Aglio Olio with Mushrooms

A long time ago I had a friend that loved to cook Italian foods.  Spaghetti Aglio Olio, a.k.a garlic pasta,  and a red meatless “gravy” were the only two thing I ever cooked with that friend.

If you have read any of my other posts, you know that I can never leave well enough alone in a recipe and have taken liberties over the years to adjust this recipe to my own preferences.  I think this is the way most folks cook Aglio Olio, as no two recipes ever seem the same.

The way I learned to cook Aglio Olio was to start with olive oil, garlic, and anchovies.  I know that the anchovies are supposed to melt into the sauce and provide a rich flavor.  I find it leaves too fishy of a taste for me and have chosen to not use them.  If you like that flavor, all you have to do is add 4 to 6 anchovy filets to the cold skillet with the garlic and oil when you first start the dish.

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Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan is the perfect marriage of summertime eggplants and Andy’s Favorite Pasta Sauce.  This can also be made with jarred pasta sauce, and Lord knows I have used jarred sauce before when I was too lazy or busy to make homemade.  No really, lazy is the better reason.

One trick I learned long ago, and even use with homemade sauce is to add a 15 ounce can of tomato sauce to extend and pasta sauce you are using.  Unless you are mixing it with less than 16 ounces of pasta sauce, you should not notice a huge difference in taste.  I like how it thins out the sauce for this recipe, as I don’t care for a big stiff glop of sauce on my eggplant or chicken Parm.

Eggplant may seems kind of intimidating, and I confess I was intimidated the first time I ever took a knife to one.  Now, I have never ventured outside my box on eggplant, I only use it for a fried version of eggplant Parm.

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Sautéed General’s Chicken

General’s  chicken is a Chinese favorite, but we don’t always want heavy deep-fried food when we want Asian flavors for dinner. I also do NOT enjoy the task of cleaning up after deep-frying. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll do it, some things like fried mushrooms, fried chicken, and egg rolls are worth a mess.

We don’t call this General Tso’s chicken at my house. Number 1, we are not exactly sure how to say it and number 2 we can.

This chicken dish is kind of sweet and savory with a bit if heat at the end.  You can increase the heat in this dish by allowing the dried peppers to spend more time simmering in the sauce.  But be careful with the heat level you are looking for, I let this simmer for too long once and thought I had eaten lava.

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