Saturday, March 11, 2017

Just text: An Extraordinarily Quick Dish for Crisis Nights

We all have them - those days that go to pieces when the dinner plan called for a dish that took more time than was humanly available. Araminta created this dish some time ago, and Clara cooked it for us the other night. It was my night to cook but suddenly there were two extra events that needed me to drive children in entirely different directions. It also was perilously close to grocery shopping day, but there were sausages in the fridge and miraculously, still some mushrooms, so Clara remembered this creation and it was light and so delicious and almost instant food! The flavor is light and pickle-y and satisfying.

Araminta's Artichoke-Sausage Dish 

10 Italian sausages (large)
2 packages mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 33 oz jar artichoke hearts (we love the Kirkland brand at Costco)

Start rice cooking. Cook the sausages, then slice them. In a skillet, saute mushrooms in a bit of olive oil. Add sliced sausages, artichoke hearts, and a splash of the artichoke heart juice from the jar. Stir until ingredients are warmed through. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Serve over rice.

These amounts serve 8, but I think it should warm over fine (I wouldn't know, as we devoured it all).

Order of operations for speed:
Start rice
Dump sausages in pan and get them cooking
Get out other ingredients and spices
Flip sausages as needed
Chop mushrooms
Remove sausages from pan when they're cooked through to cool on separate plate
Using sausage pan, saute mushrooms
While mushrooms cook, gingerly slice sausages (don't burn yourself!)
Add remaining ingredients and seasonings. Taste and adjust seasonings.
If rice isn't done, lower heat as far as it will go while rice cooks

Revising a Pinterest Dish: Taco Ranch Chicken Chili

I’m not even going to try to explain away the absence here. We have five entirely new huge diagnoses in our family, four which have dietary restrictions and recommendations (which often directly contradict each other). We’ve just been trying to keep afloat food-wise and figure out how to fix something for each meal that doesn’t actively harm anyone. We have very few dishes that everyone can eat – and this isn’t one of them. But most in our family could eat it, including our multiple-food-allergy three, so it will be a keeper. And it brought me out of blog silence since I did enough tweaking to want to have it written down somewhere! Also, in my years of silence, I’ve seen the disappearance of blogs such as this one where photography wasn’t central. I snap pics with my phone and don’t style them, sorry – but nobody ever visited this blog for inspiring food photography!

I started with the recipe found here, on the blog “The Novice Chef”. Hers is aimed at different goals than in our kitchen, but the thought of taco and ranch flavors being translated for our allergens and issues was intriguing. First off, the allergic three are not good for beans. Jessica, the “novice chef”, recommended a particular brand of beans as these come pre-seasoned. In general, we use sweet potatoes rather than white potatoes, but my inner tastebuds could “see” this being served over home fries in place of the original white beans. I also can’t do seasoning packs, and even in the old days, we mixed up our own blends for thrift, freshness, and lack of additives. So I used our standard ranch seasoning herbs/spices and combined them with our standard taco seasoning herbs/spices.

Low Allergen Taco Ranch Chili

In the crockpot, for 4 hours at high heat, cook the following:

3-4 lb chicken breasts
2 cans diced tomatoes
1/4 cup dried parsley
2 Tbsp cumin
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 1/2 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp salt (it will dissolve, so I used coarse Celtic sea salt)
4 tsp black pepper
3 tsp dill
3 tsp paprika (I used smoked, but any sort will do)
3 tsp dried chives
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

When this is done, use forks to shred the chicken, which will shred quite easily:

As mentioned above, I served this over home fries. Using organic potatoes so I could include the peels, I sprinkled the potatoes with garlic powder, cumin, and onion powder as that’s what the “Bush White Beans” website said were included in their beans. No measurements, I literally just dusted the potatoes after they were in the pan:

We served this with a generous dollop of sour cream for those who can tolerate dairy, but for the allergic three, So Delicious coconut yogurt worked really well. We did notice that without the sour cream/yogurt, the ranch flavor did not come out at all; that fat was necessary.

This would alternatively work well in a wrap of any sort, from a romaine leaf to a tortilla. Bland photography, but tasty results :).