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Summer Kielbasa Skillet

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I’m constantly looking for quick or easy dinners for my boyfriend and I to make on weeknights after work. I’m no Iron Chef, but I can cook a thing or too. We also love cooking together, so it is like a challenge to find new and interesting things for us to try. Thanks to Pinterest, ideas are never short at hand. To our credit, we didn’t use a specific Pinterest recipe this time. I was inspired in part by various pin pictures, but also by my boyfriend’s favorite restaurant: Denny’s. We’re constantly there so he can order his Lumberjack Slam. Always looking at the skillet meals, but never ordering them.

Another piece of my inspiration came from a recent obsession I’ve been coping with: bell peppers. We’ve been looking for other ways to use them than our go-to, and favorite, fajitas. We’ve had a few flops, like a fajita pasta I saw on a FaceBook video that was so rich, it tasted like we didn’t make enough money. [Think of a better joke about rich money vs rich flavor] I’ve been putting them in my scrambled eggs on those not so frequent times I make myself breakfast in the morning. I’ve been putting raw, sliced bell peppers in my lunch box for work. (I even tried putting them in takeout lo mein leftovers. Not my best moment.) I’ve given up on my edgy ideas and went back to skillet cooking my peppers.

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I wanted something with a lot of veggies, but he wanted something with a lot of meat and carbs. We compromised with this dish. After a quick grocery run to get the missing ingredients, we were salivating over a sizzling cast iron skillet and I was stealing bites of the raw peppers.

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The second time we made this recipe, we bought one of those steamer bags of potatoes to make the cooking time go a little faster. We kept pretty much everything else the same. The steamed potatoes came out a little soft, but we decided we liked that. It added another dimension of texture. If you do steam your potatoes, do it while your kielbasa and onions are cooking. Then throw in the potatoes while you cut up your peppers.

*You can totally use canned or frozen corn for this recipe, but I prefer the corn on the cob. It is also really good if you roast the corn instead of boiling it. YUM.

**I was looking for a crisp, light flavor. So I cooked mine for less time.

This recipe is perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for something new to try or something quick to make after work, this meal is sure to please.

Summer Kielbasa Skillet
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1lb kielbasa (or your favorite sausage)
  • 2-3 ears of corn
  • ½ of a green bell pepper
  • ½ orange bell pepper
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • ½ yellow bell pepper
  • 3 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 medium-large onion
  • green onions
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sugar
Instructions
  1. Start a pot of water to boil for your ears of corn. If you like extra sweet corn, add a tsp or so of sugar to the water as it boils.
  2. Heat up your skillet and add about 1 tsp of olive oil, or enough to cover, once the pan is hot.
  3. While your skillet is heating, chop the potatoes into 1-inch cubes.
  4. Add in your potatoes. Cook these for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking. Sprinkle salt and pepper on potatoes
  5. While your potatoes are cooking, prep the rest of your ingredients; chunk the peppers into roughly one-inch chunks. Slice the onion into slivers and the kielbasa into discs. Chop the green onions for garnish later.
  6. Add in onions and sliced kielbasa to your skillet. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking.
  7. When the onions start to become translucent, add in the peppers.
  8. When the corn is finished cooking,
  9. let it cool
  10. before cutting it off the cob.*
  11. When your peppers are cooked enough that they have your preferred level of softness** to them, mix in the corn.
  12. Allow the corn to cook together for a minute or two and get some of that skillet flavor.
  13. Once everything is nice and delicious, sprinkle green onion on top to garnish.
  14. *You can totally use canned or frozen corn for this recipe, but I prefer the corn on the cob. It is also really good if you roast the corn instead of boiling it. YUM.
  15. **I was looking for a crisp, light flavor. So I cooked mine for less time.

Classic Pasta Salad

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I grew up going to family cookouts on a regular basis. We were a really close family, so close that many of us lived within walking distance of each other. We were the kind of family where everyone gathers at grandma and grandpa’s for Sunday breakfast each week. That means I spent almost every weekend with 4-6 of my eight cousins.

Now that almost all of us cousins are grown up, we actually contribute more than noise to the family cookouts. (Ok, truth told we probably contribute more noise now.) We are almost all above the age of 21, we don’t live that close together anymore, and everyone is always so busy. That means these days when we have cookouts; it’s a pretty big deal.

Recently, we were having a pig roast, and I thought pasta salad would be the easiest thing I could make. I’m not a super great chef, so I was convinced pasta salad was safe enough it would be difficult for me to screw up. After all, pasta salad is a cookout classic; if I messed it up, you can be sure someone would notice.

Thankfully, I did not screw up the pasta salad. I did accidentally leave out the tomatoes and didn’t dress it again before serving, but there weren’t any complaints from the family.

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Since I was feeling innovative, I also made an alternative to this pasta salad. It was in addition to the standard pasta salad of course; you don’t want the natives to throw a fit when you show up with pasta salad, and it’s not what they were expecting. If you are a little more daring than my family, you can find the recipe for the Southwestern Pasta Salad here.

Classic Pasta Salad
This summer cookout classic is sure to be a hit at your dinner table.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 10 servings
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1 box of pasta of your choice
  • 1 carton cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 block of sharp cheddar, cubed
  • ½ cup Italian dressing (start small and add more later)
  • 1 can black olives, halved
  • 1 large cucumber halved
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta to your liking.
  2. While pasta is cooking, cut up all of your veggies and the cheese.
  3. Mix all ingredients
  4. except the dressing
  5. in a bowl.
  6. Stir until everything is well mixed.
  7. Slowly add dressing to your liking. You can always add more; you can’t take it back.
  8. Chill pasta salad for at least 30 minutes.
  9. Stir, add more dressing if necessary, and serve.