November 28, 2011

Sausage Balls

Sausage Balls
Makes approximately 2 & 1/2 dozen

1 lb country sausage
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup Bisquick
Couple dashes of hot sauce
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped (1/4 tsp if dried)
Sprinkle of hot pepper flakes, salt & pepper
Spicy brown mustard for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix all ingredients, except mustard, together.  I put everything in the bowl of my stand mixture and combined using the dough hook (scrapping the sides several time to make sure the bisquick was incorporated).  Roll into golf ball sized portions.  Bake for 20 - 25 on a greased cookie sheet until brown - watch closely at the 20 minute mark. Allow them to cool for about 10 minutes and serve with mustard on the side.

November 15, 2011

Rustic Ricotta & Spinach Lasagna

Ricotta & Spinach Lasagna
To me this would be perfect for an after Thanksgiving / Tree Trimming Sunday Supper. Of course in our crazy house I decided to fix it on a hectic Monday evening.  Serve with a salad and crusty French bread. Hope you enjoy!!!

Rustic Ricotta & Spinach Lasagna
Serves 6

1 package of no boil lasagna noodles
1 bag baby spinach, about 6 cups, torn
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
Salt & Pepper
2 15oz containers part skim ricotta, you will use about 1 & 1/2 containers
12 slices of mozzarella cheese
Olive Oil
2 cups of Rustic Bechamel (recipe below)
Crushed red pepper flakes
Shredded Parmesan for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Saute your onion in a touch of olive oil for about 15 minutes, reduce the heat and add the torn spinach.  Allow spinach to wilt, stirring constantly.  Once spinach has wilted add the can of tomatoes -  juice and all.  Season with a good touch of salt & pepper and set aside.
Line your baking dish with a layer of noodles, they will overlap slightly & break them if needed to fit snug.  Using a slotted spoon spread 1/2 of  your spinach mixture on the noodles, follow with an even coating of the bechamel, followed by a generous layer of ricotta (I dolloped on the ricotta and then smoothed to form a layer with a spatula), sprinkle with salt & pepper, and add a layer of sliced mozzarella. Repeat with one more layer of noodles, remaining spinach, bechamel, ricotta, S&P & sliced cheese.  Sprinkle top with crushed red pepper flakes.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes and the cover for remaining 20.  Check to see that fork can pass through the noodles with no resistance. Tent with foil for 10 minutes.  Serve each piece with a sprinkle of Parmesan & Enjoy!

Rustic Bechamel Sauce
Yields 2 cups

2 cups fat free 1/2 & 1/2
Several stems of thyme & parsley
Dash of black pepper & red pepper flakes
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
1 Tbs butter
1 1/2 Tbs flour

Over medium heat bring your cream, herbs, black & red pepper, & veggies to a light simmer, stirring often.  Remove from the heat and allow it to completely cool. Once it has cooled remove the veggies & herb stalks.  Set aside.
Melt butter and then whisk in flour. Continue to whisk until you have formed a golden brown roux, about a minute or two.  Now slowly add the infused cream to your roux - whisking the entire time.  Allow the sauce to come to a simmer and thicken & then remove from the heat.

November 8, 2011

Bacon & Corn Dip

This is the time of year for appetizers.  Whether it be football games or holiday parties I am always looking something easy to put together to share.  This is a good one - hope you enjoy!
Bacon & Corn Dip

8 oz light cream cheese, softened
8 oz light sour cream
1 can sweet, whole kernel corn
5 slices crispy turkey bacon, crumbled
1 tbs olive oil mayo
1 tsp minced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste
3 good dashes of hot sauce
Tortilla chips or Wheat Thins

Allow cream cheese to soften, let it sit on the counter for 20 minutes.  Mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, salt & pepper, garlic and hot sauce.  Fold in the corn and crispy bacon (I microwave for 3 minutes) & refrigerate for 6 hours.  Serve with chips or crackers.

The longer this sits the more the flavors melt together.  I typically like to prep the night before.

November 4, 2011

Classic Poppyseed Chicken

Classic Poppyseed Chicken
Serves 4

1 Rotisserie chicken, shredded
8 oz light sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup sherry
Salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbs poppy seeds
3/4 sleeve Ritz crackers
3 Tbs melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix together your chicken, sour cream, soup, salt & pepper, poppy seeds & sherry. Transfer into a shallow casserole dish and top with crushed crackers and then pour butter over the top.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes and serve over rice or egg noodles.

This really is a wonderful comfort food & an east Sunday Supper.  Enjoy!