With all the rain that we’ve been receiving, I was yearning for some comfort food. And my idea of comfort food is a large, hot, serving of Chicken Pot Pie. It’s been a while since I’ve made it partly because I can’t find one of the two recipes I combine to make the dish. With that still being the case, I decided to try making Shepherd’s Pie instead.
Not many people who I know have heard of it but it’s actually been around for quite some time. The dish came about when potatoes became an affordable crop for the poor in 1791. It was refered to back then as “Cottage Pie”, cottage meaning a ‘modest dwelling for rural workers.’ This dish was concocted as a means to use leftover roasted meat. The dish essentially is leftover meat with mashed potatoes on top.
After searching for a good recipe, I ended up combining a few and making my own. I think I was a little too layed back in not following measurements. It ended up being a little bland and definitely needed more seasonings. I’m not sure if that’s how it’s suppose to be. But more recipe searching will have to be done and another try. When I first made my Chicken Pot Pie, I was disappointed with bland-ness. But some recipe hunting did the trick.
1 lb ground beef
1/3 cup beef broth
1 onion, chopped
4 mushrooms, sliced
3 long carrots, sliced
2 tbs oil
1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbs flour
1 lb potatoes
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tbs butter
1/2 cup milk, half and half, or cream
Preheat oven to 350. Start by washing the potatoes and poking them with a fork or knife. Boil them in a pot of water. While the potatoes are cooking, sweat the mushrooms, carrots, and onions in pot (or cast iron) till onions are translucent. Wash meat and add in. Brown the meat and mix in oregano, Worcestershire, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add stock and flour. Cook for another couple of minutes and take off heat.
Once the potatoes are done, peel and mash. Add in the milk, garlic, and butter. If you’re using a cast iron, then layer the potatoes right onto the meat without letting the two mix. If you’re using a regular pot, transfer the meat into a casserole dish and layer on the potatoes. Put in the oven and bake for 20 min. Turn on the broiler for 2 min. Make sure you keep watch so it doesnt burn. Pull out and serve warm.
One of my girlfriends was over for dinner and after an okay meal, we made Chocolate Molten Lava Cake. I would have made it before she came but it’s to be made right when it’s to be served. And it literally takes 15 min to make, 7 min prep, 8 min baking. She couldn’t get over the fact that it was so ridiculously easy. It seems complicated to get the oozing chocolate into the cake. But it’s anything but complicated. It TOTALLY made up for dinner. We “mmmed” and ‘yummmed’ as we sat there enjoying this sinfully delicious dessert. Any chocolate-lover would fall love with this oozing chocolate cake. I think next time I’ll try it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
3 tbs butter, room temp
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz (or 1 1/3 cup) bittersweet chocolate (chips), melted
Preheat oven to 400 F. You can either use ramekins or muffin tins. Butter whichever one you choose and dust it with granulated sugar, shaking out excess. In a bowl, whip together butter and sugar until light. Add in eggs one at a time. Mix in flour and salt. Fold in the chocolate until incorporated, make sure not to over mix. Fill the tins 3/4 full in bake for 8-10 min for muffin tins and 10-12 for the ramekins. If you use muffin tins, the cakes easily come out if you run a knife around the edge of the cake and flip over. Enjoy with either a dust of powder sugar, strawberries, ice cream, or whipped cream. Or simply on its own. 🙂
BTW….this is my 50th post! I couldn’t believe that I’ve written that many entries. I’m so glad that I got myself to food-blog.