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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Spring Time Outdoors

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers and Lavender

Lavender and Cinquefoil (from the rose family) always add a spring touch.

My Hanging Herb Garden

Rain Lillies

Aside from cooking and entertaining, I love flowers and herbs. Early spring, especially, is the time where beautiful flowers are available. Let me show you what I’ve been up to so far. Above are my rain Lilies. They bloom during the summer rainy season.

My Fig Trees

Crotons (1)

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Spathiphyllum

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Bird Feeder

Having Jasmine grow up a bird feeder with its little star-shaped white flowers begin to bloom. Their fragrance fills up the yard with such a beautiful aroma. I also want to say, checking the zone (climate area etc..) in which what plants or flowers will thrive is really important. I always try to Google the name of the plant or flower to seek the information first.

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This Haas avocado tree is really an experiment for me. I planted this pit from the avocado and this is what has happened so far. They say that the avocado tree grows very slowly, and I guess I’ll just have to be patient.

Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are definitely my favorite flower. Their beautiful large blooms and deep green leaves add so much color to my backyard,

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Heather

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Planting flowers or plants and watching them blossom and grow is an amazing feeling.

Comfort Place

Periwinkles

Changing up your accessories for the season can give you whole new look. My lavender is growing so fast and the aroma fills up my “comfortable place”.

English Ivy

Just a few seasonal changes can make such a big difference. My next project is new patio furniture and a couple of new grills. I can see outdoor cooking videos in my future!

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Homemade Stuffing With Italian Sausage And Mushrooms

Sweet And Hot Italian Sausage Stuffing (3)

Sweet And Hot Italian Sausage Stuffing (2)

Sweet And Hot Italian Sausage Stuffing (1)

I’ve been talking to a lot of people who say their favorite holiday dish is the stuffing, or dressing. I have to agree. My family’s traditional stuffing recipe has changed over the years. The ingredients are the same but the preparation is totally different. I remember my mother stuffing the turkey before it went into the oven. My stuffing is done separate from the bird and I believe it makes a big difference in the way that the turkey cooks. You can check out my turkey recipe under the “holiday dishes” category in the menu (top right hand side) of my homepage.

I’m going to a Christmas party this year so I’m bringing the stuffing. I’m using a disposable, deep sided baking pan for easy transport.

In my opinion the best bread for the bread cubes is Ciabatta bread. Let’s talk a little bit about the bread cubes and how easy it is to make your own.

I do think that you’ll want to make a large amount of this recipe. Family and friends love this dish and always want extra helpings. It’s also great to serve the next day, especially with a ladle of you favorite gravy on top!

 

 

 

 

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Sweet And Hot Italian Sausage Stuffing (2)

Yields: 12 servings
Prep Time: includes prepping all veggies along with, sauteing all ingredients -40 minutes
Baking Time 1 hour 10-15 minutes
Total Cook Time: 1 hour 50-55 minutes

The day before I make the stuffing, I make the homemade bread cubes.
Equipment:
2- 1/4 size sheet pans
Ingredients:
2 loaves of Artisan bread – Ciabatta,
3/4 of cup olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
In a very large mixing bowl, add the bread cubes, Kosher salt and black pepper. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl, and with the other hand toss the bread cubes around so they are all evenly coated with the olive oil, salt and pepper.

Spread the coated bread cubes evenly over both sheet pans. Bake for 1-1 1/2 hours until bread is light toasted and completely dried out.

Day of Stuffing- Step 1:
Using 1/4 cup of butter (4 tablespoons) grease 13 x 9 x 2 casserole baking dish.

Ingredients:
2 pints of whole Cremini mushrooms quartered
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
2 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
In a large saute pan, on medium heat, add butter and olive oil to pan. Add in the Cremini mushrooms, minced garlic, pepper and fresh thyme leaves. Stir all the ingredients through and saute mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Once the mushrooms have softened and released their juices, sprinkle in the salt. Saute for another 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and transfer the mushroom to a bowl and set aside.

Step 2 and 3:
Italian Sausage:
Ingredients;
1 pound each of sweet and hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 sprig of fresh rosemary

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion diced
2-1/2 cups of chopped celery
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
In a large saute pan, on medium heat, add in olive oil and sausage braking it up with a wooden spoon. Add the sprig of fresh rosemary and cook for around 15 minutes or until no longer pink. Discard the rosemary stems, drain.  Remove cooked sausage with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl.

In the same saute pan. on medium heat melt butter. Add in onion, celery, minced garlic, Kosher salt, and pepper. Saute until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Step 4: The Mix:
3 large beaten eggs (cage-free)
3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped sage leaves
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 quart unsalted chicken broth

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large bowl, add the beaten eggs, cheese, all herbs and seasonings. Add the cooked mushrooms.  Combine really well so the mushrooms are completely coated.

In another very large bowl, combine cooked bread cubes, cooked sausage, and cooked celery mixture. Add the egg- mushroom mixture to the bowl and toss through.

Finally, slowly pour the chicken broth over all the ingredients, allowing all the bread cubes to absorb the liquid. Continually stirring gently, as you add the liquid. There will most likely be extra liquid in the bowl, that liquid will get absorbed during the baking process.

Spoon the stuffing mixture to the buttered casserole dish. Pour over any excess liquid left in the bowl.  Cover and bake for 1 hour. Uncover, bake and additional 10-15 minutes, or until light golden brown, and meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F.

 

2 Comments »

Pappardelle With A Beef Short Rib Ragu

Braised Beef Short Ribs With Parpadelle

Short Rib Ragu With Pappardelle

This dish is one you’ll want to serve to family and friends. I just loved the response I received. I know that once you make my Beef Short Rib Ragu With Pappardelle, it will be something you’ll make again and again. Let’s get started.

The star of this dish is the beef short ribs. I want to let you know that this cut of meat can be expensive. My butcher happens to carry both styles of beef short ribs, bone-in and boneless. The boneless type of beef short ribs is cut from either chuck or plate and consist of rib meat. I’m going to use both bone-in and boneless beef short ribs in my Beef Short Rib Ragu With Pappardelle.

Whenever making this type of dish, it’s important to prep all the vegetables.

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I have 2 1-pound packages of boneless and a 1 2-pound package of bone-in beef short ribs. Above you will see that I have set the meat out on a paper towel to pat them completely dry on all sides. The reason for this is to get a good sear on the outside of the meat.

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I toss all the meat in some olive oil, Kosher salt, and pepper, and then spread them out onto 2 baking sheets. They will go into the oven at 450-degrees F. for 15-20 minutes.

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This is what they will look like when they come out. While the short ribs are roasting in the oven, on top of the stove the base for the sauce starts. You want to use a large braising pot or any type of heavy bottom pot like a Dutch oven.

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Now at this point, I have my liquids for this dish ready and on standby.

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You do not want to cover the veggies completely with liquid, just about 1/2 of the way up, because the veggies will release their own liquid.

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Cover, carefully transfer the pot the oven. Cook for 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 hours.

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WOW! Does this look amazing? So now I going to remove the meat to take the bones out and shred the meat.

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I have to say, by adding the sweet potato to this dish gives a nice sweetness. To thicken the sauce I process the veggies in a food processor. Be careful when processing hot liquids not to fill the processor more than a third of the way full.

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Start ladling the veggies into the processor.

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This is what the thickened sauce will look like when you’re done.

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Add all the shredded beef short rib meat to the sauce, stir to combine. Cover to keep hot.

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This Artisanal pasta cooks for only 8 minutes. You want to cook the pasta to the al-dente stage.

Braised Beef Short Ribs With Parpadelle

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, food processor, large stockpot for cooking pasta

Ingredients:
2 1-pound packages of boneless beef short ribs
12-pound package of bone-in beef short ribs
1/3 cup of good olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

3 tablespoon of good olive oil
5 large cloves whole garlic, peeled
2 ribs of celery, 2 1/2 inch dice
1 sweet potato, peeled 2 1/2 inch dice
2 medium-size carrots, 2 1/2ich dice
1 red and yellow bell pepper, 2 1/2 inch dice
1 large sweet onion, 2 1/2 inch dice
1 1/2 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 fresh bay leaves, substitute dry
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, without their liquid
2 1/2 cups of Cabernet Sauvignon
3 cups of unsalted beef stock
Garnish with fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
Garnish with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

2 packages of Pappardelle

 

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.
Lay all the short ribs in a single layer onto paper towels. Take another paper towel and pat the tops dry too. Once dry, transfer the short ribs to a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Toss together until all the ribs are coated.

Lay the seasoned short ribs in a single layer onto 2 rimmed baking sheets. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until caramelized.

While the short ribs are roasting dice the vegetables, tie the herbs up together with kitchen twine (herb bouquet), and have all the liquids premeasured for the dish.

In a Dutch oven on medium heat, add the olive oil. To that add the diced onions, diced sweet potato, diced carrots, diced celery, and diced bell peppers. Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Sautè for 10 minutes until softened and golden brown.

Add tomato paste to the pot, and stir to combine. Add 1 cup of the Cabernet, stirring and scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pot until clean. Add the remaining red wine and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the whole garlic cloves, unsalted beef stock, and the tied up fresh herbs.

Adjust the oven temperature to 350-degrees F.

Remove the short ribs from the oven and transfer them to the pot. Bring the liquid to a simmer on medium-high heat. Cover the Dutch oven and place it into the oven. Cook until the short ribs are very tender, 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 hours.

Carefully remove the cooked short ribs from the pot. Let cool down enough before handling. As soon as the ribs are cool enough, remove the meat from those that have bones. Using two forks shred all the meat into small pieces.

Thicken the sauce in small batches.  First, remove the herb bouquet. Ladle 1/3 of the liquid into a food processor. Note: Be very careful when processing hot liquids. Place the lid on and hold, with one hand, a dish towel over the top opening. Transfer the thickened sauce, from the food processor to a large bowl until all the sauce has been processed.

Return the thickened sauce back into the pot along with the shredded beef short ribs, stir to combine. Cover to stay hot while making the pasta. If you have a burner with a “warm” setting, that’s perfect.

Fill a large stockpot with water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Salt well and stir in pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente. Drain pasta. Add the drained pasta to a large serving platter. Ladle the Beef Short Rib Ragu over the pasta and gently toss.

Garnish the Beef Short Rib Ragu With Pappardelle with fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley and shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serve immediately.

 

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