Friday, January 2, 2009

A Chef I Am Not

If you have read my blog lately, you have heard me ramble on about food...A LOT! After all, it was the holidays. You also saw the book I was given with my mom's recipes for Christmas. My mom was an AWESOME cook but she had no patients for her 5 kids in the kitchen. This means I knew very little about cooking when I got married 12 years ago. I have learned through trial and error, google (really!) and phone calls to my mom.

I am completely unable to just take ingredients for the fridge and "throw" something together. I copy lots of recipes from the internet to try. I even have a cute recipe basket from Longaberger to keep all of my treasures.

I love the eat, therefore it is necessary that I cook. I also have a lot of pride when I make a great meal for my family. But before Food Network, I only made simple meals with simple ingredients. It has all changed now! I have discovered things like gorgonzola cheese, asparagus (don't laugh) and prosciutto ham. AND I get to use my new mixer more often! FUN! I am also considering an herb garden in the spring...crazy.

I owe most of my new found knowledge to Giada De Laurentiis. She is so interesting to watch and has such a wide range of food she presents. Although, I don't know how much of it she eats! She is mighty skinny!

Some of my family's favorite meals are hers. L & O LOVE spaghetti asparagus with smoked mozzarella and prosciutto ham. Hubby likes chicken saltimbocca and I have to have orzo pasta with sausage, grilled peppers and tomatoes a few times a month. YUMMY!!!

So, a chef I am not. But I am a rock star when it comes to following recipes!

Here is my latest Giada discovery:

Grilled and Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Gorgonzola

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
12 ounces turkey sausage, casings removed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme leaves
2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano leaves
3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1 cup (4-ounces) Gorgonzola
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
6 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the mascarpone cheese. Add the thyme, oregano, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup of Gorgonzola, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir until all ingredients are combined.
Brush the mushrooms on both sides with the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the mushrooms, stem side down, for 3 minutes. Turn the mushrooms over and grill for 2 minutes until tender. Fill each mushroom with the sausage mixture and top with the remaining Gorgonzola. Return the mushrooms to the grill and cook until the stuffing is warmed through and the Gorgonzola starts to melt, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Cook's Note: The assembled mushrooms can also be placed on a baking sheet and cooked under a preheated broiler until warmed through.


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