Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Stewed Cabbage And Potatoes With Pork Sausage

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Growing up with English origins my mother made cabbage and potatoes for Sunday dinners and special occasions. I remember her adding, what’s known as, salt pork. Salt pork when stewed for a long time adds a salty flavor to the dish. The saltiness the salt pork added sometimes could be a little too strong and could overwhelm the entire dish. I decided to go with a pork breakfast sausage and eliminate the saltiness but keep the flavor. I’ve also updated the dish and made it a one-pot meal. This is my Stewed Cabbage And Potatoes With Pork Sausage.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, large stockpot, chef’s knife, large bowl, mesh sieve, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 (16-ounce) rolls of Jimmy Dean regular pork sausage
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
2 heads of green cabbage, cores removed and quartered
8 to 10 cups of baby Yukon gold potatoes, quartered, smaller ones left whole
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 quart of chicken stock, unsalted
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Tip: For a clean broth, cook the sausage in a separate pan first allowing it to render its fat. Drain before adding the cooked sausage to the main dish.

Directions:
In a large preheated sauté pan over medium-high heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, red pepper flakes, and the rolls of pork sausage. Use the back of a wooden spoon to break up the sausage. Add a sprig of fresh rosemary and cook until no longer pink, 10 to 12 minutes. Pour the browned sausage into a mesh sieve placed over a large glass mixing bowl. Allow the sausage the drain as much of its fat as possible. Set aside while moving on to the next task.

Back to the stockpot over medium-high heat add another tablespoon of olive oil, diced onions. Stirring occasionally, cook the onions until soft and translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic, cook for 1 minute longer before adding the cooked sausage, potatoes, and chicken stock.

In the meantime, core and quarter the cabbage. Drop the cabbage into the pot, add grated nutmeg, gently push the cabbage down into the liquid. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 15 minutes until potatoes are fork-tender and cabbage is cooked through.

Ladle a good helping into a porcelain serving bowl, garnish with finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, serve hot. There you have it my Stewed Cabbage And Potatoes With Pork Sausage.

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Lemon Ricotta Pasta

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Orecchiette from the Italian orecchia, meaning ‘ear’ and -etta, meaning ‘small’ is a pasta typical of Apulia, a region of Southern Italy. their names comes from their shape which resembles a small ear.

“My Lemon Ricotta Pasta can be done and on the table in under 30 minutes. Perfect for weeknights or to serve when entertaining. Quick and easy using a few simple ingredients. Let’s get started.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 to 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) saucepot, 1 (4-quart) sauce pot, hand-held juicer, Microplane, hand-held lemon zester, chef’s knife

Note: First, zest the lemons and use a lemon zester for the thin peels. Set aside.

Ingredients:
1 (16-ounce) box of Orecchiette
2 cups of good ricotta cheese, double cream (substitute whole milk)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, freshly grated
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 1 cup of starchy pasta cooking liquid
4 lemons, 1 juiced, 3 zested, plus the fine curly peels of 1 lemon for garnish
1/4 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Pecorino-Romano cheese, freshly grated

Note: I’m only using 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt in the lemon ricotta cream sauce because Pecorino-Romano cheese is a bit saltier than let’s say Parmesan, and you don’t want the dish to be too salty, plus I added salt to the pasta water so the pasta is already good and seasoned.

Directions:
In a large saucepot of boiling salted water, drop the pasta. Give a good stir and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 12 minutes. After 8 minutes test for doneness. The pasta should be al dente.

In another saucepot over medium-low heat add olive oil, grated garlic, lemon juice, the zest of 1 lemon, and red pepper flakes, stir to combine. Cook until the garlic is fragrant 1 to 2 minutes. Add ricotta cheese and 1/2 a cup (add another 1/2 cup if needed to achieve a smooth creamy consistency) of the hot starchy pasta cooking liquid. Add Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley. Stir to combine.

Using a large slotted spoon, transfer pasta into the sauce. Add another 2 tablespoons of lemon zest, and the remaining Italian flat-leaf parsley. Stir to combine.

Ladle a good helping of the pasta into a porcelain serving bowl. Top with freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese. Garnish with a few thin ribbons of lemon peel and lemon slices. Serve immediately. There you have it my Lemon Ricotta Pasta.

 

 

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French Onion Chicken Casserole

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If you ask me what my favorite soup is I’ll tell you it’s definitely French onion. This dish combines all the ingredients of French onion soup into a chicken casserole. This is my French Onion Chicken Casserole.

I wanted to make a few changes to the recipe, making the dish my own. The part of the French Onion Soup I love the most is the bread and the cheese. I think everyone would agree on the cheese, but the bread, people either love that component of the soup or they don’t. I love the way the toasted bread acts as a bed absorbing all the juices and becomes melt in your mouth delicious.

Let’s get started with the onions.

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Ciabatta

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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French Onion Chicken Casserole (31)

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, paring knife, toothpicks, 1 meat-safe cutting board

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons of butter, unsalted and divided
4 large onions, halved and sliced thinly into half-moons
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, (optional)
1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons of white wine, or sherry
1 (10.5-ounce) can of beef consommè (substitute unsalted beef broth)
1 tablespoon of olive oil

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) of Gruyère cheese, freshly grated (substitute Mozzarella)
4 tablespoons of Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped for garnish
1 package of pretoasted baguette slices or grilled and sliced Ciabatta bread (optional)

Note: If you can’t find pre-toasted baguette slices, it’s easy enough to make them yourself, and they should be made in advance of this dish.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 loaf of baguette, 1/4-inch slices (yields 16 slices)

Directions For Grilled Baguette:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Arrange the baguette slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the slices with olive oil and season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Bake until lightly toasted, 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

Directions For Caramelized Onions:
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add onions, granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and half the fresh thyme leaves. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes until soft.

Reduce heat to medium and cook, while stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized and jammy, around 15 minutes. Pour in 1/4 cup of the beef consommé when the pan gets too dry and continue stirring until onions are browned.

Pour in white wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any of the bits sticking to the bottom. Allow the wine to reduce, cook for 1 minute until sauce thickens slightly.

Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, cook for 1 minute more. Turn the heat off and transfer to a large bowl to cool.

Directions For Stuffing Chicken Breasts:
On a meat-safe board layout the six chicken breasts. Using a paring knife cut a slit into the side of the breast 3 inches long and 1/ 1/2 inches deep. Be sure not to cut all the way through. You just want to form a pocket for the stuffing. Do this to all the chicken breasts.

Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of the caramelized onions into each pocket.  Next, add as much of the shredded cheese as you’re able to fit inside the pocket. Do Not over stuff.  Seal with toothpicks.

In a small mixing bowl add garlic powder, dried rosemary, dried thyme, 1 tablespoon of  Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, whisk to combine. Using the seasoning mix, season both sides of each chicken breast.

In the same sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining butter with the olive oil. Cook the stuffed chicken breasts until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. The chicken will finish cooking in the oven. Transfer the seared chicken breast to a large platter. Set aside.

Transfer the remaining caramelized onions to the greased baking dish spreading them out into one even layer.

With the pan still over medium-high heat, pour the remaining beef consommé into the sauté pan. *Deglaze the pan (using a wooden spoon, scrape all the chicken bits from the bottom of the pan). Reduce the heat and simmer until broth reduces by half. There should be about 1/2 cup of sauce in the pan.

Add 1/4 cup of the sauce to the prepared baking dish pouring it over the caramelized onions. This step is totally optional, if you choose, arrange the toasted baguette slices on top of the onions. The bread will soak up all the juices and act as a bed for the chicken.

Lay the stuffed chicken breasts on top of the slices of grilled baguette. Spoon the remaining 1/4 cup of sauce from the pan over each chicken breast. Top with the remaining thyme leaves. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165-degrees F.

Before serving, remove, and discard all toothpicks.

To Serve: Place one of the stuffed chicken breasts onto a serving plate along with some of the onions, grilled bread, and pan juices. Sprinkle the top with grated Pecorino Romano cheese and Italian flat-leaf parsley. There you have it my French Onion Chicken Casserole.

*Deglaze: To dilute meat sediments in a pan and/or pot to make a gravy or sauce, typically using broth or wine.

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