Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Stuffing Muffins


 

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Stuffing muffins are a great way to serve this traditional side dish. My guests are always amazed when they see these on the table. Just as easy to make as baking the stuffing in a casserole dish

Equipment: 12 cup muffin tin
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 12 muffins
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
1 pound,  skins removed and browned, sweet Italian sausage  (drain excess grease completely)
2 tablespoon of olive oil
1 stick of unsalted butter
4 ribs of celery washed and trimmed into sticks, then diced
1 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup of golden raisins
2 tablespoon poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup of freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
8 cups of Pepperidge Farm cubed bread
1 quart box of unsalted chicken stock

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Convection- 350 degrees F.
Preheat 2 large saute pans over medium high heat. To the first pan add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, along with with the skinless sausage links. Using a wooden spoon break the sausage apart and cook until golden brown, about 10- 15 minutes. Drain the excess grease from the sausage completely and set into a large bowl.

In the second saute pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 4 tablespoons of butter. While the butter is melting add in the chopped fresh sage leaves. Add in the onions and celery as you chop them. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Now add in the golden raisins. Saute for 5-6 minutes to begin to soften the vegetables. Lastly, add in the chopped parsley and turn the heat off.

Add the veggies and bread cubes to the bowl with the cooked sausage. Mix all the ingredients until combined.  Using a ladle, moisten the stuffing with the with the chicken stock until bread is soft not wet. This may use almost all the box of stock.

Using the reserved butter,  liberally butter the muffin cups. Use an ice cream scoop to fill and mound up the stuffing into the muffin tins. Bake until set and crisp on top, 12-15 minutes. Keep a close eye on them as they cook, times could vary slightly.  Carefully remove the stuffing muffins to a platter and serve hot or at room temperature.

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Yellow Rice


rice-with-mixed-vegetables

Sometimes cooking rice can be somewhat intimidating for the home cook. I know it was for me as a young girl wanting to get it right. This recipe I’m going to show you is easy and full proof in making perfect rice every time. One important thing to remember is to have a heavy bottom pot with a tight fitting lid.

The reason I chose to make yellow rice is because in my next post, I’ll be serving it with Curry Chicken. What makes the rice yellow is a spice called, Tumeric. This spice is used in a lot of Indian cooking and is know for being terrific antioxidant. Adding Tumeric to the water, vegetable stock, or chicken stock will give a vibrant yellow color but no actual flavor to the rice.

I’m posting this dish under two categories, “vegetarian recipes” and “side dishes”.  As I mentioned earlier, I’m serving this with Curry Chicken so I’m using an unsalted chicken stock to echo the flavors in the overall dish. You can substitute water or vegetable stock, as a personal preference, when making any rice dish.

rice-with-mixed-vegetables

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1-1/2 cups of long grain rice ( Basmati rice)
3 cups of unsalted chicken stock ( water or vegetable stock)
2 tablespoons of ground Tumeric
1 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2-1/2 cups of thawed frozen mixed vegetables (optional)

Directions:
In a separate saucepan bring the unsalted  chicken stock (water, or vegetable stock), Tumeric, Kosher salt, and black pepper up to a boil. In a heavy bottom pot, on medium -high heat, add olive oil and rice to the pot. Stir the rice until coated with the olive oil. Toast the rice stirring continuously,  until the rice turns translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Pour the boiling chicken stock over the rice. Stir and wait until the rice comes up to a hard boil. Immediately turn the heat down to the lowest setting. Carefully cover the pot tightly with a piece of foil and then place the lid on. Cook the rice for 20 minutes and don’t peek.

Note: If adding vegetables to the rice, make sure they are completely thawed and at room temperature.

Remove the lid and foil, add in the thawed frozen vegetables and gently fluff with a fork, mixing the vegetables throughout. Place the lid back on allowing the vegetables time to warm through completely. Rice is best served hot.

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Heirloom Tomato Salad


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The Heirloom Tomato goes back generations. When in season, you’ll see them in many colors as well as multi-colored. Unique because they are beautifully misshapen. If that wasn’t enough, they now come in cherry size! I love to have present them, in different ways. I’ll cut a few into wedges, and the cherry size I like to leave whole. It gives a beautiful contrast to the dish.

Bocconcini are small mozzarella cheeses shaped into small balls. They come in a container and the cheese in set in whey or water. They add a creaminess to the dish. To finish, fresh herbs, basil and tarragon.

Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients:
4 heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges
2 pints of heirloom cherry tomatoes
6-8 whole basil leaves
3 tablespoons of  chopped tarragon leaves
1 tub of Bocconcini drained and dried and seasoned
1-1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
E.V.O.O. to taste

Bocconcini Seasoning:
1 tub (18-20 ct.)  Bocconcini that have been drained and dried well
2 tablespoons of E.V.O.O.
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
In a small bowl mix together all the ingredients for the seasoning of the Bocconcini. Place the drained, and really well dried, Bocconcini into the seasoning mixture and toss really well. In a large bowl add the tomato wedges, cherry tomatoes, and seasoned Bocconcini. Add the Kosher salt, black pepper, and chopped tarragon leaves. Toss everything together gently. Lastly, place the whole basil leaves throughout.

When plating, drizzle each serving with E.V.O.O. ( A splash of red wine vinegar is optional)

 

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Brown And Wild Rice Medley


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Taking help from your local grocery store is not something you should feel guilty about. There’s nothing better than using a few simple ingredients to help make rice,  POP! I found that “Minute Rice” has come out with a brown and wild rice variety, in cups. Basically the rice is ready to serve in sealed cups. What I’ve done, is to jazz it up a bit.  I’m using a store bought Cantina style salsa. I absolutely love this variety of salsa and  I always have a container in my frig.  This is a side dish that pairs well with chicken, pork, or fish.

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Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2-4.4 ounce cups of ready to serve Brown and Wild rice
1 can of reduced sodium rinsed and drained black beans
1 can of shoe peg corn ( large can 11 ounce)
1 plum tomato seeded in finely diced
1/2 a green bell pepper finely diced
1/2 a diced white Spanish onion
1 teaspoon of  Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons of Cantina style fresh salsa (available in most produce departments)
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro leaves

Directions:
First, I saute the diced tomatoes, onions, and green peppers in the olive oil over medium heat. Sprinkle in the Kosher salt and pepper, stirring that though. Once they’ve started softening, about 2-3 minutes, add in the ready to serve Minute Brown and Wild rice. Then add the, drained and rinsed, shoe peg corn and black beans. Stir all this though to combine. Let the black beans and corn to come up to temperature. Finally, add the salsa and stir to combine. Turn the heat off and sprinkle in the chopped cilantro.

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