08 January 2009

For those cold nights ...

Zuppa Toscana

2 lbs Italian sausage (I like mild)
5-6 large russet baking potatoes, sliced in half and then in 1/4 inch slices
2 medium white onions, chopped
1 pound smoked bacon - chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups kale, chopped
4 cans chicken broth (14.5 oz cans or 7 ½ cups)
2 quarts water
2 cups heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper - to taste
3 tsp crushed red peppers

1. Sautee Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in pot. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
2. In the same pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic for approximately 15 min. or until the onions are soft.
3. Mix together the chicken broth and water, then add it to the onions, bacon and garlic. Cook until boiling.
4. Add potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
5. Add heavy cream and cook until thoroughly heated.
6. Stir in the sausage.
7. Add kale just before serving.

Mozzarella, Tomato & Pesto Bruschette

Serves: 3-6 Prep. Time: 0:20

1/4 cup butter - softened
4 cloves garlic - minced
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
(6) 1/2" slices Italian OR French bread, or ciabatta (I like ciabatta the best)
6 slices mozzarella cheese - trimmed to fit bread slices
3 Tbls. basil Pesto
(6) 1/4" slices Roma tomato
julienne fresh basil - to top

*if using ciabatta, cover with mozzarella and tomato, don't need to follow the exact slice ratio

-Mix butter with garlic and garlic powder.
-Spread butter mixture over bread slices.
-Place a slice of mozzarella on each piece of bread.
-Place a slice of tomato on each slice of mozzarella.
-Spread 1/2 Tbls. of Pesto over each slice of tomato.
-Place bread on a cookie sheet and bake in a 500 degree oven for 4 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
-Sprinkle basil over top.

Administrator note: She came up with these recipes herself through trial and error. Go Alisha! I'm not nearly so brave!


treen said...

what's your source on these? Thanks!

Alisha said...

I like to eat and my daughter loves the Olive Garden. So my husband and I went to eat one day without the kids and sat there trying to find the flavors (you know, rolling around our tongues like a wine tasting). Anyhow, we figured it out - the basics, and then started playing in the kitchen. What you have hear is an 'idea' recipe. I usually add more red pepper and other spices becuase i like the heat. But its up to you. Later on I have a friend who just graduated from the Olive Garden culinary school in italy. He confirmed that my recipe is almost just like their's. He isn't at libery to say what is different exactly, meerly that mine is gluten free and there's isn't always (which translated to add a pinch of flour if you want, but its not needed and depends on the chef in charge of each restaraunt) - well the soux chef anyhow.