Thursday, March 24, 2016

Not an Easter Post!

While everybody else is posting their Easter inspirations, here I am with a nice heavy pasta dish, lol. In all honesty, I did not intend for this dish to be so rich. I was going for a light wine and cream sauce but what I got was quite the opposite. That doesn't mean it wasn't delicious. I was just REALLY filling. Last weekend my BFF and I dragged our hubs to the city with us for what I call a "food blitz". Actually, since we had the whiney men with us, this was a truncated blitz because we did not hit the west village for meatball grinders, arancini and sausages (next time Fiacco's!). This trip was all Little Italy and Chinatown. YUM! The hubs and I decided to try a new variety of ravioli from Piemonte - Pesto! This is the result. I have to admit it was tough to decide whether to go red or white as either would have been tasty. We had already had red sauce twice this week so white won out. It was delicious and filling. If you ever find yourself on the corner of Grand and Mulberry, definitely check out Piemonte! You won't be disappointed!

Pesto Ravioli with Italian Sausage, Marinated Roasted Tomatoes, and Rapini in a Creamy Alfredo (ish) Sauce.

1 box fresh Pesto Ravioli
2 Tbs Olive oil
1 lb sweet Italian Sausage
1/2 bunch Rapini (broccoli rabe) rinsed
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 C marinated Roasted Tomatoes (I get mine at Murray's Cheese)
1/2 C white wine 
6 oz cream cheese
1 C milk
1/2 C Parmesan cheese
s&p to taste

In a large pot bring salted water to a boil. cook ravioli until al dente.

Heat oil in a large skillet, add sausage. Brown on all sides and set aside (does not have to be cooked through at this point)
Add additional oil if needed and add rapini to the pan. Saute until soft. (once soft you can choose to chop the rapini or leave it whole - we like it chopped)
Add garlic and continue to saute until fragrant
Add tomatoes, saute
Deglaze pan with white wine.
Add cheeses and milk
Slice sausage and return in to the pan. If sauce is too thick add more milk.
Cover and simmer on low until sausage is cooked through.

Gently fold in cooked ravioli or serve over ravioli - your choice!


Friday, March 4, 2016

Cracking Up

So, if any of you are familiar with the blog Plain Chicken, you are fully aware of her love for all things ranch. She uses ranch seasoning in a lot of her recipes. She also has a favorite flavor combination of ranch, bacon, and cheddar that she affectionately refers to as "crack" because it is so addicting.  When she applies this flavor combination to other recipes, like say hash browns, she calls them "cracked out". I have to admit that combination is seriously good. I first tried it with her recipe for Cheddar, Bacon, Ranch Pulls, which I made for a party. They were a HUGE hit and pretty simple to make. Fast forward several months, I used the same flavor combination to make a sandwich for hubs lunch. He actually called me at work to tell me how good it was and how perfect the flavors went together. Yeah, he liked it. He really, really liked it. So, yesterday I realized that I had half a package of bacon sitting in the fridge that needed to be used up along with some chicken and so I decided to cook up a little chicken crack for dinner! (That's doesn't sound good, does it, lol).

Crack Chicken Skillet

2 TBS oil
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast diced
3-4 TBS ranch seasoning
1 1/2 Cups Chicken broth
1/3 of a large block of low fat cream cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1 Cup shredded, sharp cheddar cheese

Toss diced chicken pieces with 1-2 TBS ranch seasoning to coat

In a large skillet heat oil until shimmering. Once heated, add chicken and saute until cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.

Add chicken broth and cream cheese to hot skillet. Whisk until cream cheese in incorporated and smooth. Add remaining ranch seasoning to taste.

Return chicken to skillet and stir to combine.

Add bacon pieces and stir to combine.

Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top of the skillet and turn of heat. Let sit until cheese is melted.

Spoon over pasta, rice or spaghetti squash to serve.

I have to say the the hubs really enjoyed this over his pasta (I had mine over squash and it was damn good). He even took the leftovers for lunch today, which is something he rarely does. I didn't forget to take a picture of this recipe. It just wasn't very photogenic, lol. But, as we all know, when it comes to good eats, looks aren't everything! This will definitely be something we will be making again and again.