Sausage with Pepper and Onions

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage
2 red bell peppers, sliced
2 yellow onions, sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup Marsala wine
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
4 to 6 fresh Italian sandwich rolls, optional

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on both sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain.

Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the peppers, onions, salt, and pepper and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, basil, and garlic and cook 2 more minutes.

Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the Marsala wine, tomatoes, and chili flakes, if using. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the browned bits. Bring to a simmer.

Cut the sausages into 4 to 6 pieces each, about 1-inch cubes. Add the sausage back to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.

Split the rolls in half lengthwise. Hollow out the bread from the bottom side of each roll, being careful not to puncture the crust. Fill the bottom half of the roll with sausage mixture. Top and serve sandwiches immediately.

Croque Monsieur/Madame

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
Dijon mustard
8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.

To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.

Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread.

Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned.

Add an egg for Croque Madame

Pasta e Fagioli

3 tablespoons olive oil
5 ounces diced pancetta
1 cup minced onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
4 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage (or 2 teaspoons dried)
10 cups chicken or beef stock
8 oz. Pomi Crushed Tomatoes
2 cups small soup pasta
4 20 ounce cans drained Tuscan Cannellini beans
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or if you have saved the parmesan rind, throw it in!)
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the pancetta and saute for 3 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper and cook for five minutes. Add the garlic and sage and saute for two minutes more. Add the stock and crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Cook for 30 minutes. Add the pasta and beans and cook for 10-15 minutes or until al dente. Mix in the cheese and parsley before serving with additional cheese and bread.

Eggplant Caponata

1 medium eggplant, cubed
1 small red or spanish onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red pepper thinly sliced (optional)
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoon golden raisins
2 tablespoon drained capers
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Toasted baguette

Cook eggplant, red peppers and onion in olive oil until browned and tender, about 10 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook another 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, drained capers, raisins. wine vinegar and sugar; simmer until the tomatoes break up slightly, 5 to 10 minutes approximately.

Serve spread on toasted baguette. (As a variation, you might want to add a thin slice of mozzarella to the hot toasted baguette before spreading the caponata.)

Thai Corn Fritters

3 corn cobs
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 red or green chili, finely chopped
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 small bunch cilantro (aka coriander), finely chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3/4 cup rice flour or plain flour
2 eggs
4 tablespoons water
salt and pepper, to taste
oil, for frying

Sweet Chili Sauce or
Sweet & Sour Dipping Sauce

Using a sharp knife, slice the kernels from the cob and place in large bowl. Add all the other ingredients, except the oil and Chili Sauce. Stir well to mix thoroughly. The batter should be firm enough to hold its shape, but not stiff.

In a large skillet, heat oil for shallow frying, about 1/2? deep. Add spoonfuls of corn batter. spreading out with back of spoon to make a roundish fritter. Cook about 2 minutes on each side until cooked thoroughly and golden brown. If the fritters begin to brown too much before they are cooked, lower the flame.

Drain on kitchen paper and keep hot while frying more fritters

Serve hot with Sweet Chili Sauce or Sweet & Sour Dipping Sauce which can be bought at the supermarket or a Chinese food store.

Monkey Bread

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cans (16.3 oz each) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, if desired
1/2 cup raisins, if desired
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

Heat oven to 350°F.

Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube pan with shortening or cooking spray.
In large -storage plastic food bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.
Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan adding walnuts and raisins among the biscuit pieces.

In small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces.
Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm.