Kielbasa and peas with Perogi

Sometimes I make fresh perogi for this, but often just grab a box from the freezer section of the market. This makes a good quick weeknight meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package kielbasa, precooked, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 box perogi (I buy the cheddar variety)
  • Half a sweet onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Vegetable oil, about 3 Tbs divided
  • 1 to 2 Tbs butter

Directions:

Boil perogi in salted water for 3 minutes, then ladle into a separate bowl for later. In a large skillet or a big shallow pot, heat oil over medium temperature. When oil is hot, add onions and seasoning. Heat onions for 2 minutes, then add kielbasa slices. Cook 2 more minutes, then add peas. Cover pan and reduce heat to low, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until peas are heated through and kielbasa is hot. Remove from pan, leaving any oil and juices in the bottom of the pan. Add more oil if needed. Fry perogi in oil, butter, and juices until crisp, flipping over to make sure both sides are golden. Serve together with a little sour cream on the perogi, if desired.

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“Meatloaf” Burgers

  • 1 lb ground beef (I use ground round)
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, plain
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbs whole milk

Using clean, dry hands, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Pinch off large handfuls and roll, then press into burger patties. I always press a simple into one side of the patty with a knuckle to help prevent the burger curling while it cooks. Heat over grill, in a pan or on a griddle until burger is cooked to preference (I usually cook 3 to 4 minutes per side), then let rest about 10 minutes on a serving plate.

Herbed Pork Penne with white wine cheese sauce

I had some pork chops that needed to be cooked, but I really wanted mac and cheese. So I decided to make an adult mac and cheese style pasta dish with pork and herbs. My family loved it! I hope you will, too. 🙂

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz box penne, cooked to package directions and reserved in pasta pot
  • 1 lb boneless pork loin (I used a 6 pack of boneless chops), cubed
  • 1 cup sweet white wine
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 2 Tbs chopped Rosemary leaves
  • 2 Tbs chopped Sage leaves
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded Mozzerella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup Cream cheese
  • 1/8 cup shredded Applewood Smoked Gouda
  • 1/4 to 1/8 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 stick butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Mix the salt and pepper in a small container. Pour over cubed meat and massage with fingers to coat.

Melt half the butter in a large skillet. Add herbs and garlic. Stir until fragrant.

Add the pork. Arrange in pan so that all the cubes touch the bottom of the pan. Allow to cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn pork over and cook another 4 to 5 minutes. Stir until white on all sides and firm. Spoon out pork, leaving as much liquid in pan as possible.

Add rest of butter. When melted, add the flour and whisk smooth. Add wine and pasta water to pan. Whisk until combined. Add the milk and whisk until heated through. Turn off the heat and add the cheese. Stir until melted, and adjust seasoning as needed.

To the pasta pot, add the pork and all the cheese sauce. Stir until well combined. Pour pasta into a large baking dish. Sprinkle more mozzarella and grated parmesan over top. Cover and cook 15 minutes. Remove cover and cook 5 more minutes, until the cheese sauce starts to bubble.

Remove from oven and let sit 5 or 10 minutes, then serve.

LarpMom’s Guacamole Dip Recipe

I love snack time. It’s my favorite time of day, next to nap time. And I wanted something new. Most of the guacamole in my area has onions and tomatoes. One I dont care for at snack time, and the other I can’t eat. I figured I would try and make my own. Here is the recipe!

Ingredients:

1 large ripe green Avocado, seeded and sliced

1 clove garlic

A quarter of an Jalapeno, diced

1/2 a lime

1/8 cup milk

1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbs Cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions:

Scoop Avocado from skin and put into a food processor along with the garlic, cilantro and Jalapeno. Squeeze in lime juice and pulse. Scrape down sides of processor and add milk. Pulse until smooth, then add salt to taste, pulsing to incorporate. Serve with Tortilla chips.

This recipe Serves 6.

LARPMom’s “Red” Sauce

This was initially an update on my weeknight red pepper sauce, but it turned into a completely different creature. One I like much better! Because of the flavor and consistency, I serve it over pasta, on pizza, or as an alternative to anything you might usually enjoy with Marinara.

I hope you love it as much as I do!

Ingredients:

  • 2 jars roasted red peppers in water, drained
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup merlot
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprkia
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • A little sugar, to taste
  • Half a sweet onion, diced
  • Rind of parmesan
  • 1 Bay leaf

Instructions:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Put garlic, onion and peppers in food processor and blend until smooth. Whisk flour into oil until smooth and slightly golden. Add pepper mix to skillet and whisk. Add wine, stir to combine. Add chicken stock, salt, pepper, half and half, bay leaf, rind and paprika. Combine and bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer, and cook at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

At this point, I usually add more salt, pepper, paprika and a little sugar until I feel the sauce is balanced.

Stuffed Mushrooms

It’s a New Year, and I usually ring those in much like I did this year; by laying out a nice spread of horderves and a cold bottle of sparkling wine. Most of them are premade from a box (because kids) but I like to make my own stuffed mushrooms. My mother went vegetarian for several years (she still ate cheese) and during that time I created this recipe because so many include sausage. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz capped mushrooms
  • 8 to 12 cloves of garlic, minced (depends on clove size. Mine were small, so I used 12)
  • Wedge of Parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 cups Good, plain breadcrumbs
  • 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 pepper)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • A large glass roasting pan

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. After cleaning mushrooms, separate caps from the stems. I twist the stems off and clean out the cavity of the mushrooms with clean fingers. Place the caps into the large glass roaster and flip curved side up. Drizzle a small amount of oil over the caps and rub to coat, then sprinkle with a little salt. Flip caps over fill side.

Dice stem pieces and reserve. Mince garlic and place both into a large frying pan with 1 Tbs Extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat about 2 minutes. Add bread crumbs and stir to coat. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until toasted and well combined. Add cream cheese and combine over low heat until everything is mixed well. Grate Parmesan cheese over top and stir to combine. I use about 1/4 a cup.

Remove from heat and allow to cook until you can handle the mix with clean hands. Using a small spoon, scoop mix and fill all mushroom cavities. With remaining mix, distribute evenly over mushrooms, and use your hands to shape mix into small mounds. Grate more Parmesan cheese over top and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast mushrooms for 30 minutes (caps will look moist and soft when done and the filling will be golden brown). Let cool about 5 minutes before serving.

Larpmom’s Turkey Soup

The best thing about Thanksgiving is the turkey. The second best is using the leftovers to make soup.

This soup requires dark bone stock. I’ve posted my stock recipe here.

Here’s the recipe:

Turkey Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups leftover Turkey, cut into chunks
  • 4 Carrots, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks Celery, diced
  • 8 oz Portabella Mushrooms, sliced
  • Half a bag Dutch Gold Potatoes, cut into medium chunks
  • Half a large Vidalia onion, diced
  • Bouquet garni (1 sprig Sage, 2 sprigs Rosemary, small handful of Thyme, 1 Parmesan cheese rind, 2 bay leaves, little over half the tops of 1 bundle Italian parsley)
  • Turkey bone stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 Tbs butter
  • The reserved fat of three rashers of bacon
  • 1/3 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 splash Heavy Cream
  • Parmesan for grating (optional)
  • Handful of diced Iltalian Parsley leaves

Directions:

Melt bacon fat and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes and cook a few minutes, then add carrots, garlic, celery and onions. Stir and cook about 3 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms begin to soften, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add turkey and give it a good stir. Add stock, and herb bouquet, then bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.

Add diced parsley, sour cream and a splash of heavy cream. Let the soup warm through and then taste, add salt and pepper as needed. Remove herb bouquet and serve with a little parmesan grated over top, of desired.