Rustic Potato and Sausage Soup

Rustic Potato and Sausage Soup

The new year is upon us…

Many of us are thinking of eating healthier, and I’m a firm believer that eating well and eating foods you enjoy should go hand in hand. Rustic Potato and Sausage Soup is guilt-free comfort food that’s loaded with kale and vegetables.  It’s a homey soup that’s warming and hearty with a rich tomato laced chicken broth, tender baby potatoes, Italian sausage and vegetables. Paprika, garlic, and fresh herbs give added depth of flavour to this rustic, chunky soup. 

Healthy potatoes, rich in potassium and vitamin C add fibre with their skins and a rustic earthiness.  Tender kale, also rich in nutrients, gently clings to all it surrounds for a wonderful spoonful.  It’s the best of both worlds, being hearty and comforting while still being healthy, satisfying, and full of flavour.  So even if eating better is not on your resolution list this year, you’ll still want a big bowl of this satisfying soup.  Enjoy!

Author:  Compelled to Cook

Rustic Potato and Sausage Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Rustic Potato and Sausage Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. Over medium heat add 1 tbsp of olive to a large pot or dutch oven. Add sausage links and cook until golden and no longer pink, turning often about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove cooked sausage to a paper towel-lined dish to absorb any excess fat. To the same pot add remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic, sauté for 4-5 minutes until starting to soften and have sweat off some of their moisture.
  3. Pour in chicken broth and tomatoes crushed with your hands. Add potatoes, bay leaf, oregano, parsley, and both paprikas. Cover and simmer on low for about 10 minutes until potatoes are almost tender. While soup is cooking, chop kale and cooked sausage into bite-size pieces.
  4. Add kale and sausage to the pot and continue to cook partially covered for about 5 minutes until kale is cooked but still has some colour and bite. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately with crusty bread if desired.

Cranberry Pork Rib Roast

Cranberry Pork Rib Roast

Move over turkey, there’s another succulent, juicy, easy to carve meat in town.  Cranberry Pork Rib Roast is an excellent way to entertain and impress this holiday season.  Flavoured with rosemary, mustard and garlic, it roasts up beautifully in a couple of hours.  Served with a cranberry apple sauce gives it a wonderfully delicious holiday flare that’s sure to impress.

I love pork rib roasts for the bones.  They provide a little extra fat and flavour, plus, they help to keep the roast moist throughout the roasting process.  This stunning pork rib roast is just as much a showpiece as your golden turkey, it’s easy to carve and perfect for 6-10 people, depending on size and how you slice it.  Pork and apples are a natural pairing, which makes the cranberry apple sauce the perfect accompaniment to this lovely roast.  Enjoy!

Recipe source for Cranberry Pork Rib Roast:  Compelled To Cook

Cranberry Pork Rib Roast
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-10 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
120 minutes 20-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-10 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
120 minutes 20-30 minutes
Cranberry Pork Rib Roast
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-10 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
120 minutes 20-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-10 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
120 minutes 20-30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
Pork Rib Roast
  1. Preheat oven to 475℉. Pat roast dry with a paper towel and season generously on all sides with salt and pepper. In a small bowl whisk together remaining ingredients until smooth and rub evenly onto the roast. Place roast on a large baking tray or shallow roasting pan fat side up. Cook for 15 minutes in preheated oven then reduce temperature to 350℉. Continue to roast for 90-120 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 145℉. The meat will continue to rise about 10℉ as it rests.
  2. Remove roast from oven and cover loosely with foil. Allow to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes before carving. For larger appetites, you can carve the roast into chops between the bones and serve. Alternatively, you can carve off the bones from the center loin, allowing you to slice the loin to your desired thickness. Cut the ribs between the bones and serve along side.
Cranberry Apple Sauce
  1. Heat oil in a small saucepan and sauté shallots for 1-2 minutes until starting to soften. Add cranberries, apple, 1/2 cup water, white wine, brown sugar, rosemary and ginger. Allow to simmer gently, stirring occasionally until the cranberries are soft and the apples are tender. This will take about 20 minutes and most of the excess moisture will be evaporated.
  2. Stir in jellied cranberry, cinnamon and salt, allowing the jellied cranberry to melt into the sauce. Adjust consistency with a tablespoon or two of water if necessary. The sauce can be made ahead and warmed gently for serving. Makes 1 3/4 cups of sauce.

Baked Apricot Mustard Ham

Baked Apricot Mustard Ham

Looking to feed a crowd of hungry relatives and friends this Easter? Baked Apricot Mustard Ham will not only feed the small army you call family, it will also slice out enough ham for leftovers along with a ham bone for soup. The meal that keeps on giving, in an oooh so tasty and simple way. The herby mustard rub is my standard go to paste to rub on most everything but this time with the addition of apricot jam. The jam helps to glaze the ham and cut the salt with a touch of sweetness. You’ll also love, love, love the fresh herbs, especially the rosemary, which is such a wonderful pairing with ham.

Aside from the ham, which I could chatter on about, this post also warms my heart for another reason. It’s the kind gesture and thoughtfulness from a wonderful friend who gave me the opportunity to use a family treasure in my post. The silver and stainless steel carving set used in the pictures belonged to my friend’s Grandmother on his father’s side.

There are actually 3 pieces to the set although I only used two in my pictures. The set includes a fork, knife and sharpening steel, which looks much different from what we see today. All pieces are stamped with WM Rogers and Son, who was a well know silversmith and pioneer in the silver plate industry. They’re tarnished like heck and the knife is uneven from use or sharpening, but this vintage set is prop gold and absolutely beautiful in my photos. Thank you Mike for thinking of me, Happy Easter.

Recipe source for Baked Apricot Mustard Ham:  Compelled To Cook

You may also like Braised Lamb Shoulder for your Easter gathering.

Baked Apricot Mustard Ham
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12-15 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 hours 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12-15 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 hours 15 minutes
Baked Apricot Mustard Ham
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12-15 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 hours 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12-15 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 hours 15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325℉. Remove ham from packaging and dab dry with a paper towel. Score ham by cutting just through the skin in diagonal lines about 1" apart. Repeat diagonal line in the opposite direction to create a diamond pattern.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together mustard, half the apricot jam, chopped fresh herbs, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  3. Lay ham face down in roasting pan and scatter a handful of fresh herbs around the ham. Smear half of the mustard rub evenly over ham. Add 3/4 cup water to the pan and cover tightly with foil.
  4. Bake for approximately 2-2 1/2 hours until warmed through and an internal temperature of 135℉ is reached. Increase oven temperature to 400℉ and strain liquid from pan. Rub ham with remaining mustard rub and continue to bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes until golden and browned and the internal temperature is 145℉. Remove from oven and recover with foil and allow to rest 15 minutes. Slice and serve.
  5. While ham is resting, reduce liquid from pan by 1/3. Whisk in 1/4-1/3 cup apricot jam to taste and serve along side the ham.
Mushroom Bacon Risotto

Mushroom Bacon Risotto

Truthfully, I don’t make a lot of risotto, so when a friend recently made me a delicious bacon risotto, I remembered what all the fuss is about. Mushroom Bacon Risotto is a splendid variation, loaded with flavour, creamy and luscious.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Mushroom Bacon Risotto is a lovely dish to share with your sweetheart. Indulgent with bacon and cheese, bright with a splash of wine and earthy with garlic and mushrooms. Tastes wickedly good without being too heavy and perfect with steamed asparagus and a glass of wine. Simple and elegant!

It’s not the quickest risotto, having to sauté the bacon and mushrooms first, but the combination is fantastic and worth the extra effort. I like to add the cooked bacon and mushrooms at the end, that way they retain their texture, especially the bacon. For me, it’s best with a little bit of crispiness and chew, giving the risotto some texture. The bacon also adds salt, so I find low sodium broth is best in this case, seasoning accordingly at the end. So come and find out what the fuss is all about with Mushroom Bacon Risotto!

Recipe source for Mushroom Bacon Risotto:  Compelled To Cook

 

Mushroom Bacon Risotto
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
43-45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
43-45 minutes
Mushroom Bacon Risotto
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
43-45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
43-45 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet fry bacon over medium heat until crisp tender and most of the fat has rendered. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and reserve fat. Once bacon has cooled enough to handle, coarsely chop.
  2. Using same skillet, increase heat to medium high and add 1 tbsp of bacon fat. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until starting to brown and moisture has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. In same skillet over medium heat add 1 tbsp of bacon fat and chopped shallot and sauté until starting to soften but not brown, about 2 minutes. Add minced garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring often.
  4. Stir in rice and continue to sauté and stir until rice is coated, about 1 minute. Add wine, stirring to combine and scraping up any bits stuck to the pan. Allow to be mostly absorbed, about 1 minute.
  5. Adjust temperature to medium and add 1/2 cup of broth, stirring to combine and allowing broth to absorb. Continue adding broth by the 1/2 cup, allowing each portion to be mostly absorbed before adding more, stirring often.
  6. When down to the last cup of broth, test for texture and add more broth if desired, saving 1/4 cup for finishing. When the rice is al dente and the last addition of broth has been absorbed, stir in mushrooms and bacon. Add remaining 1/4 cup of broth, parmesan cheese, butter and parsley. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Makes approximately 4 1/2 cups of risotto, enough for 3 main dish servings or 6 side dish servings.

Smoky Apple Ribs

Smoky Apple Ribs

So for those of you who know me or those that have read a few of my posts know that one of my biggest frustrations with cooking in general is finding ingredients in my small community. I’m not talking about off the wall items here either! Today’s annoyance AND joy doesn’t come from what I can’t find, but what I can. I’m hard pressed to find fresh bean sprouts in this town, but have no problem plucking a Gravenstein apple white balsamic vinegar off the shelf. So while the whole situation has me rolling my eyes, I delight in my newly acquired treasure.  One that gives way to spectacular Smoky Apple Ribs.

Sweet, tart and fruity, the Gravenstein apply balsamic vinegar makes for an amazing smoky bbq sauce. It’s even better when you slather that sauce on meaty pork ribs. Juicy, fall off the bone pork ribs, sticky with smoky sauce that has a mild, yet distinctive apple undertone is what little treasures become. Enjoy!

Recipe inspired by Evoolution’s Apple BBQ Sauce

Smoky Apple Ribs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
3 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
3 hours
Smoky Apple Ribs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
3 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
3 hours
Instructions
Ribs
  1. Preheat oven to 275℉. In a small bowl whisk together sugar and spices. Remove the thin membrane on the back side of ribs if not already done by butcher. Liberally coat the rib rack on all sides with spice rub.
  2. Wrap ribs tightly in aluminum foil with meat side up. Place on large baking tray and bake for approximately 3 hours until meat is tender. Make sauce while ribs are cooking.
  3. Preheat oven to broil and position rack to 6-8" from broiler. Remove ribs from foil and place back on baking tray lined with fresh foil. Brush liberally with sauce on both sides and broil for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from oven and cut between bones. Serve immediately with extra sauce on the side.
Sauce
  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a full simmer. Reduce heat and allow to simmer uncovered for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. Sauce should be reduced slightly and flavours melded. Yielding approximately 2 cups of sauce.
Recipe Notes

I had approximately 1/2 cup of sauce left over without serving any on the side. Can freeze for another use.  Also great with grilled pork tenderloin.