Showing posts with label breakfast sausage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label breakfast sausage. Show all posts

Monday, June 21, 2010

Do you love spaghetti?

Ah, summer.

Minutes away from its official start.
And isn't it lovely?
Birds are a-plenty.
Flowers are springing up everywhere.
The scent of barbecue is in the air.
And in just a couple of weeks, when The Long Quiche Goodbye comes out... [Yep, just a couple of weeks], I'll share a special barbecue dry rub by Charlotte's grandfather, Pépère. It's mentioned in the book, as are a number of other recipes that I'll be bringing to the blog in future weeks.

In the meantime, I tried an experiment this week. That's what has been such fun about our year-long blog. [Can you believe it? MLK's almost ready to celebrate its anniversary, thanks to all of you who are reading it and spurring us on!]

But over the past year, I've dallied with new recipes every week. Each with cheese in them. And I have to say, I've never had so much fun in the kitchen. This week, I wanted to use a vegetable that I adore and make it really sizzle. Do you love spaghetti???

Spaghetti Squash. It's an ugly thing, oblong and yellow, and hard to cut in half, but that's what you have to do in order to cook it properly.

Once you've done that, the magic begins. Spaghetti squash is exactly what it says it is. A squash that, when cooked properly, turns into spaghetti-like strands of yummy, buttery-tasting squash that can fool you into believe it's spaghetti. Fool you! Add butter and Parmessan and you'll think you're eating spaghetti and it's really a vegetable. No starch! How wonderful is that? So...be careful, use a sharp knife, and go slowly to split this gourd lengthwise down the middle.


In addition, spaghetti squash can be a main course or a salad, which is how I prepared it this week. Both ways! As a main course AND a salad, using the same ingredients in both, except I added arugula to the salad. My husband tells me the entree is one of the best things I've ever cooked.

That drew a frowning eye from me, of course, because there are lots of things I cook well. What he meant was...back-pedaling quickly...I cook lots of things well and this fell onto his favorites list. Okay, I'd accept that. He loved it. What's not to love about Italian sausage, garlic, and a squash that tastes like spaghetti?

I do this experimenting all in the name of cheese. What fun!

No, it wasn't barbecue, but we enjoyed our meal al fresco, served with a crisp Pinot Grigio, listening to the birds sing their praise of another beautiful day.


SAUSAGE AND PARMESSAN SPAGHETTI SQUASH ENTREE

Ingredients:

(serves 2)

2 cups cooked spaghetti squash

½ cup shredded Parmessan plus 2 tablespoons

1 tablespoon butter

¼ cup zucchini, diced

¼ cup snow peas, diced

2 tablespoons shallots, diced

1 clove garlic, diced

2 tablespoons oil

1 roma tomato, diced

4 sausages – Italian

1 more tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon dried basil


Directions:

Slice open a spaghetti squash lengthwise, taking care because it’s a tough gourd and wiggles. Once open, place each half face down in a tupperware filled with one inch water. “Bake” in microwave 10 minutes. Remove from oven and scoop out the seeds. Then using a hard spoon, scoop out the meat of the squash, which will form strands like spaghetti. Set aside. * If using an oven, set both squash face down in an inch of water in a baking pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. [May be made a day ahead and reheated.

]

Next, in a saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil and add diced zucchini, snow peas, shallots, garlic, and roma tomato. Stir fry until browned on both sides.

In a second saute pan, add 1 tablespoon oil and 2 Italian sausages. Stir fry, until browned on both sides.

While they are cooking, toss warm spaghetti squash with 1 tablespoon butter and ½ cup shredded Parmessan cheese.

Set 1 cup of spaghetti squash on each plate, top with the stir-fried vegetables. Adorn with two of the sausages. Sprinkle each plate with another tablespoon of Parmessan and adorn with basil.




And now for the salad - the only difference is in presentation and the addition of ARUGULA.


SAUSAGE AND PARMESSAN SPAGHETTI SQUASH SALAD


Ingredients:

(serves 2)

2 cups cooke

d spaghetti squash

½ cup shredded Parmessan plus 2 tablespoons

1 tablespoon butter

¼ cup zucchini, diced

¼ cup snow peas, diced

2 tablespoons shallots, diced

1 clove garlic, diced

2 tablespoons oil

1 roma tomato, diced

2 sausages – Italian

1 more tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 cup arugula


Directions:

Slice open a spaghetti squash lengthwise, taking care because it’s a tough gourd and wiggles.

Once open, place each half face down in a tupperware filled with one inch water. “Bake” in microwave 10 minutes. Remove from oven and scoop out the seeds. Then using a hard spoon, scoop out the meat of the squash, which will form strands like spaghetti. Set aside. * If using an oven, set both squash face down in an inch of water in a baking pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. [May be made a day ahead and reheated.]


Next, in a saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil and add diced zucchini, snow peas, shallots, garlic, and roma tomato. Stir fry until browned on both sides.


In a second saute pan, add 1 tablespoon oil and 2 Italian sausages. Stir fry, until browned on both sides.


While they are cooking, toss warm spaghetti squash with 1 tablespoon butter and ½ cup shredded Parmessan cheese.


Set ½ cup of argula on each plate. Top with 1 cup of spaghetti squash, then top with the stir-fried vegetables. Adorn with 1 of the sausages, diced into bites. Sprinkle each plate with another tablespoon of Parmessan and adorn with basil.


Lest I forget, I'm running a contest and lots of people have entered, but there are lots of prizes, so if you haven't, join in the fun!


"You Be The Sleuth" Contest!

As I said above, my first book in A Cheese Shop Mystery series, The Long Quiche Goodbye, debuts July 6. To celebrate its release, I'm running a contest from June 9 to July 6! You be the sleuth! Track down the recipe on my website that includes eggs, Edam, and white pepper. Enter your answer by clicking on this link: CONTEST ENTRY FORM.

One of you will win a $25 gift certificate at your favorite bookstore. Two of you will win signed copies of The Long Quiche Goodbye. Three of you will win a Long Quiche Goodbye magnet. You can ask friends for help. Spread the word and share the fun. And while you're there, consider pre-ordering a book on my booksellers page.

Here is the link to my website to help get you started.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cleo Coyle: Frozen Pizza Doctor and Pizza Toppings Poll!


Super Bowl Sunday is almost here. In order, I am looking forward to (#1) the half-time show because I love, love, love The Who, Who, Who and they’ll be performing Live, Live, Live... (#2) all those crazy, creative commercials; and (#3) the game. 1 Plain Cheese Frozen Pizza
(The Steelers are my team and they’re not in it this year, hence the game has fallen in priority.)
So...what’s to snack on?! While there are loads of delicious ideas around our blog, I’m sure many households will simply order pies from a local pizzeria.
Oh, sure, pizza delivery is fast and easy, but those $$$ can really add up, and the convenience isn’t always worth it. If you’ve ever had a pie arrive cold at your door with toppings that are less than spectacular (canned mushrooms on your pie, yikes!), then consider my quick & easy prescriptions for doctoring frozen pizza. (Unless of course there’s someone in your house who wants to flirt with the cute pizza delivery person, in which case these ideas are moot!)

CLEO COYLE:FROZEN PIZZA DOCTOR
The patient: Frozen Pizza
The diagnosis: No Pizazz (ok, no groaning!)
The perscription (Rx): See options below...

FROZEN PIZZA DOCTOR Rx #1: Start with a good brand. My favorite is Mystic Pizza. Yes, the same “slice of heaven” that inspired the screenwriter of Julia Roberts’ 1988 movie. I’d love to know your favorite brand. Just leave a note in the comments section below.

(If you never buy frozen pizza, I’ve got you covered. Check out the wonderful homemade pizza crust recipe from our recent Guest Blogger, Mary Jane Maffini, by clicking here. Or try Julie Hyzy’s solution—Caprese flatbread by clicking here.)

FROZEN PIZZA DOC Rx #2: Best tip of them all. Drizzle olive oil around the rim of your frozen pizza before putting it into the oven. You want to drizzle it against the inside rim of the crust (not on the crust). During the high-temperature baking, the oil will seep into the crust and help keep it moist. It adds great flavor, too!



FP DOC Rx #3: Fresh mushrooms! Add 1 cup of fresh, sliced Baby Bella mushrooms to your frozen pizza. These young Portobellos are meaty and chewy—adding texture as well as flavor. Button mushrooms are fine as another option or mix your mushrooms. Sauté in olive oil and a bit of butter before putting on your frozen pie and popping it in the oven.



FP DOC Rx #4: Jimmy Dean Sausage. What?! Not Italian sausage? No. I'm not kidding here. A mild/sweet breakfast sausage is delicious on pizza! Break up about 1/3rd of the 1 pound package with your fingers into a pan on the stovetop; cook it through completely and drain the fat before spreading over the frozen pizza. You’d be surprised how many people assume that the sausage should be put on the pie raw. Not a good idea! Even if the raw sausage does cook through (and it probably won’t, given pizza’s quick bake time), you’ll end up with a lot of grease. So cook, drain, top, bake, and enjoy!
FP DOC Rx #5: Freshly shredded mozzarella cheese and leaves of fresh green basil. Just spread them on the top and bake. The floral fragrance of the basil cooking is really lovely. It brightens and enlivens a frozen pizza and takes no time at all.

Finally, I’d like to learn about your favorite pizza toppings. According to industry sources gathered by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, here are some favorites from around our planet…

Australia: shrimp and pineapple, BBQ
Brazil: green peas
Costa Rica: coconut
France: a combo called “Flambe” with bacon, onion, and fresh cream
Japan: squid and eel
India: chicken tikka, Tandoori chicken, pickled ginger
Netherlands: “double dutch” double cheese, double onions, double beef
Pakistan: curry
Russia: red herring
Saudi Arabi: Hold the pork—all meat toppings must be 100% beef!


CLEO'S PIZZA TOPPING POLL...

Click below to vote on what pizza
you would order if given this list.



Yes. This is my Doctored Mystic Pizza. It started out frozen in a box. We inhaled it last night. :)




Eat with joy!


 
~ Cleo Coyle, author of 


To get more of my recipes,
enter to win free coffee, or
learn about my books,
including my bestselling
Haunted Bookshop series,
visit my online coffeehouse:





The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 

 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.





LIAR, LIAR: Still wondering what was true and what was false in our "Creative Writer Bald-Faced Liar's Award"? Congrats to Lesa Holstine for guessing the truth! My very first lie was true. I was a cub reporter at The New York Times and I did indeed interview a group of interfaith peace activists who were taken hostage by Nicaraguan rebels. They all came home, I'm glad to report, safe and sound!


TRUTH IN FALSEHHOODS: My other two lies were based on a bit of truth, which is the best way to consturct lies, as most writers know! My sister was indeed the Community Health Director for Bethel, Alaska, and I did visit her there and meet a female musher and her dogs, but I didn't participate in the Yukon-Kuskowkim 300 Dog Sled Race (although I wanted to)!Finally, although I did attend Carnegie Mellon U., my internship was in journalism (via American U. in Washington, D.C., and not in the creation of SF film concepts). I do love SF, however, and although I didn't contribute any ideas to the original, cutting-edge movie Tron, I'm adapting the screenplay of the upcoming sequel Tron: Legacy into a junior novel for Disney Books. Click here for an awesome Light Cycle ride!