web analytics

Archive | comfort food RSS feed for this section

Barley and Bacon Risotto

barley and bacon risottoStir. Stir. Stir.

This is my cheats version of risotto and does not require frequent visits to the stove top.  A typical risotto recipe involves going back to the pot to stir in each ladleful of stock when the last one has been absorbed.  Although it doesn’t take long to cook (roughly 30 minutes), you do have to keep a watchful eye on it.  I adore a good risotto and it’s one of my all-time favorite comfort foods.  I, like other semi-decent cooks, can multitask my way around a kitchen but when the lazy side of me takes over, I look for ways to cut corners.  Continue Reading →

Coconut Cream Pie

coconut cream pieIf you’ve ever been on a road trip, then you know truck stops and diners have the best food.  They also have the best desserts…usually.  The veneer of a truck stop or diner won’t lure you in on looks alone, but the food in my experience, has been really good.  And it has to be.  Truck drivers want a meal that reminds them of home when they’re on the road driving for long hours at a time.  It’s as close to home cooking as you’ll ever get, good value for money, open late at night, and there’s something wholesome about them.
Continue Reading →

Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions on Quinoa Polenta

sausage with peppers & onions on quinoa polenta by The Culinary ChaseI bought a bag of sweet baby peppers the other day and knew that if I didn’t use them soon, they would go off. Sausage, peppers and onions are perfect for a sandwich (hoagie) but I was thinking of something more for dinner. I’ve made many versions of polenta over the years but as I was grilling the peppers, it suddenly occurred to me that I could use quinoa, too. Before you go and turn your nose up at the notion that quinoa isn’t a substitute for polenta, let me say this, it can! Especially when you have a sauce like this over it. If you want it to be creamy like porridge, then you’ll need to add mascarpone and more water or chicken stock. I know, if you’re an Italian reading this, I can imagine you gesticulating and horrified that I even made the correlation. That said, confirmation from Mr. S. to make this again is all I needed to hear.

Serves 4
4 bell peppers, roasted or grilled
large onion, sliced
olive oil
450g Italian sausages (casing removed)
1 can Italian cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Quinoa Polenta

1 cup white quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

sweet baby peppersAfter roasting or grilling the peppers, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. When cool enough to handle, peel skin and remove seeds. Cut peppers into strips and set aside.

In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onions with a pinch of sea salt and cook until soft. Remove from pan. In the same pan, add sausage meat. Stir, breaking up chunks of meat and cook until meat is browned. Add tomatoes and stir. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes then add onions and peppers. Simmer until heated through.

For the quinoa polenta, rinse quinoa in cold water, drain and add to saucepan. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered 12 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter. Stir and add cheese.

Arrange quinoa on a plate and spoon over the sausage sauce. Top with chopped parsley.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Use bulk Italian sausage meat to save time from having to remove the casings. If you can’t find canned cherry tomatoes, use chopped tomatoes and cook 10 or so minutes longer to allow the juice to reduce. Enjoy!