Thursday, September 10, 2009
So I'm beginning to learn that the fun part of cooking is seeing what I can throw together without a recipe. I needed to make something for dinner tonight and so here's what I threw together using ingredients in my fridge and pantry.
Green Beans and Chicken Sausage with Farfalle
two chicken sausages, sliced
8 ounces of farfalle
one small tomato, diced
three cloves of garlic, minced
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Set a pot of water to boil for the green beans. When the water is rapidly boiling, add in a pinch of salt and drop in the green beans. Boil the beans until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain.
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in large skillet. When skillet's hot, drop in the sliced sausages. Cook a couple minutes on one side, then flip. Brown the sausages and then pull them off the heat and place into a separate dish. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and drop in the green beans and garlic. Toss together and saute. After a couple minutes, return sausage to pan and then add pasta. Season with basil and oregano. Toss with another tablespoon or two of olive oil if needed. Turn off heat and sprinkle liberally with Parmesan cheese and top with diced tomatoes. Toss together and serve.
Serves 2 to 3 people.
This week's dinner was a fettucine alfredo, courtesy of Alaina. It had a shredded Italian blend cheese, shredded sharp cheddar and Parmesan. And it was delicious. She also served spicy Italian sausage, sauteed red bell pepper and mushroom on the side, and sourdough garlic bread. Brad brought salad fixings and asparagus that we rolled in olive oil and some Italian spices and baked at 350 degrees for about 10 or 15 minutes. I don't have an exact time since we put it in, forgot about it, remembered it and somehow ended up with perfect asparagus.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Maybe eventually I'll remember to work on my presentation, but for now, just be glad I remembered to take a picture. I wasn't supposed to make dinner this week so I had to come up with something in a day, instead of normally spending days mulling over what I want to make. I also didn't want to have to go grocery shopping and spend loads of money so I had to come up with something using ingredients in my house. So I prepared basically a Caesar salad (hearts of romaine and spinach with Parmesan and Caesar dressing), garlic bread and angelhair tossed with olive oil, minced garlic, and a can of diced tomatoes with grilled chicken and shrimp. It was a really delicious meal and easy preparation.
I kind of made this up as I went along (as I generally do a lot of my homemade recipes), but the general idea is mince up some garlic cloves, prepare the pasta, heat a skillet or saute pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil, throw in your minced garlic and let it cook for a couple minutes, then throw in your pasta, toss it around, add a couple more tablespoons of olive oil if necessary, and then add in some diced tomatoes and let it cook for a couple more minutes to warm the tomatoes. I prepared the chicken and shrimp on the side so that each person could add which protein they wanted, but you could probably just as easy also toss in already cooked chicken or shrimp in order to serve it all together in one dish. And then throw some Parmesan on top because everything's better with a little bit of cheese.
Can you tell I've been expanding the range of this blog? I figure we can do more than just cook and that it's all an appreciation and love for food, so I've been sharing more food-related things I love. I promise we'll never stray away from food, even if I occasionally stray from cooking. But truthfully, I eat out as often as I cook, and every once in awhile, I just have to tell you about the great things I'm eating that I didn't cook. Like this egg custard tart. This might not be the most amazing picture, but egg custard tarts are the most delicious dessert.
I always get them when I go to dim sum, which I always describe as a Chinese brunch. Think tapas or small plates, where you're getting many different small dishes. Dim sum is also fun because it's servers pushing carts around with these small dishes to your table and you picking and choosing from their carts. That's probably a really poor description, but suffice it to say, dim sum is delicious and a fun eating experience. I have terrific memories of going into Philadelphia's Chinatown with family and eating dim sum and then eating egg custard tarts or going to the bakeries and getting these.
I was craving dim sum so I took a few friends with me to Gee's Garden in Tucson and introduced them to the concept and now they're big fans. Gee's Garden, by the way, is alright food. It's nothing like Philadelphia. This photo is from last week's brunch. As it turns out, dim sum is also fabulous after a late night evening of drinks and dancing.