Tuesday, January 17, 2012

36 rolls of TP, 10 pounds of cheese and a bag of dove chocolate

We grilled steaks a week ago Sunday.  Snow last Thursday.  60 degrees today, warm, windy, thunderstorms, tornado warnings.  18 degrees expected for tonight.  55 degrees next Sunday. 

So, we will probably get slammed soon.  In anticipation I did the blizzard stock up - 36 rolls of TP, 10 pounds of cheese and a bag of dove chocolate.  Probably should stash a few bottles of wine as well.

Kroger was sampling Aidell's Sausages when I went in with Nate to pick up a few things.  He sampled each one, even the Andouille, which I warned him about.  I did pick up a garlic sausage that will be perfect for this Cassoulet style dish.

                      Pork Sausages with White Beans

Serving Size  : 6 
6        tablespoons  unsalted butter
2             ounces  bacon -- diced
1 1/2   cups  onion -- finely chopped
3         cloves  garlic -- minced
1/2      teaspoon  thyme leaves -- dried
1/2      cup  dry white wine
1 1/2   cups  diced tomato -- 14.5 oz can
1 1/4   cups  chicken stock
29       ounces  white beans, canned -- 2 cans, drained and rinsed
2         pounds  cooked pork sausages
5         cups  homemade bread crumbs -- 1/2" pieces (coarse)
1/4      cup  parsley -- chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in a large braising pan, add bacon and cook until crisp.
  3. Add onions, cook until tender.  Add garlic and thyme, sweat 1 minute.  Add wine, cook 1 minute.
  4. Add tomatoes and cook until the sauce is thickened slightly. 
  5. Add the stock and bean, bring to a simmer.
  6. Add sausages and Bake in oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Toast breadcrumbs in the remaining butter in a clean skillet.  Add parsley and season with salt.
  8. Scatter breadcrumbs over the sausage mixture.  Broil, if desired for 1-2 minutes.
I have made this with chicken thighs (cooks covered in the oven for about an hour) and with regular smoked sausage.  Even better is chicken thighs with a little smoked sausage. But with the Aidell sausages this should be great.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Year, New Me

Just kidding - same old me!

Today was "put everything in the attic that could possibly go up there especially everything to do with Christmas" Day.  So that is done.  There may be some holiday foods still hanging about but Tuesday is trash day and that will be the end of them, except for that box of Lindt truffles.

Knitting is currently baby stuff.  I have a blanket in basketweave stitch on the needles at the moment.

Cooking - after finally getting rid of all the ham and turkey, dressing, cranberries, sweet potato souffle and pie we have gone back to simplicity.

Broccoli cheese soup
No Knead bread that I can't help kneading
Roasted carrots, onions and sweet potatoes
Orange and grapefruit salad
Steel cut oats
Oatmeal scones

Okay - I'll admit the oatmeal scones are not health food, but they pack a lot of fiber in return for all their fat.  And the Broccoli Cheese soup, again fiber for fat.  And I didn't use cream, just half and half and butter.  And sharp cheddar.

the soup:
I started with the recipe from Ree Drummond's website, ThePioneerWoman.com.  But I read on America's Test Kitchen that cooking the broccoli slowly for a long time would get rid of the stinky factor.  And I personally needed to add onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne.  This ended up being the best broccoli cheese soup I have made to date.

No Knead Bread:
I've had my problems with this recipe.  Seems simple but I always ended up with a damp loaf.  So I turned to America's Test Kitchen once again.  I added beer and a little vinegar to the mix.  But I did not cook it in a dutch oven, opting for open baking on a pizza stone.  Much better flavor and texture.  As a bonus, this website encouraged me to give the dough a few turns, which I think helps with the surface tension in the loaf.

Roasted carrots, onions and sweet potatoes:
Each vegetable had its own space on a large stoneware pan, drizzled with olive oil and coarse sea salt.  After roasting they were put in their separate containers but there was some olive oil remaining on the pan.  This olive oil was a revelation of flavor from the veggies, especially the onions.  Tomorrow I am roasting onions in olive oil just for the flavored oil!

Oatmeal Scones:
From Martha Stewart years and years ago.  I omitted the dried cherries this time.  They keep in the freezer for ages and you can slice off and bake what you want fresh each occasion.  I still have about 8 scones left to bake.

No recipes to include but I can provide them if requested.