Monday, April 2, 2018

Creamy Sausage and Roasted Cauliflower Pasta


Hello, beautiful!


This is a pasta dish we must talk about right now.


This is my Creamy Sausage and Roasted Cauliflower Pasta and it is about to be your new favorite. It's comfort food which means it's meant to soothe your soul. We aren't apologizing for eating pasta because we love it and it's delicious. This particular dish also has plenty of vegetables packed into each bite, so this is a well-rounded meal you can feel happy serving to your whole family!


Let's talk about cauliflower quick. A few weeks ago, I had a moment where I was like, "wait a minute...do I not like cauliflower?!" Every time I made a dish with cauliflower in it, I was sooo disappointed and wished I was eating anything else. This comes after years of never having any sort of aversion to it. After thinking about it for a bit, I realized that what I actually didn't like was frozen cauliflower...I wanted cauliflower that still had a bite to it. Roasted cauliflower that had a few charred bits to it, well - THAT'S really what I wanted, and that is exactly what I'm mixing in to this dish.


To compliment the cauliflower, I am browning up a bit of sweet sausage. Something about pasta and sausage - it just makes SENSE to me. We'll then make a quick, creamy sauce, wilt some fresh spinach in it, load it up with freshly grated parmesan and chopped parsley and finish it with a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. I mean, what is there NOT to love?!


In terms of the actual pasta, I used a whole wheat rotini. This was actually O Organics brand and I think it's my favorite rotini. The spirals are really tight and hold up well even after being cooked. It was the perfect shape to trap all that luscious sauce! But, really, any small cut pasta will do. You do you!


Here's what you need for Creamy Sausage and Roasted Cauliflower Pasta* (Print Recipe!)

1 cup fresh cauliflower, broken into small/medium florets
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound whole wheat pasta, I used rotini
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste

Here's what you do

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and drizzle with olive oil. Toss the cauliflower in the oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

Cook pasta according to package directions, leaving it a bit al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water before straining.

In a large non-stick saute pan, add a little more olive oil then brown and crumble the sausage. I like to let this go about 10 minutes or so in order to develop really crispy pieces. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. If there is a lot of grease in the bottom of the pan, remove all but a teaspoon or two. In the same pan, melt the butter over low heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk to create a roux. Allow the roux to cook for a minute or two before slowly whisking in the chicken broth. Bring to a slow boil and cook until just starting to thicken. Add the half and half and parmesan and stir well to combine.

Return the sausage to the sauce along with the spinach, nutmeg, oregano and basil. Stir over low heat until the spinach is wilted. Lastly, toss in the roasted cauliflower, pasta and fresh parsley. Season to taste. Serve immediately with extra parmesan cheese, parsley and red pepper flakes as desired.


*Gas Stove Girl Original Recipe

Monday, March 26, 2018

Kale, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Pizza


Wow, hey guys! I've been MIA, huh?


It's been a busy few weeks that has overlapped with a bit of a cooking rut. I've been making plenty of food but I've had a hard time feeling inspired by the meals I've made. I'm hoping to turn that around this week and bring you some yummy spring recipes!


I've historically found that when I find myself in a rut, the best thing to do is to make something that is familiar and undeniably delicious no matter what. For me, that food is pizza. Put anything on a chewy crust and cover it in gooey cheese and, well, we're back in business!


This Kale, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Pizza is made on my favorite, no rise crust which makes this a quick, easy and delicious meatless Monday meal! The edges of the kale get an amazing crispy char to them while the creamy goat cheese melts just slightly over the sauce. Mushrooms add a meaty element that really rounds out (ha!) the dish.


As with nearly any recipe I put out here on the internet, this is the perfect base pizza recipe that you can add and adjust to your heart's desire. Add some crispy ground sausage because OMG sausage, kale and mushrooms are the ultimate trifecta. Want more veggies? Throw 'em on! Just remember not to overcrowd your toppings because it risks making your crust soggy and that would be sad.

I see your cooking rut and I raise you one quick, tasty, wonderfully composed pizza recipe. Ahh, it feels good to be back.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Chili Mac


MMMmmmMMmmmmmMMMM!


This is #dinnergoals right here!


Oh, did you guys hear? There is some kind of football game this weekend that is very big and very important and requires lots of delicious foods while you watch. I have the perfect dinner for the occasion.


My recipe for Chili Mac is a mash up of a beef chili and a creamy, cheesy pasta dish. It is a little spicy and will keep you coming back for more. The chili becomes a robust, tex-mex type of meat sauce that kiiiind of puts regular marinara to shame.


To compliment that spicy goodness, we need something creamy (and, duh, cheesy because we are talking CHILI after all, so some sharp cheddar is very much needed). After the chili is cooked up, I add a bunch of hot pasta along with some of the pasta cooking water along with some sour cream to help melt that glorious cheddar into the chili/sauce. It's sort of magical and very tasty.


Now, as with most recipes I bestow upon you, it's worth mentioning that you can customize this to you and your family's liking! Prefer black beans over cannelini beans? Great! Want to tone town the spice factor? Use a bell pepper instead of the poblano. Like it a little extra spicy? Try shredded pepper jack instead of shredded cheddar! Where does it end?! (just FYI, it doesn't end until your plate is licked clean :-D)


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Chicken and Dumplings


Comfort food alert!



We had a little warm up around these parts, but let's be honest. It's still winter. It's still cold. We need some comfort food to stick to our bones. And this recipe is a kitchen classic you'll be enjoying for years to come.


I was thinking one night about how I could do some kind of fun twist on Chicken and Dumplings when I realized I just wanted pure, classic chicken and dumplings. And that's EXACTLY what this recipe is. You can make this dish in no time at all, with ingredients you likely already have hanging in your pantry and fridge.


The thing about chicken and dumplings is it's essentially like eating a big bowl of delicious chicken soup and dunking a yummy piece of bread in it...but the BREAD has already been dunked for your eating pleasure! It's genius really. The bread "bakes" in the hot soup, soaking in the delicious flavors. How great does that sound?! Mmm, I'm craving another bowl right now!


Monday, January 15, 2018

Sesame Green Beans


Look at these beauties!


These Sesame Green Beans are an exercise in simplicity. They are crisp. A little spicy. Pumped up with sesame. And freshened up with a sprinkling of scallions. I love them deeply and I'm sure you will too. 


I was inspired to create this recipe after having a very similar Asian green bean salad from an adorable little market in Maine a couple of summers ago. It was simple and refreshing, perfect as a starter or a side. That's exactly what I wanted with this recipe, with the added bonus of being able to prep this well ahead of time! 


Obviously, the stars of this show are fresh green beans and a bit of sesame oil. I start by quickly steaming the green beans, for just about 5 to 7 minutes, then blanching them in ice water. This will keep them a bright and vibrant green as well as perfectly crispy and toothy. Once the beans are chilled, all that's left to do is whisk up the dressing. Sesame oil, lime juice, a splash of soy sauce, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. Simple but composed. The perfect mix of toasty, tart and salty. 


Toss the beans in the dressing. Pop 'em in the fridge to marinate for a few minutes up to a couple of hours. Sprinkle on some sesame seeds and chopped scallions before serving. Give yourself a pat on the back because you just made a bomb.com dish that will make even your pickiest eaters eat their vegetables :-) 


Monday, December 18, 2017

Chai-Spiced Gingerbread Kiss Cookies



Happy Monday and let us talk about cookies!


You absolutely HAVE to add these cookies to your holiday baking menu. They are soft and pillowy, bursting with warming spices and kissed with chocolate!


That's right. These are Chai-Spiced Gingerbread Kiss Cookies, and trust me when I say that they are here to put your classic peanut butter blossom cookies to shame. If you love gingerbread, you will absolutely devour these beauties.


OH and not only are these part kiss cookies and part gingerbread, but they are also part snickerdoodle. Yes yes yes. Before going into the oven, these cookies are getting rolled in sugar and a mix of chai spices that will truly knock your socks off. That includes cinnamon, nutmeg. and ground ginger. There is no spice combination more warming this time of year than chai. I just love it! It's not just for tea anymore :-)


Now, I know that everyone has their own holiday traditions and cookie recipes that they hold strong to this season. But if you're looking for a new treat to wow the whole family (and Santa, for that matter) I'm quite confident this is it. Happy baking!


Oh, P.S. This recipe is 100% kitty approved!


Friday, December 15, 2017

Crispy Honey Shrimp (PF Chang's Copy Cat Recipe!)


OOH boy, oh boy do I have a fun weekend meal for you to cook up!


This recipe was born out of desperation. A craving, really, that couldn't be resolved easily. I NEEDED Crispy Honey Shrimp from PF Chang's and yet I found myself with no motivation to actually drive however many miles it would have taken to get to my closest restaurant. Whenever that happens, the most logical thing to do is take to the internet to find the recipe and make it myself. That's exactly what I did.


This Crispy Honey Shrimp is the perfect alternative to my usual PF Chang's meal! It is just as irresistibly crunchy, sweet, sour and gooey. Served over white rice and topped with scallions, and you'll be none the wiser that this ISN'T take out but rather some super tasty deliciousness from your own kitchen.


The recipe that follows isn't inherently hard by any means; I truly believe that anyone could whip it up. However, there are a few steps involved, and the main process (that is, frying the shrimp to airy, crispy perfection) can be a little intimidating. To be honest, I still get a little scared when I am dealing with a big pot of hot oil! The best way to combat these fears is to be sure you have a candy thermometer (to monitor oil temperature...keep it at the right temperature=no fire!), use a heavy pot with high sides (like a 6 quart dutch oven), and use your back burner (to protect kids and pets and yourself from any spills or splatters!).


Once the shrimp is cooked and crispy, the real winner of this recipe is that thick and gooey honey sauce. This is what makes this recipe crave-able. Warm, crispy shrimp get a quick toss in that sweet, tangy sauce and poured over a hot bed of white rice. Oh my. I mean just look at that shine!


Make your whole family extra happy...don't wait another minute...make this shrimp!!