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sausage and potato gratin

There is something special about comfort food. I know you are all saying "well, obviously Adrian, or it wouldn't be called comfort food!" 

Bear with me here. 

Food evokes so many emotions from us; from the feeling of home, to memories of celebrations, and of course happiness. I love me some food, and give me some awesome comfort food and I am good to go. Unfortunately, those of us who are watching what we eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle often have a hard time finding a balance of healthy and comfort. Thankfully, there are publications like Cooking Light magazine who hear the plight of the dieter and come to the rescue. CL created a lightened up version of what they call "home fries meets casserole", and I was hooked. What's not to like about that description? Do you all subscribe to the magazine, or use their online recipe database? You should! 

Much to Billy's delight, I made this lovely recipe the other night. At first he wasn't sure about this dish, because he had thought the potato chunks were pineapple. Of course pineapple and potato are a crazy taste difference to reconcile, but after that disconcerting start he was all for it! It's such a hearty, tasty meal and would be awesome for the cold weather some of you folks are experiencing in other parts of the country, and Canada {holla!!}. 

I adapted this recipe from Cooking Light magazine to work with what I had on hand. My recipe turned out super awesome, and I am sure the original recipe is just as good. 

I had mushrooms in my fridge, but couldn't use them as planned. Did you know mushrooms can grow mold? How do fungi grow mold?? I was baffled, but still couldn't use the mushrooms. I will next time! I had also planned on putting in a couple handfuls of spinach, but forgot until after the cheese was on. Again, something I will add in round two.
Cooking Light pic on the left, my version pre-cheese on the right

Chicken Sausage and Potato Gratin

1 lb pkg sweet Italian chicken sausage, casings removed {I used Trader Joe's}
1 tbsp butter
1/3 cup chopped red onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 lbs red potatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash fiesta lime seasoning
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup shredded Mexican style cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Heat large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and saute, stirring to crumble for about 5 minutes. Remove sausage from pan, drain and wipe pan with paper towel.
  3. Melt butter in pan. Add onion, saute for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally until browned. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. 
  4. Add potatoes, salt, pepper, and seasoning. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally or until potatoes are browned.
  5. Stir in sausage and broth. Remove from heat. Pour mixture into a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray {I used a large oval corning wear dish}. Top with cheese, cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until golden. 

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