Archive for ‘Main Courses’

July 29, 2013

Culinary triumph.

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted anything food/recipe-related on this blog.  But, you guys… this one can’t be overlooked.  I need to share it with you.

I’ve always enjoyed cooking, usually “winging it” and throwing something quick and easy together.  Nothing too complicated, typically.  Often times if I follow any sort of recipe, it’s someone else’s.  I always wondered how people came up with recipes.  I still wonder that for the most part, but the other night I experienced a culinary triumph.  I came up with an idea in my head, and executed it that night for dinner.  I almost did a victory lap around my kitchen (which is nearly impossible in an NYC apartment, but that’s a story for another time.)

So here it is, folks.  My very first Brittany Robles original recipe.

skilletmac

Skillet Sausage Veggie Mac & Cheese*
Serves 2 (very hearty portions)

1 1/2 cups cooked pasted (I used gemelli)
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium to large zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup diced onion (I used vidalia)
2 links Applegate Farms Sweet Italian Chicken & Turkey Sausage, chopped (I cut it lengthwise into quarters, then slice)
1 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp (approx.) all purpose flour
2/3 cup 2% milk
2 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
Dash cayenne pepper

Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add zucchini and onion to the skillet until almost fork-tender, then add the chopped sausage.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Remove the veggie and sausage mixture and set aside.

Using a paper towel or clean dishcloth, wipe the skillet out (doesn’t have to be spotless, but just try to remove any excess liquid/oil).  Over medium heat, melt the tbsp of butter and add the flour, whisking continually (this is making a roux).  Once the roux is smooth and thick and is just turning color (it will start to brown), add the milk and keep on whisking!  You want the milk to combine with the roux and thicken.  This shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes in my experience.

Once the milk mixture is thick, throw in the shredded cheddar cheese, mixing to combine/melt.  At this point, add the salt, pepper, mustard powder and cayenne pepper.  Give the cheese sauce a taste and adjust the spices to your taste.

Turn the stove to low.  Add the cooked pasta, veggies and sausage to the cheese sauce, mixing well to combine.  Cover the skillet and let heat for a few minutes.  Remove the cover and give everything one final stir.  Dinner is served!

*This recipe is husband approved.  In fact, I made it again the next night.

August 30, 2010

Not the D-word?!

Yes, the “D-word”… Diet.

The past few weeks I’ve been trying to eat healthier, more balanced meals.  I also failed to update this blog… at all.

+10 points for healthy eating
-10 points for lack of blogging

At least I’m still on a level playing field, right?

In light of my re-discovered healthy eating, I’m posting a recipe that is both delicious and nutritious, not to mention FILLING.  I know it sounds super cliché, but eating healthy really doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless.  I need to be reminded of this often, otherwise it’s easy to get bored and discouraged.  For me, part of it is learning to “fake” the good stuff.  This recipe is a perfect example of that.  I came up with it on my own, just by getting creative with what I had on hand one night.

Chicken Veggie Spaghetti in Parmesan “Cream” Sauce

1 generous serving (but can easily be doubled, tripled, quadrupled, etc!)

1 Perdue Perfect Portions Italian Chicken Breast, cubed
1 1/2 cups raw broccoli florets
2oz dry whole wheat spaghetti (approx 1 cup cooked)
1/2 cup (approx) fat free chicken broth
1/4 cup (approx) pasta water
1 tbsp half and half
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1.  Boil water with a touch of salt and cook spaghetti until al dente.  While the spaghetti cooks, spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and saute chicken over medium-high heat until cooked through.  Remove chicken from pan.

2. Use chicken broth to “unstick” seasonings from the pan and add broccoli florets.  Cover and allow the broccoli to steam until fork tender.  Add chicken broth as necessary to prevent sticking.

3. Add chicken to the cooked broccoli along with the cooked pasta.  Add chicken broth, pasta water, half and half and parmesan cheese.  Mix everything together in the pan as it continues to cook over medium heat.  The “sauce” will thicken slightly.  Remove from heat after about 5 minutes.  Let sit for another 1-2 minutes as sauce continues to thicken.  Mix thoroughly to coat, and serve!

I’ve also used this recipe with sliced baby portabella mushrooms and sweet vidalia onions (which was SO tasty).  Feel free to use plain or home-seasoned chicken as well, I just really love the flavors in the Perdue Perfect Portions (not to mention how easy and convenient they are).  Get creative with this and ENJOY it!