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September 8, 2009

Back to School...and Blogging...

I know, I know...it's been a while. I haven't been writing or posting or anything other than being a "cruise director of summer vacation" since school got out in June...what can I say, I have 4 kids and summer gets really busy...it's no excuse, but it's the one I'm using :)

HOWEVER - I cooked a couple of FABULOUS recipes recently. My friend S had made them for a girls night in at her house a while back and I fell in love...so when we were in TX visiting my mother, I offered to help out with the cooking.

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family with great chefs. My mother, my father, my grandmothers - they can all cook up a mean meal. Blessed. That's what I am...

SO - without further ado - here are my 2 new favorite recipes...

This is a beautiful salad - salty, briny, crisp, SO refreshing. Definitely my new favorite way to make green beans.

Green Bean Salad with Red Onion and Prosciutto
(adapted from a recipe found on epicurious.com)

  • 2 pounds fresh string beans, trimmed
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto di Parma, thinly sliced and cut into long, thin strands
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Zest and juice from 1 large lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, depending on taste

1. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook beans until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Drain in colander, then immediately transfer to bowl of ice and water to stop cooking.

3. Drain and pat dry. Refrigerate 1 hour, or overnight.

4. One hour prior to serving, in large bowl, combine beans, onions, prosciutto, olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

5. Toss gently and let stand at room temperature for one hour before serving.

My second recipe is adapted from a Giada Laurentiis recipe found on foodtv. I added more meat, and more sauce and it turned out really lovely. See?!??!!

Grilled Italian Sausages with Peppers and Onions
(adapted from a recipe by Giada Laurentiis)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds Italian turkey sausage – 1 sweet, 1 hot
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ - 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cup Marsala wine (I just used the red that we had on hand)
  • 2 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

1. Grill Sausages until almost done – (they will continue to cook in the pan.)

Or if you don’t have a grill, just cook them in the pan with the olive oil 7-10 mn before you add the peppers and onions. Remove them and then continue with step 2.

2. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat.

3. Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the peppers, onions, salt, and pepper and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the oregano, basil, and garlic and cook 2 more minutes.

5. Add the tomato paste and stir.

6. Add the Marsala wine, tomatoes, and chili flakes, if using.

7. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the browned bits.

8. Bring to a simmer.

9. Cut the sausages into 4 to 6 pieces each, about 1-inch cubes.

10. Add the sausage back to the pan and stir to combine.

11. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes or until to your liking.


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