Bare-Ass Contessa

i’m so excited for bareass contessa thanksgiving!!

so far i’m cooking cornish hens, possibly turkey thighs or drumsticks, stuffing, squash/mushroom/green bean/broccoli casserole, sweet potato casserole, and mashed potatoes.

i’m salivating.

This brunch will make anyone fall in love with you. I promise. It’s so easy and so comforting. It’s my go to breakfast if I have company, a nice day off of work, or need something hearty after a late night out. Nothing cures a hangover like this breakfast or a big bowl of pho! It’s really simple to make and very rewarding.

Biscuits & Sausage Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 1 tube of breakfast sausage
  • 1 tube of buttermilk biscuits
  • 1/2-1 C chopped mushrooms
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 pint of milk
  • 1-2 TBS flour
  • fresh ground pepper & salt

Directions:

  1. Bake biscuits in the oven following package instructions.
  2. Brown the ground sausage with minced garlic on medium heat until it is cooked through.
  3. Drain off excess fat and add 1 TBS of flour to the meat. Stir thoroughly to coat and place back on medium heat for a few minutes to cook off the raw flour taste.
  4. Add 1/2 of the milk and bring to a simmer then add the remainder of milk plus the mushrooms. As the gravy is simmering add more flour if needed to reach the desired thickness. Season as needed.
  5. Plate 2-3 biscuits and smother them with sausage gravy goodness.

I love a good mimosa with this meal. I fill a champagne flute 3/4 full of booze then top off with orange juice. I use cheaper champagne for mimosas, because I’m not drinking it by itself. Feel free to use what ever kind you like.

After eating your plate and drinking 2 mimosas it will probably be back to bed for a food coma.

I went to Ireland over Thanksgiving in 2007 (makes me feel old) with my friend Vanessa. We had a time. The best thing I ate while over there was an open faced smoked salmon sandwich. It was AMAZING. So good that when I got home I had to recreate it. I’ve been making it every now and then as a special treat.

Smoked Salmon Sammies

Ingredients:

  • packaged smoked salmon
  • 2 slices of wheat bread
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 4 slices of cucumber
  • chives or green onion
  • mayonaise
  • dijon mustard
  • lettuce
  • fresh ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. I like to toast my bread just slightly. Layer each slice with as much mayo and dijon as you prefer.
  2. Add lettuce, cucumber, and sliced egg on top of each other then add as much smoked salmon as you’d like (I go heavy because it’s my favorite part!). Top the salmon with the fresh ground pepper and green onions.
  3. Slice the sandwich in half if you’d like and eat! 

You could lighten it up by omitting the mayo and using only dijon or just using low-fat cream cheese would be awesome too! Typing this makes me want one sooo bad. You’ll love it!

Best pho of my life from Pho Vy in the godforsaken town of Columbus, Ga. How Columbus got a delicious, authentic Vietnamese restaurant is beyond me.

Best pho of my life from Pho Vy in the godforsaken town of Columbus, Ga. How Columbus got a delicious, authentic Vietnamese restaurant is beyond me.

Have I mentioned how into Thai food I’m into lately?! I’m REAL into it.

Thai Red Curry

Base Recipe Ingredients:

-1 chicken breast or thigh, cut into bite-sized chunks
-4 TBS red curry paste
-2 cup coconut milk
-5 kaffir lime leaves
-1/4 cup Thai basil leaves
-2 TBS fish sauce
-2 TBS palm sugar
-1 1/2 TBS vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Heat a medium sized pot to medium high heat with the vegetable oil. When hot heat curry paste until it smells like THE JAM.
  2. Add coconut milk slowly and let the mixture come to a simmer. Then add lime leaves, fish sauce, and palm sugar. Bring back up to a simmer.
  3. Add the chicken pieces and cook until almost cooked through.
  4. Add any additional protein (tofu, shrimp. etc) and veggies (bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli)
  5. Simmer a bit more and adjust seasonings to taste.
  6. Serve and devour over rice.

I completely apologize to the few followers that I have for not updating very much lately. I’ve been working like crazy, which means less time to cook but MONEY HONEY. Anyways.. This recipe is the shit. Your take out curry wont compare to it; I promise.

I’m going to try to plan a menu and allocate more time to cooking in the coming days. I just need to sit my ass down and plan some meals. More to come!

Love love!

Working has really put a damper on my meals the past week. I’ve just been too tired to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I whipped up this make-shift shrimp scampi, and it was surprisingly light, full of flavor, and delicious.

Shrimp Scampi

Ingredients:

  • 12 shrimp
  • noodles (any kind you’d like)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • parmesan cheese
  • sriracha
  • pepper & salt
  • Italian style cheese
  • fresh herbs

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water with a splash of oil to a boil. Cook pasta according ly.
  2. Heat a saute pan. Add a few TBS olive oil and saute the garlic with the fresh herbs. When the oil is aromatic and infused you can add the shrimp (they do not take long!).
  3. Drain pasta and add to pan. Toss to coat with oil and shrimp. Add cheeses and additional seasonings according to your taste.

This was amazing. The next time I make it I will probably add a splash of white wine and a little cream to make it richer. It was super simple and super tasty from the garlic and herbs. The crunchy bits of caramelized garlic are the best part. Yummmm.

I had a really bad craving for something stroganoff-like that would be quick and easy to whip up after work. I came up with herbed cream of mushroom chicken and pasta. It was the jam and will definitely make this again when in a time pinch for something tasty.

Herb Cream of Mushroom Chicken & Pasta:

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts.
  • can cream of mushroom soup
  • any kind of pasta
  • 1/2 C mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp basil
  • worcestershire sauce
  • black pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil to cook the pasta in. Add 1 TBS of oil to help the noodles not stick together.
  2. In another pot empty 1 can of condensed soup and add 1 can full of water. Bring up to a simmer.
  3. Add all the herbs and crushed garlic.
  4. Cut chicken into bite-sized piece and let simmer until fully cooked. Throw in mushrooms at the end. They don’t need to cook long.
  5. Drain pasta noodles, plate, and add desired amount of the herbed cream of mushroom chicken sauce on top.

This really was quite good. The addition of the herbs really brought it up and it definitely didn’t taste like is was based from something that came from a can. This would also be amazing over brown rice. Try it. You’ll enjoy it!

There’s no one who enjoys a bloody mary more than me. They’re pretty simple to make at home too!

Ingredients:

  • vodka
  • tomato juice
  • horseradish
  • black pepper
  • lime
  • Worcestershire sauce.

Directions:

  1. Place ice cubes into glass. Pour in 2oz of vodka and 4oz of tomato juice.
  2. Season the drink to your liking with horseradish, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, lime, etc.
  3. Enjoy!

I didn’t have celery, so a bok choy leaf added the green for this cocktail haha.

I’m really into Thai food right now. My apartment is a couple blocks away from an Asian grocery store which helps me find all of the right ingredients I need to make ethnic food on the cheap. You’d be surprised how easy and cost effective it is to cook things you’d normally pay $$ for in a restaurant. Dominick and I invited my friend Vanessa over the other night for a Thai dinner consisting of pad thai and coconut soup (tom kha gai).

Tom Kha Gai

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C chicken breast
  • 1/2 C coconut milk
  • 2 TBS fish sauce
  • 5 slices galangal root
  • 1 lime
  • 1 TBS sriracha
  • 1 1/2 C water
  • 3 keffir lime leave

Directions:

  1. Put everything into a pot and simmer on med-low heat for 30 min until chicken is cooked through and broth is aromatic.
  2. Season with additional salt, fish sauce, lime, and sriracha as you see fit.
  3. So easy and really flavorful.

Pad Thai Noodles

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C boiling water
  • 3 TBS tamarind paste
  • 1/2 C palm sugar
  • 1/4 C fish sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 10 shrimp
  • 8oz thai rice noodles
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 bunches green onions
  • 2 C bean sprouts
  • lime wedges
  • diced tofu
  • 2 tsp sriracha

Directions:

  1. put the rice noodles in a large bowl and cover with water. let soak until ready to use later. they will be pliable, but still way too tough to eat.
  2. pour boiling water over the tamarind paste and stir to combine. strain out any seeds or hard bits from the mixture and put in sauce pan with palm sugar, sriracha, and fish sauce. simmer until it reduces to a syrup about the consistency of maple syrup.
  3. fry up the slices of tofu. chop scallions while tofu is frying.
  4. heat a saute pan with 2 TBS oil to med-hi heat. once hot add the rice noodles. spread around the pan then pour sauce over them.
  5. when the noodles have softened a bit scoot them to one side and scramble two eggs in the free space. combine with noodles and add shrimp. they will only need a minute or two to cook. throw in the green onions, tofu, and bean sprouts and mix everything together.
  6. Voila. You’re done!

I’ve seen recipes online for pad thai using ketchup and tomato paste and thought “WTF?!” I really don’t think they cook with either of those in Thailand, therefore you would not get the authentic flavor. I know not everyone has an Asian market around the corner, but if you look online you can probably find everything you need.

Enjoy! This has literally been my favorite meal to cook for the past month or so. You’ll wow anyone you cook this for and it’s basically effortless!

If you have too many of the cocktails mentioned in the previous post, greasy Chinese food will be your savior!

If you have too many of the cocktails mentioned in the previous post, greasy Chinese food will be your savior!