golden brown.

Transfer meat to the slow cooker; add the salsa, onion, and garlic. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Shred the meat with 2 forks and stir with the liquid.

Using tongs or a slotted spoon, place some of the meat in each tortilla, topped with some cheese, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

NOTES

Amazing tacos with just a few ingredients and a few minutes of effort. I was genuinely blown away by how good these were. Totally going in my back pocket for future party menus!

Pork and Green Chile Stew

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Pork and Green Chile Stew
adapted from Barefeet in the Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds pork shoulder, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces Hatch green chiles, chopped small (or sub 7-ounce can diced green chiles)
  • 24-oz jar salsa verde
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 large Russet potatoes, diced
  • Handful of chopped cilantro, for topping

Method

Combine the pork, flour, pepper and garlic powder in a gallon size Ziploc bag. Shake to coat thoroughly and then set aside. In a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the fresh garlic and onion and sauté until translucent, approximately 2-3 minutes.

Add the dusted pork and cook until browned, approximately 5 minutes. Add the chiles, salsa verde, stock and salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for 45 minutes.

Add the potatoes and raise heat to boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, approximately 15 minutes. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!

NOTES

I’ve been looking for a good weeknight (i.e., using jarred sauce) salsa verde stew for a while, but it wasn’t until I stumbled upon Mary’s version that I knew I had found the one. Potatoes! Why have I never tried it with potatoes?? I always made these green stews with white beans. But the potatoes work so well here. We absolutely loved this on the very first shot.

Teriyaki Pork Stir Fry

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Teriyaki Pork Stir Fry
courtesy of the book Good Fast Eats from Belly Full

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil, divided
  • 6 oz. broccoli slaw
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-1/2 lb ground pork
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (use thick teriyaki sauce, not thin teriyaki marinade)
  • 3 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Juice from one large lime
  • Cooked rice

Method

In a large nonstick skillet or wok, warm half the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add broccoli slaw to the hot pan and saute for about 2-3 minutes until almost tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste; transfer to a bowl.

Add the remaining sesame oil to the skillet, followed by the pork, garlic, ginger, and chili garlic sauce. Cook pork, stirring often, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until no pink remains, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Drain off excess fat, if desired.

Stir in teriyaki sauce. Add slaw back in, along with the scallions and lime juice; mix to coat.

Serve over hot cooked white or brown rice.

NOTES

Another winner from Good Fast Eats and probably Steve’s favorite thus far. Like everything else from Amy’s book, it’s super fast and delicious. Just doesn’t get any better than that.

Chicken Parmesan Pasta Skillet

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Chicken Parmesan Pasta Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz short pasta (penne, rotini, ziti)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Method

In a large skillet or dutch oven heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook and brown for 8 to 10 minutes or until onion is soft and chicken is nearly cooked through. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the pasta, wine, broth, tomatoes, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the Parmesan cheese and the bread crumbs; set aside.

When the pasta is tender, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and then the parmesan and bread crumb mixture.

Broil for 3-4 minutes or until golden and crispy. Remove from oven and sprinkle parsley on top. Serve.

NOTES

I’ve been wanting to do a dish like this for a long time. I absolutely love my pan-fried-then-oven version of chicken parm with spaghetti, but that’s more of a weekend endeavor. This skillet is perfect for a weeknight when I am craving the flavors, but don’t want to make a ton of effort. Absolutely fantastic.