Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Gnocchi and Sausage in Herb Butter Sauce

     I do enjoy a simple and easy recipe. Especially when it's one I came up with myself. We happened to have a huge surplus of packaged gnocchi and I felt like making a new sauce. This sauce could not be any more simple. Just a few ingredients and a few minutes and you've got a hearty meal! I will suggest maybe doubling up on the pasta measurement. The gnocchi was buried in sausage and sauce. This may not be a bad thing for many people, but if a high sauce to pasta ratio isn't your thing, do two pounds of gnocchi (or other pasta) for this recipe. Give it a try and see what you think! As always, don't tell me if it sucks and notes are in blue!

Gnocchi and Sausage in Herb Butter Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 pound gnocchi (I used a pumpkin-potato gnocchi, but you can use what you want. You could probably get away with just about any pasta you want)
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage (I used uncased sausage. Feel free to use the links and cut them in to about 1/2" discs)
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Bavarian Seasoning from the Spice House (if you don't have access to this, it's a mix of brown mustard seed, rosemary thyme, garlic, sage and bay leaf)
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Directions
  1. Put onion and sausage in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Brown sausage and drain excess oil. 
  2. Add butter and herbs. Lower heat to medium and stir until butter is melted.
  3. Cook gnocchi (or pasta of choice) according to directions. Drain and set aside.
  4. Add cheese to sausage and butter mix. Stir until cheese is incorporated. 
  5. Add gnocchi to sauce and toss until gnocchi are covered in sauce and sausage is distributed.
Good times!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Guacamole So Good You'll Shit

     It is that time of year when people have parties where they gather around the television to lay their emotional well-being into the hands of a few dozen total strangers. Personally, I watch the Puppy Bowl. Whatever floats your boat. It is well known that snacketizers of all sorts are served at these festivities. I have come up with a snacketizer anyone would be proud to serve to their beer-soaked friends. This originally just started as a veggie filling for quesadillas, but quickly spiraled out of control. This is some uberguac with substance and a bit of heat. Serve it up at your next sports-based party. Your guests will eat it up. If they don't, it's not my fault. They're just uncultured swine not deserving of your friendship. As always, notes are in blue.

Guacamole So Good You'll Shit

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 can corn, drained
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 large avocado
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 cup Jalapeno Sauce, divided (if you can't or won't use this recipe, you're just going to have to ballpark how much hot sauce you use. Don't use a half cup of some super hot sauce then come bitching to me when your asshole falls out)
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, combine beans, corn, tomatoes and onion. Take 1/4 of the avocado and chop it. Add it to the bowl. 
  2. Add 1/4 cup Jalapeno Sauce and toss contents of bowl (to incorporate everything. Don't actually toss everything out because that would be dumb)
  3. Roughly chop up the rest of the avocado and put it in a food processor. Add sour cream, cayenne, cumin and remainder of Jalapeno Sauce. Pulse in the processor until completely smooth (the avocado mixture, not the actual food processor. If you managed to render the actual machine smooth, you managed to break fundamental laws of physics)
  4. Take contents of food processor and scoop it out into the bowl with the bean mix. Stir it all up until everything is thoroughly mixed together. 
  5. Get a bunch of tortilla chips and go batshit crazy, because this is really good.
Good times!


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Linguine with Shrimp and Bacon in Red Wine Cream Sauce

     We love our pasta. If I made pasta every night, The Wife would be the happiest woman in the world. She'd also weigh 400 pounds and hold me responsible. Anyways, we love pasta. And shrimp. And bacon. I figured I'd combine them all into a new pasta dish. The addition of red wine was, in my humble opinion, a great idea. We used a red table wine and it gave the sauce a really good flavor. If liquor is not an option for your cooking, just use an equal amount of stock. Give it a try and let me know what you think! Unless you don't like it, in which case leave me the hell alone. As always, notes are in blue.

Linguine with Shrimp and Bacon
in Red Wine Cream Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound bacon, diced
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup stock (you can use the water from cooking the shrimp)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • black pepper to taste
Directions
  1. In a pan, cook the bacon until starting to crisp. Drain, saving 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings. Remove bacon to a paper towel.
  2. In a medium pot, boil the shrimp for a few minutes, until pink. Peel and remove tails. Put shrimp aside to drain. (Leave the tails in the peelings in the water to boil. That will serve as your stock)
  3. In the pan with the grease, set heat to medium high. Add onion and garlic and sautee for 5-7 minutes. Do not let the garlic brown too much. 
  4. Stir in the stock and the tomato paste. Bring to a simmer. Add the wine and simmer, stirring until the tomato paste is totally incorporated. 
  5. Lower heat and add cream, and Parmesan. Stir until cheese is incorporated. (If you think the sauce is too thick, cut it with a little more stock)
  6. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and return to pot. Pour sauce in over pasta. Toss with chopped parsley and black pepper. 
Good Times!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Slow Cooker Spicy Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

     When I was a kid, macaroni and cheese was something that came out of a box. It used powder and milk and butter. That was it. That was the only way I knew it. Eventually, I was introduced to the mac & cheese that had the pack of liquid cheese. It wasn't until years into my marriage that I discovered you could make mac & cheese without it coming out of a box. I also learned you could have meat other than hot dogs mixed in to it. This particular recipe is proof humble mac & cheese doesn't have to be boring. It's got all sorts of good things going on. It's got plenty of cheese. It's got bacon. It's got a spicy kick. It's definitely some solid comfort food.

Slow Cooker Spicy Macaroni & Cheese
with Bacon
Ingredients
  • 4 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 pound bacon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes with jalapeno peppers, undrained
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 8 ounces shredded Mexican cheese
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Louisiana Hot Wing Sauce (or hot sauce of choice. Or leave the hot sauce out if you're a big baby)
Directions
  • Cook the pasta according to the directions. Drain and mix the butter in with the pasta.
  • Dice bacon and cook in a pan until the bacon is browned and starting to get crispy. Drain and set on a paper towel to soak up excess grease.
  • In a large bowl, throw in the pasta and the rest of the ingredients. Dump it all into a slow-cooker greased with non-stick cooking spray (as always, just coat the bowl of the slow-cooker. Coating the entire slow-cooker isn't going to do you any good)
  • Cook on HIGH for 3 hours
Good Times!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Indian Spiced Stew

     I have to give thanks to my Mother-In-Law (henceforth, MIL). When The Spud was born, she bought a house 20 minutes away and moved down here to provide day care while The Wife and I worked. Since she's in the area, we have her over for dinner regularly. This particular visit, she inexplicably brought a pound and a half of cooked ground turkey. I was considering Indian food for dinner and decided to go with that theme with the turkey. This turned out to be a really good stew. We had it over some basmati rice and it made for a good, filling winter meal. If you're not a fan of carbs over carbs, you can certainly serve it without rice. No matter what, serve it with naan so you can slop up the dregs! As always, notes are in blue.

Indian Spiced Stew
Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds ground turkey (feel free to use ground beef or pork, you're not going to hurt my feelings. I used turkey because my mother-in-law (MIL) brought it for me to use up)
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1" fresh ginger, grated finely
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes, undrained (I used fire-roasted tomatoes.)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (if you don't have the seeds, just use the same amount of cumin powder)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (add more if you want a bigger kick. I was cooking for The Wife and MIL and kept the heat down)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine (if you don't want the booze, just use water here)
  • If you want more heat, chop up a hot green chili pepper or two 
Directions
  1. Brown meat. Drain any grease and set aside.
  2. In a deep pan (I used a 3 quart cast-iron deep pan. A Dutch oven would work well here too). heat oil. Add garlic, ginger, onions,peas and potatoes. Sautee for around 10 minutes. 
  3. Add in reserved meat and everything else except for the yogurt. Mix it up and set to simmer. 
  4. Simmer, covered, for about 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender. 
  5. Add yogurt and cook for another 5 minutes.
Good times!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

New Year's Black Eyed Peas and Greens

     It seems fitting that this would be the first recipe of the new year. I had no idea this was even a tradition until 2015. I guess this signifies good luck and good fortune or something like that. I have no clue. I saw a bunch of different versions and decided to make my own. It's actually quite tasty and I would consider making it again.
     In other news, I will be trying to step up production of recipes and videos for the new year. The Spud takes a lot of my time, which is why things have been a little spare around here. Just stick with me and hopefully I'll continue providing the same low-grade amusement and iffy recipes you're accustomed to. Here's to a great 2016!

New Year's Black-Eyed Peas and Greens
Ingredients

  • 1 can (15.5 ounce) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) turnip greens, drained
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) chili tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon jerk sauce (or hot sauce of your choice)
  • Options: Little Smokies, a pound of browned ground sausage, sliced smoked sausage
Directions
  1. Dump everything in a slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 4 hours.
  2. That's it. 
Good times and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Kale, Chorizo and Potato Soup

This has been one of the goofiest winters on record. We've had a week of near sixty degree temperatures, then it rained hard for two days straight and everything flooded. This morning it snowed. This sort of weather makes it hard for me to plan meals. There are certain things I can make only if the weather permits. Soups, for instance. I generally won't make soup during the summer. Come winter, it's game on. Now that we have a snap of cold weather, I figured it was time to throw down some soup. I found this recipe lurking in one of my cookbooks. I tweaked it just a bit and was greatly satisfied with the results. It's a simple, hearty soup that's great with crusty bread. As always, notes and changes are in blue.

Kale, Chorizo and Potato Soup
via Best-Ever Soups

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces kale, stems removed
  • 8 ounce chorizo sausage (Italian or Spanish, not Mexican. You want the salami type chorizo)
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 pounds red potatoes, skinned
  • 7-1/2 cups vegetable stock (we used chicken stock)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Crusty bread
Directions
  1. Place the kale in a food processor and process for a few seconds to chop it finely (or just take out a goddamned knife and chop it yourself. I know I'm lazy, but even I have my limits)
  2. Prick the sausage *snicker* and place in a pan with enough water to cover (if you're using the onion option, add them here). Simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and cut sausage into thin slices.
  3. Cook the potatoes in lightly salted boiling water for about 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a bowl. Mash, adding about a cup of the cooking liquid to make a thick paste.
  4. Bring the stock to a boil and add the kale, chorizo (and possibly onion) and lower heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the potato paste, stir to incorporate and simmer another 20 minutes. 
  5. Season with black and cayenne pepper.
  6. To serve: Place a slice of bread in the bottom of each bowl, then pour over soup.
Good times!