Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Skillet Penne and Sausage

This dish is quick and easy because everything 
cooks in one skillet. It gets it's great flavor 
from sun-dried tomatoes
along with fresh spinach, and garlic. 
 You'll also need Italian sausage-sweet or hot. 
(I used a combo of both), milk, chicken broth,
parmesan cheese, olive oil and salt.
 Chopped onion, garlic and sun dried tomatoes.
 I like to evenly divide the penne into two jars. 
This easily measures out the 8oz.
(I use lots of these jars for storage) 
This way I'll  have another 8oz ready to go.
 Heat the olive oil in a large 12" skillet until 
shimmering. Add the onion and 1/2t salt
 and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Squeeze the sausage out of it's casing and 
brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon
 until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, 
about 15 seconds. 
 Sprinkle on the sun-dried tomatoes. 
I will chop them next time. These were too big.
Now here's the fun  part......
 Sprinkle the penne evenly over the sausage.
No need to mess with another pot to cook 
the pasta. You could do this whole dinner in an
 electric skillet anywhere.
 Now pour 2C of chicken broth over the pasta,
 I used one small can.
 Pour the milk over. I used whole milk even 
though we don't drink it. We drink skim. 
I'll use the rest in other dishes like pancakes 
or mashed/scalloped potatoes, oatmeal. 
But you can use whatever you have.
 Bring to a simmer and cover.
 Let simmer for about 15 minutes until 
the pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the fresh spinach a handful at
 a time and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
 Stir in the parmesan cheese. 
 Taste first to see if it needs a bit more 
salt and pepper. It will depend on the sausage, 
broth and cheese that you've used.
Crusty bread and a salad are all that's needed. 
That is if you want to mess up another  bowl.

Skillet Penne and Sausage
.....a one pot dish.....
1T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2t salt
1 lb Italian sausage, sweet or hot, casing removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, rinsed and chopped
8 oz penne or similar pasta
2 C low sodium chicken broth
1 C milk
1 bag fresh baby spinach, (5-6oz)
1 oz parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 C)
1. Heat the oil in a large 12" skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and salt cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Squeeze the sausage from the casing and add to the pan, breaking up with a wooden spoon until browned, about 4 minutes.
3. Stir in the garlic and cook another 15 seconds until fragrant. Sprinkle the sun-dried tomatoes and the penne evenly over the sausage.
4. Pour the broth and milk evenly over the pasta. Bring to a simmer and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.
6. Stir in the spinach a handful at a time and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. stir in
the parmesan cheese and taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if desired.
serves 4-6


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Salmon with Spinach in a Blue Cheese Cream Sauce

This delicious salmon dinner is a favorite of ours. 
It's easy enough  for a gourmet dinner anytime, 
yet special enough for company.
If you love salmon, spinach and blue cheese,
you are in for a unique flavor combination!
You'll need fresh salmon fillets, one per person,
 a bag of fresh spinach, a small container each
of heavy cream, and blue cheese, 
garlic salt and pepper, and spaghetti or linguini.
Start boiling the salted water for the pasta. 
Generously season the salmon fillets' top sides 
with the  garlic salt and pepper.
Saute the salmon, skin side down in a hot skillet
 with a little olive oil or butter.
When you turn the salmon you will be able to
 easily pull off the skin. Season again.
Turn to brown both sides. Do not cook completely
 through. It should still be a little pink inside.
Remove from the pan and keep warm in a low heat
 oven along with your dinner plates.
Add the spinach to the saute pan; season and 
toss to cook for about 2 minutes.
Add the blue cheese.
Stir in the heavy cream and simmer gently
to heat through.
Return the salmon to the pan and spoon on
 a little of the sauce. Remove from heat.
Plate the salmon on the pasta and top with spinach
blue cheese cream sauce. 
sooooo good!

Salmon with Spinach in a Blue Cheese 
Cream Sauce~Over Pasta
2-4 salmon fillets ~ one per person
garlic salt ~ pepper ~ oil/butter
1 bag fresh spinach ~ about 9oz
1 4oz container crumbled blue cheese
1 small container heave cream ~ 1C
8-16oz spaghetti or linguini
(to serve 2 or 4)
Season the salmon with garlic salt and pepper.
Saute in hot butter or oil skin side down.
Flip and remove the skin. Season that side.
Saute until golden and flip again to lightly
brown the both sides. Do not overcook
Remove to plate in warm oven.
Add the spinach to the saute pan, season and 
toss to cook a few minutes. Add the blue cheese, 
then stir in the heavy cream. Bring to a simmer 
to heat through. Return the salmon to the pan. 
Top with a little sauce and serve the salmon
over pasta an top with spinach blue cheese 
cream sauce.


Links: Savvy Southern Style,
Lady Behind The Curtain,
No  Minimalist Here,
Between Naps On The Porch,
Designs By Gollum,
My Romantic Home

P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway for
Tumbleweed is also giving my readers a 
discount all during May for 20% off!  
Stock up on gifts!
To get the 20% discount use the 
coupon code: maydays

Monday, May 7, 2012

Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lets pretend that we are just coming home 
from school and have a big plate of 
warm cookies and cold milk waiting for us.
They are so easy to mix up.
 Start with room temperature butter, 
beat in the sugars, then add the egg.
 Beat until fluffy. Mix in vanilla.
 Add the flour, baking soda and salt thru a sifter.
 Dump in the chocolate chips.
 Mix just until everything is incorporated.
 Use a teaspoon full and space 2" apart.
 I sometimes use parchment paper. 
An un-greased baking sheet is all you'll need.
 Bake @375 until lightly golden around the edges.
 Scratch and Sniff.....just kidding!
 I chill the remaining dough and when firm enough 
I roll it into walnut-sized balls. 
I then freeze or refrigerate 
to bake more warm cookies the next day.
That's how we roll!
They don't last long!

Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 C white sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1-1/2 C flour
1/2t baking soda
pinch salt if using unsalted butter
1 C chocolate chips, semi-sweet

Set the butter in a bowl to reach room temperature. Add sugars and beat with an electric mixer until blended. Add the egg and beat until creamy. Beat in the vanilla.
Add the flour, soda , and salt thru a sifter. Add the chocolate chips. Beat again
until everything is well mixed. Drop by using a rounded teaspoon full of batter onto
 an un-greased cookie sheet 2" apart.
Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes, until golden around the edges.
Optional add-ins: 1/2C walnuts or pecans lightly toasted and chopped.

(when you double the recipe use 3/4C brown sugar and 3/4 C white sugar)

TIP: Freezer stash chocolate chip cookie dough. Scoop chilled dough into walnut-sized balls, freeze to bake and enjoy fresh warm cookies anytime! They bake frozen in about 15 minutes.

Follow me on Facebook.

P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway for
Tumbleweed is also giving my readers a 
discount all during May for 20% off!  
Stock up on gifts!
To get the 20% discount use the 
coupon code: maydays

Links: A Stroll Thru Life

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Favorite Way To Roast Chicken, A Giveaway, and A Sale!

Tumbleweed Pottery makes a great chicken
cooker that I've loved using for years. 
Now I'm giving one away!
Original Chicken Cooker
Just by leaving a comment here at
Rita's Recipes or at MAY DAYS
on any of my posts during the month of May
 and you will be entered into a drawing for a 
free Chicken Cooker or
Original Red Chicken Cooker
 any equivalent product from their online catalog.
Enter by commenting as many times as you like. 
Deep Dish Chicken Cooker
But wait...there's more! 
Tumbleweed is giving my readers a discount all 
during May for 20% off!  
(When combined with their already 10% off 
special thru Mother's Day it will give you 
30% off all of their products.) 
Stock up on gifts!
To get the 20% discount use the 
coupon code: maydays.
 Rinse out and pat the chicken dry.
 Stuff with your favorite ingredients. Today I used: 
garlic, fresh herbs, orange slices, onion and S&P.
 Fill the seasoning well. So many choices here!
 This one was butter with herbs and lemon juice.
 Now, put the chicken on the well, legs down. 
It will be nice and secure unlike a beer can.
 I buttered and seasoned the outside.
 Plug the neck hole with foil to keep the
steam and juices inside.
You'll probably need to remove one of your oven
 racks. Put the chicken inside...
THEN turn then oven on to 350 and roast
for about 1-1/2 hours. No need to baste.
Always place the chicken and the
cooker in a COLD oven! 
I popped a few sweet potatoes along side. 
 It uses the concept of the beer-can chicken. 
Liquid from the seasoning well steams the
chicken from the inside out.
Create your own combinations. 
Lots of recipes on their website HERE
The chicken browns beautifully on all sides. 
The fat drains off.
Skim the fat from the well and you'll be left with
 lots of natural juices to spoon over the chicken.
 The skin is nice and crispy and the meat is
tender and juicy.
You'll love it! 
These are beautiful handcrafted pottery pieces
 made in the USA by a family owned business.
You'll love that too!
to view their catalog.