Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mushroom-Sausage Bake with Blue Cheese Crumble

In preparation for a small brunch, I created this very quick and easy dish that combined some ingredients in my kitchen (and in my garden). This came out wonderful. I love the combination of mushrooms, thyme, and blue cheese. The sausage made this more substantial dish. I say if you have these ingredients on hand, go for it and maybe open some lovely Rosé for a quick brunch with friends.

Mushroom-Sausage Bake with Blue Cheese Crumble


8 oz white button mushrooms, chopped and rinsed
1.5 links spicy chicken sausage (my favorite brand is Aidell's), chopped
1 tbsp Spanish Thyme, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp black pepper (white pepper would also work well)
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp egg white

1/2 cup toasted (preferrably day-old) bread, torn into pieces (I used some whole wheat crepes but any bready item on hand will do)
1 tbsp shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp blue cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder


(1) Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. In a non-stick skillet, on medium heat, add chicken sausage. Sauté until browned.
(2) Next add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook until the mushrooms are tenderized but not completely cooked through. Lower heat to simmer or "low" once the sauté reaches this point.
(3) Meanwhile, prepare crumble in a food processor. Add all the ingredients (no water or butter needed as the cheese will provide all of the binding texture). Pulse until small crumbles form.
(4) Prepare the baking pan, lightly spraying with canola oil (if needed).
(5) To the mushroom-sausage sauté, add the egg whites. Toss completely and immediately pour into the baking pan. Cover sauté with the blue cheese crumble.
(6) Bake for 15 minutes or until browned.

I hope you enjoy the tender mushroom melody with the sausage and blue cheese. Yum!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Spicy Cajan Chicken Bites

With some thawed chicken and in preparation for a few guests, I decided to create something fast, tasty, and spicy. Oh spice, how I love thee !?! These nibbles are great to prepare right before guests arrive. You could serve them as is or with a dipping sauce, say a barbeque sauce mixed with a bit of ranch dressing. I particularly like KC's new Southern style BBQ sauce, which they just released and sent me a sampler of as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaster Program. But you know me, if I don't like something, I won't recommend it. 

Spicy Cajan Chicken Bites

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp cajan seasoning
1/2 lb chicken breast
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp no salt added seasoning (Trader Joe's)

1) Clean and dice chicken breasts
2) Add cajan seasoning to a non-stick skillet and heat skillet to medium heat
3) Add chicken breast to pan, brown on both sides. Add seasoning and cayenne pepper.
4) When chicken is almost done, add apple cider vinegar to pan. Toss to coat. The vinegar will help keep the chicken moist and lock in the seasonings.
5) Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook until chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately with some  dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup KC Masterpiece Southern Style Barbeque Sauce

1/8 cup Lite Ranch Dressing
1 tbsp finely chopped chives