Sunday, September 19, 2010

Kielbasa Stroganoff Casserole - Another Gourmet Gibbs Creation

This week, Beef Stroganoff takes on a whole new twist - swap Kielbasa for the beef, add the "Secret Mormon Family Recipe" ingredient - Cream of Mushroom Soup! - and turn it into a casserole. A tasty treat that is sure to please the most finicky of eaters (not including our vegetarian friends - they'll have to wait for another post).

The incredibly simple list of Ingredients:

1 Hillshire Farms (or other brand) Kielbasa/Polish Sausage - available in the meat/deli section
1 large yellow onion - chopped
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 4-oz can Mushrooms - stems and pieces
1 8-oz tub Sour Cream
1 package wide egg noodles
1 and 1/2 cups (more or less) sharp white cheddar cheese

(Kitties like to make sure you're using the correct cheddar... FYI)

Prepare the pasta according to directions - pretty basic - water, a dash of oil and salt, boil/cook, drain. Let the pasta drain in the colander, and set aside the pot you cooked it in - cause you'll want that for mixing up all the good stuff.
Slice the Kielbasa - I like to cut it in half, and then quarter each section. Also chop the onion. In a large fry-pan, brown the Kielbasa. There's no need to add any oil because once the Kielbasa starts to heat it will produce plenty of its own juices (fat!). Stir occasionally, and and add in the onion to brown/saute as well.

Drain the grease as best you can, then using the pasta pan, stir together the Kielbasa and onion, mushrooms (including the liquid from the can), cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, cooked noodles, and one cup of the sliced/shredded cheese -
if you use a yummy sharp white cheddar, it will crumble as you slice it - to just the texture you'll
want for mixing.
Scoop it into a casserole dish, then top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar. Cover and cook in your pre-heated 375 degree oven for 45 -50 minutes.

Uncover and cook for an additional 10 minutes to brown the top of the casserole. Let sit for 20 minutes or so (while you toss your salad - the healthy portion of the meal) - then ENJOY!

And how couldn't you? Look - we finished off nearly half of the casserole... YUMMY.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Scallops, Garden Peppers and Pasta

It's tough to write a blog while you're watching a DVD of "Star Trek" (2009 version) AND you've got a kitty sitting in your lap, expecting every ounce of attention you're not giving to the movie....
But that's what I'm going to attempt to do today. And to make my task easier - and to keep my word from last week's blog - I'm going to share an easy recipe for a delicious gourmet treat: Sauteed Sea Scallops, tossed with mushrooms, scallions, garden peppers and pasta.

For preparation, thaw, rinse, drain and dry the scallops. (I used a bag of frozen scallops, medium sized - a bit smaller than a quarter - that I got at Pavilions for a 60% savings using my Vons Club card and a "super saver" coupon out of the newspaper. I would prefer to use larger scallops, but couldn't pass up the bargain.)

Prepare a box/bag of your favorite pasta - I chose angel hair spaghetti for this meal. When cooked, drain the pasta and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, chop a dozen or so medium sized mushrooms, 3 or 4 scallions, and a selection of garden peppers - Kenny gave me a bag of peppers he collected from his garden, and I chose 3 jalapenos and 2 anaheims. If you don't have your own Kenny to supply you with garden fresh peppers, substitute with store produce.
In a large skillet melt a pat of butter with a splash of olive oil. You can use just butter, but the olive oil combo makes it just a tad "healthier." DO NOT use just olive oil - you'll want the flavor of the butter sauteed into your scallops. Place the scallops in a single layer in the heated butter and saute 3 to 4 minutes - each side. Be careful not to overcook the scallops or they'll get rubbery and chewy - but still be delicious. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, melt a little more butter and oil - then saute the mushrooms, scallions and peppers.

Stir in the cooked pasta and mix well; then add and stir in the cooked scallops. "Plate" and enjoy!
If you do splurge and use the large scallops, I would mix just the pasta and veggies - plate that, then place the finished scallops on top before serving.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Football and Food

Labor Day! Just the thought of it conjures up images of sauteed scallops with mushrooms, garden peppers and angel hair pasta - doesn't it? No, it does not, and that's why this post will NOT cover that; maybe next week.

What it DOES conjure up is images of football and barbecue... and in a shameless display of laziness, I'm going to post photos of our Labor Day weekend festivities of Football and Food. We went to Salt Lake City to watch the UTAH UTES beat up on the Pittsburg Panthers on the football field, then returned to Los Angeles for a Labor Day Barbecue at the "Baker Ranch" - and that's what I'm going to post. Next week we'll talk about scallops.

The Utah/Pitt football game was a real heart-stopper, with the Utes taking the win in overtime. Pre-game we made our usual stop at Hires Big H for a burger. We attended a wonderful pre-game Tailgate party in front of the beautiful stadium. And the next day, we made our usual stop at La Frontera for the best Mexican food available. Brandy (names may or may not have been changed to protect the identity of persons who read the blog, but have not yet become official "followers" of the blog) suggested I post photos of our Utah-weekend food, but alas, I neglected to take photos.
We returned to Hollywood on Sunday, in time for a Labor Day Barbecue at the "Baker Ranch"
- where we
enjoyed Beets with Goat Cheese (yes, I made those - see past posts); Chips and Dip; Deviled Eggs ala Anna and Becky; Bleu-Cheesey-Poofs ala Mark; Burgers; Slaw; Cheesey Potatos; Tomato, Mozzerella and Cuke Salad; among other yummy delicious goodness.
I ate so much, I can hardly write anything more.... so I won't.
But I must thank Mark for the fine "ride" that we had to the barbecue. Thanks Mark!