November 12, 2009

I made a mess (again!), but at least it was yummy

It's never worth it to use a pot/skillet/bowl, etc that's smaller than what you need. For some unknown reason, I did that exact thing three times while cooking just one meal. I think I did it thinking that the smaller things would be so much easier to clean in the sink. Instead, I ended up making more of a mess than if I would have had if I had used the bigger things. First, my skillet was too small so the sausage/pepper mixture that I was stirring kept flying out over the edges... greasy sausage landing on the stovetop. Next, I mixed the sausage mixture with the breadcrumb mixture in a bowl that was too small... making a mess on the countertop. Last, and probably the worst, I cooked the orzo in a pot that was too small. Pasta likes a lot of extra water to move around in, that's why pasta pots are so big. But orzo is so small! Surly it won't matter if I cook it in a 3 qt saucepan instead. I then spent 10 minutes blowing down the bubbles every 30-45 seconds so that it would not boil over. Needless to say, I was a mess in the kitchen tonight.

Sausage Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms (This is an awesome Emeril recipe, by the way, simplified a bit)
3 portobello caps, remove the stems and rub in olive oil
12 oz of sausage (tubes come in 16 oz, save 1/4 of it for breakfast burritos later in the week)
1/4 cup of green pepper, diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 clove minced garlic
2/3 cup breadcrumbs (I always use the plain, unseasoned ones)
2/3 cup parmesan cheese (please get a block and have a strong guy grate it and keep it in tupperware... it lasts forever and is sooo much better than the green shaker guy)
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp essence, recipe follows, and yes, it's worth it to make a batch... it's so good and I use it on everything
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400. Cook the sausage until browned, about 4 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery and cook another 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Remove from heat. In a separate bowl combine 1/3 c bread crumbs, 1/3 c parmesan, essence, and olive oil. Mix well. Add the egg and stir again until well combined. Divide the filling among the mushroom caps. Combine the remaining bread crumbs and parm and top the mushroom caps. Bake until golden brown on top, about 15-18 minutes.

I like to serve this with orzo tossed with cherry tomatoes that have been halved.

2 1/2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried thyme

This makes 2/3 cup.

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