Archive for August, 2012

Meat + Potatoes = <3, the perfect equation

August 28, 2012

Who doesn’t love good old meat an potatoes? Typically this makes you think of steak and a baked potato or meatloaf and mashed potatoes but I took it in another direction. I am all about one pot wonders – dinners that can be made on your stovetop and save you time and dishes. As I mentioned previously, I love my Quick from Scratch Italian cookbook. I had the recipe page for Sausage, Potatoes and Artichokes dog eared for some time now, and I decided to give it a try. Boy am I glad I did as it was delicious and a big hit with the whole family.

The italian sausage flavors the potatoes with such a great taste and the wine really added to the tomato rich broth. The artichokes hearts are also a nice surprise to bite into, as they are one of my favorite ingredients for anything from pasta dishes, to pizza to my favorite artichoke and mushroom bruschetta (will have to post that one). Thyme pairs so well with potatoes, I love it in my grilled potato with olive oil, dijon and vidalia recipe, So if you want a quick and easy dinner that will win you major points with your meat and potatoes eater, check this pot of love out!

Sausages, Potatoes and Artichokes in a Tomato Broth

  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 1 1/2 pounds mild Italian sausages
  3. 3 cloves garlic, cut into thin slices
  4. 1 1/2 pounds boiling potatoes (about 5), cut into 1-inch chunks
  5. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  6. 1/3 cup dry white wine
  7. 1 1/4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  8. 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree
  9. 1 1/2 cups drained and rinsed halved canned artichoke hearts (one 14-ounce can)
  10. 6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  11. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  12. 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  1. In a large stainless-steel pot, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Add the sausages and brown well, about 10 minutes. Remove. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat, leave that in the pan.
  2. Reduce the heat to moderate. Add the garlic, potatoes, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil until reduced to approximately 3 tablespoons, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, 4 tablespoons of the parsley, the salt, and the sausages. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and the pepper.
Substitutes:• Rosemary for the thyme

• Red wine for the white wine

• Hot Italian sausage for the mild

– Mushrooms for the artichokes

Let’s go to Venice for Dinner

August 18, 2012

Now that we moved to paradise I am taking full advantage of the multitude of fresh seafood available at my doorstep. My hubby and my girls have been fishing off our deck after dinner and catching inspiration for my recipes. What is the main thing they catch you ask? Well it is snapper. You can’t beat fresh caught snapper, it is so tender and flaky and not at all fishy. We have had it in a fish fry, fish tacos and most recently, Venetian Fish soup. Even my picky girls slurped happily on this soup.

This recipe is in one of my favorite go to cook books that I have done many posts from over the years – Quick from Scratch Italian (hint: most of the recipes are available online). Some of my faves are gorgonzola fettuicine, sicilian meatball stew, and an upcoming potatoes with sausage post. This recipe was easy to make and it tasted amazing. I got some fresh shrimp at a local fish market as the recipe called for, and I really think the shrimp stock was the secret ingredient here, as well as the clam juice, a key ingredient in chowdah. I chose not to use fennel but you can add or omit ingredients as you see fit. The red pepper flakes added a little kick to the delicious tomato broth. We enjoyed dipping some Cuban bread in our soup as we gobbled it down. So take a trip to Venice tonight from the comfort of your own kitchen…

Venetian Fish Soup

  1. 1/2 pound large shrimp, shells removed and reserved
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 2 carrots, chopped
  5. 2 onions, chopped
  6. 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  7. 2 ribs celery, chopped
  8. 6 cloves garlic, minced
  9. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  10. 3 1/2 cups bottled clam juice
  11. 2 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (from a 28-ounce can)
  12. 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
  13. 5 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  14. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  15. 1 teaspoon salt or more, depending on the saltiness of the clam juice
  16. 2 bay leaves
  17. 2 pounds moderately firm white fish fillets (use a mixture of 2 or 3 kinds), such as cod, halibut, ocean perch, orange roughy, pollack, red snapper, or tilapia, cut into 1-by-1-inch pieces
  18. 1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  1. Put the shrimp shells and the water in a small pot; bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Strain the shrimp stock into a bowl. Discard the shells.
  2. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the carrots, onions, fennel, celery, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the wine; cook until it almost evaporates, about 5 minutes. Stir in the shrimp stock, clam juice, tomatoes, red-pepper flakes, 4 tablespoons of the parsley, the thyme, salt, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes. Taste for salt and, if needed, add more. Remove the bay leaves.
  3. Add the fish, shrimp, the remaining tablespoon parsley, and the pepper to the pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the fish and shrimp are just done, about 2 minutes.