Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Linguini Portuguese

This is a recipe I've made for years in one incarnation or another. It is based on a dish originally prepared when I first left home way back in 20th century. At that time it was an informal concoction and all about speed and convenience. Basically I added cooked ground chourico to prepared spaghetti sauce and served it over pasta. I'm certain there was no innovation in that plenty of people have done it.

In the preparation below, you'll make your own sauce from canned tomatoes and you'll add both pimenta salgada (recipe) and banana peppers. The peppers offer some great flavor and and textural contrast. The pimento salgada also mean you don't have to add any additional salt to this dish. You can substitute other peppers for this dish, but try to stay in the same neighborhood as the ones specified.
If you're a fan of chourico, you're going to love this Portuguese-Italian fusion dish. If you're not a fan of chourico... ...WHY?

Linguini Portuguese

2-3 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion (chopped)
2 lbs. of chourico (ground)
3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
28 oz. can of ground tomatoes
12 oz. can of tomato sauce
2 medium bay leaves
Black pepper to taste
1 medium pimenta salgada (de-stemmed split in half and deseeded and placed in a bowl of cold water)
4 Tbs chopped parsley
Pickled sweet banana peppers (de-seeded, and sliced in rings)

In a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil begins to shimmer add the onions and cook stirring often until they begin to turn translucent.

Add the ground chourico and cook stirring frequently until it breaks up.

Add the garlic and cook stirring frequently for about 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to burn garlic.

Add both cans of tomatoes and the bay leaves and stir until everything is well mixed. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then reduce to a slow simmer for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Test, add black pepper to taste (no salt), cover and simmer on low for an additional 20 minutes.

While the sauce simmers, boil water and prepare the pasta in the normal way.

While the pasta water is boiling, remove the pimenta salgada from the water and discard the water. Rince the pimenta salgada off a little and then slice in thin strips about 1-1/2" long.

Add the pimenta salgada strips to the sauce during the last ten minutes of simmering.

Finish cooking the pasta and drain.

Add the parsley to the sauce and stir in quickly.

Plate the pasta and top with a generous portion of the sauce. Add about 1/4 cup of the sliced banana peppers on top. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Recipe: Spicy Breakfast Sausage Patties

Breakfast sausage patties: split and toast an English muffin, add a cooked egg on there and top it with a sausage patty (add a slice of cheese if you're a risk taker) and KAPOW: A really delicious breakfast sandwich.

I make these with ground turkey to keep them on the healthy side, but like all things made with ground turkey: ground pork is better! So, if fat and cholesterol are not big concerns for you, by all means go "oink" instead of "gobble" with this recipe. I also make a few months supply ahead of time and keep them in the freezer (separated with wax paper) until needed. They are usually needed every Saturday and Sunday morning for breakfast in my house!

Spicy Breakfast Sausage Patties

2 tsp dried sage
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper (freshly ground)
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
2 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp smoked sweet paprika
1 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like them spicier)
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 pounds ground pork or ground turkey

Combine all the ingredients except the meat in a bowl and blend thoroughly.

Place the ground pork/turkey in a large bowl. Add the spice blend and cut it well into the mixture before thoroughly mixing it in with your hands.

When the mix is thoroughly blended form it in to patties by rolling it into balls and then flattening it out. When deciding on a size be sure to allow for shrinkage during cooking.

To cook, place a griddle or a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté the patties flipping once until cooked through.