Sunday, February 23, 2014

Momma Riser's Red Sauce

An 8-12qt pot is needed. 

Puree all of the veggies pictured. Cook in large pot with 1/2 stick butter. 

  • 2 onions
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2gbp
  • 1rbp
  • 1obp
  • 1lb Roma tomatoes
  • 1lb, white mushrooms
  • 1 lb carrots
  • a handful of fresh basil. 

Brown 1lb hamburger + 1lb mild Italian sausage. Drain fat off cooked meat. (bottom right picture)

Add to cooking veggie mix. 

Open & dump all of those cans pictured above in the pot. 

  • 2 cans Campbell's Cream of Mushroom
  • 2 15 oz cans Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can Tomato Paste
  • 1 4 oz can Tomato Paste
  • 1 27 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce

Season with salt, pepper, parsley, oregano. 

Cook on low for 3-4hrs. 

Divide into 1-2 qt batches, ziploc & freeze. I use a regular mouth canning funnel to get the sauce into bag.

Meat is optional. A dear friend of mine prefers this sauce without meat.

The Rock Star prefers a sweet red sauce. He even asked me to put sugar in my red sauce early in our marriage. Huh?!?! Am I serving this in a elementary school cafeteria? No. So I added carrots and zucchini to sweeten the sauce. He loves it. The Genius Brother thinks that this sauce is a meal by itself. I agree.

Thanksgiving turkey comes out of hibernation

Open faced Turkey Pot Pie 

  • 3 c leftover Thanksgiving turkey (ours included bacon) 
  • 1/2lb chopped carrots 
  • 2 broccoli crowns, chopped 
  • 1/2 celery stalk, chopped 
  • 1 yellow onion, diced 
  • 2 c Tony Chachere's white gravy 
  • 2 c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 
  • 2 pie crusts 1 stick butter 

Saute chopped veggies with butter. Prepare white gravy according directions. Combine meat, veggies, gravy, & cheese in a large bowl. In a 9x13 glass dish, lay out 2 pie crusts to cover the bottom. Spoon the filling into pie crusted dish. Cook for 30-45min @350°.

The turkey was vacuum sealed & frozen for 3 months.

2014. I'll start over.....with food.

I love to cook. So many people do. I love a recipe. I love to experiment. I like food I can feed my family. This is a variation on the Chicken Florentine theme that has been through a bazillion remakes.

This meal happened to my life in my favorite grocery store HEB. Pre-Firstborn Child. It was DEMO Day - the grazer's favorite pasttime - the opportunity to create a food baby on appetizer size samples of food they want you to buy. I call it Food Sex.

One such demo was pasta florentine:
  • 1 lb of linguine, cooked/drained
  • 1 lb cooked shrimp 
  • 16 oz HEB Spinach Dip
The demo lady had mixed all of this together & it was very tasty. I bought the ingredients & headed home...a couple of hours later. Hey, I like to stroll through the grocery store.

The meal was an immediate favorite of mine. The Rock Star wanted chicken instead of shrimp. So I made it the next week using a rotisserie chicken.

I love to debone a chicken. LOVE.

Chicken was better - it soaked up the spinach dip better. This meal takes less than 15 minutes. I am not kidding. For 6yrs, this has been a favorite meal in our home. We have doubled it for friends & served salad/bread with it. It just works. If I roast my own chicken, the process is longer & more satisfying. 

Tonight, I wanted to play with it a bit. I had roasted/deboned a chicken last week. I still use linguine. This time I added stuff to the dip to make it bind together, made a topping, & baked it as a casserole.
Chicken Florentine - Riser Variation No. 5
  • 1 roasted or rotisserie chicken, deboned & chunked
  • 1 lb linguine, cooked & drained
  • 16 oz HEB Spinach Dip
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 sour cream
  • House Seasoning
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1/2 butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

  1. Cook pasta as directed on box.
  2. If chicken is not warm, put a bit of EVOO in a skillet & warmed it up. 
  3. Spinach Dip Mixture - mix dip, sour cream, house seasoning (a few shakes) & mozzarella cheese in a large bowl.
  4. Topping: Mix sleeve of crackers with melted butter, then add parmesan cheese. I also add some of McCormick's  Italian Seasoning.
  5. Once chicken is warm, mix it with the spinach mixture. Then add cooked/drained pasta. Combine well.
  6. Use a 9x13 glass pan with cooking spray - put entire mix in the dish. Add topping. Bake 350° for 30min.

We loved it this way, too. Next time, I'm gonna add more mozzarella cheese. Because everything is better with cheese.

TMEA followup - 1 year later

My last blog post was November 2012. After this post - an exhilirating day of rehearsal by the way - life took on a certain level of warp speed that I was not prepared for. Mentally. I had prepared the schedule down to the second. There were many beautiful moments along the way that I cherish. I haven't documented them all, but I continue to hold their treasure. The Pre-TMEA concert was practice. It went well, but I would like a mulligan on that one evening. It made me trust people even less than I already do. The TMEA performance was magical - I'm not real sure how I did all of that actually. It was a 40 week process and it was just like a pregnancy and the birth of a baby. Only this was music baby. We accomplished our goal. We shared the music.

Thank you to those who supported me through this journey. I would do it again in a heartbeat. 
Steve Riser, Scott Crowe, Michael Goede, Felicia Phillips, Anna Schermerhorn, Connie Horton, Derrick Bready, Christina Chapman, Julie Birkner, Dennis & Judy Boyter, Sally McGowan, Jan Juneau, Sally Schott, Denise Eaton, Heather Orr, Monte Mast, Don & Sandi Parks, Marie Willingham, Grant & Jennifer Cole