Sunday, September 5, 2010

Take it Easy

Life is tough.

Cooking doesn't have to be. Sure, creating my own dishes seems overwhelming as I sit here and watch an episode of "Top Chef." But the reality is, no one, not even these contestants or judges, eat the kind of food they make on the show when they get home from a long day at work each night. I think the bread and butter of cooking are quick weeknight meals...the kind of meal you can put together in a half hour from start to finish and still sit down and enjoy afterwards.

This recipe was born out of my inexperience and need for convenience during my first year in LA. My apartment did not have an oven or a stove so I really had to put some thought into how I was going to make my own meals. I had a single plug-in burner so I couldn't ever have 2 pots that needed to be on the stove at the same time. My oven was smaller than the size of a microwave so I constantly needed to figure out half of recipes I would follow so they could fit into my mini-casserole dish.

This recipe can be altered so many different ways. I used to leave the potato out when I was watching my carb-intake. You could substitute the potato for a sweet potato. You could add a jalepeno for some added heat. You could use italian sausage and throw in some oregano, tomato paste or sauce and fresh tomatoes to give it an italian twist. Leave out the potatoes and put it over rice. Chop everything up ahead of time to cut your cooking time in half! Zach and I found this great little spice store in Santa Monica so I experimented with seasoning this dish with some smoked chili powder and smoked seas salt. Sausage is so flavorful so as long as you give the vegetables a chance to marry with the rich flavors of the sausage, you really cannot go wrong. Enjoy!

Skillet Sausage and Veggie Hash

(serves 4)

1 Package fully cooked chicken sausage such (4 links in a package, 12 -14 oz total), sliced across into 1/4 inch pieces
1 large head of broccoli (cut into florets)
1 red bell pepper, cubed
3/4 lb potatoes, cubed
1 white onion, cubed
4-5 cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
sea salt (to taste)
Olive oil for sautéing
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)

In a large pot, submerge potatoes in cold water and add a pinch of salt.
Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil.
Boil potatoes uncovered until just tender throughout (about 10 minutes).
Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

While potatoes are boiling, add 1 tbsp olive oil to a large skillet over med-high heat.
Add the sliced sausage to the skillet, and saute until slightly browned.
Remove sausage from skillet, and set aside.
Add another tbsp olive oil to the skillet with the juices from the sausage, saute the boiled potatoes until they start to brown slightly.
Add the onions to the potatoes and continue to saute until onions are almost tender (about 4 minutes)
Add the rest of the vegetables to the skillet and continue cooking over medium-high heat until just tender (about 8 minutes).
Add the sausage back into the skillet, and mix well with the vegetables.
Turn heat down to medium-low, add the smoked paprika and continue mixing sausage around with the vegetables, giving the flavors a chance to meld.
Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste, and serve in a big ole' bowl!

No comments:

Post a Comment