Catching Up With a Dublin Coddle

This a long over due post!  I cooked this meal for St Patrick’s Day weekend.  So yes, I’m behind in my posts.  Tax season is over once more and I’ve been doing a lot of catching up and getting things organised.  It was so nice to have time to be outside and see sunlight.  My office is windowless and joyless.

Since I last posted we’ve been enjoying hosting our exchange student from Denmark.  Who isn’t a fan of Danish food.  What are the chances!?  She loves Italian food but is willing to have me cook some Danish food here and there.  She also fits in at our house very well.  Very smart and a great sense of humour.  It’s turning out to be a fabulous experience for all of us.

Our student arrived on St Patrick’s Day weekend and I wanted share some of our traditions.  But I also needed something that was easy to put together because I was working 6 days a week.  The Dublin Coddle fit the bill.

Dublin coddle 1 2017

Of course I changed the way to do it a bit.  Mainly to make this even easier and quicker to make.  If you are inclined you can cook the bacon prior to assembling but it also works if you don’t.

Preheat the oven to 425F/220C.

In an oven proof dish begin layering potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic, all thinly sliced.

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Then layer thinly sliced sausages and bacon.  I chose chorizo sausage for a bit of heat.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Dublin coddle 3 2017

Repeat the layers.  Add beef or vegetable broth.  At this point you can have it more stew like or not.  I wanted it to have a more soup consistency so I added about 4 cups/32 oz of vegetable broth.

Dublin coddle 4 2017

Cover and bake until the vegetables soften.  Remove from the oven and grate fresh cheddar cheese over the dish.  Leave the cover off and bake until the top browns.Dublin coddle 5 2017

Of course I completely forgot to bake the soda bread to go with this.  Only remembered as I was serving the meal.  That would have been a nice pairing.

Now, if you don’t mind, I have a lot of blogs to catch up on.  🙂

 

 

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Spicy Sausage and Bursting with Pride

It’s been quite the week with the kids and the end of year celebrations.  Even though I’m not a fan of so called graduations at a level below the end of high school I still enjoy cheering them on.  Our son had his 5th grade recognition and received the President’s Award for Academic Improvement.  Each child had to do a mini speech about their favourite memory from school.  They did really well.  It’s not easy speaking in front of a crowd.  And the poor kid was struggling through a cold from hell.

Our daughter had her 8th grade recognition yesterday.  Somehow she managed to go four years straight without missing a day of school.  I have no idea what that is like.  I was always sick growing up.  She also achieved high honours 11 out of the 12 quarters.  We are so proud of our kids and what they have achieved so far.

It’s quite something to see how they are doing on their journey.

We had a chilly day a week ago and my son requested pasta so comfort food was on deck.  A local farm had some lovely jalapeno sausages.  Good ones too, not like the mealy ones we kept getting at the co-op.  So I’ll have to buy them as she has them!

Because of the jalapeno I wanted to go with Mexican flavours to highlight the heat.

Jalapeno sausage and pasta 1 2015

Begin by browning the sausages in the skillet with a bit of olive oil.  Brown all the sides but don’t worry about cooking all the way through.  They’ll be finished off in the dish.

Jalapeno sausage and pasta 2 2015

Set aside and add a few cloves of garlic, chopped, and a few mushrooms, sliced.  Saute until the garlic is softened.  Then add chopped peppers and scallions.  Cook for a minute or so then add a chopped tomato.

Jalapeno sausage and pasta 3 2015

Add a cup of homemade stock and bring to a simmer.  Slice the sausages and add to the mixture.  Next add a tablespoon of lime juice, a tablespoon of chili powder, a couple of teaspoons of cumin, and salt and pepper to season.  Chop up some fresh cilantro and stir in at the end. Once the sausage is cooked through add the pasta and toss well.

Jalapeno sausage and pasta 4 2015

Top with a bit of sour cream and shredded cheese.  I really liked this as comfort food.  Loads of flavour and colour.  And it chased away the chill.  🙂

Homemade Sausage Ravioli with Arrabiata Sauce

For Father’s Day we like to cook my husband dinner.  Just like they do for me for Mother’s Day, we come up with a menu and the kids help out with the food prep.  It was such a gorgeous weekend.  We finally got some tennis in.  We managed to get a few volleys back and forth so we felt good about that.  Plus we made a dent in the garden chores.

For my birthday my kids had given me a ravioli form so I wanted to try it out.  I need to practice with it but I did make homemade sausage ravioli and as my husband loves spicy sauces I did an easy arrabiata sauce.  This meal did take a few hours so it is definitely a weekend deal.

I started with the ravioli stuffing as it had to cool before mixing it with cheese and stuffing the pasta.  Finely chop half a cup of onion and 4 cloves of garlic.  I also grabbed thyme from the garden.

Sausage Ravioli 1 2014

In a skillet heat up a tablespoon or so of olive oil and saute the garlic, onion, and a couple of teaspoons of fresh thyme.  After the onion has softened add 1/2 a lb of Sweet Italian sausage or Hot Italian sausage.  Whatever you have on hand.  Add 1/3 a cup of nice red wine.  Cook until the meat is cooked.

Sausage Ravioli 2 2014

Set aside to cool.  Prep the homemade pasta and let it rest.  Once the sausage has cooled mix in half a cup of ricotta cheese and half a cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese.  After the pasta has rested roll it out in sheets.  Place one sheet on the ravioli mold and create the dents.

Sausage Ravioli 3 2014

Fill with the sausage mixture.

Sausage Ravioli 4 2014

Coat with beaten egg. Place another sheet over the sausage mixture and then roll over the pasta.  I struggled with this bit.  I had to use a pasta cutter to separate the individual raviolis.  And it was a struggle to keep the air out.

Sausage Ravioli 5 2014

Chill the ravioli in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.  For the sauce saute onion and garlic in olive oil.

Sausage Ravioli 6 2014

Add 1/2 a cup of the same red wine used for the sausage.  Add crushed or diced tomatoes.  I could have used a 14 oz can but I used a 28 oz can and it was a bit much but my husband loves sauce so it didn’t go to waste!  Bring to a simmer and add a few teaspoons of red pepper flakes as well as salt and pepper to taste.

Sausage Ravioli 7 2014

Add a handful of basil near the end of cooking to the dish.  Start cooking the ravioli at this point in boiling salted water as it only needs to cook for about 4 minutes.  Once it is cooked add it to the sauce.

Sausage Ravioli 9 2014It knocked our son’s socks off but we all loved the simple sauce with the ravioli.  And we got to eat outside and enjoy the lovely evening.

Hot Italian Sausage with Apples and Sage

It’s been a fun week so far.  Last night a few of the ladies from our PTA decided we needed a girl’s night out.  It was a lot of fun and we stayed out past 10 on a week night!  LOL.  Today our school put on a volunteer tea for those of us that have been volunteering with the PTA and other school activities.  It was lovely with iced tea and baked goods.  A treat in the middle of the week and I got to see the kids on an off kid week.  Bonus!  Now if the pending thunderstorms hold off until we get the dogs walked, well, we’ll just be riding high.

At our farmer’s market I bought some ground hot Italian sausage and I wanted to do some meatballs.  I saw an idea for using apples and sage.  Once again though the pin was considered spam and didn’t give me a recipe.  That’s ok though, I was able to come up with something.  🙂

I made our homemade pasta first so it was ready to go.

I was pleased to see our sage was doing well again this year so I had some fresh sage at hand.  The plants only last about three years or so.

Apple Sage Sausages 1 2014

Peel and chop about 1/2 a cup of apple.  Give the rest to the optimistic dogs at your feet.  I swear the mantra is “drop it, drop it, drop it”.   In a small bowl mix about a pound of the sausage, the apple, chopped sage, and salt and pepper to taste.

Apple Sage Sausages 2 2014

Form the sausage into balls and heat up olive oil in a skillet.  Brown both sides.

Apple Sage Sausages 3 2014 Apple Sage Sausages 4 2014

Bake the meatballs at 375F/190C until cooked.  In the meantime prepare the sauce.  Chop up some onion and a couple cloves of garlic and saute in the pan that browned the meatballs.  Slice up mushrooms and add to the mixture and saute for a few minutes.

Apple Sage Sausages 5 2014

Add a cup of reisling and a cup of chicken stock and bring to a simmer.  Reduce about a third.

Apple Sage Sausages 6 2014

Add about 3/4 cup of milk or cream to the dish.  Bring to a low simmer but do not boil.  Add the meatballs and the cooked pasta.

Apple Sage Sausages 7 2014

Grate fresh parmesan cheese over the dish and serve.  I do like the pairing of sage and apple and it went well with the spice of the sausage.

Jambalaya – The Cure for Odds and Sods

I usually try to be very good with using the ingredients on hand in an efficient way.  Pick a protein and do a few meals with it, that sort of thing.  Once in awhile we go overboard with different things to eat and suddenly I’m faced with several things that need to be used up if we don’t want it all to go to waste.  This week I opened the fridge to be faced with a chicken breast, some kielbasa, and rabbit sausage.  What to do, what to do.

I’ve never been to New Orleans but I love the food and music.  There is a sense that corsets were never as tight as they were up here.  There is a great spirit to the food and music.  It’s on my bucket list to swing by.  🙂  I do love a good jambalaya and thought it would be perfect to use up the different proteins in one dish.  It is also a very easy dish to throw together on a week night when there are sports and school meetings.

Our pepper plants are still going strong so I grabbed a few hot peppers to use.

Jambalaya 1 013

I chopped up half an onion, several cloves of garlic, the peppers, and the meat.   In a skillet with hot olive oil I sauteed the onions and garlic for a few minutes then added the peppers and the meat.

Jambalaya 2 2013

While this was cooking I sliced several tomatoes from our garden that are in the good cooking stage.  In other words, not good and firm for salads but perfect for stewing.  Again, didn’t want them to go to waste!

Jambalaya 3 2013

I added about a cup of chicken stock and brought it to a simmer.  Then I added a couple of teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, some oregano, and a cajun seasoning mix.  Stir and simmer.

Jambalaya 4 2013

I cooked some mushroom and herb rice pilaf almost to being done and then added it to the jambalaya to absorb the flavours and finish cooking.  Then it is ready to serve.

Jambalaya 5 2013

The flavours were hearty but not heavy on the stomach which was good as my son had to dash off for an evening of running round.  🙂

Sausage Rolls

Whenever we head back to England for a couple of weeks I always have a list of food to eat.  All the foods we can’t get stateside.  Fish and chips, cornish pasties, chocolates, pork pies, and sausage rolls!  Not to mention the crumbles my MIL makes.   Surprise, surprise I usually gain a few pounds and then have to Zumba like crazy.  But it’s worth it.  🙂

We had friends over a few nights ago and I made sausage rolls as finger food.  I don’t make it often because there are only so many Zumba classes I can take!  But these are super easy to make and very yummy.

Preheat the oven to 425F.

To start with chop half an onion and saute in melted butter.

Once the onions are soft let them cool a bit.  In a mixing bowl add about a pound of ground pork, some fennel seeds, salt and pepper, oregano and basil.

Freshly grate parmesan cheese.  About 3/4 cup will do and add to the bowl.

Add the onions then mix.  Don’t be shy dig in with your hands!  They will clean up.  🙂

Roll out some puff pastry.  One of these days I’ll learn how to make it from scratch but until then store bought it is.  Place a line of sausage onto the pastry.

Roll it once to surround the sausage and then use a knife to cut the pastry.  Cut the roll in half and place on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and flaky and the sausage is cooked through.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

I’ll be on the road this week so it will be a bit before I do my next post.  See you soon!