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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

English Cottage Pie

Let's go British for today. A quick and easy meal is Cottage Pie. The British use beef or kidney. I prefer ground beef.

                                   English Cottage Pie

1# lean ground beef
1 small white onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 Tbl spoons A.P. Flour
2 Tbl spoons dried Italian herbs
1 tsp. cinnamon (Optional)
2 Tbl spoons fresh chopped parsley
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 Tbl spoon tomato paste
S/P to taste

Sauté ground beef over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add onion, celery, carrots and for 5 more minutes, and then add herbs and flour. Mix thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, mix beef broth and tomato paste. Add the ground beef mixture. reduce heat to simmer and cook 15 minutes or until most of the moisture has been absorbed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place mixture into a 9-inch pie pan.

Potato Crust

(Instant potatoes will suffice instead of hand-mashed, but hand-mashed are tastier.)
4 potatoes, peeled and diced 
1/4 cup butter or margarine.
3/4 cup milk
s/p to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large pot, boil potatoes for 15 minutes until soft. Drain, mash and add butter and milk, Salt and pepper to taste. Spread potatoes over meat pie mixture. Cover with shredded cheese. Bake in 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Grilled Flank Steak Sandwiches

Summer grilling is the perfect opportunity to connect with friends and family, but there is no need to spend hours grilling or break the bank cooking out. Sandwiches are great for conversation. Guests aren't tied to the table. Grilled potatoes make an excellent side dish. This recipe is quick, easy, inexpensive, and satisfying.

                         Grilled Flank Steak Sandwiches

2# flank steak (should make 6 sandwiches)

Marinade mix

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbl. spoon brown sugar
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Mix ingredients in plastic baggie. Add steak and marinate in refrigerator for at least one hour. Remove steak.

On medium-high grill, cook steak ten minutes on one side and six on the other side. let stand ten minutes before slicing. Slice thinly against the grain using a bias cut that exposes the inside of the steak.

While grilling steaks, wrap 3 garlic cloves in aluminum foil. Grill with steaks. Allow to cool.

Grilled Potatoes

4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced thin, peeling on
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbl spoon fresh rosemary
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsps. salt

Bring 6 qts, water to a boil, add sliced potatoes. Cook for two (2) minutes. Allow potatoes to cool. (Can be prepared ahead of time). Toss slice potatoes in the seasoned olive oil mixture. Allow to drain. Spread out potatoes on grill. Grill for three (3) minutes on one side.

Sandwich Spread

1/2 cup Mayo
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 roasted garlic cloves cooked with steak, mashed and minced

Mix ingredients.


4 large tomatoes, sliced
1/2 head Iceberg lettuce, shredded

Use whatever bun or sandwich roll you prefer. Brush with olive oil and lay face down on grill until warm. Spread with Sandwich spread, add meat, sliced tomato, and lettuce.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tortellini with Gorgonzola Sauce

This past weekend I made an easy pasta and cheese dish that received a lot of nice reviews. Tortellini with a Gorgonzola cheese sauce is a hearty meal that can be served alone or as a side dish with a meat dish.

                       Cheese Tortellini with Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce

1 pkg. cheese tortellini (Fresh or frozen If frozen, allow to thaw before cooking.)
1 tsp olive oil
1 qt. heavy cream
1 tbl spoon butter
1 tbl spoon flour
5 oz. Gorgonzola cheese
4 oz  Parmesan cheese
1 tbl spoon chopped fresh basil
salt/pepper to taste

In a heavy pot, heat butter on med-high heat and add flour. Stir until mixed. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Lower heat to medium and add heavy cream slowly, stirring to reduce lumps. Allow cream to simmer for 20 minutes to reduce and to cook flour in roux. Whisk occasionally.

Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly, and add both cheeses slowly while stirring to prevent curdling. Salt and pepper to taste.

Bring 4 qts. water to a boil. Add 2 tsps. salt and 1 tsp olive oil. Add tortellini. Cook until pasta floats. Remove from pan and drain to eliminate moisture. Add to sauce and mix.

Ladle onto plate and sprinkle with chopped basil to serve. To reheat leftovers, add 1/4 cup milk or heavy cream and heat slowly.