Monday, March 30, 2015

It's Five O'Clock Somewhere!

Most of the challenges thrown at the 37 Cooks involve food. There's been a lot of baking, braising, simmering, frying and grilling going on. Sure, once in a while there's a beverage that creeps in, but when you're working with sausage, or a baking book, or some spices, most of the recipes will involve food rather than drink.

But the 37 are a thirsty lot, and they're just as creative in a glass as they are on a plate or in a bowl. The "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" challenge proves that point. The cooks were asked to create a fun cocktail or mocktail and, as usual, they knocked it out of the park!

Rumor has it that the testing was a lot of fun, but it's the results that matter. We think you'll be pretty impressed in the coming days, so belly up to the bar and enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cheesy Sausage Rolls

Sometimes you want something quick, snack-ish, yet still healthy. Let's say you're going to hang with your hubby watching a game, or you have kids who are roaringly hungry and need to eat right now! You need to make something simple, but good.

That was the situation I imagined for myself when challenged to use Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage. This fully-cooked sausage needs only a quick dash through a hot oven to be ready to serve. I combined it with a quick variation on cheese biscuits, and ta-da! Simple, healthy, quick and satisfying. 

Cheesy Sausage Rolls
by Maurita (
Will make 5 perfect little rolls

1 12-ounce package Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage

Ultra-quick cheese biscuit dough:
1 cup (4 ounces) self-rising flour, plus a bit more for rolling out the biscuit dough
1/2 cup grated cheese (I used Gruyere)
1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
NOTE: You could flavor the biscuits just about any way you wish! Omit the cheese, add herbs, have fun.

Preheat the oven to 400°F - by the time the sausage rolls are ready to bake, the oven should be ready. Place a rack in the upper one-third of the oven.

Put the self-rising flour and the grated cheese in a bowl, and toss it to coat the cheese bits with the flour. Mix in the cream until a shaggy dough forms. If it's too dry, add in a bit more cream or milk; the humidity can affect how biscuit dough comes together. You should be able to squeeze the dough into a cohesive ball without it being sticky or oozy.

On a floured board, pat or roll the dough 3/4 of an inch thick and cut the dough into strips.

Wrap each sausage with strips of dough in a spiral. Place the dough-wrapped sausages on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake in the top third of the oven about 15 minutes, until the biscuits are golden and the sausages are hot.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Papa’s New World Giambotta

One of my father's favorites, made healthier by Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage. This was often a breakfast treat on Sunday morning.

Papa’s New World Giambotta
by Mary
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 red or green pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
4 small potatoes, boiled and diced
8 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add diced peppers and onions to olive oil and saute for 10 minutes, until slightly soft. You want them to retain some texture. Set aside in a separate bowl. Add diced potatoes to skillet with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Saute over medium heat until golden brown and tender, about 15 minutes. Mix into peppers and onions in bowl. Cut sausage into slices and brown in skillet over medium heat in 1 teaspoon olive oil for about 5 minutes.
Add peppers, onions and potatoes back into the skillet. Stir to blend and add salt and black pepper to taste. 
Scramble eggs and slowly add to the sausage and veggie mixture. Reduce heat to low, stirring continuously to break up curds while the eggs are cooking. Remove from the heat when the eggs are nearly set, they will continue to cook off of the heat. Serve with thick toast for breakfast or a mixed greens salad for lunch or supper.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spinach-Sausage Gratinee

This makes a nice brunch dish and is not only delicious, but healthy, too!

Spinach-Sausage Gratinee
by Judy
Makes 4 servings

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, chopped
One package Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage, sliced into 1/2" disks
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
12 ounces fresh baby spinach
Cooking spray
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add onions, saute 3 to 4 minutes, then add garlic and saute one minute, stirring constantly.

Add sausage and saute 5 minutes. Add cayenne pepper and flour, saute 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Combine milk and eggs. Reduce heat to medium. Stir milk mixture into sausage mixture, bring to a boil and cook two minutes, stirring. Add spinach and heat till spinach wilts a bit, about two minutes. Spoon mixture into ramekins which have been coated with cooking spray (may also be baked in a 2-quart casserole dish, if preferred.)

Mix breadcrumbs with melted butter and spoon over spinach mixture. Top with Parmesan cheese evenly over each ramekin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or 30 minutes if using casserole dish.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Plumber's Twice-Baked Potatoes

Like many avid cooks, I have a very genial relationship with several people who work in the produce department of my regular grocery store. I often ask them to slice a cabbage in half or when certain things are in season. Shopping for the Bilinski's ​Healthy Kale ​Balsamic Chicken Sausage Challenge, however, one of these genial gentleman helped me name these tasty twice-baked potatoes.

See, I was looking for leeks. Finding none, I approached him to ask, "Do you guys have any leeks today?"

"Thank God," he said, looking relieved. "Are you the plumber? We've been waiting for you for hours!"

It took me a beat to understand the pun, and it took him only moments to locate some of the delicious veggies for me. But since these twice-baked potatoes are full of leeks (leaks!) and kale (which is good for your, ahem, plumbing) the dish's title was born!

Serve these potatoes as a light main dish or a delicious side with the protein of your choice.

Plumber's Twice-Baked Potatoes

by Kate
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen
Serves four as a main course, up to eight as a side

​4 medium russet potatoes
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2-3 leeks (halved, sliced thin and rinsed well)
Salt and pepper to taste
​2 Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausages, diced
1 cup white cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup light sour cream
Several ribbons of fresh kale to garnish (optional)
Special equipment: Aluminum foil, mixer (optional)

​Preheat your oven to 400°F in order to bake the potatoes the first time. After washing them well, pierce each potato all over with a fork, then wrap the spuds in aluminum foil. Bake for about 90 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender to the touch. Set aside and allow to cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, set a medium sauce pan on the stove over medium heat. Add your butter and olive oil, and once melted, stir in your leeks. Season with salt and pepper, and saute the leeks for about 10 minutes until they're tender, but not brown, turning down the heat to medium-low if necessary.

Add the Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausages, ​stirring the meat into the leeks and cooking until edges are crisp, about 3-5 minutes longer. Scoop leak and sausage mixture into the bowl of your mixer - if you have one. If not, transfer to a bowl in which you can use a masher.

Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them carefully in half lengthwise. Using a spoon or a melon baller, scoop out the tender interior of the potato, leaving only a shell of intact potato near the skin. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and place the shells upon it.

Place the scooped potato into the bowl with your leeks and sausage. Turn the mixer on low - do not over mix or you risk gummy potatoes - and gently mash everything together. Add 3/4 cup of the cheese to the bowl along with the sour cream. Season well with salt and pepper, salting aggressively. Gently mix again.

Spoon your filling into the prepared potato shells. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese and ribbons of kale, if desired. In your still 400°F oven, bake the potatoes again for about 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is crisp and golden brown.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Bilinski - Kale & Chicken Sausage Chili

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Bilinski's Kale & Chicken Sausage Chili
by Lori
Serves 8

4 acorn squash (approximately 6 inches in diameter each)
1 package Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 medium red onion, coarse chop
1 medium red pepper, coarse chop
1/2 medium yellow pepper, coarse chop
2 15-ounce cans black eyed peas
28 ounces chunky tomato sauce
6 ounces tomato paste
4 Tablespoons chili powder
3 Tablespoons paprika
2 Tablespoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried
2 teaspoons onion powder
4 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt to taste 
2 cups chopped baby kale (or spinach)
1 cup Irish cheddar, grated

Cut each squash in half, scoop out seeds, brush with olive oil and place, cut side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400°F degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until evenly baked through and tender. Turn over and prick with toothpick to check tenderness of squash - you are aiming for baked potato tenderness.

Brown sausage, add onion and sauté. Add red pepper, yellow pepper and black eyed peas. Add chunky tomato sauce, tomato paste, and spices and mix well. Simmer for 20-30 minutes

Fold in baby kale (or spinach) and fill scooped out center of baked squash with chili. It should be slightly heaping. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 10 to 15 minutes. Take out of oven and garnish with grated Irish cheddar.

Let stand for 5 minutes and serve.