Posted in The Kitchen Goddess Diaries

Shepherds Pie-Up Graded

If you are looking for an amazing stew type meal look no further than this recipe. I came across this recipe via Blue Apron. Of the three meals I received a few weeks ago this one was by far the tastiest, easiest, and an immediate favorite.

It is at its essence a shepherds pie given the ingredients. It’s just upgraded. Instead of mashed potatoes you have Parmesan covered roasted potato slices.  And the meat mixture is lamb and beef (although if you don’t like lamb just use all beef.)

While the recipe I am sharing is meant for just two servings, I think it wouldn’t be very hard to double or triple the recipe. The next time I make this I’m making a triple batch and freezing it for future meals.  Simply pull out the stew and make the potatoes. Easy peasy.

 


 

Ingredients:

  • 10 Ounces Ground Lamb & Beef Blend
  • 4 Ounces Cremini Mushrooms
  • 2 Scallions
  • 1 Pound Russet Potatoes
  • 1 Stalk Celery
  • 1 Bunch Chives
  • 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Glaze*
  • 1 Tablespoon Lamb & Beef Spice Blend (All-Purpose Flour, Mustard Powder, Garlic Powder, Ground Fennel Seeds, Ground Savory & Ground Dried Thyme)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 cup of Water

 

*Made from soy sauce and seasonings which have generally been mixed with a thickening agent, like cornstarch, soy glaze is an easy way to add richness to meats, vegetables, soups and dressings. It has a powerful, tangy flavor with a touch of sweetness, and brings delicious, Japanese-inspired complexity to any recipe.

 

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the potatoes; thinly slice into rounds. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Place the potatoes on the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and roast 18 to 20 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven, leaving the oven on. Carefully top the roasted potatoes with the cheese. Return to the oven and roast 4 to 6 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned. Remove from the oven.

While the potatoes roast, wash and dry the remaining fresh produce. Cut the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Small dice the celery. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Thinly slice the chives.

While the potatoes continue to roast, in a large, high-sided pan (or pot), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the ground lamb and beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Add the mushrooms, celery and white bottoms of the scallions to the pan; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and softened. Add the spice blend and tomato paste to the pan; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until dark red and fragrant.

Add the soy glaze and 1 cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, 5 to 6 minutes, or until thickened.

Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the finished stew between 2 dishes. Top with the parmesan potatoes. Garnish with the green tops of the scallions and chives. Enjoy!

Posted in The Kitchen Goddess Diaries

Basic Quiche

I decided to try my hand at making a quiche this week. I adore a good quiche. Oddly, it reminds me of High School. Wondering how that could be? There was a bakery across the street from the HS that I would often eat at for lunch that had an amazing spinach and tomato quiche.

Prep for this was rather easy. Surprisingly so. Had I known there were so few ingredients I would have tried this sooner. Here are a few things that I did differently than the base recipe :

Instead of two med onions I used 1 large one. (It was a sweet onion.) I used a pie crust that came in it’s own tin. I was short by perhaps an ounce to two ounces of the Gruyere. I also added some bacon that I didn’t want to go to waste (half a package). Oh, and the onions were then cooked in the bacon grease so I didn’t the oil…

I checked on the quiche every 5 minutes after the 30 min mark – I really don’t like burnt and/or overcooked quiche. (Trust me burnt eggs is not a pleasant smell.)

The quiche came out of the oven just under the 40 min mark and smelled wonderful. After another five minutes I could attest to the fact that the flavor matched the smell and my first quiche was a success.

What I really like about this recipe is that you can change up the ingredients. Don’t like parsley? Add spinach and tomato. Try different combinations.

Image by Cheryl

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Posted in The Kitchen Goddess Diaries

Lasagna Style Baked Ziti

With all the baking I’ve been posting about over the last few month it seems like I haven’t been doing much cooking. It’s a fair to say that is an accurate view. I just haven’t been feeling up to cooking – not even the simplest things. I could blame it on the heat. I could blame it on the fact that I’ve been sick almost non stop this entire year and have no energy, or that I haven’t been inspired. In reality it’s likely a combination of a multitude of things.

Something always pulls me out of the slump though and I dive right back in and start cooking again. What did it this time?  This recipe.  This Lasagna Style Baked Ziti recipe has the potential to become a staple in my house. It’s super easy to put together AND easily portioned and frozen for later meals.  Plus it’s adjustable. Want to use Italian sausage instead of ground beef? Go ahead. Don’t like spinach? Try some chopped broccoli or even cauliflower.

Lasagna Style Baked Ziti

Doesn’t it look yummy? Because I intended to freeze these immediately for later meals I didn’t top them off as the recipe will state.  After thawing them out I will finish take the last steps of covering with cheese and baking.

As for serving portions. I ended up using 16 oz of pasta (a full bag) and ended up with at least two extra servings so technically this recipe could feed up to 6 or even 8 people depending on your portion sizes. (I don’t have 6 ramekins – I, uh, ate what was left for lunch…yeah, I ate all of it.)

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Posted in The Kitchen Goddess Diaries

Carrot Cake Scones

Often I have friends that send me recipes to try out or ask if I could make something for them. Scones are an especially popular request. Last week I received a request for scones, and not just my wonderful and tasty apricot scones or cheddar & bacon scones.  Carrot Cake Scones.

Naturally I said I could make them. They are scones after all. And I am always up to trying new variations.

While I took stock of the ingredients I made a startling realization. I could not recall a single point in my life where I had tried carrot cake before. Which meant I had no idea what the scones were supposed to taste like when done. I had no reference. Over dinner with another couple I asked them if they liked carrot cake. The response was essentially, “Yes, even if it tends to be a bit on the dry side.”

In my mind that meant the scones already had a strike against them, given my complete dislike of dry scones, however, since I promised I would make them I was still going to do a trial run before sending a batch off to the requester.

From the onset I only made a few changes to the recipe. I replaced half a cup of regular flour with cake flour – which necessitated a slightly longer baking time (by about 10 minutes give or take – was gauging by sight and toothpick) and I used a tablespoon or so extra of buttermilk in addition to the stated amount.

I didn’t actually shred the carrots the way I think the recipe actually intended either as I used a potato peeler instead of a grater. And I am certain that my fingers are grateful for this. I could have simply purchased shredded carrots and then chopped them finer if I was concerned about consistency, but to be honest I didn’t think about this when I picked up the ingredients.

These were also the first scones I made with an icing. A cream cheese icing. At one point I was almost convinced that the scones were simply a way to not feel guilty for simply eating the icing with a spoon. (Oddly enough it reminded me a little of the icing on Cinnabon cinnamon rolls in flavor, since I am allergic to something in their icing it was a pleasant surprise to have this and my lips NOT go numb.)

My changes to the recipe created a dense yet moist scone that are quite tasty. The only thing I would change the next time I made them for myself is to omit the ginger – for me it is a jarring flavor competing with the rest of the flavors.

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Lasagna Soup

I can not take credit for finding this recipe. No, that credit goes to Carly, who made it a month or so ago for our weekly dinner meet-up on Wednesdays. No sooner had I finished my first bowl of this soup I asked her for the recipe.

I finally got around to making this soup last week when my Mum and her friend came to visit for the weekend. The recipe did not disappoint and I was asked to pass on the recipe as well.  It is quick to make, and I love that I can make the base of the soup and freeze it in portions for later use. Just add noodles and “cheesy yum” later.

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Posted in The Kitchen Goddess Diaries

Meet Martha

I would like to introduce Martha to everyone. She hails from the UK, and just like me, she loves to bake scones.

Apparently Martha heard about my love of baking scones and decided that she should pay a visit. After a discussion with her original keeper – Krista Joy from The Colorful World of BillyDylan, she packed up her pans and made the long trek across the pond.

She took one look at my kitchen after arriving safely and decided to stay. Who am I to argue with a dragon?

 

 

(Thank you Leigh for such a thoughtful birthday present!)

Posted in The Kitchen Goddess Diaries

Apricot and Cream Scones

I’ve gone scone crazy. After my success with the Cheddar and Bacon Scones, I decided that I wanted to try a sweet variant.  Initially I was going to try a Brown Sugar scone recipe that I had in one of my King Arthur catalogs. (If you bake you should definitely subscribe to their free catalog!) It looked simple enough, however I kept finding that I was missing some ingredient. I completely chalked this up to being my fault for not paying closer attention. Also it indicated to me that I really didn’t want to make them so I went searching for another recipe to try.

My only requirement for sweet scones is that they aren’t dry bricks. I really don’t like dry baked goods. If it’s dry I won’t eat it no matter how tasty it might actually be.

The interesting thing about the Apricot and Cream scones is that the cream actually comes from cream cheese (or Neufchatel) and it’s made with milk not heavy cream like the savory cheddar and bacon scones. Also, this recipe calls for an egg. So right off the bat you know the texture for these is going to be different.

For my first attempt at these scones I used Neufchatel and substituted the milk with heavy cream. I also used vanilla extract. I also used a round biscuit cutter as I do not have square ones at this time.

Apricot and cream scones

They turned out absolutely amazing. Especially right out of the oven. Because I cut them in circles they do appear more like biscuits which I think is kinda neat.  They do in fact have more of a biscuit-ey texture. I didn’t have any sparkling sugar on hand so they may not have been as sweet as they could have been.

And my fear of them being dry? That vanished this morning when I snagged one to have with my cup of coffee.

And if you don’t like apricots I don’t see why you couldn’t substitute in one of your favorite dried fruits instead.

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