Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shepherd's Pie

Whenever I make mashed potatoes, I always make way more than we can actually eat in one meal.  I don't know why.  Seems like I would learn to scale back a bit but I haven't done that.  Instead, I've just accepted the fact that there will be leftovers, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Last night, I decided to use the mashed potatoes leftover from the Thanksgiving feast for this super yummy, surprisingly easy shepherd's pie.  You'll need your potatoes already prepared as this recipe is just for the meaty filling part of the pie:

1 TBSP vegetable oil
1/2c onion, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 ground beef
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 TBSP all-purpose flour
1 tsp. tomato paste
1/2c chicken broth
1/2 Worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/3 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/4c frozen corn
1/4c frozen peas
1.  Preheat oven to 400*
2.  In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high.  Add the onions and carrot slices; saute 3-4 minutes.
3.  Add the garlic and continue cooking another minute or so.
4.  Add the meat, salt, and pepper.  Cook and stir until nicely browned and cooked through.
5.  Sprinkle flour over the top.  Toss to evenly coat the mixture.
6.  Add the tomato paste, Worchestershire sauce, rosemary, and thyme.  Cover, reduce heat, and allow to simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7.  Add the corn and peas, stirring to combine.
8.  Spoon everything into a prepared 8x8 baking dish.
9.  Top with your mashed potatoes and spread to completely cover the meat filling.
10.  Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes.

*I made my shepherd's pie vegetarian by using good quality substitutes for the meat, broth, and Worchestershire sauce.  This could be made even healthier by using vegan mashed potatoes.

I totally forgot to snap a photo of the shepherd's pie so you'll just have to take my word that it looked amazing.  I'll remember next time.  For now here's a photo of the mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving:
Served with rosemary biscuits on the side.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Spicy Rosemary Roasted Cashews

Our pre-Thanksgiving feast snacks consisted of a tray of Mediterranean-style marinated olives, an assortment of cheeses, and these yummy cashews. 
1lb. whole cashews
2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. sea salt
1 TBSP butter, melted
1.  Preheat oven to 375*
2.  In a small bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar, and salt.  Set aside.
3.  Spread cashews out on a baking sheet and bake about 10 min.
4.  Place cashews in a medium-size bowl, pour melted butter over the top, and stir to coat.
5.  Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the cashews and mix together.  Serve immediately.

You could make them ahead of time (they do keep really well) but I think they're particularly fabulous served warm.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Easy Bean and Cheese Taquitos

I like to serve these as an appetizer or side to a Mexican dinner, but really, I would be totally happy just eating them all by themselves!  Dip them in some salsa or guacamole....good stuff!

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can refried beans
2 tsp. cumin
1 TBSP chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
 shredded Cheddar Jack cheese
small flour tortillas

1.  In a medium saucepan, heat black beans,refried beans, cumin, chili powder, and garlic.

3.  Mash the bean mixture - potato masher or fork both work - until you like the texture. (I like to keep some of the chunkiness in there.)

4.  Grab a tortilla and spoon about 2 TBSP of the bean mixture onto it, along with about 1 tsp. salsa, and 1 TBSP cheese; roll it up and set aside on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Repeat until you're out of beans.  I got 16 taquitos with this recipe.

5.  Bake at 375* for about 20 minutes, or until warmed through and slightly crispy.
Bonus:  You can freeze the leftovers!
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Asian Lettuce Wraps

I think of lettuce wraps as little Asian tacos.  And rather than serve them as an appetizer like they do in restaurants, I like to serve them up as the main course.  We have had these several times over the years and they are always so very good! 

1lb. ground beef
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2c onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBSP soy sauce
1/4c hoisin sauce
2tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 TBSP rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. Asian chili sauce
1/4c green onions, chopped
1-2 tsp. dark sesame oil
whole lettuce leaves
1.  In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef in olive oil.  Remove from skillet, drain if necessary, and set aside.
2.  To the skillet, add the onion and cook for a about a minute or so, stirring frequently.
3.  Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar, and chili sauce and stir to combine.
4.  Add the  green onions, sesame oil, and cooked beef and heat through.
5.  Serve with the lettuce leaves.

I like to just put it out on the table like this so
 everyone can make their own.
(Also, once again, I used Match ground beef.)
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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Italian Chili

This is fabulous comfort food on a cold, wintery night and the leftovers hold up really well.  If you feel like you just have to add cheese over the top, I recommend Parmesan.  But really, it's not necessary.

1lb. ground beef (I used Match Meats substitute)

1/4c garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
4c vegetable broth

Served with homemade herb and cheese bread - yum!
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