Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Fusilli Pasta With Creamy Tomato Sauce

Fusilli is my favorite shape of pasta, and I attribute that to the thickness of the stands and the way it really grabs onto whatever sauce you top it with.

I have many ways of making sauce to top pasta, and this is just one of them.  It’s quick, easy, and delicious. 

FUSILLI PASTA WITH CREAMY TOMATO SAUCE:

  • 1 lb. Long Fusilli Pasta
  • 1 – 24 or 28oz. can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 3-4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream (Half & Half works in a pinch, too)
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese (Yes, you can use the powdery stuff)
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Chopped Oregano
  • 10 – 12 Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Flat Leaf Italian Parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Dried Pepper Flakes (*Optional)
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

In a large sauté pan, add the oil, onions and garlic.  Saute until translucent, and if you like it the way I do, I usually let the garlic just begin to brown a bit.  Watch the garlic since it goes from nutty and browned to burnt in mere seconds.

Once done, add the white wine and stir to scrape up all the bits on the bottom of the pan. 

Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano and parmesan cheese and stir well.  Place the burner on simmer and cover.   Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Meanwhile, in a large stock pot, add water that you have generously salted.  Cover and allow to come to a boil.

Once the water has reached a good rolling boil, add the pasta and stir to prevent sticking.

Uncover the sauce and add the cream, chopped parsley and basil, along with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir well.  *If you are adding the pepper flakes to the sauce, add them now and stir well. 

Once the pasta has reached al dente, immediately drain it and place it in a large bowl.  Remove the sauce from the heat and add this to the pasta.  Stir well and serve immediately.  This is especially good with some garlic bread on the side.

Enjoy!

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Chicken & Rice

 

I have made and eaten a number of different versions of Chicken and Rice.  Some I’ve loved and some I’ve never made again. 

After trying so many different versions of this dish, I finally came up with a version of my own that I fell in love with and that my family enjoys as well.   It’s a perfect dish to throw together when you are pressed for time, and is versatile enough that you can add anything else to it you may like.  I’ve made it in both the oven as a casserole and in a slow cooker.  Both turn out a great result.

CHICKEN & RICE:

  • 3 lbs. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cubed.
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Uncooked White Rice (not instant)
  • 2 – 14.5 oz. Cans Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 – 7 oz. Can Chopped Green Chilis
  • 3 Tbsp. Goya Sofrito (tomato based cooking sauce found in the ethnic food section)
  • 2 packets Goya Sazon (I use the one in the orange & yellow box)
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 – 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Cut up chicken and place in a large bowl.  Add all dry ingredients, including 1 packet of the Goya Sazon to the chicken and stir well.  Transfer to a Ziploc bag and refrigerate for a couple of hours, or overnight.

When ready to assemble, remove chicken from the refrigerator.  In a large sauté pan, add the butter and allow to melt.  Add the chicken to the pan and allow to brown for a few minutes, stirring often so chicken does not burn.  Once done, remove chicken to a clean and large mixing bowl. 

Add olive oil to the sauté pan along with the onion and garlic.  Saute just until translucent. 

Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes, chilis, chicken broth, lime juice, cilantro, rice and the second packet of Goya Sazon to the bowl.  Stir together well.

If you are planning to cook this in the oven, add the mixture to a 13″ x 9″ greased baking dish.  I just spray the baking dish with some butter flavored non-stick cooking spray. 

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, or until rice is tender.

If you prefer to make this in the slow cooker, follow the above instructions and add this to your slow cooker, set on low.  Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or until the rice is tender.

Serve up and enjoy!

I shared this recipe in the Saturday Swap over at Kim’s blog, Quit Eating Out

  

Shrimp & Macaroni Salad

This is my all time favorite macaroni salad, and my family would agree with me.  It’s simple and easy to throw together and I make it often in the warm weather months.

The shrimp I use in this dish are the “tiny” version found in a can.  Before you cover your eyes and run away from that idea I promise you they work and they work well.  I’ve tried it with fresh shrimp and frozen tiny shrimp and just was not happy with the results.  The canned “tiny” version is what works best and I’ve never had anyone who has tried it tell me they didn’t love this salad.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

SHRIMP & MACARONI SALAD:

  • 8 oz. Elbow Macaroni (or any small pasta)
  • 2 Stalks Celery, diced
  • 1 Small Onion, diced
  • 1 Carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 2 Cans “Tiny” Shrimp, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 – 1 Cup Mayonnaise (Use the good stuff!)
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the macaroni.  Cook until just done.  When done, drain and rinse with cool water and set to the side.

Dice the celery and the onion and grate the carrot and set to the side.

Drain and rinse the shrimp and set to the side.

In a large bowl add the macaroni, celery, onion, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, garlic powder and the grated carrot.  Mix well and add more mayonnaise if needed.  Once mixed, add the two cans of shrimp and fold in.  Cover and refrigerate for an hour or two before serving. 

Stir well before serving and enjoy!

 

Sausage & Chicken Bake

The other day I decided to switch up my Sausage and Potatoes dish with a new twist.  I had some boneless chicken breasts waiting to be used and thought about what I could make with them.

I threw them all together with the sausage, potatoes, onions, and then added some roasted red peppers to the mix.  The final result was something my family truly enjoyed and a definite keeper.

Here is how to make it.

SAUSAGE & CHICKEN BAKE:

  • 8 Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage
  • 3 Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 5 – 6 Red Potatoes
  • 1 Large Sweet Onion, cut into large pieces
  • 1 – 12 oz. Jar Roasted Red Peppers, with the juice
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. Dried Basil
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

 You will want to start the recipe a few hours before you are ready to bake it.  Overnight would work too. 

Begin cutting up the chicken breasts into equal bite size pieces.  Place the chicken in a large Ziploc bag.  Slice the roasted red peppers into strips and add this to the chicken.  To the chicken peppers, add olive oil, garlic, onion, basil and the roasted red peppers.  Allow to marinate for a minimum of 3 hours, or overnight.

When you are ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Leaving the skin on, cut each potato into equal size pieces and add to a large bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. 

Cut each sausage link into 3 pieces and add it to the potatoes.  Dump in the entire contents of the chicken mixture to the potatoes and sausage and mix well. 

Add the entire mixture to a 13″ x 9″ baking dish and cover with foil.  Bake for one hour.  After an hour, turn the oven to 400 degrees and remove the foil.  Allow to continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sausage browns somewhat. 

Once done, remove from oven and enjoy.  

Sicilian Pot Roast

They had rump roast on sale last week and I picked one up undecided what I wanted to do with it.  While I was searching through some recipes over at Tasty Kitchen, I came across one that had received all positive reviews and looked delicious, so I gave it a try.

It’s different than the typical pot roast I make with potatoes, carrots and onion.  I was looking for something different so this worked out perfectly.

The tomato and garlic really does something different to this dish in a very good way.  The meat was fork tender and the sauce was tangy and filled with garlic.  I added some thyme and rosemary to the dish, which the original recipe did not call for, but it turned out wonderfully.  Other than that, I kept the recipe the same way.

Here is the link to the recipe Sicilian-Style Pot Roast if you want to give this a try.  I highly recommend it!

I served this with some Roasted Potatoes
and asparagus.  It was a perfect Sunday dinner.

Enjoy!

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