Saturday, July 07, 2007

Top Chef Recipe 1

Here it is...the first completion of Top Chef. Thank you for voting this week, and remember, next Thursday is a whole other round! Start thinking about ingredients you would like me to include in the polls-just be sure I can buy it in a grocery store.


Sausage: 2 sweet, 2 hot
Penne Pasta: 1/2 lb
Red Peppers: 2
Yellow Onion: 1
Garlic: 4 Cloves
Basil: 2 big bunches ~20 leaves
Olive Oil: 1/4 C.
White Wine: 1/2 C.
Goat Cheese: 4 oz
Pine Nuts: 2 T.
S&P To Taste


1 . Grill Sausage while fire roasting peppers until blackened.

2. Place blackened peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to allow them to sweat. Boil salted water for pasta. 3. Peel black skin off of peppers. Seed and stem, and place in a blender. Cook pasta and drain when done, approximately 8 minutes until al dente. 4. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until they just begin to caramelize. Pour into blender. Add basil, wine, S&P. Blend until liquefied. Slowly add enough oil to thicken. Test for seasoning and adjust as needed. (No photo because I forgot!!)

5. Cut grilled sausage on a bias. Set aside. 6. (Check pasta!) Grind or chop pignoli nuts. Roll cheese into a log shape using parchment paper and roll into nuts. Heat a non-stick saute pan with a covering of olive oil-Medium High.

7. Cut 1/4 inch thick medallions from nutty cheese. Fry quickly on both sides until cheese is golden brown and melty.

8. Toss cooked pasta, sauce and sausage in the pan. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Place each serving in a pasta bowl and top with 3-5 medallions of cheese each. Garnish with basil and enjoy!


This was NOT bad at first I was thinking that I would try some sort of cheese sauce. But the thought of goat cheese macaroni kind of skeeved me out-and I like goat cheese!

I then thought about the other ingredients and what I could do with them individually. Raw peppers or sauteed peppers wouldn't do-and I didn't want to have a standard "Sausage & Peppers" dish. So, I roasted the peppers and made a red pepper pesto sauce.

Good news-it's lowfat! (Until you add the sausage-but you could use turkey sausage)

Because I fire roasted the peppers, I went with grilled sausage. The whole summertime grilling theme really appealed to me, and it just seemed like the right thing to do. But now...the goat cheese!

We once made a salad in class with these medallions, only the crust was made of walnuts. Well, I don't much like walnuts, and thought of other nuts I could use. To me, the natural choice was Pine Nuts. Why? Because they are an ingredient in pesto! So, I tied the nuts into the sauce (which did NOT have pine nuts in it) and fried the cheese to make it soft and melty.

The flavor combinations here are bold. Fresh roasted peppers are strong as it is, but mellowing them out with the freshness of the basil really seemed to help. And the little bit of wine I added rounded the flavor, I think. *Note, if you don't want to add wine, use chicken stock instead!

Overall, I think this dish is a winner. I would make it for company and am looking forward to my leftovers! If you make this, be sure to take a bite of pasta, sausage and cheese all at once-it's yummy!

*Also, I'd love to hear about it if you make this me and I'll post your experience in a separate post.


tegdirb92 said...

oh my goodness that looks to die for!! I think I might just try this recipe. I'll email you to let you know how it turned out :) Beautiful photos!!

Comedy + said...

I'll be around next week to vote for stuff. I missed it all last week. :( This really looks good, but I'm not surprised that you pulled this off so well. Can we all come to dinner at your house? :)

Morgen said...

okay, that looks even BETTER than the sausage and goat cheese pizza I was rooting for!
That is totally a dish I would LOVE.
And the cheesy medallions = pure genius! What an unexpected and totally delicious touch!
You SO need your own restaurant!

sisterly flip said...

one time your goung to think of an amazing creative VEGITARIAN meal that is delious (u think i would like a lot) so 1) i will have somethin new to eat 2) i can practice my wifey cookin skills LOL 3) it will make me happy. k? thanks.

Kai said...

That looks amazing Mags!

I wondered how you'd work the goat cheese in! I love one dish meals - this one is a keeper for sure! :-)

Dina D'Alessandro said...

It never fails - no matter how full I am, I get hungry all over again looking at your fab dishes!!

And I love that this was group participation. Excellent work, everyone!

Travis said...

Well done!

Now I had a moment when I looked at the ingredients in the basket. See, my thought was that this was a good date dish...if I wanted to make dinner for my lady one night.

Why did I think this? Because that tall thing in the back looks like a plastic wrapped dildo!

OK sorry - but it does!

The dish really sounds good.

crazy working mom said...

Wow, Mags, that's amazing! You are so very talented. I sure wish I'd have been there to have a big 'ole bite. Looks scrumptious. This is an awesome feature to your blog! I love it. :)

Rocketstar said...

That looks scrumptious.

Callie Ann said...

Well done my dear Friend. Love the pics, love the writing. Now this is a Rockin' Girl Blogger Vantastic Feature on your Blog. Love ya Girly.

Linda said...

Now that looks yummy! And very creative! Can't wait to see what you cook up next week!

Little Sis said...

mmmm that looks so yummy! I'm starving!

Mags said...

THANK YOU EVERYONE!! It was super fun to do this and I'm so excited that you all are participating as much as you are. It makes my heart sing, actually.

Yup, big geek here, but I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

I would like to mention something to one reader: Trav-bread? You think bread looks like a dildo?

No wonder we women love bread so much! ;)

Remember, if you try the recipe, let me know...Take a pic if you can too.

(I had these leftovers for dinner tonight and I still love it...the cheese and sausage-YUM)

tegdirb92 said...

I nominated you for the schmoozer award!! Go here on my blog to grab your badge:

You deserve it!! :)

Palm Springs Savant said...

this looks fantastic. I really like how you did this step by step. Great work! I really am enjoying reading through your blog.

Amazing Gracie said...

The whole thing sounds absolutely fantastic! I will definitely put this in my book of things to try (and not tell hubman about the goat cheese, he, he....).

~paige~ said...

you should write a cookbook

Asara said...

Wow.. Not quite my style, but I think hubby would love it, goat cheese notwithstanding! :)

I think paige has a great idea there.. blogger-inspired recipes by Mags.. I'd buy that cookbook!

Danielle said...

That. Looks. Amazing.

I can't wait for the next top chef ingredient vote. I'll think of a couple of ideas for ingredients and email you. :)

Brian in Mpls said...

That looks really good:) I mean your hand;)

Mags said...

Thanks Paige! I've actually toyed with the idea in the past, but never had the time to invest in trying it that I'll be done with school, I think I might look into it more.

Danielle: I can't wait to hear what you come up with!!

OrioleGal9 said...

WOW! I'm going to have to give that one a try! I might even get Keith to eat the goat cheese!

jolie-jordan said...

this sounds so yummy. I will have to give it a whirl. Looks dammed good too.
Great Job...kiddo.