Recipe: Wash Day Red Beans and Rice with Turkey Sausage

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Uptown Red Beans and Rice with Turkey SausageEstimated Cost:  $7.00

Prep Time:  5 minutes

Cooking Time:  30 minutes

Serves:  5

Red beans and rice is a flagship dish of Louisiana Creole Cuisine (not originally of Cajun Cuisine) traditionally made on Mondays with red beans, vegetables (bell pepper, onion and celery), spices, (thyme,  cayenne pepper, and bay leaf) and pork bones as left over from Sunday dinner, cooked together slowly in a pot and served over rice.   Monday was typically wash day in this region and a pot of beans could sit on the stove and simmer while the women were busy scrubbing clothes.

Tuesday is usually my wash day, and as I don’t have anyone to wash the clothes, Wash Day Red Beans and Rice with Turkey Sausage is a perfect meal choice.

2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 lb. rolled turkey sausage, cut in 1/4-inch slices
1 pkg. (8 oz.) dried red beans and rice
3 1/4 cups water
chopped green onions (optional)

1. Heat oil in saute pan over medium-high heat. Add turkey sausage; brown on both sides.

2. Stir in rice mix and water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally.

Mike’s comments:

I’ve always been a big fan of Zatarain’s products, and always use their Red Beans and Rice package in this recipe. I’ve found other brands to be inferior.


Recipe: Old Bay Herb Crusted Shrimp

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Old Bay Herb Crusted ShrimpEstimated Cost:  $13.00

Prep Time:  15 minutes

Cooking Time:  12 minutes

Yields:  16 appetizer servings

I grew up in a family that used lot’s of
Old Bay seasoning.  These wonderful appetizers won’t last long after being served. They are super easy to prepare, and made my mouth water as I prepared this post.  A few words on Old Bay Seasoning from the Old Bay web site:

There are two things you need to know about OLD BAY Seasoning: 1) it’s great on seafood and 2) it’s great on everything else. For 60 years it’s ruled the spice rack as The Definitive Seafood Spice, with a world-famous blend of 18 herbs and spices.  In Chesapeake Bay, it’s on every dining room table, nestled between the salt and pepper shakers. But it’s more than that. It’s a time-honored tradition. When somebody whips out the little yellow can, you know you’re in for a good time.

2 lbs. lg. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 Tbs. Old Bay Seasoning
1 Tbs. oregano leaves
2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 lemon, juiced
5 Tbs. olive oil, divided

1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine Old Bay, oregano, black pepper, garlic and onion powders, cumin, chili powder, lemon juice and 4 tablespoons olive oil. Add shrimp. Seal and toss well to coat. Refrigerate 2 hours.

2. Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in large non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat. Drain shrimp and add to saute pan in batches. Cook 2 or 3 minutes on each side or until shrimp turn pink.

3. Swipe a few shrimp for yourself, then transfer to a large serving platter. (Once served, these crispy treats won’t last very long.)

Mike’s comments:

The first time I served Old Bay Herb Crusted Shrimp, I did so with cocktail sauce for dipping. I found the sauce was an unnecessary step. These shrimp are so darn good by themselves no dipping sauce is required.

Original recipe source: Old Bay Recipes

Recipe: Veggie Fajitas

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Veggie FajitasEstimated Cost:  $9.50

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Cooking Time:  10 minutes

Serves:  4

As one who tries vegetarian meals, generally being pulled while fighting and crying, I really enjoy sharing the meat-free recipes I love.   I don’t mean to diminish the merit of living a vegetarian life, I have great respect for my friends who do.  The ethical and health reasons are more then valid, in my mind.

With that said, these Veggie Fajitas rock!  I eat two and I am more then satisfied, their ease of preparation is balanced with the fact you can feed four for under ten bucks!  Delicious, easy, hearty, and affordable – put Veggie Fajitas on your next planned menu.

8 flour tortillas (8 in.)
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 yellow squash, halved and sliced into strips
1/2 cup salsa Verde (green salsa)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
sour cream (optional)

1. Wrap tortillas in aluminum foil, and place in oven. Turn heat to 350°F. Bake for 15 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, red and green peppers, and garlic; stir to coat with oil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir squash into vegetables. Stir in salsa, cumin, and salt. Cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tortillas are ready.

3. Spoon vegetable mixture evenly down the centers of warm tortillas, and sprinkle with cheese and cilantro if desired. Roll up tortillas, and serve with sour cream on the side.

Mike’s comments:

If you want to bring the heat with your Veggie Fajitas, simply add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped jalapenos when you cook the onions. Feel free to substitute your favorite red salsa, if you prefer, for the salsa Verde.

Recipe: Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken

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Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs ChickenEstimated Cost:  $13.50

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Marination Time:  2 hours

Cooking  Time:  45 minutes

Serves:  4

An Outback Steakhouse, non-beef specialty.  Alice Springs Chicken is grilled chicken breast and bacon smothered in mushrooms, melted Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, with a delicious honey mustard sauce.  As much fun as it is to head down-under to your local Outback (they are always down-under, regardless of direction) this restaurant copy-cat will allow you to prepare them at home.

Honey Mustard Marinade
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbs. butter
8 slices of bacon
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
parsley flakes

1. Use an electric mixer to combine the Dijon mustard, honey, 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, and lemon juice. Mix for about 30 seconds.

2. Place the chicken and 2/3 cup of the honey mustard mixture into a resealable plastic bag or sealed container; toss to cover chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Chill the remaining 1/3 cup (approximately) honey mustard sauce in a separate container, in fridge.

3. In a saute pan, over medium heat, fry the bacon. Remove crisp bacon and place on paper towel. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings in saute pan, discarding the rest.

4. After the chicken has marinated, preheat oven to 375°F.

5. Reheat the saute pan with the bacon drippings over medium heat. Remove the chicken breasts from resealable bag and discard marinade (not the reserved 1/3 cup). Sear the chicken breasts in the saute pan for 3 or 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Transfer breasts to a 13×9-inch baking dish.

6. Add the mushrooms and butter to the saute pan. Saute mushrooms for 6-8 minutes or until they start to turn a dark-reddish brown.

7. Season both sides of each chicken breast with salt, pepper, and a dash of paprika. Space evenly in baking dish. Top each breast, crosswise, with 2 pieces of bacon. Spoon the sauteed mushrooms over the chicken breasts evenly.

8. Spread 1/4 cup of the Monterey Jack cheese evenly over each breast, followed by 1/4 cup of the Cheddar cheese.

9. Bake at 375°F for 7 to 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Sprinkle each breast with parsley flakes before serving. Divide the extra chilled honey mustard marinade and use as a dipping sauce with each serving.

Mike’s comments:

Coming from a family of non-shroom types, we substitute the 2 cups of mushrooms with 1 large, sliced, onion. It won’t take quite as long to saute the substituted onions in step #6, probably 4-5 minutes.

This recipe takes a little longer then most of the recipes on Kitchen Survival, but trust me, the results are worth the extra effort – and then some!

Big thanks to Outback Steakhouse and Todd Wilbur’s “Top Secret Recipes” for the original recipe hack, a cookbook which I highly recommend.

Recipe: Easy Shrimp Scampi

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Easy Shrimp ScampiEstimated Cost: $10.00

Prep Time:   5 minutes

Marination Time:  15 minutes

Cooking Time:  5 minutes

Serves:  4

On the table in under 30 minutes and for just ten bucks, Easy Shrimp Scampi is a weeknight all-star.  Time is saved by using a bottled marinade from the grocery store but if you have more time you could easily substitute a homemade equivalent.  See my comments below for a few suggestions.

1/2 cup Lawry’s Herb & Garlic Marinade with Lemon Juice, divided
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley OR 2 tsp. parsley flakes
angel hair pasta

1. Prepare angel hair pasta per package directions.

2. Pour 1/4 cup of the marinade over shrimp in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Remove shrimp from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade.

3. Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add shrimp; cook and stir 4 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Add remaining 1/4 cup marinade; cook and stir 1 minute. Serve over angel hair pasta and sprinkle with parsley.

Mike’s comments:

I’ve been a long standing fan of everything Lawry’s. From their wonderful steak house
The Prime Rib” in Chicago, where if you finish your prime rib you can ask for seconds at no extra charge, to their outstanding line of culinary products, Lawry’s just knows how to do things right. It’s for these reasons I use their Herb & Garlic Marinade with Lemon Juice marinade in this recipe.

That’s not to say you can’t substitute your own homemade marinade, you certainly can. If you’d like some tips (with recipes) for homemade marinades, check out my articles: Marinade Magic on the Grill and Marinade Magic Revisited.

Recipe: Easy Baked Pork Chops

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Easy Baked Pork ChopsEstimated Cost:  $13.00

Prep Time:  30 minutes

Cooking Time:  1 hour 30 minutes

Serves:  6

A Sunday supper staple, at my house, Easy Baked Pork Chops are sure to please your entire family.  This recipe really locks in the flavors and keeps the chops super moist – they almost melt in your mouth!

6 pork chops
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. seasoning salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups Panko Italian-style bread crumbs
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup white wine

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Rinse pork chops, pat dry, and season with garlic powder and seasoning salt. Place the beaten eggs in a small bowl. Dredge the pork chops lightly in flour, dip in the egg, and coat liberally with the bread crumbs.

3. Heat the oil in a large saute pan, over medium-high heat. Fry the pork chops 5 minutes per side, or until the breading appears well browned. Transfer the chops to a 13×9-inch baking dish, and cover with foil.

4. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour. While baking, combine the cream of mushroom soup, milk and white wine in a medium bowl. After the pork chops have baked for an hour, cover them with the soup mixture. Replace foil, and bake for another 30 minutes.

Mike’s comments:

I usually substitute the cream of mushroom soup with cream of chicken. I’ve had really good results with this recipe mod.

Recipe: Super Sausage Party Dip


Super Sausage Party DipEstimated Cost:  $7.50

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Cooking Time:  10 minutes

Serves:  14

I love serving, and eating, hors d’oeuvres.  Whether it’s a party, a pot-luck at work, or a summer picnic, Super Sausage Party Dip is always a favorite. Although it’s best served hot, it’s still yummy at room temperature.  I used to make a double batch for work pot-lucks.  I would prepare the recipe as described below, and then transfer it to a slow cooker. The low heat setting is perfect for keeping the dip warm. I was always able to unplug the slow cooker after an hour as the dip had disappeared!

12 oz. Italian pork sausage
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 can (15.5 oz.) Manwich Bold Sloppy Joe Sauce
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup water
tortilla chips

1. Cook sausage and onion in large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until sausage is crumbled and no longer pink, stirring occasionally; drain.

2. Add sloppy Joe sauce, cream cheese and water. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring occasionally.

3. Serve with tortilla chips.

Mike’s comments:

You can tweak the heat-level of the dip by choosing either mild or hot Italian sausage. If you really want to bring the burn, add 1 tablespoon of chopped jalapeno pepper in when you brown the sausage and onion.

Original recipe source: ManWich Easy Recipes

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