Bored Cook In The Kitchen

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

Tag Archives: onions

Sausage & Pepper Pizza

The other night I was trying to decide what to make for dinner and thought about making up some Sausage and Pepper’s.  Then I thought about having some pizza instead.  That was when I realized I would just combine the two. 

In the past when I’ve used pizza crust, I’ve told you that I purchase the dough either from the store or one of our local pizza places.  I’m not one of those people who has the talent for bread and dough making.  And, I do believe it’s a talent that some people just seem to have. 

Finally, I decided to try my hand at my own pizza dough, and after making batch after batch of it, I won’t ever be buying a store bought dough again.  Well, actually, that isn’t true.  If it’s on sale or if I’m in a rush I would still buy the store made version.  But, I will admit that working with freshly prepared pizza dough was a wonderful experience.

Here is how I made just one of my most favorite pizza versions.

PIZZA DOUGH:

Pizza Dough recipe from Family Circle  Magazine 10/17/10 issue

  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 1 Packet Active Dry Yeast (* I used Freischmann’s Pizza Dough Yeast)
  • 2 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Salt (I used Kosher, so I added a little extra)
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Place water in a small bowl and stir in the yeast.  Let stand 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups of the flour, sugard and salt.  Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and olive oil.  Stir until dough comes together and forms a ball.  Tur out onto a well floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, adding as much of the remaining 1/4 clour as needed.  Form into a disk and place in a bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil.  Turn disk over and cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise in a warm place for 2 hours. **SEE NOTE**

**NOTE:  If you find yourself making the dough on a cold day and don’t have a warm spot to place it, this is what I have done and it’s worked well.  I turn the oven to 200 degrees until just heated.  Turn off the oven and wait about 15 minutes.  Then I place the bowl with the dough, which I cover with a clean dish cloth, in the oven and allow to rise.  It will usually rise this way in less than an hour. 

TOPPING INGREDIENTS & INSTRUCTIONS:

  • 1 lb. Sweet or Hot Italian Bulk Sausage
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion, sliced
  • 1 1/4 Cups Pizza Sauce (Use your favorite here)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Freshly Grated Mozzarella Cheese (or as much as you and your family prefer)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large sauté pan, break up the sausage and brown completely.  This will take about 15 or more minutes.  You want to make sure the sausage is fully cooked and evenly browned. 

Once the sausage is done, remove it to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. 

In the same pan that you just browned the sausage in, add the sliced onions and peppers.  Depending on how lean your sausage is, you may have enough excess grease left in the pan to cook up the onions and peppers.  If you don’t, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of olive oil and sauté the peppers and onions until just soft.

Take your risen dough and form it into whatever shape you prefer.  I did this in a 16″ pizza pan and it came out perfectly. 

Since the toppings are pre-cooked, I decided to pre-bake the crust for a few minutes before adding the toppings. 

Place the dough in the oven and allow to pre-bake for about 6 – 7 minutes.  Remove from the oven and top the crust with the pizza sauce, sausage, peppers, onions and mozzarella cheese. 

Return the pizza to the oven and cook until the top is bubbly, the cheese melted, and the crust is a golden brown.

Sometimes, if I feel like the bottom of the crust is not cooking to the crispness I like, I will slide the pizza off the pizza pan directly on the oven rack half way through the baking process and finish it that way.  If you are using a pizza stone, you won’t need to do this.

Once done, remove from the oven and allow to set for a few minutes.  Slice into 8 equal pieces using a pizza cutter and serve.  Enjoy!

I’ve shared this recipe over at Kim’s blog (Previously known as “Quit Eating Out”) “Recipes to Run On”.  Check out Kim’s site by clicking on the link below and view some other links to some great bloggers.

 

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!

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

  

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.  

Taco Pizza

My children love taco night.  When I say “taco” I mean the ones you buy in the box that have crispy and soft taco shells, a taco seasoning packet and some taco sauce.  They don’t want adventurous fish or chicken taco’s.  And that’s okay, because I can enjoy that ground meat mixture in a corn shell taco just as much as an elaborate one.

I ended up with leftover taco meat and toppings and decided to switch it up and throw it on top of some pizza dough.  It made my children happy not once but twice this week when dinner was served. 

It also made my life a little easier knowing dinner would be quick and easy to throw together.

You don’t need to have leftovers from taco night to make this, you can just follow the basic recipe below and make the pizza by itself.  Yum!

 

TACO PIZZA:

  • Fresh Pizza Dough (either homemade or purchased) *please do not use the one in the can in the refrigerated section.  Many grocery stores now sell fresh pizza dough if you don’t want to make your own.
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey or beef, browned and drained
  • 1 Packet of Taco Seasoning (follow packet directions for adding to the beef or turkey mixture)
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Freshly Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Taco Sauce (I buy the bottle in the taco section of your grocery store)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a skillet, begin browning your meat.  Drain of all fat, add the taco seasoning packet and the amount of water instructed on the packet. Stir together, remove from the heat and set to the side.

Add a little olive oil to a sheet pan and some to the outside of the pizza dough.  Work your dough into a rectangular shape on the baking sheet.  If you use a pizza stone, which is an even better choice), work the dough out to fit the size stone you are using.  I used a standard size sheet pan and worked my dough to fit the size of the pan.

Using a slotted spoon, cover the top of the pizza dough with the ground meat mixture.  Top that with the cheddar cheese.

Place on the bottom rack of the oven and bake until the bottom is nice and crusty.  If the top of the pizza dough is not browned enough, move it to the top rack and place it under the broiler for a minute or two to make it the color/crispness you are looking for.  Be sure to watch it closely since it takes only seconds to burn!

While the pizza is baking dice up your tomatoes and shred some lettuce. 

As soon as the pizza is done, remove the oven and place on a cutting board.  Top with the tomatoes, lettuce and sprinkle with over some taco sauce, using just enough so that it doesn’t make it too soggy.  You don’t want it dripping in the sauce!

Add whatever other toppings you like such as sliced black olives, diced onion, avocado, cilantro, or sour cream.

Enjoy!

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