Monthly Archives: August 2012

Pasticcio di Carne Ricoperto di Purè (or, “That’s Fancy for Italian Shepherd’s Pie”)

In my pantry today:

  • .5 lb ground sirloin
  • 1 hot Italian sausage
  • 6 sm-med red potatoes
  • 1 c asparagus, cut
  • 2-4 blanched tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • sprinkle salt

First, call the Waaahmbulance. It is such a pain in the bottomnotches to upload any photos right now. My computer needs an OS reinstall and I can’t do that until I make sure my freelance gigs are taken care of. There was a sudden death in the family and five days of IV infusions for me to control a particularly virulent MS flare… and now I am on steroids for three more weeks and OMG NOM SO HUNGRY NOM. /ninewaahwaah

To be fair — abundant silver linings do exist. In about a week I get to put on fancy clothes and go to a state museum exhibit opening because of the brochure and notecards I made. I am working with another state organization for an upcoming event. I can feel my hands again and I have not had eyeball seizures for a full 24 hours. These and other things remind me that life is good, that I am lucky… and I am hungry.

Mince one clove garlic and mix into ground beef. Remove sausage casing and chop animals while they brown comfortably on M. In another pan, put 1/2 tsp oil and 1 tbsp butter in pan to melt. Chop and add onion and 3 cloves garlic. Let cook over M heat while you dice up those frozen blanched tomatoes. Add that, liquid and all, and let it all boil down on M for 10-15m. Stir in corn starch, bring back to boil then remove from heat. Gently wring moisture from asparagus if frozen (always better of course if fresh) and chop into thirds or fourths. Pour everything into the meat and gently stir.

Meanwhile, you’ve been boiling whole taters and browning one clove of garlic on L with remaining butter. Once the potatoes are soft enough to smash, do that with a potato masher or fork. Pour the meat mix into a baking dish, then place smashed potatoes on top. Pour butter/garlic mix over potatoes, add a little more seasoning and top all that with Parmesan. Put in 350° oven for 20m. This is a gorgeous dish of which I took many photographs. It is not your time, apparently, to lay witness upon it’s glory. 5 spoons!

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Jiffy® Rellenos!

In my pantry today:

  • 4-6 m-l poblano peppers
  • 1/2 lb ground sirloin
  • 1 hot Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 box Jiffy® cornbread mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c milk
  • 1 c shredded jack cheese
  • 1 tsp chili powder

When we came into a recent bounty of poblano peppers, one thought entered my mindsphere immediately as an easy use: chile relleno! And I actually looked into how they were made with authenticity, then took a step back into a comfort zone.  I was already cautious at the prospect of roasting peppers for the first time, but harken and take heart: the hardest part will be waiting for the broiler to preheat. Place your peppers on a baking sheet and put under the broiler on the rack closest it. Roast about ten minutes, then flip and roast another ten. Once they come out, let them cool enough to not torch your phalanges then gently roll the skin off their bodies. Remove stems and seeds, split the skins in half.

Stuff the peppers however you’d like. For this recipe, I used a 2:1 ratio of ground sirloin and Italian sausage seasoned with a little chili powder. Make cornbread batter, mix in 3/4 c cheese, and pour into greased pan. Lay rolled peppers in the batter and drizzle a little batter over them. Top the pan wit the other 1/4 c shredded cheese, then bake according to Jiffy’s instructions.  This will only get 3 spoons until I can figure out how to make cornbread not dry.

Cheeseburger in Zucchini Fries (or, “Please Don’t Take the Title as a Buffett Endorsement.”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1/8 c breadcrumbs or crushed-up Kashi® cereal
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 2-4 Thomas® whole wheat bagel thins
  • 2-4 slices gouda cheese
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into sticks
  • 1/8 c white flour
  • 1/4 c breadcrumbs or crushed-up Kashi® cereal
  • 1 tsp Greek seasoning
  • 1 egg

It’s been (once again) busy times; I have finished some freelance projects here at home that have kept me from the kitchen. This of course means that getting back into the kitchen will be a process of cleaning before it can be one of cooking. What none of the mess will mean, however, is that feeding is unnecessary. And today I wanted a cheeseburger.

It’s not a hard process: take all the ingredients up there above buns-n-cheese, mash ’em together and make hamburger patties. Lightly spray a big frying pan and put the patties on while it’s heating to M. Flip every few minutes until they are your desired rarity (or non-rarity). When a moment from done, turn off the pan, add a slice of gouda to each patty and cover the pan for 5m, or until you have achieved maximum cheesy goodness.

For your french fries made not of potato but of zucchini, gather ’round: take cut zucchini sticks and dip in egg. Shake off egg and roll in your combination of flour, breadcrumbs and seasoning. Lightly grease a baking sheet and lay each slice out. Put in a 425° oven for 10m, then take out and flip. Return to the oven for another 5m. Serve alongside your burgers (add your favorite condiments!) and call it a meal! 5 spoons!

Sweet — and Savory — Potatoes

 

In my pantry today:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion
  • 1/4 c quinoa
  • 2-2.5 c broth (vegetable here)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1/4 c blackberry preserves
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

First thing’s first — slice your onion moderately thinly and start it out in ghee that’s mostly melted and in a pan on M. Cook onions over ML heat for about 5m. Dice your sweet potato — skin and all — and add it into pan. Stir in the remainder of seasonings and preserves then add enough broth to cover everything and bring to a boil. Cover and let cook over ML heat until potatoes are fork-tender. At this point, stir in quinoa and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to L for about 20m. Ring the dinner bell — 4 spoons!