It was a Saturday, and I needed a quick and easy meal. Hello, sweet Italian sausage! You can mix this sausage with pasta and garlic olive oil and spinach or combine it with some mushrooms and onions and serve with rice.
1 package sweet Italian sausage (5 links)
Salt and pepper
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 container shiitake mushrooms
Fresh sage, chopped
In a skillet on medium heat, cook sausages whole, with the lid on, for about 15 minutes, turning every 2-3 minutes to brown evenly on all sides, until internal temperature reaches 160-170F. Remove sausages from skillet and reserve some of the cooking sauce.
With the skillet still over medium heat, add 1 T olive oil, salt, pepper, the onions, mushrooms, and sage. Saute 5 minutes.
Slice the sausages into half-inch coins once they have cooled. Add coins to skillet and toss to combine all ingredients. Serve on a bed of rice with sauteed spinach as a side.
I made this last night! I forgot to use chicken broth instead of water so I added an extra 1/2 cup of rice and 1 cup broth to the original recipe. This recipe is a variation of the mushroom and rice recipes that call for fresh thyme and butter.
1/4 cup chopped white onion
2 T olive oil
1 box mixed mushrooms, rinsed and diced
Salt and pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1/8 cup chopped chives
1/2 tsp dried thyme (or less)
2 cups wild rice
3 cups water
1 cup chicken broth
In a deep skillet over medium heat, sauté the mushrooms and onions in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, minced garlic, and chives. Stir. Add the rice, water, chicken broth, and dried thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed.
This is an easy side dish that can be made in half an hour.
For the mushrooms:
Wash and dry Portobello caps. Lay flat on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the mushrooms. Drizzle olive oil combined with minced garlic over them. Bake at 400F for 20-30 minutes, or 425F for 20 minutes.
For the carrots:
Peel the carrots and cut off the ends. Toss the whole carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking oil. Bake at 400F for 30 minutes.
This is a tasty recipe, loosely based on my friend Adriana’s mom’s recipe for veal.
Ingredients for the chicken dish:
2 tablespoons butter
3 chicken breasts, halved
1 shallot, chopped
3/4 cup white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup Merlot red wine
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped shallots and mushrooms and saute about 5 minutes. Add the Merlot and let simmer. While you are doing this, grill the chicken (seasoned with salt and pepper) on medium high for 10 minutes per side. Add the cooked chicken to the skillet, reduce heat to medium low and let cook for an additional 10 minutes, covered. Serve chicken with red wine/mushroom sauce on top!
Ingredients for the sweet potatoes:
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1/2 inch squares.
Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes. Season with the spices. Cover the skillet with a tight-fitting lid and cook 5 minutes over medium heat. Remove the lid and cook an additional 15 minutes, or until potatoes are slightly soft and browned.
Ingredients for the green beans:
1/2 package frozen green beans
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1 tablespoon olive oil
Directions for the green beans:
Cook the green beans according to package directions. Drain. Add the olive oil to the warm saucepan. Toss the almonds in the olive oil until they are slightly browned. Add the green beans and toss to coat. Serve!
I am a fan of budget-friendly recipes. That’s why I picked up 400 Best-Ever Budget Recipes, edited by Lucy Doncaster. On page 217, I found a recipe for Porcini Risotto, which I hear is a popular dish in gourmet restaurants. So I had to try it!
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms (I found them in the produce section on a shelf)
1 onion, finely chopped (I used a white onion)
1 cup risotto rice (This can be pricey. Apparently Trader Joes has the cheapest. Now I can finally say I’m near a Trader Joes!!!)
2 tbsp. garlic-infused olive oil (To make this, I just spooned 1 tsp. of minced garlic into the oil)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Soak the mushrooms for 30 minutes in 3 cups boiling water. Once they are done soaking, drain them through a mesh collander (the thinner the better) with a paper towel on top of it, so that the pieces of mushroom are caught by the paper towel. Keep the liquid for later.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Heat the olive oil in a roasting pan on the stovetop. Add the onion. Toss for 2-3 minutes until the onion is soft.
At this point, the recipe calls for adding the rice and stirring, but because I did not have a roasting pan handy (it is down in storage and I need to get it out), I transferred the oil and onion mixture to a Pyrex.
Add the rice to the oil and onion mixture and stir for 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms. Add the reserved liquid, salt, and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
The rice will be done when all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is soft and mushy.
I’m not very much into mushy foods, but for this I’ll make an exception (and oatmeal, of course!)