Friday, March 6, 2015

Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage over Lentils

If you ask anyone that knows me, I’m sure that they would be able to tell you that chicken sausage is one of my favorite foods! I could not have been more excited to find out that Bilinski’s was our first sponsor for the New Year. I got inspiration for this dish from an appetizer at my favorite restaurant. It was a cold day and it couldn’t have been more comforting. To me, this is a warm, hearty and healthy dish to have anytime.

Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage over Lentils
by Sarah M.

2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
2 small carrots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
1 Tablespoon good balsamic vinegar
1 cup green lentils
2 1/2 cup vegetable broth (use whatever broth/stock you have on hand)
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage
French bread, cut into thin slices
Gorgonzola cheese

Sauté the celery, onion, carrots and garlic in a bit of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat until they become tender and begin to brown. Deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar. Toss in the lentils and stir; then add the broth, bay leaf and a few grinds of salt and pepper. Let simmer until the broth is almost absorbed and the lentils become tender (about 45-50 minutes or so.) Don't forget to take out the bay leaf before you serve.

Add the sausage to a sauté pan over medium-high until they become browned on all sides and hot all the way through.

Toast the thin French bread slices until they become crisp. Top with crumbles of Gorgonzola cheese and broil for a minute or so, just enough to let the cheese get soft and almost melty (watch carefully!)

Top the lentils with the sausage and serve with the Gorgonzola toast points.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Arroz con Bilinski Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausauge and Corn

Arroz con Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage and Corn
by Carlos

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 package Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup sofrito (recipe below)
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup Goya Pitted Alcaparrado (Spanish olives, pimientos, and capers)
1 package Goya Sazon con Culantro y Achiote
1 Tablespoon of cumin
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon sea salt
2 cups long-grain rice
1 can yellow corn drained
4 cups heated chicken broth

Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven. When oil is heated add sliced chicken sausage and brown for a few minutes. Then add sofrito, tomato paste, alcaparrado, sazon con culantro y achiote, cumin, bay leaf, and sea salt. Saute for a few minutes. Add rice and stir to coat and color. Next add the corn, and mix well. Add the chicken broth. Heat to a medium boil. When the liquid meets just above the level of the rice, give it a good stir, lower heat to low and cover. Continue cooking for 20 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Sofrito
by Carlos

2 green peppers, seeded and chopped
2 red peppers, seeded and chopped
12 ajices dulces, tops removed
4 large plum tomatoes, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
1 head of garlic, peeled
1 large bunch of cilantro, do not remove stems
12 recao leaves (culantro) if you can’t find this, just use another large bunch of cilantro
1 Tablespoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon pepper

Mix each ingredient one at a time into a food processor. Process to a chunky consistency, not watery.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage and Black Bean Soup

One of the things I love most about being a part of 37 Cooks (besides the great friends I've made) is the opportunity to cook with some wonderful products, and this challenge did not disappoint! When the generous folks at Bilinski's sent each of us a package of their Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage, I knew immediately that I wanted to incorporate it into a warm, cozy and healthy soup. I don't normally cook with a lot of sausage because it can be so rich and heavy. I can say without hesitation that I really loved Bilinski's sausage. It was mild, yet so full of great flavor. It's organic, low in fat, light and healthy. It was a perfect addition to this soup! Be sure to check out Bilinski's website...you won't believe all of the delicious sounding products they offer!

Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage and Black Bean Soup
by Susan

1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup celery, diced (about 3-4 stalks)
1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced (about 3-4)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
4 cups chicken stock
1 can petite diced tomatoes with juice
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 bay leaf
1 package Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage

In a large pot or Dutch oven heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and carrots. Saute about 7 minutes. Add red bell pepper and garlic to pot. Saute about 2 more minutes. Add stock, tomatoes, black beans and spices, stirring well. Bring to a slow boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender (about 45 minutes.) Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Slice chicken sausage into 1/4-inch slices and add to soup. Keeping soup on simmer, heat through (about 15 minutes.) Since the sausage is already cooked right out of the package, it's very important not to add it to the soup until the end. You don't want it to over-cook.

Serve with a nice crusty bread and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage with Shrimp, Peppers and Caramelized Onions over Creamy Polenta

The Bilinski's sausage challenge presented a few firsts for me. This was the first time that I tried Bilinski Sausage Company's sausage, the first time that I caramelized onions and the first time that I made polenta. Have I been missing out! After this challenge, I will be seeking out other Bilinski's sausages to try. All of their sausages are antibiotic-free, soy-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, casing-free, and preservative-free. Yet, they are full of flavor and packed with healthy chicken and organic herbs and spices. What a perfect product to add to my family's meals.

We were challenged to create a dish to pair with the Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage. The sausage was delicious on it's own, with a hint of sweetness from the balsamic vinegar. I knew that it would pair well with shrimp, peppers and caramelized onions.

Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage with Shrimp, Peppers and Caramelized Onions over Creamy Polenta
by Tonda

For the onions:
3 teaspoons butter
Olive oil to coat the pan
3 large yellow sweet onions, sliced

For the polenta:
2 cups milk
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup polenta
1 cup shredded Italian 4 cheese blend

For the sausage and shrimp mixture:
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Cajun Seasoning
Cooking spray for grill pan
1 green pepper, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 orange pepper, sliced
6 Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausages
Italian flat leaf parsley, minced

Let's start by caramelizing the onions as they need to cook low and slow. Coat the bottom of the saute pan with olive oil and butter. Heat the pan on medium-high until the oil starts to shimmer. Add the onions and toss to coat them with oil. Saute the onions until golden, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to medium-low to prevent the onions from burning and/or drying out. If they do start to dry, add a little bit of water to the pan. Let the onions cook for approximately 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Keep the onions evenly spread over the pan. As you get closer to the 30 minute mark, you may need to turn the heat down a little and stir more often. The end result is sweet and bursting with flavor. Set the onions aside.

Next let's preheat the grill to a medium-high temperature before we start the polenta.

Now, for the polenta...Add the milk, water and salt to the top of a double boiler. Heat the mixture to a boil. Gradually add the polenta, stirring constantly until thickened. Cook, stirring frequently, for approximately 25 minutes. Blend in the cheese when the polenta is cooked and tender.

Back to the grill...Sprinkle the shrimp with the seasoning. Spray the grill pan with cooking spray and let it heat up on the grill. Turn the heat down to medium and add the peppers. Cook for approximately 10 minutes. The skin will start to blister. Add the sausage to the grill halfway through the cook time of the peppers. Grill the sausage 4 minutes per side. After 10 minutes, add the shrimp to the peppers in the grill pan and cook for approximately 5 minutes, until done.

Assemble the plate with polenta, caramelized onions, peppers, shrimp and one link of sausage, sliced. Sprinkle with parsley.

Enjoy!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Chicken Sausage and Cheddar Biscuits – breakfast to go!

I love breakfast. During the week, if I don't have something ready to grab as I go out the door, I will stop on the way to work and pick up something. It’s definitely healthier to make something myself. I especially like sausage and cheese biscuits. The Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage are a perfect substitute for my regular sausage. I can heat one in the microwave and hit the road, breakfast in hand. On the off chance I have a few extra minutes, a fried egg would make this a great breakfast sandwich.

Chicken Sausage and Cheddar Biscuits - breakfast to go!
by Sharyl
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker Sausage-Cheddar Biscuits

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes (1 stick)
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 pound Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage, chopped
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted - to brush top of biscuits

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix. Add the cubed butter and use a pastry cutter to work the butter into the flour mix. Add the cheese and sausage to the bowl and mix to combine. Add the buttermilk and use your hands to bring dough to a ball. If mixture is a little dry, add a little more buttermilk (I added about 1/4 cup more to my dough.) Roll out dough on flour covered cutting board. Roll so that dough is about 3/4-inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out the biscuits and move to a parchment-covered cookie sheet for baking. Space about 2 inches apart and brush tops with melted butter. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Enjoy your breakfast for the road!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Stuffed Belgian Endive


Here is a simple recipe that is a crowd-pleaser. You can serve them up on a cocktail buffet, or as first course. If you manage to have any leftovers, put the filling in a pita and stuff with some spinach for a tasty healthy sandwich.

Stuffed Belgian Endive
by Tracy

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
2 links Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage, diced
1/2 cup Granny Smith apple, diced
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted and cooled
1/4 cup parsley chopped
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4-6 Belgian Endives, washed, ends trimmed and leaves separated

Garnish
4 Tablespoons pomegranate seeds
2 Tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped

In a medium bowl, combine the feta, sausage, apple, pecans and parsley, set aside. In small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, mayonnaise, thyme and salt. Pour the whisked ingredients over the sausage mixture and toss to coat.

Using a Tablespoon, scoop the mixture into the endive leaves. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, crumbled feta and parsley. Serve.