Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Desperation Casserole

Desperate times call for desperate measures. We were running out of space in our freezer and needed to use up some surplus to make room for all the produce we were vacuum bagging and freezing out of our garden. I'm sure there's plenty of flexibility with this recipe. You can easily swap just about any meat in for the sausages, or leave the meat out and add zucchini or eggplant and make it vegetarian. We considered adding cheese to this, but just couldn't think of any that would work so we just left it alone. The verdict from The Wife: "this is better than it has any right to be." If that's not a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is.

Desperation Casserole
  • 1 package Johnsonville Irish O'Garlic sausages (or probably any sausage you prefer)
  • 1 lb frozen cubed hash brown potatoes
  • 8 ounces kale (washed and dried)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons Slap Ya' Mama seasoning (or use salt, black pepper, and cayenne)
  1. Preheat oven to 375F (191C, Gas Mark 5)
  2. Cut sausages into 1" pieces. Cook in a pan until browned.
  3. In a large bowl, tear up the kale into small pieces. Add the sausage (and grease) to the bowl. Give a quick toss to get the kale to start to wilt.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients and toss. 
  5. Put in a greased Pyrex. Put in oven for 30 minutes or until potatoes start to get crisp at the edges.
Good Times!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Kitchen Sink Curry

Summer has been kind to our garden this year. We find ourselves overloaded with all sorts of veggies, particularly zucchini. There's only so many zucchini boats and so much zucchini bread you can eat. I decided to steal from a bunch of different curry recipes and put together something of my very own. This is more than likely wholly inauthentic curry, so I will refer to it in the "Central Illinois Style." I guess that means you have to serve it with Natural Light and Fireball. In any event, it makes a tasty curry with only a moderate heat. It hits quick and then backs off. You can certainly add more chiles if you desire. Served over rice, it's a hearty meal. It is also versatile. You can easily leave out the chicken and you have a vegetarian meal. It also is gluten free, if that's a concern. As always, notes are in blue.

Kitchen Sink Curry
  • 1/3 cup oil (vegetable, grapeseed or something with a higher smokepoint)
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed
  • 3 large potatoes, cubed
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 3 lbs. (about 3 good-sized) zucchini, cut into 1/4" disks, then quarter the disks
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 green chile, diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons hot curry powder (I used the hot curry powder from The Spice House)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • salt, pepper, cayenne to taste (I used about 1 tablespoon of Slap Ya Mama)
  1. Heat oil in large pot (I used a 6 quart enameled Dutch oven)
  2. Add garlic, ginger and onion. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onions become translucent.
  3. Add chicken. Cook until chicken starts to color.
  4. Add potatoes. Cook about 3-5 minutes
  5. Add zucchini and chile, Cook about 3 minutes
  6. In a bowl, mix coconut milk, tomato paste and all spices. Pour into pot and stir to incorporate all ingredients.
  7. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 40 minutes or until potatoes are very tender.
Good times!