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: tomatoes

Mussels In Spicy Tomato Sauce

I’m going to share something weird about myself with you today.  There are many weird things about myself, so this is really just one of them. I hate clams.  Don’t even eat an oyster in front of me.  Blech!

But, I LOVE mussels, and this is my most favorite way to eat them.  Simmered in some butter, wine and garlic isn’t bad either, but in a spicy tomato sauce will always be my first choice.

We made a large bowl of these and sat out on the deck just picking them clean. Delish!

MUSSELS IN SPICY TOMATO SAUCE:

  • 2 lbs. Cleaned Live Mussels **See below how to clean mussels
  • 1 – 24 oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Small Onion, chopped
  • 4 Cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
  • 10 – 12 Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Oregano, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt, to taste

Begin the tomato sauce in a large skillet.  Add the oil, onion and garlic and sauté until just before the garlic begins to brown.

Add the wine and mix well, scraping up the bottom of the pan. 

Add the crushed tomatoes, red pepper flakes, oregano and salt to taste.  Stir well, place on simmer and cover, stirring occasionally so you don’t burn the bottom of the sauce.

Go through the bag of mussels and discard any mussels that have cracked and broken shells.  If you have any mussels that are slightly open, don’t discard them right away by assuming they are dead.  Tap the mussel several times.  If it’s still alive it will close immediately.  If it doesn’t close after a few taps, discard the mussel since it’s no longer alive.

In a large bowl filled with cold water (I actually use 1/2 of my double-sided sink), cover the mussels with cold water and allow to soak for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Drain the mussels and remove the beards. The beard is a tough stringy substance stuck on the outside of some of the mussels. Grasp the edge of the beard and pull down firmly towards the hinge of the mussel and remove.

Scrub the outside of each mussel with a hard brush to remove any debris or barnacles on the outside of each shell.  Place in a colander and give them a final rinse under cold water and set to the side for a few minutes.

Add your fresh basil to the tomato sauce, stir well, and prepare to add your mussels.  Add all the mussels to the tomato sauce, stir gently and cover immediately.  Keep covered for 3 minutes.  Remove the cover, give another gentle stir, cover and allow to cook for an extra 3 to 4 minutes.  You don’t want to over cook these for any longer than a total of 7 minutes or the muscles will turn tough and chewy. 

Once done, remove any mussels that did not open and discard.  Take the remaining mussels and gently spoon them into a large dish and cover with sauce.  Serve with some sliced lemon for squeezing, sit back and enjoy.

Make sure to use that crusty Italian bread to soak up all that delicious sauce.

You could always serve these over some cooked spaghetti, but I prefer them just the way they are.

  

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

  

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!

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!

%d bloggers like this: