Recipe: Italian Sausage Skillet with Spinach and Beans

Italian Sausage Skillet, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Italian Sausage Skillet, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog

This original recipe is a result of a lazy Saturday afternoon. I didn’t feel like grocery shopping, so I want shopping in my own kitchen and pantry. I started with some frozen, bulk Italian sausage, which I defrosted in my microwave. Then, I looked for some flavorful additions, and found frozen spinach, canned beans and leftover bread stuffing cubes.  I hope you like the result it as much as I do.  Try adding what you have on hand and see what you can create.

1/2 stick butter
16 oz. mild Italian Sausage, bulk
8 oz. cubed bread (stuffing)
1/4 cup water
8 oz. frozen spinach (not thawed)
16 oz. cannellini beans
pepper to taste


  1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add crumbled sausage to pan; cook until browned through.
  3. Add half of the bread cubes, stir until well combined.
  4. Add water and other half of the bread crumbs, stir until combined.
  5. Cook over medium heat 15 minutes, or until sausage is fully cooked.
  6. Add frozen spinach, cook 10 minutes until spinach is cooked through and liquid from it evaporates.
  7. Stir in beans and cook until warmed through.

Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutes:

  • For even more flavor, substitute low-salt chicken broth for the water.
  • Serve as is, or pour over elbow macaroni, rice or egg noodles.
  • I did not add extra salt because of the high salt content of the sausage, but you can season to taste.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Source:  Food Mingle Blog



Recipe: Grilled Pork Chops with Lemon and Onions

Grilled Pork Chops and Onions, Courtesy:
Grilled Pork Chops and Onions, Courtesy:

Don’t shy away from pork – it’s a great change of pace from chicken and beef, and it’s great cooked on the grill.  Invest in an accurate grill thermometer, so you can be sure to cook pork to the correct internal temperature of at least 145F.

4 lemons, halved crosswise
3 medium red onions, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
2 large Vidalia onions, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 pork chops (6 oz. each, 1 1/2 inches thick), trimmed
All-purpose flour, for dusting


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Grill lemons, cut sides down, until marked, 5 minutes.
  3. Brush onions with oil, and grill, flipping once, until soft, about 5 minutes per side.
  4. Grill rosemary until fragrant, 20 seconds.
  5. Remove rosemary leaves from sprigs, and toss with juice from 2 grilled lemons, onions, oil, salt, and pepper.

  6. Season pork chops with salt and pepper, and coat with flour, shaking off excess.

  7. Grill chops on the hottest part of the grill, flipping once, until marked, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

  8. Move chops to edge of grill, and cover. Cook, flipping once, until a meat thermometer registers 145 degrees for medium, about 2 minutes per side.

  9. Transfer chops to a plate.

  10. Let stand, covered, 10 minutes.

  11. Serve with remaining lemons and onion mixture.

Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:

  • Orange or grapefruit will also work well with pork.
  • Be sure to rotate the pork chops on the grill, so that you get those cook criss-cross marks.

Yield: 4 servings

Source:, Martha Stewart Living, August, 2007


Recipe: Grilled Italian Sausage Burgers

Grilled Italian Sausage Burgers, Courtesy:
Grilled Italian Sausage Burgers, Courtesy:

Add some spice to your next cook out with these Italian Sausage burgers. Your guests will be happily surprised that these aren’t just your average burgers. Customize them based on the amount and type (sweet or hot) of Italian sausage you use to make your burgers.

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound bulk mild or hot Italian sausage
2 Tbsp. Italian-style bread crumbs
12 slices (3/4 ounce each) mozzarella cheese
12 slices Italian bread, 1/2 inch thick
1/2 cup sun-dried tomato mayonnaise
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced


  • Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat.
  • Mix beef, sausage and bread crumbs in large bowl.
  • Shape mixture into 6 patties, about 1/2 inch thick and 3 1/2 inches in diameter.
  • Cover and grill patties 4 to 6 inches from medium heat 12 to 15 minutes, turning once, until meat thermometer inserted in center reads 160º.
  • Top patties with cheese.
  • Cover and grill about 1 minute longer or until cheese is melted.
  • Add bread slices to side of grill for last 2 to 3 minutes of grilling, turning once, until lightly toasted.
  • Spread toasted bread with mayonnaise; top 6 bread slices with lettuce, tomato and patties. Top with remaining bread slices.

Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:

  • For an extra kick, you can add Worcester sauce, hot sauce or diced peppers to your burger mixture.
  • I used my George Forman grill for this recipe and it worked just great.

Yield: 6 servings



Recipe: Crispy Panko-Breaded Pork Cutlets

Crispy Breaded Pork Cutlets, Courtesy:
Crispy Breaded Pork Cutlets, Courtesy:

I like this pork recipe because the chops are first pounded into cutlets and then coated with toasted panko bread crumbs. What a great texture and lovely taste.

Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb, made from bread without crusts.  The large, airy flakes help the panko stay crispier longer than standard breadcrumbs, because they absorb less grease.

1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, such as safflower
4 boneless pork loin chops (6 -8 oz. each)
3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss panko with oil.
  3. Bake, tossing once, until golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees.
  5. Meanwhile, one at a time, place chops between two large pieces of plastic wrap.

  6. Using a meat mallet or the bottom of a small heavy pan, pound the chops to make 1/4-inch-thick cutlets.

  7. Dividing evenly, coat pork with mustard; season with salt and pepper.

  8. One at a time, dip cutlets into panko, pressing firmly to adhere.

  9. Place a rack on a rimmed baking sheet; place pork on rack, and bake, without turning, until opaque throughout, 10 to 15 minutes.

Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:

  • You could substitute regular breadcrumbs for the panko, but the chops may end up greasy and have less texture. See my note above about the difference between panko and regular breadcrumbs.
  • If Dijon mustard is not your thing, then substitute any of a variety of flavored mustards, such as honey-mustard or brown mustard.

Yield: 4 servings

Source:, adapted from the April, 2008 issue of Everyday Food


Recipe: Brown Sugar Bacon

Brown Sugar Bacon, Courtesy:
Brown Sugar Bacon, Courtesy:
 When I came across this recipe, I couldn’t help but smile. Bacon. Brown Sugar. A match made in heaven!  This is great for a fancy breakfast or for party appetizers.  It’s so good!
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 tsp. chili powder
8 slices thick-cut bacon


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a cooling rack inside the prepared pan and set aside.
  3. In a shallow dish, combine the brown sugar and chili powder.
  4. Dredge the bacon slices in the brown sugar mixture and arrange the bacon on the rack.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until crisp, about 20 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a serving plate and serve.

Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:

  • One of the comments for this recipe was to twist the bacon strips before baking them, I tried this, but had to cook them a bit longer to make sure they were crisp enough to hold their shape.  Very nice presentation.
  • You can substitute turkey bacon, but really, it’s not as tasty. Don’t email me about it, you know it’s true.

Yield: 8 slices

Source:, courtesy: Paula Deen