Country-Style Peppered Pork Stuffing

I❤ stuffing. I❤ sausage. And stuffing with sausage in it makes me deliriously happy. This recipe definitely takes some work but it’s worth it!

Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 10 cups bread cubes (⅓ – ½ inch, from crusty bread)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • ½ cup dry white wine (OR more broth and a bit of lemon juice)
  • 1 pound spicy pork sausage (not in casing)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup chopped celery leaves
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt (unless stuffing into brined bird)
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup low-salt, low-fat chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Toast bread cubes on cookie sheets in 350 oven until golden brown. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and celery and sauté till tender. Add sage, sauté 1 minute. Add wine, boil until it evaporates. Add sausage and cook until cooked through.

  3. Stir pork mixture, parsley and celery leaves into bread cubes. Whisk eggs, salt, nutmeg and pepper in medium bowl. Add to stuffing.

  4. Bake in bird OR in a separate buttered dish. If baking separately, add more broth until moist, cover with buttered foil for about 30 minutes, then remove foil and allow stuffing to brown.

The first two steps can be done a day in advance. Store the bread at room temperature, and keep the pork mixture refrigerated.

(From an old friend and excellent chef, Bitsy Lee.)

Almond Squares

In all honesty I haven’t made this yet. A coworker of Eric’s brought these into the office and apparently everyone went crazy over them. Maybe if I post it I’ll remember to make it!

Yield: 2 – 2½ dozen squares

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 7 ounce tube pure almond paste, grated (small holes)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sliced almonds, divided

Glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325º. Spray 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. Cream butter and sugar thoroughly in large bowl. Add egg yolk and almond extract and mix. Add grated almond paste. Beat well. Add flour and beat until just blended.
  3. Pat batter into pan. Beat egg whites until foamy and brush over surface of dough. Scatter ½ cup almonds over top and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. While still hot, mix glaze ingredients and spread over surface. Sprinkle with additional almonds. Cool and cut into squares.

(From newspaper clipping.)

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

I fully accept that this recipe is just dumping cans in a pot. It probably covers the entire adult RDA of sodium. But it’s sooo good and sooo easy! I’m planning to experiment with switching some of the ingredients to low-sodium versions… but here’s the original.

Yield: About 8 x 1 cup servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (½ of a 1.25 ounce packet… I use Ortega)
  • 1 x 15 ounce can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes*
  • 1 x 15 ounce can black beans
  • 1 x 15 ounce can whole kernel corn
  • 1 x 5.5 ounce can V8 (or tomato juice)

* I hate the texture of chunky tomatoes, so I blend them in a food processor before adding to the slow cooker.

Directions:

  1. Brown the turkey in a large skillet and drain off any extra fat.
  2. Place the turkey in a 3½ – 4 quart slow cooker.
  3. Add all the other ingredients (do not drain the beans, tomatoes, or corn) and stir.
  4. Cook for 2-3 hours on high or 4-6 hours on low.

We like to have it with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and just a bit of sour cream. Sometimes, if I’m on my game, I make cornbread to go with it as well.

(Adapted from SparkRecipes.)

Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps

I love wraps and burritos with rice in them. This recipe is very simple (after removing everything we don’t like), but it tastes amazing. The sour cream can not be left out, it’s the star of the dish! Plan ahead and make some shredded chicken in the crockpot during the day, or keep some on hand in the freezer.

Yield: 4-5 wraps.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • juice of 1 lime
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, Mexican blend, etc.)
  • sour cream
  • 6 burrito-sized flour tortillas

Directions:

  1. Mix rice together with lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and garlic salt. Add in chicken, black beans, and whatever else sounds good (corn? tomatoes? bell peppers? green chiles? jalapeños?).
  2. Sprinkle cheese on tortilla, then dollop on sour cream and spread chicken and rice mixture down center. Roll up the wraps and flatten slightly. Don’t be stingy with the sour cream… think sauce, not accent!
  3. Spray the seam side with cooking spray, then place seam side down on a hot skillet for about 2-3 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Spray the top side with cooking spray, flip, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

(Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.)

Creamy Mustard Pork Chops

This recipe is from Campbell’s. I tend to avoid cooking with canned soups, but this dish is too fast, easy, and tasty to pass up.

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 boneless pork chops, ¾ inch thick
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell’s Condensed 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard (I use Grey Poupon Country Dijon Mustard)

Directions:

  1. Season the pork with the lemon pepper seasoning. Don’t go overboard or the sauce will be excessively tangy. Just a light sprinkle.
  2. Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until well browned on both sides.
  3. Stir the soup, milk and mustard in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 10-20 minutes or until the pork is cooked through (145°).

I serve with about ⅔ a bag of extra wide egg noodles.

(Adapted from Campbell’s Kitchen.)

BBQ Chicken Wraps

Red Robin copycat recipe. Traditionally served with steak fries.

Yield: 4 wraps.

Ingredients:

  • ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • ½ bag shredded lettuce
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup tri-color tortilla strips
  • BBQ sauce (we use Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  • ranch dressing
  • 4 spinach wraps

Instructions:

  1. Optional: Marinate chicken breasts in BBQ sauce for 2-3 hours prior to grilling.
  2. Grill or broil chicken breast until cooked through, basting with additional BBQ sauce while cooking.
  3. Chop chicken breast into small pieces.
  4. Microwave wraps for 20-30 seconds.
  5. Assemble wraps: Put ¼ of the chicken, lettuce, cheese, and tortilla strips on each wrap. Then top with two lines of ranch dressing and three of BBQ sauce. Roll up and serve.

(Adapted from Catz in the Kitchen.)

Zesty Penne, Sausage, and Peppers

Eric is starting to cook for us some nights and surprised us with this awesome recipe he found.

Yield: Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups penne pasta, uncooked (⅗ of box)
  • ¾ pound spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 26-ounce jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • dash of red pepper (optional)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, crumble sausage into large skillet; cook and stir on medium heat 8 minutes or until done. Drain.
  3. Add bell peppers; cook and stir 5 minutes or until crisp-tender.
  4. Stir in sauce, fennel, and red pepper; cook 5 minutes or until heated through.
  5. Add cream cheese; cook 2 minutes or until melted, stirring frequently.
  6. Drain pasta. Add to sausage mixture; mix lightly. Top with parmesan.

(Adapted from a Kraft recipe.)