Sunday, February 21, 2016

Slow Cooker Tammy Joes

     Did you ever have an ingredient sitting around the house that you never seem to use? Something that sits in the cabinet mocking you. Something that makes you wonder what you were drinking that day? My ingredient is a jar of Tamicon Tamarind Paste. I bought it thinking it was Tamari. I finally decided I'd use it in a riff on the classic Sloppy Joe. The end result was surprisingly good. It was was sweet, savory and spicy, but not too much of any one of those. I have to think the tamarind isn't going to be a taste that everybody is going to love, but it's totally worth the try for something different. If you try it, let me know if you like it. If you don't, you probably did something wrong. As always, notes are in blue.
Tammy Joes

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 can (10.75 ounce) tomato soup
  • 1 bag (14 ounces) mixed frozen onions, green and red peppers, defrosted (if you don't have access to the frozen, use chop one onion, one green and one red bell peppers)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate (panipuri paste) (you're not likely to have this laying around the house. I got mine from a local Indian grocer. Amazon carries the brand I use) 
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. In a pan, brown the ground beef. Drain the excess oil. Put in a slow cooker.
  2. Sautee the vegetables in the pan you used for the ground beef. Add them to the slow cooker. (if you're feeling lazy, you can just throw them directly in the cooker without the sautee)
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir to incorporate.
  4. Cook on LOW for 3-4 hours.
  5. Serve on a bun, with nachos, or over egg noodles or rice.
Good times!

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

  • 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
  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!