About Me

My photo
I'm a foodie and an amateur chef. I love to cook and to learn all I can about food! I believe that food is very powerful. It can bring people closer together, and it can also destroy relationships. I'm serious! P.S.- I can't stand doing the dishes!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sausage Dip via Brently

Good day Fellow Eaters!

Being in my mid twenties, I often have groups of hungry friends dropping in. Usually it turns into a game night, or movie night, or just a time where we sit around and talk. I love to feed people, but I don't always have money or time to make a full out meal (although that doesn't always stop me). I always look for dishes that are delicous, that are easy to whip up and can serve a lot of people. This is one of those dishes. It's not something you should eat all of the time, because it is very rich, but it's great for every so often and split between a bunch of people. 

This recipe came to me by way of my good friend, Brently. He makes it in a crock pot, but because we were hungry and since I don't have a crockpot (yet), I adapted the recipe by combining the ingredients on stovetop and then finishing it off in the oven.

There are three ingredients to this dip:
Cream Cheese
Ground Sausage

Leave the Cream cheese out so that it will soften. Cook the sausage in a pan with high sides, making sure there is no pink left. Drain on a plate covered with a papertowel. Give the cooked sausage, rotel, and cream cheese a quick stir in the pan on low heat and then place dip in a casserole dish and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes. This ensures that the dip mixes well and is hot all the way through. Serve warm with home- made crostinis.

Unbaked Crostinis

Plain Crostinis:
Olive Oil

Take a baguette and slice it into 1/4 inch slices (mine were a bit thickes). Place on a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil, turn pieces over so that they are lightly coated with olive oil on each side. Bake at 350 degrees until they are golden.

I love this dip! It is so easy to make and it's so yummy! This recipe is easily doubled or tripled depending on how large your group is.

 For exact measurements check out this recipe (up soon) on my profile at Food52!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Aubergines Frits

                                                 Fried Eggplants = Aubergines Frits

The other day I was in the produce section of the supermarket and I saw the beautiful purple skin of eggplants. I remembered liking eggplant as a teenager, and suddenly wondered "When is the last time I ate eggplant?".. With that question in mind another one closely followed "Have I ever cooked an eggplant on my own?".. No. I had not. For shame! Eager to reconnect with eggplant, I picked one up and took it home.

I remember Mom cooking eggplant a long time ago and greatly enjoying it both in texture and in flavor. Before she cooked it, she would cover it in salt and let it sit, for a bit, to leech it of it's bitterness(?). So, I followed suit.

After washing it, I sliced the eggplant into (mostly) even circles . I placed the slices in one layer onto a pan that I had salted, and I covered them with more salt. I let them sit for a half hour and then put them in a colander and rinsed them off. After a quick pat dry, I took the slices to my dredging station.

After they were breaded and had sat in the fridge awhile (so that the coating would set!), I fried them in olive oil and drained them after they had gotten nice and crispy (some of them got a little too crispy...[oops!]). They were so good! Crunchy and flavorful on the outside, because I season my own bread crumbs, and warm and soft on the inside because eggplant is amazing!

I served these up with some delicious saffron and chives couscous that I got from my local Mennonite bulk store (so good!!).  Along with roasted sweet potatoes, and fish (those last two will be in another post) it made quite the meal.

Oh, and the next day my roomie brought home another eggplant, a bigger one this time. I think she wants me to make more! =)

Don't forget to check out my profile on Food52 to learn more about me and to find delicious recipes!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Not Mashed Potatoes

Hello Fellow Eaters!

It's crazy how life can get so busy, it just spins you around and a month can pass way too quickly. Between traveling, sickness, heartbreak, and more laughing than any group of friends should be allowed to do, I did manage to keep cooking (not so much during sickness..ugh), but I have missed writing about it. So now I have to back track a bit to my first week home which was right after traveling and sickness.

The reason is a long tale that I won't tell here...BUT it caused me to cook so I will tell you about that!

I needed something to be creative with, but I also wanted comfort food. When ever I think of comfort food I think of something warm, buttery, a bit starchy, and flavorful. Well, I didn't want to eat a pot of mashed potatoes so I came up with something slightly more healthy that included potatoes.

I think I am slightly addicted to using this pie crust (atleast until I learn to make my own, which I hear, [from Crystal P.S.- She is GENIUS!!] is not that difficult at all!) and I decided to use it to make mini tarts. I grabbed my new food processor for it's first time use ever (!!!) and threw in some carrots, onions, and cooked sausage, until it was (not pureed) a nice looking mix. I sauteed all of that in olive oil (and a small bit of the sausage fat, left over from cooking, for flavor) along with spinach, garlic and (TA-DA) some potatoes. During the sauteeing I added some salt, pepper, and a bit of paprika. While I left the mixture to cool a bit, I attended to the dough.

After rolling the dough out on a floured surface. I turned a cup over and used a knife to trace around the mouth of the cup. I place each little circle into the greased muffin tin, pressing slightly into each cup. I filled each cup with the veggie and sausage mixture and topped with cheese. I alternated between cheddar and muenster. In the ones I topped with cheddar I also layered a small pat of cream cheese between 2 layers of the filling. What I ended up with were these delicious (more healthy than a huge pot of yummy mashed potatoes) miniature pies!

Until next time (which should be sooner rather than later)!