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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Rigatoni With Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage

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I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe, but with work and the remodeling that’s going on, It’s really been hard for me to find the time to blog lately. I’m here now so here it goes. I start by pouring 1/2 a cup of low sodium chicken broth into a saute pan, and bringing that up to a slow boil. I take a fork and prick all the sausages so they will get a head start cooking on the inside which helps this dish along.

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I simmer this on the stove for around 20 minutes so I can start prepping my veggies. I chose 1 each of red, yellow, and orange bell pepper, 2 zucchini, 1 large sweet onion, 1 pint of grape tomatoes that I halved, and 3 cloves of garlic that I minced. For the veggies I diced them all relatively the same size so they would cook evenly.

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At this point the sausages were ready to be seared on all sides, so I drained them from the chicken broth, and transferred them into a larger non stick saute pan that I had getting hot on the stove. I then started to sear them on all sides.

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I then transferred them onto a plate to cool before slicing. Now in the same pan that the sausages cooked in I’m going to cook all the veggies.Going forward, I add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan while I have it on med to med high heat. I add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and 2 tablespoon of fennel seeds. I let those bloom in the oil until its nice and fragrant.

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So now I start adding the veggies, starting with the diced onion, then the peppers, then the minced garlic, and finally the zucchini. I like to sprinkle a little Kosher salt and black pepper after each vegetable goes in to season each layer.  I don’t actually measure the salt and pepper, I just sprinkle a little each time I add a new vegetable in to the pan and stirring them consistently so they get some good color on them.

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At this point I add in the grape tomatoes and stir them through before adding my liquids for the sauce.

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Now to release all the bits from the sausage and veggies from the bottom of the pan, I’m going to deglaze with 1-1/2 cups of white wine and some chicken broth.

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These liquids are going to make the sauce for this dish. After adding the white wine I let that reduce by half, so while that’s happening I can slice the sausages on the bias and add those in before adding 2-1/2 cup of the chicken broth.

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As you can see the wine had reduced and the chicken broth has been simmering with all the ingredients, so now it’s time for the rigatoni. I had a large pot on the back burner filled with salted boiling water waiting for me to add the pasta in. I follow the directions on the box but take the pasta out a few minutes before because when I add it to the other ingredients it will finish cooking there.

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Now for the fresh herbs, my oregano and basil. I will chop these up and add it to the dish after the pasta goes in and I’ve turned of the heat. Oh a good tip is to always save 2 cups of the starchy pasta cooking liquid to add to the dish if you need to because the pasta will absorb a lot of the liquid that already there.

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Finally after the pasta has been add along with the herbs, I transfer everything onto a big serving platter and shave some Parmigiano-Reggiano all over the top.

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Garnish with some fresh basil and who wouldn’t want this for dinner.

 

 

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Melissa In LA, California

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While Melissa was in LA, she stopped in at a few hot spots, One was Sage a plant-based bistro. Their style of food is Gourmet, Raw, Vegan, and Organic. Here’s a peek into this restaurant.

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This is their vegan tuna sandwich.

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The tuna is made from jackfruit, pretty interesting.

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This is their sage avocado bruschetta and fried artichoke hearts.

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Wow!, those dishes look so good, even for a meat eater like myself, I would definitely love to try each one of those. For dinner, they all decided on French cuisine. Republique Restaurant in LA. This place is Amazing!!  Here is a look at this restaurant.

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Here is a look at their menu.

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This dish is the roasted broccoli and cauliflower salad at Republique.

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Their Charcuterie Room is displayed for customers to see.

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Growing up, my father did a lot of traveling for his job and had the opportunity to dine at some of the best restaurants all over the United States. I’m so happy that my daughter is able to do the same thing today.

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French Vanilla Cupcakes

Photo Jun 18, 10 26 32 AM

I have to say that in your local grocery store, there are so many varieties of box cake mixes available today and they’re really good. The brand of cake mix I’m partial to is the Duncan Hines French Vanilla. All you have to do is to add a few of your own secret ingredients and Voila!

If you’re looking for an easy dessert to make, my French Vanilla Cupcakes will work in a pinch!

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Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Yields: 24 cupcakes
Equipment: 2-12 non-stick muffin tin pans, large mixing bowl, whisk, 2 small bowls, hand-held electric mixer, 1-quart saucepan

Ingredients:
1 16.5-ounce box Duncan Hines French Vanilla
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup of water
4 ounces of ricotta cheese, room temperature
1 vanilla bean, seeded
2 sticks (1/2 pound) of unsalted butter, melted
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F
Start by spraying the muffin tin pan with liberally with a non-stick cooking spray. Lightly flour each of the muffin tins.

In a large mixing bowl add the eggs, water, vegetable oil, vanilla seeds, and ricotta cheese, mix to combine. Slowly add the cake mix into the wet ingredients whisking together until moistened, about 30 seconds.

Switch to a hand-held mixer. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Pour cake batter into the muffin tins.

Bake in the center rack of the oven for 17 to 20 minutes. Note: Add 3 to 5 minutes to bake time for dark or coated pans. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool cupcakes in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing.

Topping:
Melt 2 sticks of unsalted butter in a small saucepan. Transfer the melted butter to a small bowl. In another bowl mix 1 cup of sugar with 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, stir to combine.

Take a cupcake and dip the top into the warm melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar mixture, place back onto the cooling rack. I promise you won’t be able to eat just one of my French Vanilla Cupcakes because they are so darn good.

 

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