Italian Pack Inspiration

One of my favorite add-on’s to contribute for it the Italian pack.  I use almost everything it contains in my daily cooking and have even added some ingredients to my cooking pantry.  It was the reason I tried Eggplant Parmesan and my 5 year-old son fell in love with the eggplant.  He forgot about the pasta and sauce and ate the eggplant all by itself!

Here are a few recipes I have used when I contribute for the Italian pack. Hopefully, these will inspire you to try a few things on your own.

Herbed Pork Chops and Potatoes

Herbed Pork Chops and Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 1/4 to 1/2" thick pork chops
  • 7-8 mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 5 yellow potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/2" thick
  • 2 large stems rosemary, stems removed and minced
  • 4 stems thyme, stems removed and minced
  • salt, pepper
  • 1/2 large yellow onion sliced
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place the pork chops on the bottom of a 9x13 glass baking dish.
  2. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and 1/2 of minced thyme and rosemary.
  3. Layer on sliced mushrooms and onion.
  4. Top with sliced potatoes.
  5. Sprinkle with olive oil.
  6. Add remaining thyme and rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Top with parsley and cover with foil.
  8. Bake @ 375 for 30-45 minutes until pork chops and potatoes are done.

 

Pasta-less Chicken Parmesan

Pasta-less Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients

  • 2 small yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 gloves minced garlic
  • 1 yellow squash (mostly peeled), cut into spears
  • 1 zucchini (mostly peeled), cut into spears
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved length-wise
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned Panko or regular bread crumbs
  • salt, pepper
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 spears fresh rosemary, stem removed and minced
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese for topping
  • 2 cups very veggie pasta sauce, or your favorite pasta sauce

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat.
  2. Add in garlic, onion.
  3. Salt and pepper chicken to your preference and coat cutlets in bread crumbs.
  4. Add chicken to veggies in the skillet.
  5. Cook until almost done in the center.
  6. Add squash and zucchini spears and chopped tomato to the skillet on top of the chicken and cover with lid.
  7. Cook for approximately 5 minutes to let the tomatoes warm up and the spears get to the desired tenderness.
  8. Serve chicken and veggies topped with veggie pasta sauce or pasta sauce of your choice.
  9. Parmesan cheese can be added before serving. *We opted not to use cheese this time around.

 

Our local all night restaurant/greasy spoon has a breakfast dish they make called the Western Mix. It’s basically a western omelette that is scrambled instead of in the regular omelette form. It is by far my favorite item they serve. I used the Italian pack ingredients to make my own version of this dish and it was a BIG success!  My kids didn’t even know they were eating mushrooms until they asked what was in it. My husband wished I had left them in bigger pieces. Oh, well.  It worked anyway!  But, for me this dish was all about the basil!!  I used basil two different times for different intensities of flavor.  I served it with layered/flaky biscuits that I pulled in half and filled with shredded mozzarella cheese before putting back together. They were amazing!

 

Italian Mix Eggs

Italian Mix Eggs

Ingredients

  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly chopped
  • 2/3 pkg mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped, or sliced if you prefer
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6-8 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 very ripe tomato
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 8 eggs
  • 6-8 leaves basil, shredded
  • salt, pepper
  • I chicken breast, cubed into bite sized pieces and marinated in 1/4 lime juice and a handful of chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Prepare chicken breast in lime juice and parsley. I refrigerated overnight.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet.
  3. Add mushrooms, onion, and chopped basil. Saute until onions are almost translucent.
  4. Add cubed chicken and cook until almost done.
  5. Beat eggs with salt and pepper, to taste, and 1/8 cup milk. Pour into chicken mixture along with the remaining shredded basil. Stir frequently until almost done, or consistency preferred.
  6. When eggs are almost done, squeeze tomato over eggs and chop the tomato flesh into the mixture. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and stir into the eggs. Serve warm.

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