Here at Isernio’s headquarters, one of our most important jobs this week is making sure you have a game plan for the big day… so we have compiled this list of recipes to keep you fueled for Super Bowl 49.
Italian Mozzarella Chicken Burgers with Peppers & Onions
Cook Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4
1 lb. Isernio’s Ground Chicken
¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
3 Tbsp. finely diced yellow onion
3 Tbsp. finely diced bell peppers (red, green, yellow)
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and form into 4 burgers.
Cook on an oiled grill or in a skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat to an internal temperature of 165°F, about 6-8 minutes per side, flipping once during cooking.
Serve on sliced ciabatta rolls or your favorite buns, topped with lettuce, tomato and your favorite condiments. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Margherita’s Sausage Stuffed Peppers
This is a great dish to make ahead and it tastes great reheated the next day.
Margherita Isernio’s Sausage Meatballs
Cook Time: 30 minutes
“Show me a football party without … meatballs and I'll show you an invitation to a better party,” Rebecca Orchant, Huffington Post.
Using our chicken or pork sausage, these meatballs can be served by themselves as appetizers. Try simmering them in your favorite tomato sauce for at least a half hour to infuse the sauce with flavor from the meatballs.
Isernio's Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
10 medium Portobello mushrooms
1 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
1 pound Isernio’s Italian Chicken Sausage Roll
½ pound of frozen spinach, defrosted in the microwave and squeezed dry
½ small onion, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. dry bread crumbs
1 large lemon
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 Tbsp. Pecorino Romano cheese
After washing and removing the stems, brush the mushrooms with olive oil and season with pepper and juice from half of the lemon.
Next, place the mushrooms on a baking sheet, gill side up, bake the mushrooms at 350°F for about 6-8 minutes per side, flipping once.
Remove the mushrooms from the oven and let them cool to room temperature.
While the mushrooms are in the oven, let’s make the stuffing.
Heat a non stick 12" skillet over medium heat with tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Sautée the minced onion with salt and pepper until the onion is soft and translucent. Remove casings from link sausage or slice roll of sausage open, and place in skillet, breaking up and crumbling sausage with a flat wooden spoon. Cook sausage until it just loses it’s pinkness. Don’t over cook or brown sausage!
When the sausage is fully cooked, remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl, letting it cool to room temperature.
Once the sausage cools, add the egg, spinach, bread crumbs, juice from the remaining lemon and pepper. Mix well.
Then, fill the mushrooms generously with the sausage stuffing, pressing down to make the stuffing more compact. Then top each mushroom with the Pecorino Romano cheese.
Bake the mushrooms at 400°F for another 6-8 minutes.
Serve the mushrooms immediately.
For more winning recipes, go to www.isernio.com/recipes. Go Hawks!
This recipe, compliments of our friend, Amanda S. of Renton, WA, is adapted from Joelen Tan of “What’s Cookin’ Chicago?”. Last week Amanda shared with us her recipe in the test kitchen and the smell alone had everyone in the office filing in for a taste. This recipe requires under 10 minutes of prep time and can be prepped ahead of time for those busy weeknights. We served this recipe with an array of roasted vegetables - carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, fennel, and butternut squash. This recipe is so versatile, it can be served with vegetables or al-dente cooked pasta, or over a bed of leafy greens as a component of a salad.
1 lb Isernio’s Ground Chicken
1/4 Cup Fresh Breadcrumbs
1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Basil
1/2 Teaspoon Thyme
1/2 Teaspoon Oregano
1-2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Small Onion, Diced
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, Grated
1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce (we recommend our Half Hour Tomato Sauce!)
1/2 Cup Italian Cheese Blend, Shredded
Chopped Parsley for Garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, onion, Pecorino Romano cheese, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Using hands, gently mix together. Transfer this mixture to a lightly greased loaf pan and top the loaf with the tomato sauce and the Italian cheese blend.
Bake in the oven at 350 °F for 40 minutes or until the inside temperature of the meatloaf reaches 165 °F.
Cover Girl and 2013 Fitness International Champion Tanji Johnson uses Isernio’s during contest prep and in one of her favorite Thanksgiving dishes
Our friend Tanji Johnson is a star. An elite athlete, fitness coach, successful entrepreneur, key note speaker and role model, Tanji is currently ranked Top 2 in the world in IFBB Pro Fitness. She has earned 9 professional IFBB fitness titles in her career. In 2013, Tanji became the Fitness International & the Arnold Classic Europe Champion. Tanji starred as “Stealth” on NBC’s hit television show American Gladiators and she is also known for her positive attitude, bright spirit and strong work ethic.
We sat down with Tanji recently for an interview to find out how she likes to use our products and what she’s up to this holiday season.
Isernio’s: How long have you been a fan of Isernio’s? How did you first come across Isernio’s?
Tanji Johnson: I have been a fan of Isernio’s for 3 years, when I was first introduced to the product by a friend.
Isernio’s: What kinds of meals and snacks to you create with Isernio’s?
Tanji Johnson: I like to make meatballs & meatloaves as well as ground chicken balls, and scrambled eggs with sausage. Isernio’s is lean and high in protein, so it’s a treat I can enjoy often.
Isernio’s: Does Isernio’s fit into your training meal plan?
Tanji Johnson: When dieting, I mainly use the ground chicken products (ground chicken and ground chicken breast). Outside of contest prep, I eat all the Isernio’s products all the time.
Isernio’s: Isernio’s Premium All-Natural Products are gluten free, all-natural, contain no artificial ingredients, no nitrates, no nitrites, no phosphates or MSG. They are also low in fat and made fresh daily. What of these qualities, as an athlete and world renown fitness competitor, is most important to you?
Tanji Johnson: The fact that Isernio’s products are all-natural and contain no artificial ingredients is important to me. It’s the things like artificial flavors and ingredients that contribute to bloating and discourage fat loss.
Isernio’s: What does a typical Thanksgiving look like for you?
Tanji Johnson: Normally we sleep in and I help whoever cooks. Eating. Watch a movie. This day is total relaxation, we don’t even leave the house.
Isernio’s: What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
Tanji Johnson: Family and friends – I want to say relationships. Real family, chosen family and friends. That is what life is about. I’m also thankful for my health. I am about to turn 40 and I’m blessed to have great health. The third thing is being able to have a career that I’m passionate about. Those are my three.
Isernio’s: What’s your favorite dish at the Thanksgiving table?
Tanji Johnson: Sweet potato casserole. It’s a family recipe that my family has adopted over the years.
Isernio’s: What is your least favorite food at Thanksgiving?
Tanji Johnson: Honestly, I don’t even know. I would probably say collard greens.
Isernio’s: Do you have any special traditions?
Tanji Johnson: Before we eat, we go around the table and talk about what we are thankful for.
Isernio’s: What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving?
Tanji Johnson: The food. Not just that, but spending quality time with family. Because I live in Seattle and my family is spread out all around the country, normally I spend thanksgiving with friends and extended family that are local. We need more days like that.
Isernio’s: Do you normally travel somewhere for Thanksgiving? Where is the furthest you have travelled for Thanksgiving?
Tanji Johnson: My mom and dad live in South Carolina. Our family is spread all throughout the country so we try to get to South Carolina once every couple of years for Thanksgiving. I grew up an army brat living my adolescence in Germany and Korea – that’s the farthest I have been for Thanksgiving.
Isernio’s: Being an elite athlete, have you ever had to make some substitutions at Thanksgiving for an upcoming competition or show?
Tanji Johnson: I have been lucky. Usually I do not have a competition during Thanksgiving so no.
Isernio’s: Do you have a healthy Thanksgiving recipe featuring Isernio’s that you can share with us?
Tanji Johnson: One of them is the stuffing. I use Isernio’s sausage in the stuffing to get more protein. I like the breakfast chicken sausage with the stuffing.
Isernio’s: What do you do the day after Thanksgiving?
Tanji Johnson: Black Friday! I am not one of those people who will be anywhere at 2 – 3 – 4 - 5 in the morning. I’m not going to go wait in line anywhere but it’s great to go to 2 or 3 of my favorite stores and see what they have going on there…. I also start decorating for Christmas.
All of us at Isernio’s are so thankful for Tanji Johnson. Not only is she a great friend, she is also a wonderful advocate for the Isernio’s brand and for that we are doubly thankful. Learn more about Tanji here: http://www.savefitness.net/ or http://tanjijohnson.com/OfficialSite/
(Photo Credit: From Joanne http://www.inspiredtaste.net/8712)
Our friend Shebron has done it again! We LOVE her recipe for stuffed jumbo shells. This is a relatively simple recipe to make and it saves / freezes well for a later meal. If you are planning on serving this dish to guests, we recommend pairing it with an Italian Chianti which pairs well with tomato-based red sauces, and also compliments the creamy shell filling.
2 16oz. packages of Isernio’s Chicken Basil & Sun Dried Tomato Sausage (Also tastes great with our pork or chicken sausage rolls!)
1 12 oz. Box of Jumbo Shells
32 oz. of Ricotta Cheese
1-1.5 lb. Mushrooms, Chopped
½ - 1 package of fresh basil, chopped (your preference on how much)
1 Large Egg, beaten
3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 TBSP of Olive Oil
2-3 cups of shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 cups Tomato Sauce. Have time to make it from scratch? Try our Half Hour Tomato Sauce!
Remove the casings (or use bulk sausage) and in a large 13 quart pot, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil and cook sausage over medium heat, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon, until the pinkness is gone, but not cooked through completely. Remove meat from skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Bring 5 qts. of water to a boil. Add 2 Tbsp. salt to boiling water, add the pasta and cook about 8-10 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta.
Chop the mushrooms and sautee with olive oil & garlic in the same fry pan as you cooked the sausage in. Set aside with the meat.
Chop fresh basil.
In a mixing bowl combine egg & ricotta cheese. Add the meat, mushroom & garlic, fresh basil, salt & Pepper and mix together.
Fill each shell with the ricotta mixture. Add tomato sauce to the baking dish, thinly coating the bottom. Place shells in baking dish. Top with the remaining sauce.
Add mozzarella and parmesan cheese to the top of your shells and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
(Photo courtesy of Rusted Van Photography)
The most colorful season of the year is upon us. As spectacular trees display vibrant amber, red, and yellow colors, the days shorten and the air becomes a little more crisp, Autumn invites us to enjoy again those hearty “fill you up” dishes. This recipe, provided by our friends Kim Harer and Cicely Williams, is adapted from Ina Garten (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/winter-minestrone-and-garlic-bruschetta-recipe.html) and boasts an abundance of colors and deep flavors you have to taste to believe. It’s light but filling and freezes / reheats well for another meal.
1-2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 16oz Isernio's Mild Italian Sausage Roll (The recipe in the photo above uses Isernio's Mild Italian PORK sausage roll, but you can also use Isernio's Italian Chicken roll or 4 links)
1 1/2 Cups yellow onion, chopped
3 Stalks Celery, halved lengthwise and chopped
3 Large Carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise and chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped or pressed
2 1/2 Cups butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 Tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 26-oz can Italian style plum tomatoes, with juice, squeezed by hand or broken up in pot with a wooden spoon
6-8 Cups low salt Chicken Broth
1 Bay Leaf
3 Tsp. Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 lb. Dried Ditalini or Tubetti or other small tubular pasta
8-10 Ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 Cup good dry white wine
2 Tbsp. pesto
4-6 Tbsp. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Bring 5 quarts of water to boil. Add 2 Tbsp. salt to boiling water, add the pasta and cook about 8-10 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta. Note: If you will be freezing this recipe, you may want to skip this step and add cooked pasta when re-heating. Otherwise, the pasta may become over-cooked and mushy!
In a large 13 quart pot, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil and cook sausage over medium heat, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon and cooking until all pinkness is gone. Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaf, salt, and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and cooked pasta and heat through. The soup should be quite thick but if it’s too thick, add more chicken broth. Just before serving add the spinach,and toss with 2 big spoons (like tossing a salad). Cook just until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the white wine and pesto. Depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock, add another teaspoon or two of salt to taste. Serve with Pecorino Romano cheese and your choice of Italian bread.
Last weekend marked the second annual San Gennaro Festival in Seattle. It was a party to say the least. This street fair, located on the same street where Isernio’s Sausage was born 34 years ago, celebrates Italian heritage with live music and entertainment, authentic Italian food, and wine. People from all walks of life enjoy this festival – dancing in the street, enjoying a sausage and peppers sandwich or a wood fired pizza from Tutta Bella, savoring a glass of wine or beer in the beer garden, meandering through the various sidewalk shops… there is so much to see and do. And it’s for a great cause! According to their website, “The San Gennaro Foundation is a non-profit organization, created in 2013 to honor St Gennaro, the Patron Saint of Naples, and his commitment to help people in need. It is the goal of the Foundation to raise money and each year the foundation will choose a local charity to donate a portion of the proceeds.”
Isernio’s Sausage is proud to be a presenter of Seattle's San Gennaro Festival. Follow the link below to learn more about the San Gennaro Festival and learn how the foundation is helping our community! Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 3rd annual San Gennaro Festival – September 11, 12 and 13 of 2015!
Isernio’s Sausage Now Offering Fresh Pork Sausage Rolls throughout the Pacific Northwest
We are excited to announce Isernio’s all-natural pork sausage rolls available for the first time in the Northwest! Look for the Italian, Breakfast and Spicy Breakfast pork sausage rolls in the fresh meat department of QFC stores now. Created from Frank Isernio’s recipes using premium authentic Italian seasonings, these sausage rolls can be used in place of ground beef in any of your favorite dishes. And since they’re made from 80% lean, whole muscle pork; these all-natural sausage rolls are a great way to eat healthier without sacrificing flavor. The same flavors you enjoy in our links are now available in roll packaging.
Look for these Pork Sausage Rolls
available NOW AT QFC!
Try these pork sausage rolls in some of our favorite classic Italian recipes like Orecchietti with Rapini and Hot Italian Sausage and Pasta e Fagioli (“Pasta Fazool”), or in a hearty breakfast dish like Breakfast Frittata. We are confident you’ll find our authentic Italian flavor and healthy pork sausage a delicious part of your meals.
This recipe, created by our good friend, Shebron Webley, combines all the elements of a hearty pasta dish in a healthier, better for you entree. Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to noodles and it's packed full of important nutrients such as fiber, beta carotene, potassium and vitamin A.
1 Spaghetti Squash (3+ lb.)
3 Tablespoons of Butter
1 Can of Diced Tomatoes (14 0z)
½ lb. of Mushrooms, cut into quarters
1 Package of Basil, chopped
2-3 Large Shallots, choppd
1-2 Tablespoons Garlic, minced
1/3 Cup of White Wine
3/4 Cup of Shredded Parmesan Cheese
2 lb. Isernio’s Italian Sausages
1) Cut spaghetti squash in half length wise and clean out the seeds. Coat the flesh with
olive oil, salt & pepper. Place on baking sheet face down and roast in the oven for 35 minutes. Once cooled, use a fork and scrape out the flesh of the squash from side to side. (Note: This will give it the noodle type texture and shape. It will not work if you go top to bottom.)
2) Choose a pot or pan that will contain the sausages and fill with enough water to cover the sausages, but don’t place sausages in yet. Bring the water to a boil, and then turn off heat completely. Immediately place the sausages in the hot water with tongs. Cover the pan, with the heat still off, and leave the sausages in the hot water for 7 minutes. Drain the water and wipe out the skillet. In the same skillet, pan brown the sausages over medium heat with a teaspoon of olive oil (if you prefer to use the grill, grill over medium heat). Once the chicken sausages are browned and have reached an internal temperature of 165°F, slice them at an angle.
3) In a sauté pan melt your 3 tablespoons of butter. Add your chopped shallots, minced garlic and mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes. Add the can of diced tomatoes with the liquid, basil and white wine. Let the ingredients simmer, reducing the liquid a bit. Add the spaghetti squash and mix all ingredients together well. Final step is to add the sliced sausage and parmesan cheese mix it all together.
From Shebron, "I like to use the Hot Italian Chicken sausages for an extra pop of flavor. You can garnish your dish with a bit more fresh basil and shredded parmesan cheese. I serve this with a large mixed green salad and it is a hit every time! My family could not get enough!!"
Special thanks to Shebron and her family for their commitment and for sharing their recipe!
Make mom think you hired a personal chef with this savory, elegant meal. Whether you are a Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen or a novice, mussels are a tasty, healthy and easy to prepare seafood and will put the “Wow Factor” in this special meal. “Easy to buy, store and cook,… mussels are simple yet sophisticated, making them the perfect choice to treat mom,” says Linda Duncan, Executive Director of the Mussel Industry Counsel (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mussels-for-mom---flex-your-muscles-in-the-kitchen-this-mothers-day-92879119.html)
This recipe for sausage and mussels is a favorite around here because it serves a lot of people (approximately 6-8) and it isn’t too difficult to create.
1 lb Isernio’s Hot Italian Sausage (tastes great with Isernio’s (hot) Italian Chicken Sausage too!)
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves, Finely Chopped
1 Medium Fennel Bulb, Finely Chopped
1 Cup Dry White Wine
1 Rosemary Sprig
½ Teaspon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Fine Ground Black Pepper
1 Pinch Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
3lb Small Mussels, Cleaned (Learn how to debeard, clean and store mussels here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2Od7_XYye0)
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
½ Cup Finely Chopped Parsley
Over medium heat, heat the olive oil in a large pot. Once the oil is hot, add in the garlic, lemon zest, fennel, salt, crushed red pepper flakes and pepper. After about 3 minutes, crumble in the sausage and thoroughly cook over medium-high heat for about 4-5 minutes.
Add the rosemary and pour the wine into the sausage mixture.
Bring to a boil then lower the heat to medium.
Add in the mussels, steaming them with the pan covered for about 4-5 minutes, until the mussels open.
You can put the mussels into one large serving dish and garnish with parsley or divide the mussels among 6+ bowls with the sausage and broth.
Have fun pairing this dish with mom’s favorite salad, bread and wine! We like to serve this dish with grilled Italian bread, a simple arugula salad and a light, crisp Pinot Grigio.
We are hearing from several of our wonderful fans that our breakfast lasagna recipe is a favorite for serving guests and for special occasions, so in preparation for Easter we want to share with you this dish. This quickly assembled recipe can be put together the night before serving if desired, leaving you free to simply bake it the next morning.
3 tbsps. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced thin
1 lb. of thinly sliced potatoes (or hash browns)
1 lb. Isernio’s pork or chicken Italian sausage, precooked (try the Hot Italian variety for added spice!)
1 cup whole milk
2 cups Provolone, shredded
Enough olive oil to coat bottom and sides of pan
Salt & pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place olive oil in a sauté pan and set over medium high heat. Add the vegetables and cook for 4 - 5 minutes, or just until tender-crisp. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Grease a 9" x 11" lasagna pan. Layer the hash browns in the pan, spreading them out evenly. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Evenly spread the sautéed vegetable mixture over the hash browns.
Evenly spread the sausage over the vegetables.
Beat the eggs, milk, salt and pepper and pour the egg mixture over the sausage.
Spread the grated cheese on top (Note: the cheese can also be layered into the lasagna at various intervals, as well as being placed on top). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until eggs are set to desired doneness.