Thursday, November 8, 2012

Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausage Ragout and Polenta

Once in a while a deal so good comes along that you just can't pass it up. That's how I felt when my local grocery store was running a buy 1 get 1 free promotion on Johnsonville Italian sausage. I was disappointed to find after trying 2 different stores that they were completely sold out!  But I had the presence of mind to get a rain check for 4 deals with which I was still able to use my coupons.  Making this a deal not to be missed!!

The following week I was able to find the Johnsonville sausage and use my coupons and rain check. Now I had 8 packages and only paid for 4, and the 4 I paid for were $1 off.  With my freezer stocked it was time to come up with some recipes for using my find.  Here's the first one I came up with.

Pot of hot Italian sausage ragout simmering on the stove

Hot Italian Sausage Ragout:
In a heavy pot over medium heat add 1 small onion chopped and 3-4 cloves of garlic minced or grated in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Once the vegetables are soft add 1 pound of ground Johnsonville Italian Hot sausage and brown completely.  Season with salt and pepper.  Once the meat is browned add 1 large can of crushed tomatoes and let simmer.  The longer you let it simmer the richer the flavor will be.  If you like you can deglaze the pan before adding the tomatoes with red wine or beef broth and then simmer.  I would simmer the sauce for at least 2 hours, longer if possible.
I chose to serve the sauce over polenta but you can have it over pasta too.

Johnsonville Hot Italian sausage has just the right amount of heat to it so there is really no need for extra seasoning.  Crushed red pepper flakes and fennel seeds give the sausage a truly authentic flavor, and can be used for many dishes making this one versatile meat option!!  It can be used in a sauce or to top your pizza. Or you could make some kicking sloppy joes or Italian style meatballs.  Use your imagination, I'm sure you can come up with some way to use Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausage.
Have an idea already? Feel free to share it in the comments.

Even if you don't have a great buy 1 get 1 free deal with added coupon savings Johnsonville sausage is always a great deal for a quick meal!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fall Fest- Copper Pennies AKA Glazed Carrots

When I saw that carrots were next on the list for Fall Fest I was excited. As a kid carrots were about the only vegetable I would eat. Well...carrots and potatoes.  There is southern dish called Copper Pennies which in fact is served like a salad.  The carrots are cooked with other vegetables - onions and green peppers then glazed with all things -- tomato soup!
Now I never had this version of Copper Pennies growing up but we did call Glazed Carrots - Copper Pennies.  The recipe I'm about to share is carrots glazed with butter and brown sugar and then seasoned with just a hint of ginger.  No matter what you call them they are delicious and are a perfect accompaniment to chicken or pork or even beef.  And who doesn't have carrots on their Thanksgiving table!!

After the recipe below I'll list all the other bloggers, links and their recipes for carrots. So be sure to read all the way to the end!

Here is what you'll need to make Copper Pennies:

1 pound of carrots sliced into rounds
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 large handfuls of brown sugar (I'm assuming it's just shy of a 1/4 of a cup. You can adjust it up or down)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)

Clean the carrots and slice them into 1/8 to 1/4 inch rounds. The thinner they are the faster they will cook.  This is a recipe that takes time so start it before you even start your main course if it's chicken or pork.  Place the carrot rounds in a large skillet and cover with water until they float.  Heat the skillet on high and once the water comes to a boil simmer on medium high until tender and most of the water has boiled away.

Once the water has boiled away, add the butter and brown sugar.  Stir to coat.  Turn the pan down to simmer and cook until the carrots are glazed, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of ground ginger if using.  Stir and cook another 5 minutes or so.  Turn off and place lid on top to keep warm.

Glazed carrots with pan fried pork chops and dressing.

Do you have favorite carrot recipe you'd like to share?
Feel free to share it in the comments and Happy Fall!!

Feed Me Phoebe: Root Vegetable and Black Bean Chili
Napa Farmhouse 1885:Roasted Carrots With Chile and Agave

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Southern Classic- Pimento Cheese

I think I have a little bit of split personality. I love the weather in the North but LOVE the food of the South.  One Southern tidbit that is one of my all time favorites - pimento cheese, a simple spread that can be shaped into a ball for a party or on bread for the best grilled cheese you’ll ever have!

To make pimento cheese you’ll need:

1 8 ounce block of cream cheese, softened
¼ cup mayo
½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 half jarred roasted red pepper, finely diced or
A small jar of pimentos
Garlic powder to taste

You can mix the ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon but I like to mix mine in my stand mixer.
In a bowl (either using a wooden spoon or in the bowl of your stand mixer) add the cream cheese and mayo.  Mix until well combined.  Add in the cheddar and combine completely.  Add in the diced red peppers and the garlic powder to taste.  Be sure all the ingredients are well combined.   Can be eaten right away or chilled in the fridge.

For an amazing grilled cheese sandwich, spread the pimento cheese over bread that has been buttered on one side.  Place the buttered side down in a hot pan and cook until golden brown.

I’m sure there are a lot of uses for pimento cheese spread, like maybe on potatoes for a new version of potatoes au gratin or maybe stuffed into a chicken breast.  However you decide to eat it be sure to make extra – it’s truly addicting!

Super delectable, yummy, delicious snack

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