Tortellini with Balsamic Browned Butter and Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Sausage…AND Friday Linky Party

If there’s anything that makes my family happy in the form of food, it’s definitely pasta. Probably the most popular throw-together meal in this house is spaghetti with butter and garlic.

That really doesn’t do it for me, however. I need something a little more…..exciting. Am I high-maintenance?

Why, no!

I do let them have their butter/garlic spaghetti whenever they want it and I end up eating something fun and simple like Fritos dipped in cottage cheese. Don’t say yuk because you probably haven’t tried it. Which you should, by the way.

This recipe is adapted from Giada De Laurentiis, but with some additions. I loved the idea of the ingredients, but felt it lacked a little as far as being a main dish, and I used tortellini in place of her ravioli. I made the sauce pretty much the same, omitting the nuts, and I added Italian flavored chicken sausage but wrapped them in prosciutto before cooking them. The result was definitely what I was hoping for.

Tortellini with Balsamic Browned Butter and Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Sausage

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

18 oz. fresh cheese tortellini

6 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

3 oz. package Prosciutto

12 oz. package Italian flavored chicken sausage

Preheat oven to 400° – or you could so grill these – that would be even better. Wrap the sausages with prosciutto (keep in mind you don’t have to use the whole package; just enough to wrap them with) and place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Broil for about 5 minutes on each side, but watch them carefully because all ovens cook differently and you don’t want the prosciutto to burn. That’s the time it took mine to get slightly browned and a little crispy.

While those are cooking, make the tortellini according to package directions and drain. Pour the pasta into a large serving bowl and cover.

When the sausages are done, remove from oven and slice into 1/2″ discs. Cover with aluminum foil and set aside.

In a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat, cook the butter, stirring, until the foam subsides and the butter begins to turn golden in color, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 1 minute. Stir in balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Add the sauce to the pasta and toss; top with sausage and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

Also, I’m starting something new on Dixie Chik Cooks….we’re gonna do Linky parties on Fridays! Do you have a favorite pasta dish? A favorite family dish? Link it up!

Have a great weekend!

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Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary, Gruyere and Coffee Spiced Pecans

Recently, I was contacted by Amelia’s Spicing Pecans asking me if I would try their pecans, do a review and share with my readers. Pecans? Of course!

I received a box from them with a generous sampling of spiced pecans –

Cinnamon, Coffee, Herb and Hot & Spicy. (I know what you’re thinking but nope…I didn’t use the Hot & Spicy for my recipe).

So, the day I got the pecans in the mail, I waited until my kids got home from school – great opportunity for a sampling and to get different opinions.

These pecans are all very good, but the one that stood out was the Coffee. My daughter and I couldn’t get enough of them. They are actually way more flavorful than they appear.

Here’s a rundown:

Herb: Garlic and onion-y, but not overpowering.

Hot & Spicy: Very flavorful, a hint of salty with just enough of a kick.

Coffee: Great coffee flavor and a little bit of sweetness.

Cinnamon: Really good wood/spice taste and aroma, also with a little taste of sweet at the end.

 

For my original recipe using these spiced pecans, I wanted to use sweet potatoes. It is the holidays, after all, and I decided since we were so crazy about the coffee flavored nuts I wanted to pair the two together.

These are insane. I’m serious….a snack by themselves. I’m sure you can tell by the amount of nuts already gone from the jars.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary, Gruyere and Coffee Spiced Pecans

1.5 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 large)

1 tbsp fresh Rosemary, chopped

1/2 tbsp real butter, melted

2 tbsp Gruyere cheese, grated or sliced thin

2 tbsp light brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Topping

2 pats real butter, melted

1 dash Worcestershire sauce

About 2 tbsp Coffee Spiced Pecans

Preheat oven to 400°. Wash and scrub sweet potatoes, then using a fork make several holes to allow steam to escape. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until easily pricked with a fork or knife. Allow to cool a few minutes, then slice each potato lengthwise.

Scoop out the centers and place in a medium size mixing bowl. Add the butter, brown sugar, rosemary, cheese, salt and pepper and mix well. Carefully add the potato mixture back to the skins equally.

For the topping, mix together the butter and Worcestershire sauce and drizzle over the halved potatoes. Sprinkle with pecans and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until just starting to brown around the edges.

Happy Monday!

~Dixie Chik~

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Inappropriate Elf Contest Submission

I just wanted to quickly post my submission to the Inappropriate Elf Contest hosted by Baby Rabies!

I meant to do this sooner, but time has really gotten away from me. The contest ends tonight at midnight CST if you’re interested in participating. The prize is an Apple iPad 2.

You can enter here.

After sitting with us watching SNL digital shorts on Hulu,

he left the room, and this is what we found him doing later:

Jackson you’re bad…very,very bad.

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Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

It’s that time. Christmas parties, office Holiday get togethers, family gatherings, etc.

You want to bring something to contribute to that big party that isn’t sooooooo……BORING.

Let’s take a look at what we’re all used to shall we….

1)  Sausage Balls.

 Don’t get me wrong, I really love sausage balls but they are kinda cliché, don’t kill me, please. Remember I did say I love them.

2) Cheese Ball Rolled in Chopped Nuts.

Very tasty, however – I would like to be able to go to the bathroom in the next week or so. But again, tasty.

3) Rotel Dip.

So ’90’s. Have to admit, can’t resist it. Let me reiterate the whole bathroom situation thing.

4) Fudge.

Not able to classify this by decade – A classic, not the most exciting, hard to resist, but still….

You get the picture. We all do cherish these classic dishes and will continue to use them.

However….People let’s freshen up these holiday shindigs!

This is a refreshing, creamy, yet rich and zippy appetizer to serve all those eggnog intoxicated family members of yours.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

Adapted from Jamie Cooks It Up!

12 oz fresh cranberries

1/4 cup green onion, chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

1 small jalapeno pepper, diced small

1 1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp cumin

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 dash salt

2 8 oz blocks cream cheese, brought to room temp, but you won’t need it for a few hours

In a food processor, combine cranberries through salt. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Spread cream cheese flat on a serving plate. Stir cranberry mixture well and spoon over cream cheese. Serve with crackers, pita chips, Frito’s….your choice!! Whatever you dip it with will be amazing….

It may just be crack in a different form.

XOXO!

~Dixie Chik~

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Oreo Brownie Cookie Bar

This cookie bar is insanity. Chocolate, Oreo, cookie, fudgey insanity.

I find myself posting more and more sweets here lately; but they are not for me, mind you. I live with three garbage disposals and they mainly dispose of sugar, chocolate and/or more sugar and chocolate….throwing in the random Cheez-It. Good thing I’ve learned to sneak veggies into some of my dishes.

Sssshhhh. Don’t tell Katie.

I found this recipe on Pinterest, which by the way if you aren’t already on there you will be soon.

It’s ridiculously addictive. It’s the holidays.

Splurge.

Here’s your printable-

Oreo Brownie Cookie Bar

Ingredients

  • 1 box Fudge Brownie mix
  • 1 packet Sugar Cookie mix, Family Size
  • 1 package Oreos
  • 1 jar Hot Fudge

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Combine the cookie mix ingredients according to package directions. Do the same with the brownie mix, but add 1/4 cup of the hot fudge to the batter and stir.
  • Line a 9x13 baking dish with wax paper and begin to layer: First the cookie dough, Oreos and then brownie batter.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until done in the center (test with a toothpick). Drizzle with hot fudge.

Notes

Adapted from Kevin and Amanda.

http://www.dixiechikcooks.com/oreo-brownie-cookie-bar/

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