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11 April 2018

Skillet Stuff {Low-carb Recipe}

A friend of mine asked me about our family's go-to recipes: my husband eats low carb; the rest of us do not. Skillet stuff is our most frequent meal; we typically have it twice in any given week because it's both delicious and never exactly the same twice. It's not at all hard to make; I use my 12 inch cast iron skillet, but any large skillet will do. I'm typically feeding 5 people, and plan to have enough leftovers for my husband to take it to work the next day.

Dice an onion and some bell pepper.

Depending on how many people we're feeding, I may add some extra peppers. This time, I wasn't sure if we'd have 3 extra adults or not, so I added two extras. More colors makes pretty food anyway.

Add 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes with their juices (I get mine at Aldi). Also add a bay-leaf. It's delicious. Don't forget to take it out at the end, though, that thing's going to be as tough coming out as it was going in. But it adds good flavor, and when you're counting up the variety of plants that you've eaten this week (one way that I like to keep an eye on how we are doing with eating healthy), spices count. There's some cool research coming out on how various spices add all kinds of goodness to the diet and protect against some nasty diseases. Spices are good -and good for you.

Those who are vegetable-adverse should remember that, botanically, only the onion is a vegetable; peppers and tomatoes are fruits because they grow from an ovary, just like an apple. Just sayin'.

Next, you add anything else that you want to put in: mushrooms (fresh or canned) and zucchini are frequent additions here. Sometimes I'll put in olives and green chilis and some Tex-mex seasonings, and that's tasty. This time it was close to shopping day, so I didn't add any fancy stuff, just the regular basics. And a can of chicken.

At this point, it's usually a bit too juicy, so I let it simmer for a while to cook off the juices. This, I tell my assistant chef (that'd be my kitchen helper kid), is the "waiting part". And you just have to wait. But it's so tasty it's worth it. Stir it occasionally and keep that bay leaf under the juices so it can let its goodness out into them. When the juice is mostly gone (it'll be a touch thicker, too, because flavor doesn't evaporate, it just intensifies), then it's time to do the next thing.

Grab a polaska kielbasa, chop it into coins, then in halves. (Avoid the beef kielbasa; they're kind of grainy and have texture issues.) Toss those in. Try not to eat too many. It helps if the assistant chef doesn't notice that you're cutting. This may be difficult to do, as cutting the kielbasa is the single most coveted kitchen job for this meal, at least at our house. But more of the sausage gets in the pan if the assistant fails to notice that it's happening.

Next, you add either 1/2 a brick of cream cheese or a biggish dollop of sour cream. Don't ask; I don't measure. Some. Like in the picture.

Last, I add some Creole seasoning. No, I don't measure this, either, but it kind of is great on nearly everything. Add a little bit, taste, and adjust, because you don't want too much; it gets intense if you add a lot. I also put on the freshly ground pepper pretty generously, and if I can't get all the flavors to come together I sometimes add a couple of shakes of salt -this pink stuff is my current favorite- but I never add that until I've messed with the flavors twice.

We had biscuits on the side this time; I'll often make couscous, and we'll have it on a bed of that. Rice would work, too. My husband puts it on a plate full of cheese, then mixes it all up; I like the cheese on top, rather than under. Funny how the order you stack your food affects the flavors.

Skillet Stuff (serves 6)

1 onion
1-3 bell peppers
2 16oz cans fire roasted tomatoes
1 bay leaf
optional: mushrooms, green chilies, zucchini, yellow squash, black olives, garlic...
1 12.5oz can chicken
1 polaska kielbasa
lg dollop sour cream OR 1/2 brick cream cheese (optional)
Creole Seasoning, to taste
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Saute first 5 ingredients. Add chicken then simmer to reduce liquids. Add kielbasa, then reduce heat to low and season. Serve immediately.


Anne Chovies said...

That looks really yummy! We're definitely going to have to try it!

Linda Sears said...

We first 'eat' with our eyes - beautiful colors make our food more appetizing! This looks beautiful AND delicious. Thanks for sharing with us!


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