Chorizo and Kale Pasta

Dinner last night was something I’ve never tried before. Pasta! Just kidding. Well, not really. It was pasta, it was just pasta with chorizo and kale…and tomatoes, onion, garlic and cheese. It was pretty good. Though I’m not sure it’s something I’ll do again. It was kind of bland. And unfortunately because of my lack of experience with kale, I wasn’t sure how to make it better.

I had made baked kale chips the other night and they were delicious – like I ate half of what I made in one sitting before realizing I wanted a couple for lunch the next day. And that was just oil and salt. I wonder if the baking did something to them that the cooking in a pan did not? The chips were a little sweet, had a really good flavor and the salt brought out the flavor even more. The kale from my pasta didn’t have a whole lot of flavor. I kind of felt like Thumper trudging through the greens to get to the chorizo and cheese. Sad day. Oh well, it was edible, and everyone has to screw up sometimes!

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Oh yeah, and I’ve become a fan of Instagram. You can follow me at jennmontgomery.

A dish I’ve never made before

Meatloaf! And oh my goodness was it tasty. I would have like to follow mom’s recipe, but I thought I’d create my own. I have found that there are enough variations of meatloaf out there that they kind of become a family tradition of how they’re made. So I thought I’d start my own tradition. Unfortunately, this particular recipe from my noggin didn’t quite make the cut. It needs some tweaking. It almost tastes like it’s missing something. Couldn’t figure out what though. I’m not going to post the recipe, because it’s not mastered yet. I foresee a lot of meatloaf in our future. I may even try making meatloaf bites so I can make lots of different variations!

But here’s what I did anyway: I mixed ground turkey with bread crumbs and an egg. That’s the base. I added minced garlic and diced onion. Although my onion wasn’t small enough. I think also, I might try cooking up the onion and garlic to release the flavor just a little bit. I added in some green bell pepper, minced nice and small. Then lets see…in went some parsley and oregano, about a teaspoon or two of both. Two teaspoons of horseradish, a couple splashes of Worcestershire, a splash of lemon juice, a teaspoon of dried ground mustard. And then I put ketchup, bread crumbs and Parmesan on top before putting it in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. What’s really cool is that it was perfectly cooked. Not too crispy and not pink at all.

meatloaf

Meatloaf with corn. Also served a salad on the side.

Anyone have any suggestions for additions?

Roasted Veggie Medley

The roomie bought eggplant, because we both love it…but then I had to find something to do with it. Amazingly, she got a cookbook for christmas last year that is all eggplant recipes. One of them was this roasted medley that included most ingredients I already had. Easy! But since I didn’t have them all, I improvised a bit.

Basically, what ended up going in there was cubed eggplant, chopped red potatoes, diced onions, chopped bell pepper, and chopped tomatoes. The recipe called for roasted peppers, but the fresh worked well. It also said to use a good baking potato, but I like the flavor of the red potato better. I think the baking potato would have been too bland. Over the top, it was olive oil and a whole host of spices to include oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme and sage. A little bit of lemon zest would have been really good, had I had a lemon, it would have complimented the thyme. All of this in a casserole dish got thrown in 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes or so, and it turned out to be one of those recipes that your nose will let you know when it’s ready.

Overall, these roasted veggies work really well as a side for steak, and they’re really healthy because its all fresh ingredients.

veggies

This was right after the veggies came out of the oven, they had softened up and the herbs worked their way through to infuse flavors.

Stuffed Burgers

I’m pretty sure this is about the simplest, yet one of the tastiest recipes I’ve ever made. I thought that stuffed burgers were common-place, that everyone had at least heard of them, if they hadn’t eaten them. Apparently I was wrong. My dinner date (the boyfriend) thought these burgers were the coolest things ever, once he finally grasped what I meant by “all the goodies are on the inside.”

So, what I did: a pound of ground beef – I’m sure ground turkey would work too – goes into a bowl, to which I added my scrumptious garlic mustard, ground oregano, steak sauce, and Worcestershire, just a bit of each (equal parts of the steak sauce and Worcestershire though).  Afterward, I caramelized onions and mushrooms, then some bacon that was chopped into little pieces. I took a quarter of the meat, divided it in two, and flattened it to make a patty shape. Then I put some of the onions, mushrooms and bacon, as well as two little cubes of cheese into the middle, and took the other half and shaped it on the top. I made sure the edges were closed up, and then patted it a bit flatter so it would cook evenly. I repeated the process for the other three quarters, broiled them in a pan until the edges weren’t pink anymore (which meant that the middle was still a tad pink), and served them on onion buns with mayo, mustard and ketchup. Mmmm tasty!

I’m betting that other ingredients in the middle would be pretty tasty too, or even just cheese. If I had some guacamole, that would have gone on top, to make a bacon avocado burger. Like I said, easy.