‘Single Gal’ Pasta with Sausage and Kale ~ Fast Dinner for One

single gal pasta with sausage and kale ~ thecomynspace.com

M closes a couple days a week and while I would love to eat pizza rolls every time that happens, that isn’t sustainable. This is one of my favorite ‘single gal dinner’s that comes together very quickly and is relatively healthy.

single gal pasta with sausage and kale ~ thecomynspace.com

You’ll Need:
1 frozen sausage patty
1 scant cup dried pasta
1/2 cup frozen kale or spinach
1/3-1/2 cup prepared marinara

Start the water for the pasta over high heat. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add a teaspoon of oil. Add the frozen sausage patty and cook, turning frequently to break it into pieces. By this point, it’s usually time to add the pasta to the boiling water. Then add in the frozen kale and marinara sauce. Stir together with the sausage and let cook – warming the kale through. Drain the pasta, reserving a few tablespoons of pasta water. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Add the pasta water to the sauce, a few teaspoons at a time, if it needs to be loosen up. Season to taste with ground black pepper or red pepper flakes! Top with parm or your cheese of choice!

Sourdough English Muffins

I’ve had a sourdough starter for several months now and I’ve really enjoyed coming up with new ways to use it each week! This recipe comes from King Arthur flour with a few modifications (sorry, not ever cooking with powdered milk) – I usually get 36 muffins and I freeze them by the dozen to enjoy later. These are really good and have just the right mix of chewy and airiness.

sourdough english muffin2

You’ll Need:
2 cups milk, heated to 110-5 degrees
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp yeast
1 cup fed sourdough starter
6 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp salt
1/4 tsp citric acid
cornmeal for dusting

Warm up the milk and butter together in a small saucepan, until it reaches 110 to 115 degrees. In the bottom of your standing mixer, measure out the sugar and yeast. When the milk is warmed, add it with the sugar and yeast and stir to combine. Add in the sourdough starter, flours, salt and citric acid. Knead with the paddle attachment until the dough comes together, about 5 minutes. It shouldn’t be particular sticky, add in additional flour if necessary.

Allow to rise in a greased bowl for 90 minutes or until it has double in volume.

Turn out onto a silpad or very well floured surface. Divide the dough in half and roll out with a rolling pin. Using a biscuit cutter or top of a mason jar, cut out english muffins. Transfer to a cornmeal dusted cookie sheet, turning to coat both sides. I usually get 16-18 muffins out of each half. Allow to rise again, another 45-60 minutes.

Heat a dry heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat. Cook until browned on each side – about 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool before cuting into them.

Yankee Fish Cakes

While this dish is a bit more work that I’d prefer in a weeknight meal, it is worth every single minute of effort. The outside is crispy and the inside of the cakes are so incredibly flavorful. I served them with a bit of homemade tartar sauce, but they are standouts alone. This recipe comes from my Savuer: The New Classics cookbook I received for Christmas – everything out of here has been SO GOOD and it’s much easier to use than the magazines. There is even a lentil soup recipe I cannot shut up about – I’ll just let that one sink in for a bit.

yankee fish cakes h

You’ll Need:
9 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 rib celery, roughly chopped
1 lb skinnless haddock or cod fillets
1/3 cup heavy cream
1.5 cups bread crumbs
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp fresh dill
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp pickle relish
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp hot sauce (like Tabasco)
1 egg
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

yankee fish cakes v

In a skillet with deep sides, heat 3 tbsp butter over medium high heat. Add in onion and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add fish and cream and bring to a boil. Cover and let the fish cook through, about 6 to 8 minutes. Let the mixture cool for 15 minutes.

Flake fish in the skillet with a fork and transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add in remaining ingredients, except for the cornmeal. Toss mixture together until well combined. Shape into 12 patties, about half an inch think and three inches round. Dredge both sides of each patty in cornmeal. Refridgerate for 30 minutes (or freeze extra patties at this point for later cooking). Wash skillet for next step.

Heat 3 tbsp butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add in 6 patties and cook, flipping once. They should take between 4-5 minutes a side. Repeat with remaining butter and patties. Serve immediately.

Corn Chowder Salad

I came across this when I was looking for ways to eat up some of the delicious corn we’ve been getting! It comes together pretty fast but it does make the counter a mess-you’ve been warned! I love the smokiness from the bacon and the creaminess from the potato of corn chowder-give it a try!

warm corn relish2 warm corn relish1

You’ll Need:
2 tbp olive oil
3 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 pound red or white boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cups fresh corn kernels (5-6 ears)
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tbsp cider vinegar
red pepper flakes

Heat oil over medium low heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel to allow the fat to drain. To the bacon grease, add the potatoes and cook. Toss occasionally but let cook until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add in bell pepper and season with salt. Cook about 5 minutes more, until both are tender. Add in corn and cook until hot, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with onion, vinegar and bacon. Season to taste with salt and red pepper flakes. It’s great hot but is also delicious chilled.

Buttermilk Pie

This pie. We were watching the Mind of a Chef when Chef Sean Brock made a buttermilk pie. M turned to me with big eyes and asked if I could make one. So I hunted for a recipe and give it a shot and boy am I pleased with the results. Not only does this come together super fast but it is incredibly sweet and just plain delicious. Make one, you’ll thank me!

buttermilk pie~thecomynspace.com

You’ll Need:
Your favorite pie crust, for one crust- rolled out and placed in a pie pan, crimped (put it back in the fridge while you assemble the pie)
3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) butter, melted
1/4 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350. In a clean bowl, whisk together the three eggs for a 1 minutes or two. You want the bubbles to stay and the color to begin to lighten (this keeps it fluffy-don’t skip this step!). In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, flour and salt together. Add into the eggs in two additions, whisking to ensure sugar mixture is well incorporated. Add in melted butter, lemon zest and lemon juice, whisking to ensure they are well incorporated. Stir in the buttermilk.
Pour into prepared pie crust and bake for 40-50 minutes. The top should be browned and it should jiggle like Jello in the middle (not liquid but don’t over cook it).

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese

This is one my favorite ways to use butternut squash! I cannot believe I haven’t shared this here before because this little gem is a fall staple and great warm dinner.

pasta with butternut squash and blue cheese~thecomynspace.com

You’ll Need:
4 cups cubed and peeled butternut squash
1 tsp olive oil + cooking spray
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
8 oz uncooked pasta, small shapes are the best
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup 2/% milk
1 tsp flour
2 large egg yolks
2 oz blue cheese crumbles (about 1/2 a cup)
toasted walnuts, for topping
pasta with butternut squash and blue cheese~thecomynspace.com

Preheat oven to 425. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and add squash. Spray again and add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Toss to coat and bake until fork tender, about 25 minutes.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and keep warm.

In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, add olive oil and swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic, sauté 3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup milk, remaining salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup milk, 2 egg yolks and flour. Slowly add egg mixture to pan, stirring with a whisk. Once all mixed, add in blue cheese, reserving a few crumbles for the top. Cook 5 minutes, until thickened, stirring often with a whisk. If there is room in a pan, stir in butternut squash and pasta, stirring to combine. If there isn’t room, toss in a large bowl. Toss with reserved cheese and walnuts, if using.

Cincinnati Style Chili~Fast Dinner Idea

Since moving home, I’ve have eaten at a Skyline Chili as an adult. Unironically, even. I really enjoy the slightly sweet chili and it’s served with carbs! COME ON PEOPLE! It makes me sad for all the wasted years when I thought Cincinnati chili was ‘gross.’ I am trying to limit the visits to fast food joints (not that I don’t have ideas about how to lighten up the Skyline menu-because I doooooooo) and stick to more healthy made at home versions. This isn’t traditional as it uses ground turkey over ground beef. It also skews the more traditional 50/50 beef/beans ratio towards 65/35 because despite evidence to the contrary, I don’t love beans. As with all chili, this is also very good the next day over hot dogs!

cinci chili

You’ll Need:
6 oz uncooked spaghetti
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion,
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
16 oz ground turkey
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1/2 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 15 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed
2 tsp red wine vinegar
shredded cheese for topping
finely chopped white onion for topping

Cook spaghetti as the package directs, leaving out salt and fat. Drain.

While the spaghetti is cooking, heat a large deep sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat. Sauté onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Add in ground turkey and cook until browned, stirring to crumble meat. Add in spices (thru cinnamon) and sauté 30 seconds to wake up the flavors. Add in tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Add in beans and cook one more minute to warm them up. Stir in vinegar and remove from heat. Serve over spaghetti and top with cheese and fresh white onion if you’re daring.

Dinner for Two – Week 2

Here’s what was on the menu last week 🙂 Just the gnocchi was new, everything else is an old standby which makes life so much easier for me! M has been working later lately so we are usually doing a more staggered approach to dinner. At least I only resorted to hummus and chips once!homemade black bean burgers

Monday 7/28- Butternut Squash and Pasta with Blue Cheese
Tuesday 7/29- leftovers
Wednesday 7/30- Anniversary Dinner
Thursday 7/31- Gnocchi with asparagus and peas
Friday 8/1- Black Bean Burgers

Vegetarian Chili Rellenos

veggie chile rellenos thecomynspace.com

M has made these for us a few times, chili rellenos are his favorite Mexican inspired food and these make it easier to indulge more often. They also seem to heat up great for him at work. As I always have crock pot beans of some sort in the fridge, this is certainly something we can usually make in a pinch!

veggie chile rellenos thecomynspace.com

You’ll Need:
4 poblano chilis, sliced and ribs removed, on a lightly creased baking sheet
1 can beans, we used kidney but any would work
1 small white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced, seeded if you prefer
ground cumin, salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of your favorite shredded cheese.

Saute the onions, garlic and jalapeño in a deep sided pan over medium high heat. Once onions are glassy, stir in cumin, salt and pepper as well as the drained beans. Stir in half the cheese until just melted Cook until the beans are warmed through and then spoon into the prepped pobanos and top the 8 halves with the remaining cheese. Broil or cook on 350 until cheese is melted.