Pesto with Almonds

pesto-main-pic

Gotta love Pesto with Almonds.  I believe it’s traditionally made with Pine Nuts but even Walnuts are often substituted.  So it doesn’t really matter what you use, just pick your favorite and follow this recipe to a T because it is fantastic.  Just know that I cut this recipe in half when I filmed it in the video.

Also, if you’re looking for something meaty to compliment this recipe, be sure to check out my Italian Sausage and my Italian Breaded Pork Chops!

Pesto with Almonds Ingredients:

3 cups Basil Leaves, freshly packed
1/2 cup Almonds
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 Garlic Cloves
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper, ground
1/2 cup Olive oil
1 tsp Lemon Juice, (optional)

How to Make Italian Sausage

Ground Italian Sausage main pic

You’re going to love learning How to Make Italian Sausage.  This is, of course, a sweet and spicy recipe that can be easily adjusted to your specific tastes and, most importantly, reveals the secret to actually making it taste like sausage instead of just seasoned ground pork.

The secret lies in 3 places.  First, the sausage has got to have a 2 to 1 ratio; 2 parts meat and 1 part Fat and in this particular case it’s 2 parts Pork Picnic Shoulder Muscle(which is very tender) and 1 part Bacon or Fat Back.  If you’re wondering what Fat Back is, it’s just exactly what it sounds like; the Fat in the back of the pig; which is where bacon is derived from anyway so why not just use bacon.  Plus, for me personally, I can’t get Fat Back where I live without ordering a minimum of 60 lbs and I’ll never make that much sausage.

The Second secret is the ingredients.  This means any kind of sausage you want to make, whether it be Breakfast, Italian, or Chorizo etc., will all depend on the ingredients, or seasonings, going into the 2 to 1 ratio.

The Third thing is all about the binder.  The binder is what fuses the meat and ingredients together and keeps them from falling apart.  I’ve also found that it’s a big part of the the seasoning which also effects the performance in the sausage when it cooks.

Italian Sausage Patties Main pic

For example:  Most Italian Sausage recipes add a red wine and vinegar combination as a binder, which is fine, but this creates a bitter taste so you have to compensate with a sweetener, like sugar.  But I have found that Corn Syrup works even better and I add Vegetable Shortening.  Why the Shortening?  Cooking the sausage without it leaves the meat very dry.  It leaves an added quality to the sausage that improves the flavor and adds a moist tenderness to the meat when it’s done.

If you’re interested in more of my recipes with sausage in them, check out my Egg Noodle Lasagna and my Spaghetti with Meatballs.

Italian Sausage Ingredients:

2 lbs Pork shoulder Cusion Meat
1 lbs Bacon
6 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup Fresh Parsly, chopped
1 tbsp Fennel Seed
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 tbsp Paprika
1 tbsp Red Chili Flakes
Salt and Pepper to taste, approximately 1/2 tbsp of each

Binders

1/3 cup Corn Syrup
1/4 cup Vegetable Shortening

Blackened Chipotle Tilapia

Spicy Tilapia Main Pic

Chipotle Adobo Tilapia

This Blackened Chipotle Tilapia recipe is exactly how it sounds; spicy and delicious.  You get a buttery filet that sears just enough to turn color but leave you with a tender fluffy-flaky fish that just melts in your mouth with every bite. And Thanks to the Adobo Sauce in the is recipe, you get a nice kick too which delivers a little bit of heat that I like to balance out with a mix of Mango, fresh Mint, Pineapple and Red Onion.

Tilapia

Tilapia Mango and Pineapple Mix

One thing that I’ve learned over the years is that fish and fruit is always a good pairing.  P.F. Chang’s uses this Mango mix in their Curry Chicken Salad and it works really well with this too.  So you get the best of both worlds because your tongue gets to dance back and forth between a sweet, minty fruit and a drenched, spicy Chipotle Tilapia.

If you’re interested in more of my favorite fish recipes I would highly recommend my Smothered Salmon and my Grilled Halibut in Lemon Butter.  My Trout Amandine is especially delicious, if you’re into fishing.

Blackened Chipotle Tilapia Ingredients:

2 Tilapia Filets
1 can Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
2 tbsp Butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

Topping
1 cup Mango, chopped
1 cup Pineapple, chopped
1/3 cup Red Onion, chopped
1 tbsp Fresh Mint, chopped
1 tsp Red Chili Flakes

Serve the filet with a side of rice and a half cup of mixed topping to balance out the spicy Tilapia.