Archive for FAMILY RECIPES

Penne with Sausage and Pumpkin Cream Sauce

Pumpkin in pasta sauce?!  Why, YES! 🙂

My daughter, Hannah, loves pasta.  Actually, my entire family loves pasta.  She wanted to make something off the beaten path of the usual alfredo or meat sauce so she browsed several websites and recipes and found one (by Rachael Ray I think) and wanted to give it a try.  I must say that it’s absolutely delicious (thank you, Rachael).

This is Hannah’s take on Rachael’s recipe (original recipe found here).

Give it a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

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Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Hannah made enough pasta for dinner for our family of four, plus enough for everyone to pack lunch the next day, so she cooked two boxes of penne pasta.

Drain the water from the pot; keep the cooked pasta in the pot (no need to dirty another serving bowl).  Set aside for now.

Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a large frying pan.  Hannah used sweet/mild Italian sausage, but if you like a spicier pasta, use spicy sausage.  Remove the browned sausage from the pan and place on top of paper towels to soak up any excess fat.

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Using the same pan you used to brown the sausage, cook the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent and beginning to caramelize.  To save on cooking time, we usually buy a jar of chopped garlic.  We like LOTS of garlic, so Hannah added a couple of HEAPING tablespoons of chopped garlic to the pan.

There was enough grease in the pan from cooking the sausage so there is no need to add more oil to cook the onions and garlic.

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Roughly cut the sage leaves and toss them into the pan.

Bay leaves are savory herbs used often in Italian cooking.  The photo below doesn’t look as if she did it, but Hannah slightly crushed the bay leaves before adding them to the pan.  Crushing bay leaves brings out more of its natural oils and intense flavors.  Be careful that you don’t crush the leaves and maket them too small; you want to remove them from the pan after cooking (don’t eat the leaves).

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Add the wine to the pan.  Hannah used a Pino Grigio for this recipe.  Because my kids are eating this (even though a lot of the alcohol cooks off), I wanted her to use a light-bodied wine with a clean and fresh taste — Pino Grigio was it.

Turn the heat up to high and bring the mixture to a boil, cooking until the wine reduces by half.

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Add the chicken broth to the pan once the wine reduced.

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Stir in the pureed pumpkin.  Pumpkin in pasta, you ask???  Don’t fret; you won’t even notice the pumpkin is in there.  The taste is not overpowering at all, but it’s just enough for you to ask, “hmmm…what IS that that tastes so good?” 😉

Since Hannah made a large pot of pasta, she used a good amount of pumpkin, about 2 cups.

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Add the cinnamon and nutmeg to the sauce.  The nutmeg and cinnamon compliment the pumpkin flavor quite nicely.

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Stir in the heavy whipping cream.

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Reduce the heat to medium.  Bring the sauce back to a simmer; cook for a few minutes (about 5 or so).  Taste the sauce; add salt to taste.  Hannah added about 2 tablespoons of Dashida powdered beef seasoning instead of salt.  Don’t add too much, however; you’ll be adding cheese to the pasta, which also has salt.

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Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the cooked pasta.  Hannah used LOTS of cheese here.  The cheese will melt when your pour the hot pasta sauce over the noodles, helping to thicken the sauce.

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CAREFULLY pour the hot sauce over the pasta and cheese.  Stir to combine.  It may seem very saucy at this point but the noodles will soak up some of the sauce (we love saucy pastas in our house).

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Serve with a side of cheesy garlic bread and more shredded Parmesan cheese and ENJOY! 🙂

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Penne with Sausage and Pumpkin Cream Sauce
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2½ cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups 100% pure pumpkin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dashida seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 box Penne Pasta, cooked per package directions
  • 1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Pour out the cooked pasta into a colander to drain out all the water. Return the cooked pasta to the now-empty pot. Set aside.
  2. Brown the sausage in a large frying pan. Remove the cooked sausage from pan; place in a paper towel-lined bowl to allow the excess fat to drain off.
  3. Cook the onions and garlic in the same pan used to cook the sausage. Cook until the onions begin to caramelize.
  4. Add the sage and bay leaves. Slightly crush the bay leaves before adding them to the pan.
  5. Add the wine to the pan. Turn the heat up to high and bring the mixture to a boil, cooking until it reduces by half.
  6. Stir in the chicken broth, pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
  7. Stir in the whipping cream. Reduce the heat to medium. Bring the sauce back to a simmer; cook for a few minutes (about 5 or so).
  8. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the cooked pasta. Pour the sauce over the pasta and cheese. Stir to coat the pasta with the sauce.
Serve with more shredded cheese and ENJOY!

 

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Åhu

Åhu is a sweet and warm soup of sorts, and is a very popular dessert drink on Guam.  It’s one of the first things I make when I go home for visits.

While you can make this dish using frozen månha (the meat from young coconuts) and the juice from the månha, there is nothing like using the real thing.

This delicious and sweet drink is thickened by the månha dumplings, made by mixing pureed månha, sugar and tapioca starch.  The dumplings — I call them lumps — cook in boiling hot månha juice until they float to the surface indicating they are done.

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It doesn’t take long to cook up a huge pot of åhu.  What DOES take long, however, is cutting down a bunch of månha, cutting them open and collecting the juice, then scraping the meat.

Here’s an entertaining (at least I think so) video of the guys working hard at harvesting the månha for us. 🙂

I’ll bet many of you didn’t know there are some species of coconut that are orange when young, not just the common green ones.

My sister and I recruited the men to do the gathering with the promise we’ll do the cooking.  They eventually enjoyed the fruits of our labor and relaxed with a huge cupful of delicious åhu. 🙂

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After draining out the juice, cut open the månha and scrape out the meat.  Be careful not to scrape out any of the husk if you can help it.  The månha meat is very tender; it doesn’t take much effort to scrape it out of the shell.

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After you’ve collected the juice and meat, it’s time to get cooking.  Place the månha juice into a large pot.  You don’t need much juice to get great tasting åhu.  You can use all juice or a mixture of juice and water.  My dad likes to drink the månha juice so when my sister and I made this, we diluted it by mixing 8 cups of månha juice with 8 cups of water, saving the rest of the juice for dad.

If the juice is sweet, you don’t need much sugar.  We added about 3 cups of sugar to all that liquid.  Add a cup at a time and taste as you go, adding as much sugar as you like.

Bring the liquid to a slow boil while you make the månha dumpling mixture.

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Place the månha in a food processor.  Use more månha if you like lots of “lumps” — we used 4 cups of månha (my family likes lots of lumps) for a large pot of åhu.

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Process the månha until it’s smooth and creamy.

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Add the entire bag of tapioca starch to the pureed månha.  Save the rest of the tapioca starch in case you need to thicken the åhu liquid later or to add more to the månha-starch mixture (more on this later).

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Add sugar to the månha-starch mixture.  You don’t need much since you’ve already sweetened the liquid.  The amount of sugar also depends on how sweet the månha meat is.  This batch of månha was very sweet so we added just one cup of sugar.  The mixture will be very thick, thicker than cake batter.

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Drop small dollops of the batter into the boiling liquid.  Do a test batch first to taste if it’s sweet enough.  Add more sugar if you want it sweeter.

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The lumps will float to the top of the pot when done.  If the lumps break apart during the cooking, that means you need to add more starch.  Add a few spoonfuls at a time, then cook a test batch to make sure they stay intact.

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This recipe makes a LOT of lumps — just the way my brother likes it.  The starch in the lumps also serves to thicken the åhu.  Let the mixture cook over low heat for a few minutes after all of the lumps are done.  If, after a few minutes, the liquid is not thickening, mix any reserved tapioca starch with a cup of water; stir the mixture into the åhu and cook for a few more minutes until thickened.

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Serve while still hot and ENJOY! 🙂

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Åhu
 
A warm, sweet dessert drink made from the juice and meat of young green coconuts.
Author:
Cuisine: Chamorro
Ingredients
Liquid
  • 8 cups Månha juice
  • 8 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar, more or less, to taste
Dumplings
  • 4 cups månha meat, pureed
  • 1½ (15 oz) bags tapioca starch
  • 1 cup sugar
Instructions
  1. Place the månha, juice, and sugar in a large pot. Bring to a boil over low heat.
  2. Mix together the pureed månha, one bag of starch (reserve the remaining half bag), and sugar to form the batter for the dumplings.
  3. Drop the batter into the boiling liquid by the teaspoonful. The dumplings will float to the top when done. If the dumplings break apart during cooking, add a couple of tablespoons more starch to the dumpling mixture. "Test cook" a few dumplings to ensure they don't break apart and is sweet enough. If the dumplings still break apart during cooking, add a couple more tablespoons of starch.
  4. After all of the dumplings are done, check to see if the åhu is thick enough for your liking. It should be the consistency of not-too-thick gravy. If you'd like it thicker, mix any remaining starch with 1 cup water; stir the mixture into the hot åhu. Cook for a few more minutes until the åhu thickens.
Serve while still hot and ENJOY! 🙂

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Mussels with Garlic Tomato Sauce

This is a very simple recipe that my daughter, Hannah, created for dinner one evening. (Have I mentioned that she’s a natural in the kitchen? Proud mama moment.) 😀

Hannah did not measure her ingredients as she just threw everything together.  Luckily, you can “taste your way through this one.” 🙂

You’ll need a box of frozen mussels (thawed out), two large cans of tomato sauce, garlic (as much as you like), and some Dashida seasoning (or use salt), to taste.

Place the tomato sauce and garlic in a large pot over medium heat.  Season the sauce with Dashida (or salt).  Once the sauce is seasoned to your liking, add the thawed mussels.  Cook for a few minutes until the mussels are no longer raw.

Serve as-is or over a bed of cooked spaghetti noodles.

ENJOY!

tomato mussels

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Kimchee Noodles

Kimchee noodles is a quick and easy side dish that is a must-have for your gatherings, and it goes especially well with BBQ meat dishes.

This is my sister-in-law, Darlene’s recipe.  It’s a tried-and-true recipe that’s requested often.  It’s a great potluck dish too.

Dar’s complete recipe is located at the bottom of this post.  Give it a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Darlene’s Kimchee Noodles

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These are the ingredients used to make the Kimchee Noodles.  You can find them in most Asian markets.

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Prepare the noodles according to the package directions.  Drain and rinse the noodles then place into a mixing bowl.  Drizzle with sesame oil (the oil adds flavor and makes it easier to mix in the kimchee sauce).

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Stir the kimchee sauce into the noodles.

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Add daigo’ and cucumbers.

Serve and Enjoy!

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Kimchee Noodles
 
Noodles with kimchee base sauce, pickled daigo' (daikon radish), and cucumbers
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Korean
Ingredients
  • 1 package bean thread noodles (sometimes called Vermicelli)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kimchee base
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 English cucumber, diced small
  • 1 pickled daikon radish, or daigo', diced small
Instructions
  1. Boil the noodles until soft, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water then place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the sesame oil to the noodles; mix well to coat the noodles with the oil.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, kimchee base, and rice vinegar. Pour over the noodles; mix to combine all of the ingredients.
  4. Mix in the diced cucumbers and daigo'.
Serve and ENJOY!

 

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Panko Crusted Fried Fish & Shrimp

Our family loves seafood.  One of our favorite ways to serve fish and shrimp is to coat them in panko breadcrumbs and fry them until golden brown and crispy.

Serve this with hot steamed rice, some sweet dipping sauce (similar to honey walnut shrimp sauce), and fina’denne’ and you’ve got yourself an amazing seafood meal.

Give my sister-in-law Min’s recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

This recipe makes enough for a family of 4 plus leftover for lunch the next day.

Panko Crusted Fried Fish & Shrimp

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Ingredients for the Fried Shrimp:

  • 1 cup Korean batter mix (Tuigim or Twigim Garu); see photo below
  • 1 tablespoon Dashida Korean seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 30 ounces raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 bag panko crumbs

 

Ingredients for the Fried Fish:

  • 1 cup Korean batter mix (Tuigim or Twigim Garu); see photo below
  • 1 tablespoon Dashida Korean seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 24 ounces fish filets (tilapia, basa, and orange roughy work well)
  • 1 bag panko crumbs

 

Ingredients for the Dipping Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons kewpie mayo

 

Other Ingredients:

  • Oil, for frying

 

Tuigim Garu, Korean batter mix, is used to make a batter to coat the shrimp and fish for frying.  This is what the package looks like (the bag on the left).

The bag on the right is called Pang Garu, and is a type of panko breadcrumbs.  The shrimp and fish are coated in breadcrumbs after coating it in the batter.  You can use this or any other brand of panko breadcrumbs.

Directions:

Rinse and clean the shrimp and fish filets, then set them aside in separate, shallow dishes.  I like using meaty white fish such as  basa or tilapia; orange roughy is good too.

Add the dry batter mix and seasonings directly over the shrimp.  Toss the shrimp and dry ingredients together then add the milk.  Keep tossing it all together until the dry ingredients are no longer lumpy and a thick batter coats the shrimp.  Set aside.

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In another pan, place the remaining batter mix and dry ingredients; this will be mixed into a batter to coat the fish filets.  You don’t want to create the batter WITH the fish as you do with the shrimp because you don’t want to break up the fish filets.  Instead, mix the batter in a separate pan and dip the fish into the batter before coating with panko.

Add the milk to the dry batter mixture, mixing until you get a smooth batter.

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Place the fish filets into the batter.  Ensure each filet is coated with batter.

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Create an assembly line with the shrimp, fish, and the breadcrumbs.

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Designate one hand as the “wet hand” and the other as the “dry hand.”  Use the wet hand to place the shrimp and fish into the pan of breadcrumbs.  Use the dry hand to cover the shrimp and fish with breadcrumbs.

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Be sure to generously pat the breadcrumbs into the batter-covered fish and shrimp.

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Carefully drop the coated fish and shrimp into hot oil.  Do not overcrowd the pan.

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Fry the fish about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.  Fry the shrimp until golden brown all over.

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Make the dipping sauce.

In small microwave-safe bowl, mix together the sweetened condensed milk, pineapple juice and kewpie mayonnaise.  You can use regular mayonnaise if you don’t find any kewpie.

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Heat the mixture in the microwave for 20 seconds or until it starts to bubble.  Remove from the microwave and stir until creamy.  Serve with fried shrimp and fish.

ENJOY!

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