Friday, January 2, 2015

Art to Art - Lamb Sausage and Pasta with a Creamy Feta, Onion, and Sweet Pepper Sauce

Happy First Morning of the New Year!  I've already been to court in Orlando and back, stopped at Starbucks for the first time in at least a year, and took a mini-tour of my Kissimmee before returning to my home and crockpot.

I had previously promised myself I was going to snap a picture of the Andy Warhol sculpture in downtown Kissimmee before it disappeared.  So I stopped on my drive home down Broadway and shot Andy.

That started me on a photographic tour of a few more sculptures, and that led me to the lakefront.  Just a half hour, but very enjoyable.  I love Kissimmee, especially the part that tourists rarely see. I am utterly crazy about the artwork all around town, temporary and permanent.  Let me share a few of today's favorites.

Birds by Broadway Pizza

Camo Sumo Wrestler in front of City Hall

Water Fowl are Fair, or Bird's the Word in Kissimmee

"Come on along and listen to
The Lullaby of Broadway
The hip hooray and bally hoo
The Lullaby of Broadway"

The wonderful Jerry Orbach

You may be wondering the fate of the oxtails.  Or perhaps you ran screaming from the room when you saw the photo; if so, I'm guessing you are not the sort of person who orders a tongue sandwich when you go to Toojay's.  Truthfully, the oxtails are less weird than the tongue - they are just beef, folks, from a more cartilaginous part of the cow.  They braise well and make excellent stew.  Nice meaty oxtails are not easy to find, so when I do find them, and they are not priced through the roof, I snag 'em and bag 'em.  Since my fridge is currently full of cooked food, that means a nice rest in the freezer, just until the next big cooking cycle.  Recipe and photos to follow, ha ha.

Which will not stop me from cooking some lamb sausage I froze months ago.  For one thing, they are reaching the end of their effective freezing cycle and I don't like to pay for food that is just going to languish until it gets freezer-burnt.  And as it happens, I still have a nice amount of delicious tzatziki, which will pair beautifully with the sausage.

Another use of spices and spice blends is to layer the flavors of a dish by seasoning your aromatics - onions, garlic, celery, pepper, carrots - during the initial sauté.  For this dish, I am using Emeril's Essence, kosher salt, black pepper and some granulated garlic to season the onions.  Sort of like having Emeril Lagasse and Paula Deen sitting down to dinner together in your kitchen.

Lamb Sausage and Pasta with a Creamy Feta, Onion, and Sweet Pepper Sauce

1 tablespoon each olive oil and butter
1/2 large sweet onion, halved and sliced
Emeril's Essence, kosher salt, black pepper and granulated garlic, to taste
1 cup sliced sweet bell peppers, any color or combination
3/4 - 1 pound frozen lamb sausage (about 5 sausages)
1/4 cup dry white wine
dried oregano, to taste
1 - 16 oz. jar Ragu Roasted Garlic Parmesan cheese sauce
1 cup tri-color rotini pasta
1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped
2 green onions, white and all green, sliced
1 - 6 oz. package crumbled feta cheese

Put the first five ingredients into a 3 or 4 quart crockpot in the order given.  Pour the wine over the top.  Cover and cook on low.  After two hours, carefully remove the sausages and stir the vegetables.  Add the oregano, stir again.  Return the sausage to the crockpot, rearranging them top to bottom.  Do not mix them in with the vegetables.  Cover and continue to cook on low.  After another hour, remove the sausages to a dish with some of the cooking liquid.  Turn the crockpot up to high and let the onions and peppers cook for another hour. Stir in the Ragu cheese sauce, cook until fully heated.  Add in the rotini, cover, and cook 15 minutes.  Stir in the tomato, green onion, and one cup of the feta cheese.  Cover and cook another 15 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.

To serve:  remove the rotini to a serving dish, with all of its sauce.  If you wish, top with the remaining feta cheese.  Slice the lamb sauce on the diagonal, and place it next to the pasta.  Serve with a side of tzatziki, and warm naan or garlic bread.

If you would like the recipe for the Tzatziki Sauce, click on the Index to Recipes in the upper right hand corner of this page.

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