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Posts Tagged ‘sausage’

Back to this space after a couple months of forced hiatus, thanks to a hectic work schedule that sucked the creativity out of my kitchen time.  And to kick off fall, wanted to share this amazing soup that packs a spicy punch with hearty, autumnal ingredients.  Italian sausage, red new potatoes, kale, and kidney beans dance together in this pot-o-goodness.

Portuguese Kale Soup

4 ounces spicy turkey or Italian sausage

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped (3/4 cup)

4 cups chicken stock + 4 cups water

8 ounces kale, thick stems removed and leaves sliced (8 cups)

1 clove garlic, minced

12 ounces red potatoes, halved and sliced (2 cups)

1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 can cooked red kidney beans, drained

(1) Remove casing from sausage, crumble and brown in a 5-quart stock pot. Drain on paper towel when cooked through, leaving 1 tablespoon of oil in the pot.

(2) Cook onion, celery and garlic over medium-low heat in the oil til softened. Return sausage to pot, and add stock and kale.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes.

(3) Stir in potatoes, red pepper sauce, salt and simmer covered, 20 minutes or until potatoes and kale are tender. Then add the beans and cook until heated through.

Not quite sure what makes it ‘Portuguese,’ to be honest. (I take my Aunt Karron for her word that it’s inspired by the folks from Lisbon.)  All that matters is that it’s unique, addictively delicious and pretty healthy too.

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No restaurant food is worth waiting hours for, in my opinion. Especially hours  spent outdoors, in line, without a cocktail in hand!  But  to experience what Zagat’s calls the “best pizza in New York City,” I had to make a special exception to my rule and travel to Brooklyn, just beneath the Bridge, to the no-frills pizza joint called Grimaldi’s.

The nearly two hour wait for a table  — at 2:30 in the afternoon! — pumped up my expectations and fueled my appetite, and in the end the pizza did not disappoint.

The coal-fired brick oven produces a crisp, New York-style crust and smokey flavor. The crushed tomatoes are fresh and bright, dotted with slices of white mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves. Italian sausage and roasted red peppers the perfect toppings.

No fancy toppings or elaborate menu here.  Just the basic pizza pie done exceptionally well. And all for cash only.  Worth a trip back?  Probably not for me, given the lengthy wait; but I highly recommend it for the overall experience.

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sauspasta

Bubbly, brown melted cheese is always a crowd pleaser, and there’s plenty of it atop this dish with Parmigiano-Reggiano and whole-milk mozzarella. This so-called penne “gratin” is creamy but not cloying. The pasta is tossed with chunks of sweet Italian sausage, sliced sauteed mushrooms and an easy garlic-cream sauce. It’s topped with grated mozzarella and broiled for five minutes.  Add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for an extra kick.

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