Polenta With Sausage and Onion

Butternut Squash Polenta With Sausage and Onion

This is the topping that we made to go on the Butternut Squash Polenta. It’s one of those really satisfying, but incredibly simple recipes that barely takes any prep. Once you’ve got the polenta going, you can relax, have a little wine (since you’ve already opened it to make the sauce so, why not?), do a little chopping, and you’re ready to cook.

There aren’t a lot of ingredients in this so use the best quality sausage you can get. It works well with pork but I really love using turkey sausage from DiPaola‘s. You can get it at several farmers’ markets around New York City but sadly, we have’t seen it around here yet.

A great vegetarian option would be to use cannellini beans. Rinse them well and sauté them with a little olive oil, garlic, rosemary and chile flakes. 

This was adapted from Melissa Clark’s version. I wanted a bit of a sauce to go with it so I added the wine and mustard. The result is a delicious, savory, quick and easy dinner.

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Garlic Fried Rice with Eggs and Chile Vinegar

All you need is day-old steamed rice, some good garlic, and an egg to make a quick breakfast, lunch or supper – garlic fried rice. 

Garlic Fried Rice with Eggs and Chile Vinegar
What to do with: leftover rice? Garlic Fried Rice with Eggs and Chile Vinegar

Blah blah, winter. Blah blah snow. Blah blah thiswinterismakingmeinsane. Okay, obligatory whining done. Whew, I actually feel better.

Rice! (I love a good non-sequitor). Is there a a container of leftover rice in your refrigerator right now? If so, you are in luck, my friend. Why, you ask? Because your mission (a delicious, quick and easy breakfast) should you choose to accept it, involves that rice, some garlic and an egg.

Basically, this is a garlic fried rice recipe from the Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook, that I used to make all the time. I’m pretty sure the recipe was actually called the Philippine Breakfast and it’s so simple, I didn’t even need to look it up to remember how make it again.

Don’t be put off by the garlic. It gets lovely and nutty when cooked this way. Not pungent at all.  I like to serve it with a few slices of avocado, a lime wedge and a sprinkle of Maldon salt. Matt loves it with a squirt of sriracha.  

Garlic Fried Rice with Eggs and Chile Vinegar
Chile Vinegar
Nerd Tips:
  • Be careful not to burn the garlic. Burned garlic is horrifying and if you really scorch it you should really throw it out, clean the pan and give it another go.
  • Garlic fried rice works with pretty much any kind of rice (except wild rice which isn’t really rice at all).
  • If you like things extra-spicy, try using a habanero pepper, but don’t sue me if you burn your bits and pieces off.
  • The pepper vinegar gets better and better as it sits, so make extra and store it in the fridge for next time.

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Linguine with leftover mussels and clams

Linguini with leftover mussels and clams
Using up leftover mussels and clams is a snap with this linguini dish.

Steamed mussels and clams are perfect for a crowd. Compared to a lot of seafood, they’re cheap, they’re a cinch to make and best of all, tasty. I also really like informal dinner parties and you can’t get more casual than everyone digging and dunking out of a big bowl in the middle of the table. Slurping broth from a clam shell is a great equalizer.

Over the weekend, we had our friends, Karen and Tom, over for dinner and we made a big pot of Garlicky Mussels and Clams along with a Corn, Tomato and Basil salad. With some good bread, a decent bottle of wine (or 3), it was a good night.

We did end up with a lot left over since someone couldn’t make it (‘sup Eric! You were expecting a leftover delivery, huh?). Well, we selfishly kept the leftovers to make this the next night. The best part is, it only takes as long as the pasta takes to cook.

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Garlicky Mussels and Clams

I hated fish so much as a kid that I would fake allergies, stomach aches, symptoms of the plague to keep from having to eat anything from the sea (except seaweed which I loved, oddly enough). Every so often, my parents would take my brother, Nick, and I fishing off of Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn. We would have to wake up at 4:30am to get to the charter boat on time, which (in my memory) was always filled with cranky old Brooklyn mobsters.

Being on the water was exhilarating though, and I loved the excited chatter that went around the boat when anyone felt a nibble on the line.  At least once, I was the only person who caught anything which would fill me with dread because that meant, at some point, we would be expected to eat it.

family412

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