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St. Patrick’s Day Dinner

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to make Shepherd’s Pie tonight for dinner. I did a pretty traditional recipe from Alton Brown, except I substituted ground sirloin for ground lamb.  I also added a handful of shredded jack/cheddar cheese mix and a sprinkling of garlic to the potatoes because I like interesting potatoes.  I also put a good twist on the Shepherd’s pie by making it into cupcakes! I found some jumbo muffin size foil wrappers at the grocery store today and they made a much nicer serving size than the regular cupcake sized liners were. They were a little harder to fill and smooth the potatoes on because they are a bit flimsier than a real cup would be. I just picked them up in my hand and held them closed while I got the potatoes nicely spread on it.

Shepherd’s Pie
Adapted from Alton Brown’s Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Ingredients

For the potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes
1/4 cup milk
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup shredded jack and cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

For the meat filling:
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon
1 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled and diced small
1 12oz package button mushrooms, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup frozen peas

Directions:

Wash the red potatoes and place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Put the pan on high heat with a lid, until it boils. Once it boils, uncover it, and turn it down to a simmer. Cook the potatoes until they are fork tender, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the milk and butter in a microwave safe bowl, in your microwave for about 30 seconds – just until it is heated through. Once the potatoes are ready, put them in the bowl of a standing mixer and add the milk/butter mixture plus the cheese and salt/pepper/garlic powder. Mix them until they are whipped nicely. If you don’t have a mixer, you can put them back into the saucepan with the other ingredients and mash them with a potato masher.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, carrots, and mushrooms and saute just until they start to brown. Add the lamb, salt and pepper, and garlic and cook until everything is nice and brown and cooked through. Sprinkle the flour around the pan and mix it well. Let it cook for another minute and then add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, and thyme. Stir it well. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook it until it is thick like a gravy. This took me around 5 minutes but it could take up to 10-12 depending on the heat of your pan.

Add the corn and peas to the meat mixture. Line a baking sheet with foil Jumbo muffin liners in a 3×4 grid. Using an ice cream scoop, fill the liners almost to the top with meat filling. The mixture should fill 12 liners. With a smaller scoop or tablespoon, put a spoonful of mashed potatoes on each one. Flatten and smooth with a spatula. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are nice and brown on top.

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Posted by on March 17, 2012 in General Food, Meals!

 

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Busy Busy!

Alright! It has been a long long time since I have posted here. I have been a busy bee lately! I have been cooking almost every night with my mother in law at her house so I only have a few pictures of our endeavors. They think I am weird when I say “NO! Don’t eat it yet! I need to get a picture!”

So we made Spicy Shrimp Burgers one of the first nights we were home.
Recipe courtesy: Rachael Ray (30 Minute Meals)

1 pound raw peeled and deveined small shrimp
1 celery stalk with green, leafy tops, coarsely chopped
1/2 small to medium yellow skinned onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic
A handful parsley leaves
1 tablespoon all-purpose seafood seasoning, found near fish department (recommended: Old Bay)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
1 lemon, zested
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
4 English muffins, sandwich size plain or sour dough flavor
1/4 cup mayonnaise or reduced fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup chili sauce or salsa or taco sauce
Butter or Boston lettuce leaves

Divide the shrimp in half. Put half the shrimp into a food processor and grind it up. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl using a rubber spatula. Add the whole shrimp to the bowl. Add celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic and parsley to the processor and pulse-grind it into a fine chop. Add the vegetable mixture to the shrimp. Add half a palm full of crab boil seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, lemon zest, salt and pepper to the bowl, to season. Stir the shrimp mixture to combine.

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan in a slow stream. Use a large metal scoop to scoop 4 mounds of shrimp burger mixture into the pan. Gently pat down to form patties. Fry patties 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until they firm up and the shrimp turn whitish-pink.

Split and toast the sandwich size English muffins. Mix mayonnaise and chili sauce, salsa or taco sauce. Place burgers on muffin bottoms and top with lettuce. Slather the top of the muffins with sauce and set in place.

Then on another night we decided that we wanted to make pizza. I don’t have the exact recipe we used but the pizzas ended up being awesome. My mother in law wanted to use up a box of Spicy Garlic Chicken mix. It was really good but we added a bit of fun stuff to it. We used Sriracha sauce (cock sauce) to make it spicy… possibly too much! Carter built that one up. I made a regular italian style pizza using some Boboli tomato sauce and peppers, onions, olives and garlic and mozzarella cheese.
Raw Spicy Chicken!

Raw Italian!

Baked!

Tonight I decided to marinate some portobella mushrooms in balsamic vinegar, EVOO, fresh garlic, and steakhouse seasoning. I grilled them up served them on top of some Salad Macaroni I had in my pantry mixed with some garlic, butter, and parmesan cheese. I also made a zucchini, onion and tomato casserole with cheddar cheese on the top as a side dish.

The recipe for the zucchini casserole thing came from my parents. They grew zucchinis and tomatoes in their yard one year and they ran out of things to do with them. They made a huge batch of this stuff but I cut it down for just my husband and I.

2 zucchinis, cut in half and then sliced
1/2 an onion, cut in half and sliced
2 tomatoes, cut in half and sliced
2 cloves of garlic – diced or pressed
About 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Enough Sharp Cheddar cheese to cover the top of the veggies

I used a cast iron skillet for the first time tonight for this and it worked better than anything I have ever used before. Put the oil in the pan and heat it up. Add the onions and garlic. Cook them both for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the zucchini. Cook for another few minutes until the zucchini starts to get softish. Then add the tomatoes. (At this point, you can put this in the fridge and come back to it later if you want to… make sure your cast iron skillet is cool before you put it into the fridge tho!)
Cover the veggies with the cheese and stick the skillet into the oven at 350degrees F until the cheese is melted. Hot or room temperature, this veggie dish is awesome either way.

I spent the whole afternoon in the kitchen baking cookies as well today! The recipes for the cookies I made can be found on the back of the chocolate chips bags. I made white chocolate chip and mini regular chocolate chip cookies.

White Chocolate Chip!

Mini Chocolate Chip!

Cookies!

Chicks!

Plain!

I also made a double batch of the Almost No-Knead Bread dough!

I am sorry this ended up being so long but I saved all the fun stuff for one big post! I am planning to make some shrimp tacos tomorrow so I am going to have another post then! 😀 Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the recipes I have posted!

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2008 in Meals!, The Bakery!

 

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