The Perfect Meal

                                      

          Everyone has that one favorite meal, you know the one I’m talking about. It’s your old reliable, your company is coming for dinner meal, the one that never fails to please, that you like to make and everyone else likes to eat. This is that meal for me, my grandmother made it, my mother made it and I’ve been making it for many years and it never fails to disappoint. It’s delicious, easy to throw together and it can easily be made for 2 people or 100 so it’s the perfect company meal. The best part about this is that it’s so flexible, you can make it with almost any meat and incorporate whatever vegetables you have on hand.

   On this particular night I made it with Italian sausage, russet potatoes, sliced red bell pepper and mushrooms. I frequently add chicken thighs and split breasts to this, that’s probably my favorite way to do it. It works well with ribs, pork chops, smoked sausage, kielbasa, chicken tenders and I’m sure just about any other sausage or meat that you can think of.

   Although the potatoes are a constant I often add other vegetables too, depending on what I have on hand. I love to add cubed sweet potatoes in with the russet potatoes, it’s a great combination.

   Other vegetables that I have found to be good are cubed zucchini or yellow squash, sliced peppers, any and all mushrooms, artichoke hearts, cauliflower, green beans, the list is endless! I seriously don’t believe that you can go wrong with adding whatever vegetables your family likes. Once you’ve adopted this method I am sure you will rely on it over and over and enjoy trying different combinations. You do not have to be precise here, remember cooking is an art, baking is a science. You don’t have to measure anything exactly, that’s the beauty of this method. Be creative, have fun with it and please let me know what combinations you have tried. This may become your “default” recipe too! So now I’m going to tell you what I did on this particular night, but remember you can vary the ingredients and the amounts according to your needs.

One Version of the Perfect Meal ( This serves 3-4 people)

  • 1 pound of Italian Sausage, cut into desired size pieces
  • 6 Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 10 ounce package of mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1 sliced red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • salt and pepper

 

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cubed potatoes with the olive oil, garlic,sliced mushrooms, parsley, sliced peppers (and any other vegetables that you are using), salt and pepper. Mix until well coated with the olive oil and spread in baking pan. Place sausage pieces on top of the potatoes. If I was using chicken I would also coat the chicken pieces with the olive oil, garlic and parsley mixture, adding more olive oil as needed. Cover with aluminum foil and roast in pre-heated oven for ½ hour. Uncover, stir well and continue roasting for an additional ½ hour or until meat and potatoes are done to your liking. We like our potatoes a little crisp so I actually remove the meat when it’s done to a covered pan to keep warm and continue stirring and roasting the potatoes until they have browned up a bit.        

   That’s it, as I said before you can change this up so many ways and if you are serving more people just increase the amounts accordingly. I serve this with a green salad on the side and you have a complete meal with very little fuss.
   One thing I’d like to tell you about most of the recipes that you’ll see in this blog, they are for the most part recipes that have been handed down for generations in my family. In other words, nothing was ever written down or measured until I started doing it for this blog. I don’t like to post pictures of every single step, I assume that whoever is reading this knows what peeling a potato looks like or what it looks like when you slice a pepper. If you’re like me, you just want to get to the recipe! If at any time however you have questions or I haven’t explained something as well as I should have then please don’t hesitate to message me and ask.

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