Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sausage and Peppers


It's always helpful to have meals in your back pocket that are quick and easy.  Dishes that require minimal time to prepare and groceries that often times you have on hand.  As well as a dish your family won't groan when you tell them what your dinner plan for the night is.

This dish is one of my favorite "throw together" meals.  I almost always have sausage links sitting in our freezer for a rainy day and peppers and onions are almost always on hand.  If you don't have the array of colored peppers I made this dish with, you can use whichever peppers you have.  Pantry item dishes are inexpensive and cost effective, which are very helpful for everyone this time of year.

It's a no fuss meal with little prep work.  Just slicing of some peppers and onions, let the ingredients cook, toss it all together with a little seasoning, and you have a meal fit for your whole family to enjoy! 


Recipe Tip:
  • This meal would also be great in a grinder roll, topped with provolone cheese, and thrown under your broiler to melt for football Sunday.
  • To save time, I recommend broiling your sausage links instead of sauteing.  It's faster if you're limited on time.


Begin by cutting your pepper in half, remove the seeds and white inside, and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Cut your onion in half and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices as well:


Then in a large skillet, saute your sausages on high/medium heat.  To save time, you can also lay your sausage links on tin foil and broil them, turning every few minutes so each side gets browned:


When using your skillet, turn your links until all sides are browned.  Your links will not be fully cooked at this time:



Transfer your sausage links to a separate plate and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to your skillet.  Then add your peppers and onions.  Cook over high heat for about 20-30 minutes:


Allow your peppers and onions to saute until they appear softened and your onions are translucent:


Meanwhile, slice your sausages diagonally in 1/4 inch thick pieces:


Continue until all of your links are sliced:

Once your peppers and onions have finished cooking, add your sliced sausages, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder:


Then your Tabasco sauce:


Stir until combined and continue to cook over medium heat until your sausage is fully cooked:



Serve over roasted potatoes or white rice:






Sausage and Peppers
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients
8 sausage links
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 large onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
5 dashes of Tabasco sauce (optional- adjust to your desired taste)

Directions
Begin by cutting your pepper in half, remove the seeds and white inside, and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Cut your onion in half and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices as well.  Then in a large skillet, saute your sausages on high/medium heat.  To save time, you can also lay your sausage links on tin foil and broil them, turning every few minutes so each side gets browned.  When using your skillet, allow your links to saute for a few minutes, then turn until all sides are browned (your links will not be fully cooked at this time).  Transfer your sausage links to a separate plate.

Then add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to your skillet and add your peppers and onions.  Cook over high heat for about 20-30 minutes.  Allow your peppers and onions to saute until they appear softened and your onions are translucent.  Meanwhile, slice your sausages diagonally in 1/4 inch thick pieces.  Continue until all of your links are sliced.  Once your peppers and onions have finished cooking, add your sliced sausages, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.  Then your tabasco sauce.  Stir until combined.  Continue to cook over medium/high heat until your sausage is fully cooked.  Serve over roasted potatoes or white rice.


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Monday, November 29, 2010

Chicken Saltimbocca alla Romana

 The holiday season is officially here!  Christmas music is filling the air and every television channel is playing the classic Christmas movies I've grown up loving.  With the holidays comes many parties, work events, and dinners to cook for.  Whether you're throwing a small dinner party or a large family gathering, this dish is great to add to your menu.

Traditional saltimbocca is veal lined with sage and prosciutto cooked in wine.  Saltimbocca alla Romana, meaning Roman-style, is another version of the classic saltimbocca dish served with veal lined with sage and prosciutto, but cooked in a Marsala wine and butter sauce.  Saltimbocca is often served with thin chicken cutlets as an alternative to veal.

I love this dish for any small dinner party because of its beautiful presentation on a plate.  It's full of color with the pop of prosciutto, crisp golden browned chicken, vibrantly green sprinkles of parsley, and browned mushroom Marsala sauce. It would be a great pairing with a caesar salad with homemade croutons and chive mashed potatoes.  It's also a great buffet dish for any large family gathering because it's quite simple to make, requiring little time, while providing a great chicken dish for everyone to enjoy.


Recipe Tips:
  • Only use 1 leaf of sage- I used two in some and the flavor was too over powering.
  • Be careful not to overcook your chicken- keep your skillet very hot with a small layer of olive oil on the bottom the entire time to ensure a nice browned finish without overcooking your chicken.

Begin by preparing your flour in a shallow bowl:


Then lay your prosciutto out on a dish:



Pound your chicken into thin cutlets and lay one sage leaf in the center of your cutlet:



Top with one slice of prosciutto:



Then fold your chicken in half like a book:


and secure with a large wooden skewer or toothpick so the filling doesn't fall out:



Season with salt and pepper on both sides and dip into your flour bowl:


cover both sides evenly and shake excess:


Meanwhile, heat 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over high/medium heat and add your chicken.  You want the heat to be fairly hot because the chicken will be thin and won't take long to cook.  The high heat ensures the golden brown crispy texture, without overcooking your chicken:


Cook until golden brown, then flip and continue to cook on the other side.  Continue to add more olive oil when your pan dries up:


Once cooked transfer to a plate so you can prepare the sauce:


To prepare your sauce, chop the shallot and mushrooms:


Add them to the same large skillet you used to cook the chicken:


Cook until your mushrooms are soft, about 5-7 minutes:


Then add the Marsala sauce and chicken stock to your pan:


Allow your liquid to cook on high heat until it's reduced by half.  Remove your pan from the heat and add your butter.  Stir until it is evenly incorporated into your sauce:


Remove the stick from your chicken, spoon your sauce over the top, and sprinkle with parsley before serving:





Chicken Saltimbocca alla Romana
By Mario Batali
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes:
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients
4 chicken breasts (you can buy chicken cutlets already sliced thin or whole breasts that you can slice in half and pound to 1/4 inch thickness)
4 sage leaves
4 large slices prosciutto (from your deli)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots, finely diced
1 package of whole mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup Marsala cooking wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter

Directions
Begin by preparing your flour in a shallow bowl by mixing the flour, salt, and pepper together.  Then lay your prosciutto out on a dish.  If you're using whole chicken breasts, slice them in half and pound them with a meat tenderizer to a 1/4 inch thickness.  You can also buy chicken cutlets that are already sliced thin.  Lay one sage leaf in the center of your cutlet.  Then top with one slice of prosciutto.  Fold your chicken in half like a book and secure with a large wooden skewer or toothpick so the filling doesn't fall out.  Season your chicken breast with salt and pepper on both sides and dip into your flour bowl.  Cover both sides evenly and shake any excess flour.  Meanwhile, heat 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over high/medium heat and add your chicken.  You want your skillet to be hot because the chicken is thin and doesn't take long to cook.  The high heat ensures the golden brown crispy texture, without overcooking your chicken.  Cook your chicken until golden brown, then flip and continue to cook on the other side until golden brown.  Continue to add more olive oil when your pan dries up.  Once cooked, transfer to a plate so you can prepare the sauce.

To prepare your sauce, chop the shallot and mushrooms.  Add them to the same large skillet you used to cook the chicken.  Cook until your mushrooms are soft, about 5-7 minutes.  Then add the Marsala sauce and chicken stock to your pan.  Allow your liquid to cook on high heat until it's reduced by half.  Remove your pan from the heat and add your butter.  Stir until it is evenly incorporated into your sauce.  Remove the stick from your chicken, spoon your sauce over the top, and sprinkle with parsley before serving.




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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I apologize for my lack of posts this week and I apologize in advance for the rest of the week!  It's the holiday and while I have the rest of the week off from work, I'll be spending my time with family and friends feeling thankful for everything I've been blessed with. 

I promise next week I'll make up for my absence!  I'm excited to get started on Christmas items...I've been brainstorming cookie recipes, holiday gift ideas, and Christmas dinner dishes.  This time of year is my favorite for so many reasons, but especially for all of the delicious treats we have to look forward to! 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving enjoying their favorite homemade dishes!

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lovely Blog Award


To my surprise last night I opened my email, which I don't check often enough, and saw I received a "Lovely Blog Award" from the lovely "Bite by Bite" blog!


Thank you so much Steph from Bite by Bite!!  You absolutely made my day!

When I started my blog I thought only my friends and family would POSSIBLY check in on my blog every once in a while so I'm so happy to see that other people are visiting and enjoying reading about my "quest to conquer home cooked deliciousness".  I'm very thankful for all of my readers and appreciate the time you take out of your day to stop by Sprinkles of Parsley.  Thank you!!
 
I love the concept of the "Lovely Blog Award" because it allows bloggers to show their support for one another.  Now that I've been given this bloggers award, I have the honor of passing it along to other bloggers who I think are LOVELY:

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    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Pumpkin Custard Profiteroles with Maple Sugared Glaze


    The holiday season calls for lots of baking and sweets!  I find you can never have enough recipes in your recipe collection to help you through all of the parties and occasions that come up.  So I thought another dessert post couldn't hurt!

    My family had a pre-Thanksgiving meal this past weekend to celebrate with family members we won't be able to see on the actual holiday.  I offered to bring a dessert to add to the dessert table, but wasn't sure what I was in the mood to make.  When I found this recipe I knew it was what I'd been looking for!  Something a little unique, while still  being seasonal and appropriate to the holiday.

    This is a perfect party dish because it makes individual profiteroles for each person to enjoy.  The flavors of the pumpkin custard screams fall and Thanksgiving providing that perfectly seasonal element I was looking for.  The overall appearance is elegant and enticing- a perfect combination for a successful dish! 

    While this dish was a little time consuming, it helped that the steps were broken up into two days.  I made the custard and profiteroles the day before and then prepared the toppings and assembled everything together the morning of.  A little planning and preparation goes a long way with this recipe. Without it, you could feel overwhelmed and frantic, but I promise you it is quite simple to put together if you follow my step by step instructions.

    If you've offered to bring a dish to your next holiday party, I highly recommend these!  Hope you enjoy them!


    Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees.  Then combine the cream, canned pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a large skillet:


    Whisk over medium/high heat until ingredients are blended.  Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally:


    Meanwhile,  combine your sugar and egg yolks in a large mixing bowl:


    Whisk until combined:


     Gradually add your pumpkin mixture to your egg yolk mixture and whisk until combined:


    Then pour your mixture into an 8x8x2 inch glass baking dish.  Place your dish inside of a 9x13 glass pan:


    At this time, you should cover your 8x8x2 glass pan with foil.  Then pour hot water into the 9x13 pan, pouring enough to cover the 8x8x2 pan half way:


    This is how it should look:


    Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until your custard appears set in the center.  The custard will appear moist, but you can check if it's set by gently shaking your dish- if the center moves as if it is still a liquid and uncooked, cook for longer.  If it appears mostly firm, it is ready to be removed.  Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.  Then set in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 4 hours until chilled:
     

    To prepare your profiteroles, begin by preheating your oven to 425 degrees.  Then combine your water, milk, butter, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan:


    Bring to a boil


    Stir in the flour:


    and cook over medium/high heat, stirring vigorously, for 1 minute:


    Transfer your dough to the bowl of an electric mixer and mix over medium speed for 3 minutes, or until the dough is slightly cooled:


    Then add your eggs, one at a time, beating in between each addition.  Then add your egg yolk and beat until well mixed:


    Your dough should look like this:


    Then on two well greased cookie sheets, drop 3/4 teaspoon mounds of your dough:


    spaced about 1 inch apart: 


    Beat your remaining egg and brush on the top of your dough:


    Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce your heat to 375 degrees and continue to bake for 25-30 minutes.  Once they're done baking, use a spatula to loosen the bottoms from the pan.  Then allow to cool completely:


     When your custard is chilled and your profiteroles have been baked and cooled, begin your toppings.  Start by combing the confectioners sugar, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a small bowl:


    Stir until combined.  If it's too thick, add more maple syrup and if it's too thin, add more confectioners sugar:


     Then prepare your whipped topping by combining the heavy cream, confectioners sugar, and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer:


    Using the whisk attachment, mix on high for about 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form:


    Your mixture should be light, fluffy, and thick:


    Then in a small food chopper or by hand, finely chop your pecans:


     Now you're ready to assemble your profiteroles.  Begin by cutting your profiterole in half:


    The inside will be hollow:

     Then spoon about 2 tablespoons of custard inside the bottom half of your profiterole:


     Cover with the top half:


    Then drizzle with your maple sugar glaze:


    Top with a small dolllop of whipped cream:


     And a sprinkling of chopped pecans:


    Continue these steps with all of your profiteroles:



    Finish with arranging them on a platter:








    Pumpkin Custard Profiteroles with Maple Sugared Glaze
    Adapted from Bon Appetit
    Makes: about 20 profiteroles
    Prep Time: 2 hour
    Bake Time: 2 hours
    (Printable Recipe)

    Ingredients
    Pumpkin Custard
    3 cups whipping cream
    2 1/4 cups canned pure pumpkin (not pie filling)
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup sugar
    9 large egg yolks

    Profiteroles
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup milk
    1/2 cup (1stick) unsalted butter
    1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    3 large eggs
    1 large egg yolk
    1 large egg, beaten for brushing over profiteroles

    Maple Sugared Glaze:
    1/2 cup confectioners sugar
    2 tablespoons maple syrup (good quality syrup)
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

    Whipped Cream Topping:
    Adapted from At Home with Vicki Bensinger In-Home Culinary Classes 
    2 cups heavy cream
    1/4 cup confectioners sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla


    1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

    Directions
    Pumpkin Custard  (I recommend making it 1 day in advance):


    Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees.  Then combine the cream, canned pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a large skillet.  Whisk over medium/high heat until ingredients are blended.  Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally.  Meanwhile,  combine your sugar and egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and whisk until combined.  Then gradually add your pumpkin mixture to your egg yolk mixture and stir until combined.  Pour your mixture into an 8x8x2 inch glass baking dish.  Place your dish inside of a 9x13 glass pan.  At this time, you should cover your 8x8x2 glass pan with foil.  Then pour hot water into the 9x13 pan, pouring enough to cover the 8x8x2 pan half way.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes- 1 hour and 25 minutes or until your custard is set in the center.  The custard will appear moist, but you can check if it's set by gently shaking your dish- if the center moves as if it is still a liquid and uncooked, cook for longer.  If it appears mostly firm, it is ready to be removed from the oven.  Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.  Then set in the refrigerator overnight or at least 4 hours until chilled.

    Profiteroles (I recommend making at least 1 day in advance- can be made 1 week in advance and stored in an air tight container):
    To prepare your profiteroles, begin by preheating your oven to 425 degrees.  Then combine your water, milk, butter, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan.  Over medium/high heat, bring your ingredients to a boil.  Stir in the flour and continue to cook over medium/high heat, stirring vigorously, for 1 minute. Transfer your dough to the bowl of an electric mixer and mix over medium speed for 3 minutes, or until the dough is slightly cooled.  Then add your eggs, one at a time, beating in between each addition.  Add your egg yolk and beat until well mixed. Then on two well greased cookie sheets, drop 3/4 teaspoon mounds of dough, spaced about 1 inch apart. Beat your egg in a small bowl and brush over the top of each mound of dough. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce your heat to 375 degrees and continue to bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Once they're done baking, use a spatula to loosen the bottoms from the pan and allow to cool completely.

    Maple Sugared Glaze (make the day of):
    Combine the confectioners sugar, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir until combined.  If it's too thick, add more maple syrup and if it's too thin, add more confectioners sugar until you reach your desired consistency.

    Whipped Cream (make the day of):
    Prepare your whipped topping by combining the heavy cream, confectioners sugar, and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Using the whisk attachment, mix on high for about 5-8 minutes or until stiff peaks form.  Your mixture should be light, fluffy, and thick. 

    Pecans:
    In a small food chopper or by hand, finely chop your pecans.

    Assembling (must be done the day of):
    To assemble your profiteroles, begin by cutting your profiterole in half (the inside will be hollow).  Then spoon about 2 tablespoons of custard onto the bottom half of your profiterole. Cover with the top half.  Then drizzle with your maple sugar glaze.  Top with a small dolllop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of chopped pecans. Continue these steps with the rest of your profiteroles.

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