Shroom Ragu by Robin Dienel

See original article via Hangry District


Read this first: CHOP EVERYTHING BEFORE YOU START TO COOK THIS ONE! This is a hands-on, all-in, no rest for the wicked type of recipe. If you stop stirring, it will burn. If you stop mixing, it will burn. If you stop combining, it will burn. Do you see a pattern here? This recipe is all about the steady flow of ingredients in and out of the pan to create a decadent sauce teaming with flavor. Are mushrooms really worth all this work, you ask? All I can say is, YES. And don't forget to pour yourself a glass of wine, I mean liquid motivation, before you start chopping. You're going to need it. 

< Time > 30 minutes
< Serves > 4
< Cost(ish) > $15

What You Need:

For the ragu:
1/4 cup olive oil, separated
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled, finely diced
1 pound white button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. thyme, chopped
2 tsp. sage, chopped
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth, heated
Salt and pepper, to taste
A glass of wine for the chef☺︎ (optional)

For the penne:
1 pound penne pasta
2 Tbsp. butter
4 garlic cloves, smashed
2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste

What To With It:

Heat broth in a small sauce pan over medium low heat until it begins to boil. Reduce the heat to low, and keep warm while you cook.

Here's where the marathon stirring begins...

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add carrots and onions and cook, stirring well, until they begin to brown. Lower heat to medium, and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking, and stirring low and slow until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to skillet and turn heat back up to high. Add mushrooms, stirring well to coat with oil. Keep sautéing (aka more stirring) until mushrooms brown lightly, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add garlic, thyme, sage, and pepper flakes to mushrooms. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium, and add cooked carrots and onions back into the skillet along with tomato paste. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring. Mix in flour. Ladle in a cup of the hot broth, stirring, as sauce begins to thicken. Add another cup, and let sauce cook for another 5 minutes. Stir intermediately, making sure the bottom doesn't burn. Season to taste. Reduce heat to low and cover with foil to keep warm. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add penne, and cook according to the package instructions. Once finished, drain pasta in a colander. Melt butter in pot over medium heat. Once butter begins to get white and foamy, add garlic, letting it sizzle for 30 seconds. Then add pasta back in with parsley, mix well. 

Congratulations, you're done stirring! Go ahead, pour yourself another glass of wine.

Serve penne topped with a healthy portion of your ragu sauce and parmesan.

Note: If you can use fresh pasta, do it! I like to go to Union Market and grab some Cucina Al Volo penne for this one. But if you do use fresh pasta, make sure you cook it according to their instructions. Fresh pasta takes less time to cook than boxed.

Word Up, Home Skillet Rice by Robin Dienel

See original article via Hangry District


I'll keep this short because Hangry waits for no one.  When you're exhausted, it's still dark out before 6pm and the groundhog has been a little bitch and run back to his den, you want a quick and easy dinner to eat as fast as possible. So - chop everything up; toss it all in a skillet; throw some cheese on top; and dinner = served. You're welcome.

< Time > 20 minutes
< Serves > 4
< Cost(ish) > $10

What You Need:

4 Tbsp. Olive Oil, separated
6 links uncooked Tomato-roasted Chicken Sausage (or your favorite kind), uncased
1 Red Onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced in half moons
1 cup Broccoli Florets, chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper flakes
4 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
2 Tbsp. Water
1 cup Instant Rice
1 1/2 cup Chicken Broth
1 cup Mozzarella, shredded
1 Tbsp. fresh Basil, julienned
Salt and pepper, to taste

What To With It:

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken sausage. Cook, breaking apart with a spatula until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Scoop sausage into a bowl and set aside.

If the sausage is too lean and has not rendered much fat, add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet. Add onion and bell pepper, sautéing until lightly caramelized and translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add broccoli, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes to the skillet. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add sausage back in. Mix in tomato paste and 2 tablespoons water. Stir to combine. Add rice and broth, bringing to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, until rice is cooked, about 5 minutes.* Sprinkle mozzarella on top, cover, and let melt for 1 minute. Top with basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve hot from skillet, family style.

Ch-EASY Croque Monsieur by Robin Dienel

See original article via Hangry District


The scariest part of this recipe is making the béchamel, one of the classic French mother sauces! But really, it's just melting some butter, and adding flour and milk to it. That's it. You can do it! After that, it's just like slapping together a grilled cheese sandwich amped up with ham, a creamy sauce, and all the cheddar cheese you can find in your, let's face it, over-crowded cheese drawer. Follow the easy step-by-step guide below and make one for yourself tonight!

< Time > 30 minutes
< Serves > 2
< Cost(ish) > $10

What You Need:

For the béchamel (creamy goodness) sauce:
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. flour
3/4 cup whole milk (room temperature)
1 Tbps. whole grain mustard
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne (optional)
Kosher salt

For the sandwich:
4 slices Lyon Bakery multigrain bread, or good bread from your local bakery
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 slices Red Apron ham, or just your favorite deli ham
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
Parchment paper

What To With It:

Preheat oven to 425°.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When it becomes white and foamy, add the flour. Stir until mixture becomes light brown and just begins to bubble. Add milk and cook, stirring, until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in mustard, nutmeg, and cayenne. Season with salt.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread each bread slice with the béchamel sauce, making sure to cover the entire slice all the way to edges. Place 2 slices of bread on the baking sheet, béchamel side up. Top each with 3 slices of ham and 1/2 cup of cheese. Top with remaining 2 slices of bread, béchamel side up, and remaining cheese, divided evenly. Sprinkle rosemary and thyme on top. Bake until cheese is brown and bubbly, about 12-15 minutes. 

Slice in half, and enjoy!