Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pesto Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage

Found this recipe originally via Pinterest, posted on  I've made this dish several times since finding it and it's always delectable!  So easy too with just slicing the chicken sausage instead of having to deal with raw meat.


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the green beans and peas during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and vegetables and return them to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add the sausage, pesto, Parmesan, and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and vegetables and toss to combine (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry).

Samosas with Tamarind Chutney

This recipe is a work friend's mother's recipe.  I love samosas when I go out to an Indian dinner, but these are even better--baked not fried!  I've made these several times.  Be prepared, it makes a lot!  But I usually end up freezing half of them to satisfy my cravings at a later time.

5 large potatoes
1-1 heaping tsp hot red pepper depending on hot much heat you want
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 lb butter
1 heaping tsp garam masala
1 (10oz.) pkg peas
2 tsp lemon juice
1 large onion
1 1/2 tsp salt

Boil the potatoes until cooked.  Drain the water and put the potatoes into cold water for easy handling.  When cool enough to handle easily, peel the potatoes.  Then in a large bowl, mash the potatoes.  Add the remaining ingredients except for the butter and onion and mix thoroughly.  Chop the large onion finely and saute in the butter until browned.  Then add the potato mixture to the onions.  Mix thoroughly and set aside.

1 pkg. large flour tortillas
4 heaping Tbls all purpose flour
2-3 eggs

Make a paste out of the flour and eggs.  Add water as necessary to form a smooth, but thick paste.  Warm a skillet.  Cut the tortillas in half.  Warm the halves in the skillet, one at a time--only warm, don't cook.  This is done to make the folding process easier.  Once a half is warmed, fold the pointed ends together to form a cone.  Make sure that the bottom is pointed.  Take your paste and "glue" the seam that is on the side to form a cone.  Once it adheres, stuff the cone three-quarters full.  Be careful that the seam doesn't become undone.  Then glue the top.  When done, the stuffing should be sealed. Bake the samosas until lightly browned--400'F oven for 8-10 minutes. (just keep your eye on them til they brown up)

1 cup ketchup
10-15 pureed fresh mint leaves
1 medium chopped onion
1 chopped jalapeno pepper
4 T sugar
2 T tamarind paste
2 T lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. red chili pepper flakes

Mix together in a food processor and adjust seasonings to taste.  Do not add any water.

Vietnamese Chicken Porridge

I tried this dish at Soma Streatfood Park in San Francisco and fell in love.  I took a picture of the ingredients listed on the sign and then got to work.  I have to say my recreation is pretty darn close!  The brothy consistency with a hint of lime is surprisingly delicious!  I luckily had some homemade chicken broth in the freezer and the few cups extra I used "Better than Bouillon" to make up the difference.

Vietnamese Chicken Porridge

several cups of Jasmine rice
about 15 cups of homemade chicken broth
bunch of green onions, tops sliced
bunch of cilantro, chopped (try to eliminate the stems)
8 chicken thighs
1/2 c lime juice
3/4 tsp. white pepper

Bring chicken broth to a boil and drop in chicken thighs until cooked through.  Remove thighs one at a time and shred; return to pot.  Add white pepper, green onions, cilantro, and lime juice.  Serve over about 1/4 cup of Jasmine rice per bowl.  I like to keep the Jasmine rice separate from the broth until ready to serve.

Red Beans & Rice with Lamb & Eggplant

I found this treasure of a recipe in Rachael Ray's magazine "Everyday".  Original recipe called for lamb sausage and a pinch of saffron (I wasn't spending $17 for a pinch of anything).  Seriously you have to try this recipe.  So yummy.

Red Beans & Rice with Lamb & Eggplant

2 T butter
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 1/4 c long grain and wild rice
2 c chicken stock
1 tomato chopped (I used a can of diced tomatoes)
salt and pepper
2 T olive oil
1 lb ground lamb
1 small firm eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T chopped fresh thyme
1/2 c dry white wine
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until foaming; stir in the paprika.  Add the rice and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Add the stock and tomato; season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low, cover and simmer for 18 minutes.

Meanwhile in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Crumble in the sausage and cook until browned, about 8 minutes.  Add the eggplant, onion, garlic, bell pepper, and thyme; season with salt and pepper.  Partially cover and cook for 10 minutes.  Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits.  Stir in the beans to heat through and then stir in the rice.  Top with parsley.