Friday, February 8, 2013

Red Beans & Rice

[modified from:]

Serves 2-3

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pkg (14 oz) smoked sausage (we used turkey kielbasa)
1 can red beans
Zatarains Creole Seasoning
  1. Prepare rice per your usual method.
  2. Thinly slice the sausage and drain the juice from the red beans into the sink. 
  3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  4. Add the sausage, give a sprinkling of creole seasoning and stir occasionally for about 7 mins until the sausages start to get sizzly on both sides. 
  5. Add the red beans and stir until warmed through. 
  6. About this time, your rice should be done too. Serve the beans and sausage over the rice. Add extra creole seasoning as desired at the table.
* Notes: I found the flavor of the Zatarains creole seasoning to be overpowered by the salt it contains. If you can make your own creole seasoning without the salt, I would recommend doing that and using a spicy sausage if you like spicy. You can season with salt to your liking afterwards.

* I especially liked this recipe for its simplicity, but in the future think finely chopped sautéed onion would be a fabulous addition, and maybe some garlic.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Broccoli and Rice

[modified from:]

Serves 2-3

1/2 cup long grain white rice

4 slices turkey bacon, diced
6 oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced
garlic salt and pepper
1/2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup diced onion
6 oz broccoli florets (we used frozen, but fresh would be about 2 cups)
1 (10oz) can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles (we used mild; in future will use plain diced tomatoes)

1 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup chicken broth or dissolved bouillon
1/2 cup shredded taco blend cheese (extra sharp cheddar works even better)


1. Cook rice per your usual method.

2. Cook bacon until crisp, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove to a plate.

3. Season chicken generously on both sides with salt and pepper. If needed, add oil to skillet. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook for five minutes, flipping once halfway through. Remove the chicken to the plate with the bacon.

3. Cook onion and broccoli over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until broccoli is tender and onions are brown and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Top with tomatoes, rice, chicken and bacon and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low to keep warm.

4. Melt butter in a small saucepan and whisk in the flour until just combined. Add chicken broth and stir well. Increase heat to high and cook until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted, add salt and pepper to taste.

5. Pour sauce over chicken and rice. Stir to combine and serve.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Shrimp & Grits

Sorry for the mediocre snap; I paid for this meal in blood and was in no mood whatsoever to play photographer with the end-product. Was more than happy to eat it all up, though! Really enjoyable dish despite the rocky start and definitely one we plan to have again and again.

[Recipe modified from:]

Ingredients for the Grits:
1 1/3 cups quick cooking grits (NOT instant)
5 1/3 cups boiling water
1 tsp onion powder
2 Tbsp salt (3 Tbsp was waaaay too much; adjust as needed)
2 Tbsp butter
1 ½ cups grated mozzarella cheese

Add salt, onion powder, and grits to boiling water.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occassionally.
When the shrimp go into the sauté pan add the cheese to the grits and stir well; lower heat to just keep warm.

Ingredients for Spinach Centers:
2 packages organic spinach (baby or regular)
1 sweet onion finely chopped
1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Sauté onion until clear in the olive oil.
Add the spinach and mix well.
Continue cooking over medium/low heat until wilted.

Ingredients for the Shrimp:
1 pound shrimp, thawed, deveined and tails removed
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp dried basil
2 sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, cut into small pieces
3 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon (or to taste)

In a small microwaveable dish, combine butter and basil; heat til butter has melted. Stir in lemon juice.
Heat oil in sauté pan until hot, then add the shrimp.
Cook for 2 minutes, flip once and add butter-basil sauce; cook additional 2 minutes.
Remove from heat immediately.

Method for Serving:
Spoon grits into a bowl
Mound spinach in the center
Place shrimp around the edges
Drizzle the shrimp cooking sauce over the shrimp and spinach