Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

You know those times when a dish gets stuck in your head and nothing else will do? Well, that kinda happened to me yesterday.

Chris and I were discussing what we wanted to eat this weekend and we decided on stuffed calamari for Friday night’s dinner. Well, when he went to our local fishmonger he was out of calamari.

“What? NO!!! I was SO looking forward to that dish!” was my reaction when Chris called to tell me.

We talked it out and finally decided on stuffed sole. It wouldn’t be exactly the same, but close enough.

When I make my stuffed calamari, I do a sausage stuffing, and I wasn’t sure if it would work with sole, but I gave it a shot, and it was delicious!

I use Lightlife Gimme Lean Sausage, but you can use any bulk sausage you like. If you don’t want to do sausage, you can use crabmeat.

fullsizerender-38

So, let’s get to it.

First, make a simple tomato sauce. Sauté onion and garlic for five minutes and then add one large can crushed tomatoes and one large can diced tomatoes. Then, add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. I also like to add a tablespoon of sugar to help cut the acidity of the tomatoes. If you want it spicy, add red pepper flakes.

Let the sauce simmer for at least an hour. Half way through, take the lid off the pot. This will allow the sauce to thicken up a bit.

Once it’s ready, ladle some of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish, and set it close to where you’ll be assembling your stuffed sole.

img_6698

Now, onto the stuffing. If you’re going to use sausage, brown it and let cool.

In a large bowl, add the sausage, panko bread crumbs, parsley, milk, eggs, salt, and pepper.

fullsizerender_3

Mix it all together with your hands and get it to a consistency that can be formed like this:

img_6679

Lay out your sole and put the filling in the middle.

Then roll the fish around the stuffing and put on top of the tomato sauce in the baking dish.

img_6684

Cover the fish with the rest of the tomato sauce and bake at 375 degrees for about 30-45 minutes. Give it a check at 30 minutes and if the fish is still a little translucent and not firm, let it go for a little while longer.

img_6686T

This will be a go-to dish for us from now on. I’m kinda glad they were out of calamari; it gave me a chance to be creative with a different fish.

img_6699

Note: The amount of stuffing will depend on how many pieces of sole you use. I made a little too much for 10 pieces of fish, but I’ll use the leftover in something else. You can’t really get it wrong as long as you have the right consistency.

What you’ll need for the tomato sauce:

1 large can of crushed tomatoes

1 large can diced tomatoes

3-4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons salt and pepper

1 tablespoon sugar

Red pepper flakes to taste

Directions:

Sauté onion and garlic for five minutes and then add one large can crushed tomatoes and one large can diced tomatoes. Then, add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. I also like to add a tablespoon of sugar to help cut the acidity of the tomatoes. If you want it spicy, add red pepper flakes.

Let the sauce simmer for at least an hour. Half way through, take the lid off the pot. This will allow the sauce to thicken up a bit.

Once it’s ready, ladle some of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish, and set it close to where you’ll be assembling your stuffed sole.

What you’ll need for the stuffed sole:

2 lbs sole (or whatever amount is good for you)

1 package of sausage of your choice or crab meat

1-2 cups panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup parsley

1 cup of milk

1 teaspoon salt and pepper

Directions:

If you’re going to use sausage, brown it and let cool.

In a large bowl, add the sausage, panko bread crumbs, parsley, milk, eggs, salt, and pepper.

Mix it all together with your hands and get it to a consistency that can be formed into a ball.

Lay out your sole and put the filling in the middle. Fill it as much or as little as you want. Roll the fish around the stuffing and put on top of the tomato sauce in the baking dish.

Cover the fish with the rest of the tomato sauce and bake at 375 degrees for about 30-45 minutes. Give it a check at 30 minutes and if the fish is still a little translucent and not firm, let it go for a little while longer.

Remember, the amount of stuffing will depend on how many pieces of sole you use. You can’t really get it wrong as long as you have the right consistency.

Fish substitutions: 

If you can’t find sole, flounder will work.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Whatchyagot Pasta

Yesterday was a frigid day– we had snow and wind chills of -35!! It was the perfect day to snuggle up in a blanket and drink hot toddies by the fire, which I happily did.

Here are a few pictures of our winter wonderland:

Usually on cold days I’d make a soup or chili with cornbread, but for some reason, I was in the mood for a bowl of pasta. With the cold temps and wind, I didn’t want to go out to get ingredients, so I made my Whatchyagot Pasta. I used whatever I had on hand, which ended up being pepperoncinis, onions, mushrooms, garlic, and tomatoes.

fullsizerender

I threw it all in a pan with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and olive oil and cooked it  for 10-15 minutes.

While it sautéed, I cooked spaghetti until al dente, and then put it in the pan with all the other ingredients. I added more olive oil and tossed it all together.

fullsizerender_5

Voilà!! Easy peasy pasta! And, oh my goodness, it was so good!

To top it off, I added grated parmesan, and then ate two bowls!

img_6208

So, use whatchyagot and enjoy!

Here are some other things that would work:

Sun-dried tomatoes

Olives

Chicken

Shrimp

Asparagus

Spinach

Broccoli

Herbs

Read Full Post »

Garden Pasta

This is the first year I’ve tried my hands at gardening. I’ve always considered myself a plant murderer. House plants always die under my supervision, so starting a garden felt WAY out of reach.

Well, I do believe I was wrong; I have two green thumbs after all. Obviously, the reason I was killing my plants is because I didn’t treat them right. I didn’t give them the love they need. If you provide your garden with the right mixture of soil, lots of sun, and the water it needs, it will grow like crazy.

Our garden is full of: tomatoes (all sorts), zucchini, pepperoncinis, jalapeños, bell peppers, cucumbers, kale, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, onions, tomatillos, horseradish, and lots of different herbs. This isn’t everything, but here are a few pictures to give you an idea:

Watching my garden grow, picking my own veggies and fruit, and cooking with them, is the most gratifying feeling I’ve experienced. The flavor is far superior over what I buy in the grocery store, and man, it’s so much fun. If you’ve never tried growing a garden, give it a shot. Start small, do your research, and go for it.

IMG_2594.JPG

As you can see, I have an abundance of tomatoes. I pressed (using my Weston Tomato Press) the Heirlooms, Beef Steaks, and San Marzanos, and then froze the purée. I don’t want to press the grape tomatoes, so I put them in a lot of salads, or eat them as a snack throughout the day. However, last night, they went into my garden pasta, which included my pepperoncinis, kale, and basil. I also added onion, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes. Some people may wonder why I add garden tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes together. It’s just a personal preference. I love them both, so I add both. If you don’t like them together, that’s cool. Add whichever you like.

A pasta dish is a great way to use up veggies. Throw whatever you want into a sauté pan, toss in cooked pasta, olive oil, and seasonings. It so easy and super tasty!

Here’s how I did mine:

Slice grape tomatoes in half and chop onions, garlic, and pepperoncinis. I used fresh pepperoncinis from the garden, but if you don’t have those, use pickled pepperoncinis.

IMG_2708

Take out the main stem of the kale and then stack the leaves on top of each other and chiffonade them by rolling the leaves and cutting them into long strips. Do the same with the basil. Like this:

Now, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

While the water is coming to a boil, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat.  Add the onions and let them cook for three minutes. Toss in the pepperoncinis and kale. Let them sauté for five minutes.

IMG_2718

Then, add garlic, grape tomatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes (with some of the oil from the jar). Add salt and pepper. I also like red pepper flakes. If you don’t want it spicy, leave it out. Cook for another five minutes.

IMG_2719

While the veggies are cooking on medium heat, put the pasta in the boiling water, and cook until it’s al dente, and then drain.

Stir the veggies. They should look like this:

IMG_2720

Toss the pasta into the veggies. If you feel it needs it, add a little more olive oil or oil from the sun-dried tomatoes.

Taste it. Is the pasta cooked to your liking? How’s the seasoning? Let it cook a little more if you think it needs it and add extra seasoning to your taste.

IMG_2724

Put in a bowl and top with the fresh basil. I also like grated Romano cheese.

IMG_2721IMG_2723

Enjoy!!

       ******************************************

What you’ll need:

1 box of pasta (whatever kind you want)

1 package of grape tomatoes (or from your garden), slice in half

6-8 pepperoncinis (from the garden or pickled), chopped

10 kale leaves– main stem removed and then chiffonade

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (and a tablespoon of oil from the jar)

10 basil leaves, chiffonade

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)

Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (optional)

Directions:

Slice grape tomatoes in half and chop onions, garlic, and pepperoncinis. I used fresh pepperoncinis from the garden, but if you don’t have those, use pickled pepperoncinis.

Take out the main stem of the kale and then stack the leaves on top of each other and chiffonade them by rolling the leaves and cutting them into long strips. Do the same with the basil.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is coming to a boil, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the onions and let them cook for three minutes. Toss in the pepperoncinis and kale. Let them sauté for five minutes. Then, add garlic, grape tomatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes (with some of the oil from the jar). Add salt and pepper. I also like red pepper flakes. If you don’t want it spicy, leave it out. Cook for another five minutes.

While the veggies are cooking on medium heat, put the pasta in the boiling water, and cook until it’s al dente, and then drain.

Toss the pasta into the veggies. If you feel it needs it, add a little more olive oil or oil from the sun-dried tomatoes.

Taste and add extra seasoning, if needed.

Put in a bowl and top with the fresh basil. I also like grated Romano cheese.

Alternatives:

If you want to add protein, go for it! This dish would work great with shrimp, bay scallops, clams, mussels, or chicken.

Any combination of veggies will work, too.

If you don’t like kale, try spinach.

Read Full Post »