Showing posts with label Allergic to Death. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Allergic to Death. Show all posts

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pasta with Sausages, Cream and Tomato

From Peg Cochran

Looks like we've got an Italian theme going here--Sheila's minestrone yesterday and a pasta dish from me today!  If you've had your fill of turkey/mashed potatoes/stuffing, a pasta dish is a delicious palate cleanser!

This recipe is from Marcella Hazan's "Marcella's Italian Kitchen."  I used this cookbook so many times that it fell apart.  I was lucky enough to find a pristine replacement at a library book sale for very little money.  Come to think of it, most of my beloved cookbooks are falling apart--The Joy of Cooking, Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, a volume by James Beard, two New York Times Cookbooks...funny but all my "diet" cookbooks seems to be in admirable shape!

I've adapted this recipe slightly to make a little more sauce (I know from experience that Italians eat their pasta with less sauce than Americans.  A lot of people would have found my grandmother's lasagna "dry," but we thought it was perfect.)  I've also used less cream--just enough to turn the sauce pink and give it the right consistency.  Also, the dish calls for "ruote di carro" or wagon wheel shaped pasta.  Now that I live in the land where pasta and tomato sauce are shelved in the "international foods" section of the grocery store, I can't easily come by that shape.  I've found farfalle to be a perfect substitute.

1/2 pound breakfast or other mild sausage (NOT maple flavored)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or less)
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (original recipe calls for 2/3 cup of whole tomatoes)
1/2 cup of heavy cream
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (I find this optional but a nice touch)
1 pound cartwheels or farfalle or shape of your choice
Freshly grated parmesa

Slice the sausages into 1/4 thick rounds.  Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic.  When the garlic is a pale gold, saute the sausages until nicely browned on all sides.  Add the tomatoes, stir, and cook at a simmer for 20 minutes (15 will do if you're in a hurry.)

Add the cream (up to half a cup) and stir, simmering for several minutes to heat.  Add salt, pepper and off heat stir in the parsley.

Serve over pasta with plenty of freshly grated parmesan.

Buon Appetito!

Use farfalle or whatever shape you prefer

Slice sausages into small rounds

Saute until golden brown

Add tomatoes

Add cream

Buon Appetito!

 This is a meal that my character, Lucille Mazzarella, might serve her family for Sunday dinner.  Follow the adventures of Flo and Lucille in CONFESSION IS MURDER out now for all e-book readers from Beyond the Page Publishing.

 Join me on Facebook or visit my website or at @pegcochran

 Out now in my Gourmet De-Lite series:  Allergic to Death and Steamed to Death.  Coming in March 2014:  ICED TO DEATH

Coming March 2014

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Lemon Cake

 By Peg Cochran
We’ve never had a “traditional” Easter dessert the way we have at Christmas (Buche de Noel), and every year I seem to make something different.  I wanted a dessert that was light with a spring feel to it (desperately trying to channel spring here—for a moment it looked as if we would have a white Easter when we didn’t have a white Christmas!)  I remembered that my mother used to make a cake that involved pudding and a tube pan.  Some searching on-line brought up this recipe.  Her cake was pink so I’m guessing she used a berry flavored pudding.  I decided to go with lemon becomes it seems so fresh.
My mother never frosted her cake in any way (we weren’t big dessert eaters) but this recipe came with the suggestion of a lemon glaze so I decided to try that to dress it up a bit.

Right now my husband and daughter are trying to convince me that we need to cut a piece of this cake for this blog!  I'm trying to tell them we need to save it for Easter dinner.  Stay tuned--we shall see who wins!

Lemon Cake
4 eggs
1 package white or lemon cake mix
¾ cup oil
1 package instant lemon pudding mix
¾ cup water

Mix and beat well.  Bake in a greased and floured pan (I used a tube pan but you could use a 9x13 inch pan) at 350 degrees.  (Approximately 45 minutes for the tube pan and 30 minutes for the other.)
While the cake is still hot, poke holes in the top with an ice pick or large fork.  Pour glaze over cake (see below) and let it seep in.  Can be served as is or with whipped cream or ice cream.
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup lemon juice

Pour your batter into a greased tube pan

Bake until nice and browned

Finished product complete with glaze!

Coming June 2013!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pina Colada Cake

by Peg Cochran

Okay, I’m DESPERATE for a vacation!  On a beach somewhere with warm sun, soft sand, delicious breezes, blue water… and pina coladas delivered straight to my chaise longue by bow-tied waiters.  Since that’s not going to happen anytime soon, I decided to create a pina colada cake!

This recipe is all over the Internet and Pinterest—mix a box of angel food cake mix with a can of crushed pineapple and ta da!—a cake.  I decided to add some shredded coconut and some rum extract to create a non-alcoholic piece of pina colada heaven!

I used pineapple in its own juice, and angel food cake is naturally low fat, so the caloric hit of this little delicious piece of the Caribbean isn’t all that bad.  You can add a dollop of whipped topping if you’d like…or top with one of those drink umbrellas!

1 16 ounce box Angel food cake mix
1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple in its own juice
1 tsp rum extract
1 cup shredded coconut

Cake can be made with only two ingredients but you can add extras to make it really special!

I let hubby lick the bowl and he said it was DELICIOUS!

Finished product. Slice in the pan and serve with whipped topping if desired.

A taste of the Caribbean to get you through the winter!
Place all of the above in a bowl and mix on medium speed for one minute.  Pour into 9 x 13 greased pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.  Slice in pan and serve with whipped topping if desired. Enjoy!  Doing the limbo is optional.
Coming June 2013!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Slow Cooker Chilupe

by Peg Cochran

Following is a recipe for slow cooker chilupe which was a finalist in Good Morning America’s Slow Cooker Challenge.  I have googled and googled but didn’t come up with any Mexican dishes called chilupe…but it doesn’t matter.  This was delicious!  It made quite a bit so I have leftovers ready to use in tacos, enchiladas or burritos.  My only change to the recipe was adding half a chipotle chili (smoked jalapeno) because I like the smoky taste.  It’s completely optional.  The recipe also called for chili flakes—I had no idea what those were so I just left them out.  It was still yummy and a big hit!  It can easily be put together in the morning and be ready by the time you get home from work.

Beans and spices  in the crockpot

Yummy spices!

Place meat on top

Slow-Cooker Chilupe by Penny Lippold

3 lb. pork shoulder roast (bone-in or boneless)\
1 lb. dry pinto beans, cleaned and sorted
3 cloves pressed garlic
2 TBL chili powder
1 TBL cumin
1 tsp. oregano, rubbed between your palms
1 4 oz can diced green chilies, undrained
Chicken broth to cover roast—approximately 4 to 5 cups)

Put dry beans in the bottom of your crockpot, add garlic, chili powder, cumin powder, oregano, diced green chilies.  Mix well.  Trim fat from roast and place on top of beans and spices.  Add broth to cover. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 12 hours.

When roast and beans are tender, remove roast and shred with two forks, removing any extra fat.  Drain beans, reserving liquid.  Add as much liquid as necessary to mash beans.  Add meat to beans and more liquid to moisten if desired.  Return to crockpot to keep warm.

Choose your favorite toppings!

Bon appétit!
Toppings:  Serve with your choice of tortilla chips, shredded lettuce, sour cream, chopped red onion, avocado slices, olives, salsa, shredded cheddar cheese.

Coming in June!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving Week - Green Bean Casserole

Available from Berkley Prime Crime now.

By Peg Cochran

We came to the concept of green bean casserole late in my family.  My father did not eat casseroles.  Period.  I doubt either of my parents, both of European heritage, had ever even heard of anything like a green bean casserole. I can't remember when I decided to try it--but I was determined to make it with fresh ingredients and sans the mushroom soup.  My girls took to it like a duck to water, and now it is de rigueur for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I made this up right to the point where you top it with the French fried onion rings and bake it.  I wanted to be able to freeze it for Thanksgiving and have one dish out of the way! So you will have to use your imagination when it comes to the final product.

2 lbs. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1 8 oz package white mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon thyme
salt & pepper to taste
1 container of French fried onion rings (store brand is fine)

White Sauce

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare green beans and add to boiling water.  Cook 6 to 8 minutes, until partially cooked but still firm. They will cook the rest of the way in the oven.  Plunge under cold water to stop the cooking and preserve the bright green color.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in saute pan.  Add sliced mushrooms, thyme and salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms begin to yield their juice.

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in saucepan.  Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 to 60 seconds to cook flour.  Slowly stir in milk, pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens.

Sliced mushrooms browning in pan.

Nicely browned mushrooms.
Blanched green beans

One of a set of nifty "mise en place" bowls my sister-in-law gave me.

Flour added to butter and browning slightly for white sauce

Add mushrooms to white sauce and combine with beans (it's helpful to do this in a large bowl).  Add to casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly--approximately 20 to 25 minutes.  Top with onion rings and bake until onion rings brown, approximately 10 minutes more.

The frozen pizza I made for dinner because I was making this green bean casserole. <g>

Top with onion rings before baking. This is going in the freezer for Thanksgiving
Available from Berkley Prime Crime now.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Caramel Candy Corn Apples

by Peg Cochran

I remember when I was a kid trick-or-treating that the elderly couple down the street always gave us the biggest, most beautiful Red Delicious apple you could imagine.  Of course this was before we had to worry about sick people putting things in apples.  At the time I thought it was the biggest rip-off.  An apple?  Puleeze.  Plus they always invited us in, and we had to stand there quietly while they chatted with my mother, wasting valuable trick-or-treating time.

Now caramel apples are a different story!  I decided to try my hand at them with mixed results.  They taste great, but I’m not very artistic (or patient) so mine didn’t turn out looking like the beautiful ones you see in gourmet food stores.  But it was fun!  I decided to use candy corn on them to accent the Halloween theme along with a drizzle of chocolate.  One of the biggest stumbling blocks was keeping my husband out of the caramels before I had a chance to make these!

You'll need apples, caramels, candy corn and sticks

1-14 oz bag caramels (the kids can help you unwrap them!)
3 apples
sticks for the apples
your choice of toppings
Chocolate chips

Melt about 30 caramels in a pan with a tablespoon of water over low heat.  Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

Submerge apples one at a time in boiling water for a couple of seconds.  Remove and dry vigorously with a towel.  (this will remove the wax coating they put on apples which would make it harder for the caramel to stick.)

When the caramel is melted, hold the apple by the stick and dip in caramel.  I found it was easiest to put the apple in the pan and then drizzle on the caramel with a spoon.  When coated, quickly roll the apple in the candy corn or your topping of choice.

I placed the apples on a foil lined cookie sheet.  Note to self, either butter the foil or spray with Pam.  The caramel STICKS and I had to wrestle them free!  Melt a handful of chocolate chips in the microwave (about 1/3 cup) and drizzle over apples. 

I found I had to warm the caramel between apples because it would harden very quickly.

Available now from Berkley Prime Crime

Available now from Berkley Prime Crime