Monday, January 21, 2013

Cookbook Giveaway!

Who doesn't love a giveaway? No seriously, is there someone out there who doesn't?

I do... and with that in mind readers, I want to give you something. It's 2013 and I am still on track with my goal of eating better this year, but with the -30°F cold front that came in yesterday, I am craving comfort foods! Well, not to fear... lots of recipes have a "lightened" version of those classic and traditional dishes we love so much. Hence, the giveaway today: Eating Well's Comfort Foods Made Healthy.

Here's how to enter:
1. Visit the The Little Bitchin Kitchen's Facebook Page, find the Giveaway thread and "share" this post with your Facebook friends.

2. Comment on that thread and tell me your favorite winter comfort food.

Don't forget to "like" us while you're there!
The winner will be chosen at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23rd and will be announced here on the website as well as the Facebook page. 

*Disclaimer: This giveaway is not sponsored by anyone but The Little Bitchin Kitchen.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mussels with Chorizo in Sun-dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce

Mussels are one of my absolute favorite foods. I could eat them morning, noon and night! It wasn't to long ago that every time I craved them, I set out to find a restaurant that had them on the menu. The last time I had them at one of the "nicer" restaurants in Bloomington, I was sadly surprised at how underseasoned and boring they were. After paying almost $15 for that forgettable dish, I decided it was time to take on mussels in my own kitchen. My result was better than any restaurant dish... even Todd said so.

Mussels are considered to be the poor man's oyster, but in reality, they are preferred over oysters by many. The secret, in my opinion, is the sauce you serve them in. After trying mussels all over the metro area of Minneapolis/St. Paul, I decided I would combine some of the flavors that I enjoyed while dining out but in true Kristen style.. I wouldn't be afraid to add that extra  pop and kick! The best part? When I thought about what flavor I really wanted to see in this dish I went to a pantry staple... a jarred sauce! It couldn't get any easier!

This recipe can easily be doubled for a dinner party, and at around $7.99 a pound it won't break the bank when you're trying to entertain guests for an evening. Serve them as an appetizer or your main dish!

Mussels with Chorizo in Sun-dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce
Serves: Two (2)

1 1/2 - 2 Lbs. Mussels; beards removed and rinsed*
1 15 oz. jar of Classico Sun-dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce
2 links smoked chorizo, casings removed, and chopped into medium, 1/2" pieces.
1 cup of low fat milk (1% or Skim)
2 cups crimini or baby bella mushrooms
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/8 cup poblano pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper; optional
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper; optional
4 tablespoons olive oil, for drizzling
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped 
Salt and pepper, to taste
Baguette, for serving

Preheat oven to 400°F

On a parchment lined baking sheet, spread mushrooms out and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place a dutch oven* on the stove-top and heat the other 2 tablespoons of olive over medium heat. Add poblano pepper, shallot, salt pepper, crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper, and chorizo. Saute until shallot is clear in color, and chorizo is cooked, about 10-12 minutes. Add in garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Remove mushrooms from oven and add to pan.

Turn oven to 350°F and place baguette inside while you finish your dish.

Next, add the sun-dried tomato alfredo sauce and milk to your pan, stirring until combined. When sauce starts to bubble, add in mussels and cover for 8-9 minutes.

Finally, remove lid and discard and mussels that didn't open. Ladle the mussels into a serving dish, pour sauce over top and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve with warm, crunchy, baguette slices.

Voila! Pretty easy, right? Wait until you taste them! They are so fantastically delicious!
I hope you enjoy them as much as Todd and I did!

As always, thanks for reading!

  1. Typically the beard of the mussel is removed at the grocer or seafood market you purchase from. Ask them if they have been, and if not, ask if they will do it for you. If not, here is an easy video tutorial to help you remove them yourself. Watch it here. 
  2. If you don't have a dutch oven, use any deep pan that has a lid but is deep enough to hold the mussels. 
 Source: A Little Bitchin Kitchen Original