• erin

    Dumplings with my family
    A recent graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, I found myself with no money, no kitchen equipment, and an exceptionally huge appetite. Ideas, improvisations, and yummy meal solutions were discovered in the kitchen of my very first apartment.
  • what sounds good?

    I've been getting a lot of requests and suggestions for the apartment kitchen. I LOVE these suggestions, keep them coming!

    If you have anything you'd like me to consider (recipes to develop, shortcuts for recipes, great ingredients, or even blog formatting), shoot me an email and let me know!

    em570039@mycia.net

  • equipment spotlight

  • ingredient spotlight

  • this month’s packed lunch

  • hungry for more?

    Check out my food journeys at An Appetite for Adventure!
  • webmaster: chris hurte
  • author portrait: matt needham
  • © erin mcdowell and the apartment kitchen, 2009-10. all photography and content, unless otherwise indicated, is property of the author. unauthorized reproduction or use is prohibited. please ask before using.
  • Add to Technorati Favorites
  • Recipe Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
  • Twitter Updates

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

  • become my fan on facebook!

    Just click HERE

This Month’s Packed Lunch

One of the fabulous suggestions I’ve received for the blog was from my brother’s girlfriend, Brenda. She said she hates taking boring lunches to work but can’t think of new and exciting things to take. Also, she doesn’t want to spend too much time doing it. The solution? A new monthly segment called “This Month’s Packed Lunch”! Each month, I’ll give you new ideas of things to liven up your lunch, whether you take it to work, school, or are planning a picnic and need something tasty.

The first lunch couldn’t be simpler, but seems sort of out of the ordinary. This sandwich tastes really good cold, making it ideal for just tossing together and taking with you in the morning. It’s made with sausage, which sure beats you average turkey or ham sandwich. The relish I made yesterday is the perfect complement, and I added some pepperoncinis (one of my favorites) to add some acidity and a slight kick. I always say the best sandwiches are simple, and this one has it all: amazing texture from the bread, a great spread (which keeps the bread from becoming overly soggy while it sits), and just a little bit of spice. If you don’t like spicy foods, a good, garlicky pickle would be a good replacement.

Yukon Gold and Chicken Apple Sausage Hash with Fried Eggs and Spicy Tomato Coulis

Breakfast for dinner? Yes. But with chunks of hearty chicken sausage, and crispy yukon gold potatoes, and a spicy tomato coulis this dinner was delicious and satisfying in a completely different way from breakfast. And on the first snow of the year (yes…in OCTOBER) we were happy to be full, satisfied, and back under our blankets in no time.

Mushroom Stuffed Sausage Burgers with Peppadew Peppers

**(What’s that? Another dish with sausage and peppadew peppers? Well, yes. I made my cooking “to-do” list at the beginning of the week. I had been craving sausage, but I was cooking for one until tonight when Matt came over. Rather than get stuck with a whole pot of leftovers, I cooked my white beans with sausage on Tuesday night and saved the remaining ingredients for a completely different dish a few days later. So you hardly recognized it, right?)**

Matt loves burgers. I like them too, because I enjoy warm sandwiches. Burgers are easy (and easy to make healthy if you like with lean meats like turkey and chicken and meat substitutions like grated veggies, beans, or portobello mushrooms). I’ve made quite a few types of burgers, but this is one of my all time favorites. Instead of turning to any of my go-to meats or meatless standbys, I used another of Matt’s favorites: sausage. I removed the casings, seasoned the meat, and stuffed the patties with mushrooms and herbs. We finished it off with leftover peppadew peppers for an all-around tasty and Italian-esque burger. It would be great with other toppings, too: sauteed peppers and onions, spinach, mozzarella cheese – get creative! This is a good basic canvas to work with.

White Beans with Sausage, Tomato, and Mushrooms

I saw a recipe once on Epicurious for a dish with white beans and sausage. I loved the idea, because white beans (you may have heard me gush about them before) are so creamy and delicious. Combining my favorite beans with sausage (turkey or chicken sausage for a healthier option) and some homemade tomato sauce and I had the perfect substitute for pasta. At the same time, the beans added a heartiness that really filled me up – a wonderful warm, chunky stew of sorts that was tossed together in no time, especially if you have tomato sauce on hand. Even if you don’t, this meal takes less than a half hour.

Grilled Polenta with Baby Artichokes, Mushrooms, and Sausage

I found some gorgeous baby artichokes at the market that I needed to use up soon. Initially, I was going to saute them in butter with garlic and white wine and serve it with a steak for Matt, but when it turned out to be just me at home with the roommates, I went for a different approach. Using only things I had on hand, I made a really delicious dish. My favorite part was that it utilized the grill – I’m running out of time to do that! (Though one of my favorite things is to grill out in the first few chilly days of fall – sort of that crisp, wonderful, tailgating feeling). Anyway – this dish was clean and fresh tasting – and the polenta made it wonderfully creamy – delish.

Continue reading

Warm Salad of Arugula, Tomatoes, Fava Beans, Shallots, Sausage, Mozzarella, and Whole Wheat Pasta

Pasta is something I don’t make too often…which is a shame because it is such an ideal dish for the apartment kitchen! Fast, simple, and you can really use whatever you have. On the rare occasions that I do make pasta, I usually plan it out pretty carefully: what flavors I want to use, what ingredients will go together, etc. but you don’t have to! Toss together whatever is in the fridge and eat it warm or cold!

This is one of my favorite things to do with pasta – use it as an element in a leafy green salad. It’s not pasta with arugula, it’s arugula with pasta. This makes it a little healthier but also puts the emphasis on the veggies and other toppings which is really the most exciting part of pasta, isn’t it? My favorite part is how the warm pasta gently wilts the greens making it the ultimate warm, delicious, and slightly unexpected dinner. Dressed with a little red wine vinegar, it couldn’t be simpler.

Caramelized Onion Polenta with Sausage and Cauliflower Ragu

I used to think it was strange that I read cookbooks feverishly as though they were page-turning novels. Now I know it is – but the amazing world of food magazines and online recipes have deepened my love for the written food word. And no matter how crazy it is, I can’t help it. It’s more than the glossy pages and mouth-watering pictures. For me, it’s the format the amounts and ingredients take on the page. The way they sit is so incredibly inviting as though begging me to try it myself.

But I’ve also finally got some cook’s blood in me (I am a trained baker) and I use recipes as ideas and rarely follow them exactly. This idea came from a couple different places to the point that it’s my own recipe – though I proudly admit it is inspired by all of those glossy pages that I love so much.