I was talking to my firefighter last week and he, being a big fan of my blog (thank you sweetie), said, “Why don’t you do some firehouse friendly recipes?” Hmm. Good idea! Being the wife of a firefighter there are a lot of misconceptions about what a firefighter does when they are on duty. Many people have commented to both Henry and I that it must be nice to sit around and get paid to watch TV. Insensitive comments such as this infuriate me! Nothing could be further from the truth! Firefighters are away from their families for 24 hours, 2 days a week, work 48 hours a week minimum, they are responsible for making and purchasing their own meals, supplies, bedding, they are constantly training during a shift to cover any potentially dangerous scenario they may encounter during a fire, building collapse, apartment complex fire, and even a bomb threat. They perform various civic duties when needed, also, they have a list of tasks that each shift is responsible for, such as mowing the grass, cleaning, apparatus inspections, and numerous other duties, that leave little time for watching television, not to mention the obvious and most important contribution, to serve the community and protect those they serve, by making the ultimate sacrifice, of putting themselves in harm’s way to save lives, even with the possibility that they may perish while saving another.
I just wish people would be mindful of the sacrifices public servants such as firemen, police officers, EMT workers, and our military make on our behalf. Not everyone has the capacity, or posses the ability to perform the grueling and demanding aspects of these jobs, not to mention the mental toughness it takes having to deal with the horrific tragedies they witness as part of their job, that stay with them long after their tour is over. These men and women serve proudly, and they ask nothing in return for their sacrifice except, RESPECT. They deserve our respect, appreciation, and admiration for all they do to keep us safe! God Bless them all!! xo
Shells With Spicy Sausage, Spinach and Broccoli Rabe
In a large pasta pot fill with water and bring to boil and cook pasta as directed.
Remove sausage from their casing by running a sharp knife down the back of the sausage pull meat out of casing. This will give the sausage a better cooking consistency. Set aside.
Heat a large frying pan on medium high heat, add a bit of olive oil, and add your sausage along with the sage. Brown sausage until cooked through. Remove with slotted spoon or spider, put to side. Do not drain the pan, you want the flavor!
In the same pan add a little bit more olive oil, saute the garlic careful not to burn it, add broccoli rabe, cook for a few minutes to soften, add spinach, cook another minute or two then add sausage back to pan with the broccoli rabe and spinach, add the beef stock let simmer to heat through, add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Squeeze lemon over the top and simmer until pasta is done.
Drain pasta. In a large serving bowl add pasta, then add the sausage mixture over the pasta, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with freshly grated cheese. Enjoy!
A wonderful flavorful seafood dish that pairs well with the orzo!
Credit: CrazySexySavor.com/Susan Maurath
7 fish fillets, any white flaky fish will do, cod, scrod, flounder, etc. (patted dry and seasoned well with salt and pepper)
1 lemon juiced
3/4 cup white wine, (when making at the firehouse, the boys will use seafood broth with the juice of two lemons) *Please use a wine to cook with that you wouldn’t mind drinking!
1 tbsp. of butter to dot the fish with before baking
1/4 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic, crushed (1 minced)
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup prepared breadcrumbs (I use panko, either plain or whole wheat are fine)
zest of one lemon
chopped fresh oregano or 2 tsp. dry
kosher salt and pepper to taste
To prepare the breadcrumbs, take 1 cup of bread crumbs, to that add 1/4 cup of Romano Cheese, 1 clove minced garlic, 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix well. In a medium frying pan over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the bread crumbs and lightly toast, stirring constantly, for about a minute. Do not cook longer as the breadcrumbs will bake in the oven. Take out of the pan and place in a small bowl and set aside.
In a roasting pan, fit the fish in a single layer, squeeze the juice of one lemon. To the lemon juice add the white wine, 1/4 cup olive oil and the 4 whole cloves of crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Stir the sauce to combine. I like to add a pat of butter to make the sauce richer, but you can omit if you prefer.
Coat the fish well on both sides with the pan liquid.
Sprinkle the fish on top generously with the breadcrumb mixture
Bake at 375 for about 20-25 min. do not over bake.
Serve over the orzo with the liquid. Remove garlic and discard. Devour!
For the Herbed Buttered Orzo
1 lb. of orzo
2 tbsp. each of fresh thyme and fresh sage or any combination of herbs
3 tbsp. of butter
Pecorino Romano cheese
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
For the orzo
Cook orzo according to directions.
Drain and add to serving bowl. Toss with butter, fresh herbs, and cheese. Season with kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
1 1/2 lbs. of Rigitoni (Notice my play on words) Hubby’s on Rig 2
4 garlic cloves minced
2 lbs. of Sirloin Steak, you can use chuck but Sirloin is preferred
Peperoncino (those green pickled spicy Italian peppers) about 6 chopped ends disgarded
one small onion diced
1 6oz. can of tomato paste
1 32 oz. can of whole tomatoes including their juice
1 24 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. of sugar
1 1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1 tsp. each of dried basil, Italian seasoning, and oregano
Aunt Susie’s Signature Garlic Bread
2 loaves of Crusty Italian or French baguettes
2 minced garlic cloves
3 tbsp. of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1 stick of softened butter
2 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Thinly slice sirloin steaks against the grain.
In a large skillet heat 1 tbsp. each of butter and extra-virgin olive oil
When skillet is hot, add steak, careful not to crowd pan, making in batches as needed. Brown on both sides appx. 2 min. Don’t over cook, it will simmer in sauce.
Remove steak to plate and cover with another plate to keep warm.
In a large stock pot, boil water for Rigitoni as directed. Making sure to salt water before adding pasta and no oil please! *Oil will not allow your sauce to adhere to your pasta and it is totally an unnecessary step, to prevent pasta from sticking sauce and serve promptly!
In the same skillet, add more oil if needed and saute garlic and onion, turning down heat, saute until translucent about 3 or 4 min. Add both cans of tomatoes, and paste to skillet simmer for at least 15 min. I like a smooth sauce for this, so I use an emulsion blender to puree before I add the steak back to heat in the sauce for 5 min or until heated. Top with flat leaf parsley and pour over cooked pasta. Sprinkle with freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese over pasta and serve with crusty garlic bread and a nice salad! Enjoy
For the Garlic Bread
In a medium bowl cream butter, mayonnaise, and grated cheese to combine. Season with salt and pepper add minced fresh garlic, and flat leaf parsley.
Slice bread and slather on both sides of bread. I like to wrap in foil and bake in 375 degree oven for 15 min. then open foil for last 5 min. Slice and serve warm!