Monthly Archives: January 2012

Steak Fajita Salad

So, it’s the middle of January which I’m guessing means most of you are either on a diet or a new exercise kick or both.  Sound about right?


I don’t get why January-March is the high season for the fitness industry and weight loss initiatives in general.  It’s January.  It’s cold and dark and we’re just trying to get through the winter until the real rebirth happens in the spring.  I mean, don’t get me wrong – as a fitness professional I’m always glad to see paying customers coming in our doors with determination on their faces and water bottles in hand.

What irks me is the annual eventishness of it. I mean, I think we all recognize this time of year as being the time we “get back on track” and join a gym and start eating healthy.  But all that enthusiasm goes hand in hand with the shrug and a laugh knowing all too well that it will be over in a few weeks and we will all go back to life as usual until next New Year’s resolutions roll around.

That being said, I’m still game for lighter entrees as long as they’re satisfying in the mental/emotional arena.  So today we have a salad – a filling, satisfying, not totally non-caloric salad.  It could be really light fare, if you really wanted it to be.  But take away the (really good for you) avocado, the (already lite) sour cream and the fried tortilla and you’ve lost the appeal of the salad.  And without the appeal you have lost the mental game entirely.  And the game IS mental.  Try to lose weight while feeling like you’re depriving yourself all the time.  It doesn’t work.

This salad is (relatively) healthy while still being completely mouth-wateringly awesome.  Can’t ask for more than that.

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t love a great taco salad?  No?  I didn’t think so.  This isn’t exactly taco salad.  Not what I think of as “traditional” taco salad anyway.  It’s so much better.

First we’re going to start with a marinade.  In a food processor combine 4 cloves of garlic (one of mine came from a jar – shhh!), 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (the kind you get in a can in the Latino aisle), a handful of fresh cilantro, 2 Tbsp lime juice, and 1/4 cup olive oil.

And puree.

Pour the marinade into a ziplock baggie with 1 lb of well trimmed sirloin steak.  Make sure the entire steak is covered in marinade and set in the refrigerator for  several hours or overnight.

I just had to show you.  I got a NEW KNIFE!!!  A genuine Wusthof!  This is really big exciting stuff (for me).  It’s soooo much sharper than my old knife it makes me giddy every time I use it.

Get your steak out of the fridge and let it sit while you prep your vegetables.  With your chef’s knife, chop up some green bell pepper and some onions.  I used cooking onions but Spanish Onions or any sweet onion would be awesome too.  I think I’ve got 2 peppers and 3 onions there.  I was going for equal parts of each.

Heat some oil in a large skillet over Medium-High heat.  When the oil shimmers add your vegetables and cook…

…until they look like this.  Soft and lovely.  Season with kosher salt and remove from the pan.

While the peppers and onions are cooking we can start prepping our other salad ingredients.  Roll up some romaine lettuce and slice it into thin ribbons.

Chop up some more cilantro.

And slice up an avocado.  Isn’t my avocado perfect?  I love it when I open them up on their perfect day.  To easily remove the pit, carefully whack your knife into the pit, exert a little pressure and rotate it out.  Then use a spoon to carve the avocado out of it’s skin.

Shred up some Monterrey Jack cheese.  Obviously don’t shred your cheese like this.  I need a third hand.

Add to the list some jarred salsa and lightly salted sour cream and our salad is almost ready to be assembled!

But of course we can’t forget our steak!  This is best done in a cast iron skillet if you have one.  They retain heat better than any other type of pan and are awesome for searing meats.  On Medium High heat, sear your steak for 3 minutes per side.  Turn off the heat and let it sit in the pan.  8 minutes will get you a perfect medium rare.  At least, in a cast iron pan it will.  If you’re cooking your steak on a different surface that time might need to be extended slightly.  And of course, if you prefer your steak more well done, leave it in longer.  Never cut into a steak to check for doneness, that causes all the juices to run out everywhere.  I always use the thumb test to test meat’s doneness.  Here is a video showing the technique.  Lastly, once you’re satisfied that your steak is done to your liking, leave it the heck alone!  For 10 minutes to rest that is.  Again, so all the juices don’t run out all over the place leaving you with a dry steak.

Now, while the steak is resting, grab a small pan and fill it with a puddle of oil.  I’m not sure how much I have in there.  Many several tablespoons, put it that way.  Enough to make a shallow pool.  Heat the oil over Medium High heat until shimmery.  Grab some corn tortillas and place one in the oil.  The oil should bubble excitedly when you introduce the tortilla.  If it doesn’t, the oil isn’t hot enough yet.  Fry each tortilla about 45 seconds to a side, or until it gets to be a nice golden brown.

Oops.  Don’t walk away and tend to children during this part.  It’s not difficult but you really can’t walk away for two minutes in the middle of it.

There, that’s better.

It’s been 10 minutes so I’m thinly slicing up my steak now.  Eeeee!  I left mine in for about 9 minutes and it came out somewhere between medium rare and medium.

To assemble, place some lettuce on a plate, then your fried tortilla…(or you could totally reverse these two and put the tortilla on the bottom…I just thought it looked cool this way)…

…then pile on some of the onions, the peppers, and the steak.  Eeeeeee!  Can you tell I LOVE steak?

Sprinkle on some of the cheese.

And top with a couple slices of avocado, a dollop  of sour cream and salsa, and some cilantro (if you’re not a zombie like me and forget to put it on).  An alternative to the sour cream and salsa is to mix the two and use that as your dressing.  Or mix ranch and salsa to make a southwest dressing.  All good options.  Mmm.  Just writing about this makes me want to fix it for dinner again tomorrow night!  Soooooo ridiculously yummy.  The garlic/chipotle/lime/cilantro marinade packs a punch and puts the whole thing over the top.


Steak Fajita Salad

For the steak:

1 lb Sirlion Steak, well trimmed

1/4 cup olive oil

2 Tbsp lime juice

4 cloves garlic

1 handful fresh cilantro

2 chipotle peppers in adobo

For the salad:

1 Romaine heart, sliced into thin ribbons

1 avocado, sliced

1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

2 green bell peppers, sliced (about 2 cups)

3 cooking onions, sliced (about 2 cups)

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup sour cream

1 cup jarred salsa

4 corn tortillas

Oil for frying


In a food processor puree garlic, chipotle peppers, the handful of fresh cilantro, lime juice, and olive oil until smooth.  Pour into a ziplock baggie and add sirloin.  Put in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Remove steak from refrigerator and set out while you prep your other ingredients.

Prepare onions and peppers.  In a cast iron pan, heat oil over Medium-High heat until the oil shimmers.  If it begins to smoke the oil is too hot.  Add peppers and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft (about 5 minutes).  Season with salt and set aside.  Wipe out pan.

On Medium-High heat, add steak to pan and sear on each side for 3 minutes.  Turn off the heat and leave steak in the pan 8 minutes longer for medium rare.  About 10 minutes for medium.  Use the thumb test to check for doneness.  Don’t cut into it yet!  When steak is done to your liking, remove it from the pan to a plate and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prep the lettuce, cilantro, cheese, avocado, salsa, and sour cream.  You can mix the sour cream and salsa to make a dressing or just leave them separate.  Add a sprinkle of kosher salt to the sour cream (optional).

Heat a shallow pool of oil in a small pan over Medium-High heat.  When the oil shimmers, place a corn tortilla in the oil.  There should be just enough oil in the pan for the tortilla to float and the oil should bubble excitedly when you introduce the tortilla into it.  If it doesn’t get excited it’s not hot enough.  If you notice that your tortilla is getting very dark very quickly or you’re getting smoke the oil is too hot.    Cook for about 45 seconds on each side or until tortilla is a nice golden brown.  Repeat with the other 3 tortillas.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

Slice up your steak thinly.

Assemble salad.  Lettuce, tortilla, peppers and onions, steak, cheese, avocado, and cilantro to garnish.  Serve dressing or salsa and sour cream on the side.

Serve immediately.

Makes 4 main dish salads.


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A Primer on Chili

This is not a recipe for chili.  That’s not even my chili up there.  It’s someone else’s chili.  But I liked the bowl so I stole the picture.  It makes me want a chile pepper covered bowl just for putting chili in.  Hmm.  I think I just got the inspiration for my next project at Claytopia…

Anyway, I made chili last night during the weirdly ferocious January thunderstorm we had here in NW PA last night.  (Global warming anyone???)  I wasn’t really planning on doing chili for the blog, ever.  I don’t have an exact “my chili” recipe.  I use whatever I have on hand, usually.  Chili is comfort food.  It’s easy.  Everybody loves it.  It’s even better the next day.  And there’s a million and one ways to make it.  Which makes it perfect for a guide like this.

For years I made my chili one way and one way only:  with a McCormick Chili spice packet.  Which is totally fine, especially if you’re not real confident in the kitchen.   But here’s the great thing about chili – it’s hard to screw up.  With a couple of basic guidelines you can make your chili however you like, top it with whatever you like, and throw it on top of whatever you want.

Last night I made my chili without consulting anything, without having to hover over a recipe.  It is such a great feeling and I want to share that with you all so here goes.

For a small pot of chili (4ish servings) you need these elements as your base:

1 lb Meat.  This can be ground beef, “stew meat” (small cubes of chuck roast), ground turkey, ground pork, cut up sirloin, whatever.  Or, you don’t even have to use meat and just make it a vegetarian chili.  If you’re not using meat, double the beans.

Beans.  One can.  I use the “seasoned chili beans” but you can use any kind of beans you like.  Keep in mind that canned beans are pretty salty so you probably won’t need to add much, if any, salt to your finished chili.  If you don’t like beans you don’t have to use ’em.  But you do have to admit to yourself that you like your chili “Texas style”.  Take that as you will.

Tomato.  One (15ish oz) can minimum.  You can use diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, whatever you have on hand.  I like to use one can each diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Or if you’re reading this in August and you have a bajillion tomatoes in your garden this is a good place to use them.

Onion.  One medium, diced.  Or you can use one onion’s worth of the dried onions you get in the spice aisleI think that’s like 1/4 cup.  Those are great in a pinch.   

Garlic.  Either a couple cloves, minced, or 1 tsp Garlic PowderAnd of course you can always use more or less to taste.  That goes for pretty much everything here, actually.

Chili Powder/Dried Chiles.  A good rule of thumb is 3 Tbsp Chili Powder per 1lb meat.  I’ve seen recipes with more so there’s room to add if you like.  Or you could decrease this amount if the flavor is more intense than you prefer.  But it is the primary flavor in chili so you really can’t go without it entirely.  I mean, you could.  But it really wouldn’t be chili then.  You can also use whole dried chiles for a more authentic southwest chili.  I don’t because it’s more expensive but whatever floats your boat.

Other things you can add but are not necessary:

Additional spices.  Start with 1 tsp of each.  That’s enough to give you a little taste without accidentally overpowering your chili with something that might not be something you end up liking that much.  I routinely add oregano (2 tsp) which is surprisingly nice with Tex-Mex stuff.  Cumin too, just a teaspoon.  I also now always add…wait for it…cocoa powder (1 tsp).  It’s the “secret ingredient” in Mexican moles (mow-lays) which gives them such an incredible depth of flavor without tasting chocolatey.  I’ve also seen chili recipes that use coffee to add a greater dimension of flavor.  If you throw in some cinnamon you’ve got Cincinnatti chili.  I could also totally see pouring in 1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce.   This is where you get to play.  Have fun with it.

Diced green chiles.  Me likey.

Diced green bell pepper.  A very common addition.

Sliced jalapenos.  For those that like a lot of heat.

Corn flour.  Make a slurry with 2 parts corn flour to 1 part water and add it in at the end.  It will thicken up the chili if it’s on the thin side and also gives it a hearty, slightly corny taste.

Corn.  If you really like corn.


Heat a large skillet over Med-High heat.  Add meat and onions (and any other raw vegetables you might be adding), cooking until meat is browned and veggies are soft.  Add garlic and cook for another minute.  If you have a lot of grease, you can carefully drain that off now.

(At this point, if you wanted to, you could transfer everything to your slow cooker, add everything else, and leave it on high for a couple hours or on low for the whole day.)   Or finish it on the stove as described below.

Add spices and toast for another minute until fragrant.  Add tomatoes, beans, and anything else from a can.  Bring up to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and let simmer at least 20 minutes.

Top with anything you like.

Toppings can include:

Shredded Cheese (Cheddar and Monterrey Jack are particularly good)

Sliced green onions/diced red onion

Fresh Cilantro

Sour Cream (my fave right there, particularly with a spicy chili)

Sliced Jalapenos (HEAT!)

Fried Tortilla strips/chips

Crumbled Bacon

Hot Sauce

Potential uses beyond the bowl:

Chili Cheese Nachos.  Everything you love about chili and nachos on one plate.  Perfect for the big game.

Chili Cheese Dogs.  Messy but awesome.

Chili Cheese Stuffed Baked Potatoes.  Need I say more???

Cincinnatti Chili.  Cinnamon infused chili served over spaghetti with a sprinkling of cheddar on the top.

Creamy Chili Cheese Dip.  Spread a block of softened cream cheese evenly over the bottom of a glass baking dish.  Cover with about a cup of (preferably beanless) chili , sprinkle with  1/2 cup cheddar cheese and bake in the oven at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro and serve with tortilla chips.  Nom.  I could (and have) eaten a half recipe of this by myself.

My favorite presentation:  Served atop buttered white rice with cornbread and honey butter.  Perrrrrrrrrfect.

Now go make some chili people!

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Breakfast for Dinner Pizza

At our house, we do pizza night once a week, every week.  We also do Breakfast for Dinner night once a week, pretty much every week, all year long.  So why not combine the two???  No reason!  This has been on my “to do” list for months.  Why I waited so long to make this I have no idea.

I was going to call this “Breakfast Pizza” and then thought, “Well, that doesn’t tell you anything.  I mean, who DOESN’T eat pizza for breakfast?”  I certainly ate it again for breakfast this morning.  So that name got scrapped.

And then I thought, “Let’s keep it simple and call it Bacon n Egg Pizza.”  But I know you.  Just hearing the words “egg” and “pizza” in the same sentence is gonna skeeve some of you out.  (My husband would be first in that line.)  Pictures are much better than words on this one wouldn’t you agree?

Because om nom nom this is soul-satisfying good food.  Bacon and eggs, garlic-infused olive oil, scallions, mozzarella, provolone, and freshly grated Parmesan???  Yes, please.

OH!  And I almost forgot to tell you!  I’ve been experimenting with GF pizza dough recipes at my husband’s request.  The recipe I have posted on here is lightly adapted from Gluten Free Girl’s Cookbook, “Gluten Free Girl and the Chef“.  It’s intended to be a thin crust pizza dough.  Actually, it was originally written as a recipe for crackers.  And it’s what we’ve been using for the past couple years for my husband’s pizzas.  You know… the ones I never actually photograph because he never wants anything besides cheese and pep.

So anyway, he wanted me to try out some new formulas that would rise better – that would make for a better thick pizza crust.  Something more similar to what you’d get at Papa John’s or something.  The recipe I’ve been using – it rolls out like  a dream.  It feels like real dough under your fingers.  Which is great for me – but much more important than the tactile pleasure of working with the dough is whether or not it’s pleasing to the person you’re serving it to.  And in this case it’s my husband and it’s not anymore.

I’m close.  I’m really close to giving you something I don’t feel like I need to keep modifying.   Soon, very soon, I’ll give you the new recipe.  I just need to go through the process a couple more times, make sure I’m not giving you the directions to make what was a happy fluke.

So let’s get going on our pizza already!  You’ll want to put your pizza stone/pan in the oven now and preheat it to 450 degrees.  If using a non-stick pan, put it in upside down.  I still don’t know why they tell you to do that.

First, cut six strips of bacon into one inch long strips and fry over medium heat until crisp.  Cutting the bacon up first makes cooking it in a pan so much easier.  Put your crispy bacon pieces on a paper towel lined plate to drain and set them aside.

Also, you’ll need dough.  You can make it from scratch like I do (GF and regular recipes here), or you can get a ball of dough from the prepared foods section of your grocery store.  Or use a pre-made crust.  Or use a mix.  Whatever!  The point is you need something to put your toppings on.

If you’re making dough from scratch, plan on starting it 2 hours before you plan to eat to allow time for the dough to rise.  You can also make the dough the night before, let it rise for an hour or so, punch it down, rub it with oil, cover it loosely, and store it in the fridge until an hour before you’re ready to use it.

Next, if you don’t already have garlic oil sitting in your fridge you’ll need to make some.  It’s quick, I promise.  This is one of my new fridge staples I love it so much.  To make garlic oil, simply warm 1/2 cup olive oil, 4 sliced cloves of garlic, and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes over low heat until bubbling.  Let oil simmer for 10 minutes, keeping watch over it to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn.  Allow to cool.

On a sheet of parchment paper, roll/pat out your dough into a 12″ circle.  Take some of your garlic oil (about 3 tablespoons should do), and spread that all over, leaving a rim around the edge.

Next, top your pizza with 8 oz shredded pizza cheese.  We get ours in tubs in the prepared foods section of our grocery store.  It’s just a mixture of mozzarella and provolone.  You could do all mozzarella or all provolone if you wanted to.  Or you could  throw in some cheddar or Monterrey Jack.  Or some pepper jack…oh the possibilities!  Whatever good melting cheeses you’ve got on hand and you like with your eggs would work here!

Just please no American.  Because that would just be wrong.

On top of that we’re going to add our bacon and one thinly sliced scallion.  Now slide your pizza carefully onto your hot stone (parchment paper and all), and set the timer for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes we’re going to slide out the oven rack and carefully crack a few eggs on top of our pizza.  I was able to get four on mine without fearing raw eggs were going to slide off onto the pizza below.  Looking at this shot now I’m thinking I might have gotten one more on there…maybe next time.  Anyway, if you want your eggs to come out over-easy, set the timer for another 8 minutes.  I erred on the side of caution and left mine in for 9 and my eggs came out over-medium.  For a first time that was okay.  Runny whites would have left me running for the hillsides.

Lastly, we’re going to grab a microplane zester and a wedge of good parmesan.  Or you could just sprinkle some out of the big ol’ Kraft container you have in your fridge.  But seriously guys?  This is soooo much better.

And we’re gonna chop up a small handful of fresh parsley.  Because we have it on hand.  And we’ve got a few minutes before the pizza’s out.  And it’s green and pretty and counts as a vegetable.  And we’re worth it baby.

Remove the pizza from the oven, sprinkle on the parsley, grate on the Parmesan, and grind a little black pepper over the top (which I did promptly after taking this picture :p)  And eat. (And eat and eat and eat.)


Breakfast for Dinner Pizza

1 lb ball Pizza Dough (GF or regular)

3 Tbsp Garlic Oil (see instructions below)

8 oz shredded pizza cheese (mozzarella/provolone)

6 slices bacon, pre-cut into 1″ pieces

1 scallion, thinly sliced

1 oz freshly grated parmesan

1 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley

Freshly ground black pepper

To make Garlic Oil:

In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup olive oil, 4 cloves of sliced garlic, and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes over low heat until boiling.  Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.  Let cool.   Set aside until ready to use.  Refrigerate any leftover oil for later use.


Place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees.  If using a non-stick pizza pan do the same thing but put it in upside down.  I’m still not sure why we do this.

Fry bacon in a large pan over medium heat until crispy.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

On a sheet of parchment paper stretch or roll out your pizza dough to about 1/4″ thickness, about 12″ across.   Spread with 3 Tbsp of the cooled garlic oil, the pizza cheese, bacon, and scallions.  Slide onto hot pizza stone (or non-stick pan turned right side up), and bake for 5 minutes.

Slide oven rack out and crack 3-4 (or more if you can fit them) eggs onto pizza, being careful not to break the yolks.  Try to do this quickly so the oven doesn’t lose too much heat.  Bake another 8 minutes for over-easy eggs.  9 minutes for over-medium.  Any longer than that and you’ve got hard boiled eggs.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with parsley, grated parmesan, and freshly ground black pepper.

Serves 4.

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Zuppa Toscana

So it’s like 8 degrees outside today or something ridiculous like that.  Brr.  So what to do for dinner?  Soup of course!  And today I have one of my favorites for you.  It’s one of my standards for busy weeknights and also a dish I’ve served proudly to company.  This would be my Zuppa Toscana.

Yep, that Zuppa Toscana.  The one from The Olive Garden that we all love so much?  The one that we get before dinner arrives and then sheepishly order a second bowl of and are then are too full to eat the actual meal we ordered?  That would be this.  I am a HUGE fan of this soup for a number of reasons:

1)  Everyone LOVES this soup.  I mean it.  Everyone.  Except for my 8 year old whom we know does not eat anything that is not some mixture of cheese, white flour, and sugar.  But other than her – seriously, everyone asks for this recipe.

2) It’s gluten free which means everyone in my house can eat it without making any modifications.

3) It’s super easy.  You make the whole thing in one pot in about half an hour.

4)It’s actually pretty healthy and lower calorie than you would expect.  With chicken broth as the base and a whopping 8 cups of antioxidant-rich kale, this soup is a winner all around.

5) It’s cheap.  No explanation necessary.

We’re gonna start by grabbing a large pot and frying up some bacon nice and crisp over medium heat.  I may have had the heat a bit too high to start here.  You’ll notice all the pieces have been cut into inch long bits to make it easier to fry them in the pot.  They’re just going to be crumbled in the end anyway.

Once the bacon’s done, remove it from the pot and set on a paper towel lined plate to drain.  Next we’re going to add 4 spicy Italian sausage patties.  We’re going for 1 1/2 cups total crumbled sausage.  I use our store brand (Wegmans) Spicy Italian Sausage Patties.    Pick a sausage that you love because it’s going to provide a lot of the flavor for your soup.  Just make sure it’s gluten free first if that is of concern to you.  Brown the sausage, remove to a bowl, and set aside for now.

You’ve now got lots of wonderful brownness stuck to the bottom of your pot.  We’re going to saute some diced onion in all that mess to soak up the awesome flavor.  Oh, and three cloves of minced garlic.  Not shown.  Oops.  Add that in for the last 60 seconds of cook time.

Meanwhile, we’re going to take a few potatoes and slice them up thinly.  These are Yukon Golds, halved and then thinly sliced.

Terrible shot.  I know.  In for the sake of completeness only :p

We’re going to add our potatoes and 8 cups of chicken broth and bring our soup up to a boil over Medium High heat.  Obviously the soup in this shot is not boiling.  Why I even took this picture is beyond me.  Anyway.  Once boiling, turn down the heat to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.  The time will depend on how thinly your potatoes are sliced.

While our soup is cooking we’re gonna roughly chop up some kale.  I like a LOT of kale in my soup – like 8 cups.  You may say four is more than enough.  Just make sure the pieces are not so large that they can’t be picked up by a spoon.  This picture shows the pre-chopped kale.  This is the second batch to be chopped – I actually used at least twice the amount shown.

Now, add the bacon, sausage, and kale into your soup.  We only want to wilt the kale, not cook it.  That’s why it goes in at the very end.  It looks at first like there is way too much kale and then in a minute or so it will wilt and diminish into the rest of the soup.

Lastly we add  1/2 cup of heavy cream.  Stir the soup around and leave it on low heat for a few minutes to ensure it’s heated through.  We don’t want to bring it back up to a boil, just nice and steamy hot for serving.

And voila!  Zuppa Toscana just like from the Olive Garden!  Quick, easy, cheap, and so so flavorful.  Hearty without being overly caloric, it’s the perfect wintertime dinner.  Serve with some crusty bread (gluten free of course, if that’s your thing) and maybe a hunk of good cheddar cheese and some crisp apples.  Divine!

Zuppa Toscana

6 slices bacon, pre-cut into 1″ bits

4 Spicy Italian Sausage Patties

1 medium onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, diced

4 Yukon Gold Potatoes, halved and thinly sliced

8 cups chicken broth

8 cups roughly chopped kale (or less to your taste)

1/2 cup heavy cream


Prepare your onions, potatoes, bacon, garlic, and kale.  Doing this now makes the whole process go smoother.

In a large pot over medium heat cook bacon until crisp.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.  Set aside.

Add sausage to pot, breaking up with a spatula until crumbled and browned.  Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Add diced onion, scraping the bottom with a spatula to loosen up the brown bits on the bottom of the pot.  Cook until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.  Add in the garlic for the last minute of cook time.

Add potatoes and chicken broth to pot and turn the heat up to medium-high.  Bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to low, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender.

Add kale, sausage, and bacon to soup.  Let cook on low heat for about 2 minutes, until the kale starts to wilt.

Add the heavy cream.  Stir to incorporate and leave on low heat for a couple minutes just to get the soup back up to serving temp.

Makes about 12 servings.

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