Pi Day Special – Shepherd’s Pie

3/14, that most special of days! For those who aren’t quite as nerdy, it’s Pi Day, celebrating π, that mathematical constant usually used for calculating areas and volumes of circles – 3.1415926535… Okay, fine, it’s basically just an excuse to celebrate pies in all shapes and forms! So in honor of this day, I’m crashing Jessie’s blog to share a recipe that I prepared myself for Pi Day!

Since we are in the middle of Winter Storm Stella (STELLLLAAAA!) here in New York, I thought rather than a sweet or dessert pie I’d prefer something a little more hearty, to get me revved up for all the snow removal we would be doing later on. Shepherd’s pie, with its fluffy mashed potatoes atop savory ground beef filling, was the perfect solution.

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Shepherd’s Pie

Adapted from allrecipes

Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes, cubed and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon butter (alright… I used 1.5, cuz more butter makes mashed potatoes so good!)
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used provolone, which I had on hand)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (peas, corn, carrots, beans mix)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • Melted butter to brush on top of mashed potatoes

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and add the potatoes. Cook until tender and easily pierced by fork, around 15 minutes. Drain in colander and mash in large bowl with butter and shredded cheese until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and cook until starting to turn transparent, around 3 minutes. Add celery and continue cooking for 3 more minutes. Add mixed vegetables and cook 5 more minutes. I cooked until the water from the frozen vegetables had evaporated. Set aside vegetables and clean pan.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In the clean frying pan, add a small amount of oil. Add ground beef and brown, around 8-10 minutes. Drain of excess fat and reintroduce the vegetable mixture. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add ketchup and beef broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Spread the ground beef mixture in an even layer in a 2 quart casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes and spread in an even layer. Brush melted butter on top of mashed potatoes.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. If the potatoes aren’t golden brown, you can put them under the broiler for 5 minutes or until they are browned, I like to watch it to make sure it doesn’t get burnt!
  7. Enjoy the delicious fruits of your labor! I hope you enjoyed this recipe, and if you would like to visit my blog please feel free (shameless plug over).
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a messy plate of shepherd’s pie, living life on the edge… of the table.

~Peggy

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Quesadillas

Adapted from smitten kitchen‘s taco torte recipe

vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped small
1 clove garlic, minced
1 fresh jalapeno/habanero/serrano pepper, chopped small (optional)
ground cumin, chili powder to taste
1 can chopped tomatoes, drained, with 1/3 cup juice reserved
2 cans black, red and/or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 can corn, drained
rough-chopped spinach leaves
6 flour tortillas (I like the corn ones, cause you can’t find them in Germany)
shredded cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lime juice (only had lemon juice)
Chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream and/or salsa for garnish (optional)
2 radishes, sliced thin (didn’t have)
1 avocado, sliced (not ripe)

Saute onion, garlic, poblano pepper (and I threw in celery) in pan over medium heat until fragrant. Add the spices. Add the tomatoes and drained beans. Season with salt and pepper. Add the corn. I could have added mushrooms, but decided against it after having had mushroom risotto last night.

How to decide between authentic Mexican street foods (antojitos)? There are burritos, gringas, enchiladas, nachos, panuchos, salbutes, tacos, taquitos/flautas, tlayudas — all original Mexican dishes made with tortillas. Flour tortillas are often used for burritos and quesadillas, while corn tortillas are used for the rest. Lesson learned: Fajitas are Tex-Mex!

~Jessica

Chinese fried rice

Adapted from Rasa Malaysia and China on Site and steamy kitchen.

~1 lap cheong (Chinese sausage), diced small
180 g baby shrimp
200 g  frozen peas-corn-carrot, defrosted 15 min (I had 300 g)
2 stalks of scallions, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
fresh ginger, grated
3-4 cups Jasmine rice, leftover
4 glugs of peanut oil
2 eggs, beaten
pinch of black/white pepper
fish sauce
soy sauce
sesame oil
splash of cooking wine
1 skinless and boneless chicken breast (optional)
100 g salted fish (optional)

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plated

Heat oil in wok. Fry Chinese sausage and shrimps over low heat until done. Remove from heat. Stir-fry frozen veggies until done. Set aside. Heat oil in wok. Quickly stir-fry scallions, garlic, and ginger until fragrant. Add back the sausage and vegetables. Stir-fry quickly. Scramble eggs separately and add. Add rice; stir to mix. Add in soy sauce, fish sauce, wine, and white pepper, stirring. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with scallions and (toasted) sesame oil. Serve.

~Jessica

P.S. My mom’s version:

fried-rice

Fried tomato galette with corn and zucchini

Adapted from smitten kitchen

refrigerated puff pastry dough
15 ml olive oil
coarse sea salt
250 grams cherry or grape tomatoes
1 ear corn (I used canned)
1 small (225 g) zucchini and summer squash, diced
1 bundle (3 to 4 ounces or 85 to 115 g) scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (2 ounces or 55 g) grated parmesan
mozzarella
ricotta

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Saute tomatoes in olive oil, salt, and red pepper flakes at high heat until they burst. Add zucchini and cook on medium until soft. Add corn and scallions and cook until done. Remove from heat. Preheat oven at 200 deg C. Add vegetables onto puff pastry with the cheeses. Pleat edges and bake for 30-40 minutes. Serve.

Happy Earth Day!

~Jessica

BBQ

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Throwback Thursday (from August):

I grilled the shrimp (marinated in garlic, salt, wine, pepper, and paprika) and it came out great! It’s one healthy way to eat them. A comparable recipe is that of Rasa Malaysia or No Recipes or Damn Delicious‘s Gambas Al Ajillo.

I grilled the frozen corn, which came out not too bad.

And I made a chicken salad with cranberries, blueberries, walnuts, and feta cheese. Like Eating Richly. Jessica wouldn’t mind a Simply Recipes Cobb salad either at a barbecue though.

~Kai-ling