Tag Cloud
1950s television Alsace animal behavior Asbestoses Bakewell Tart baking banana coconut upside down cake bananas Barefoot Contessa beach beans beauty beer can chicken Ben E King blueberry Book Review Boom De Ya Da Bradenton Florida cabbage cake canine lung worm carrot salad casserole cassoulet Celebrity Constellation Celebrity cruiseline cheese chicken chicken and dumplings chicken fricasse'e Chicken Salad chicken thighs chihuahua chocolate christmas pudding coconut commercialization of Christmas Condor Ferries contrived ignorance cooking video Cornwall COSTCO cottage pie couscous Cream of Tortilla Soup Cream Recipes cream teas crockpot croutons cruise ship menu cultural awareness current event Curry Dauphinoise Potatoes decorating desserts Dick and Jane Ding Dong School Dinner Discovery Channel diversity dog psychology dogs Easy Recipes eggs enamel coated cast iron English Cooking English trains Enzos on the Lake Epcot extrovert Fall Food Fast Easy Fresh Fennel Recipes fish florida food preparation France Frances Horwich French cooking fresh green beans Fresh Market fresh pasta fresh vegetables fruit tart gardening genital euphenisms George Pullman grandchildren greek yogurt grilling ground lamb ground beef guardian ad litem ham hocks Handicaps Havanese healthy food home decorating how to clean leeks I Have a Dream Ina Garten Indian food introvert Italian Cooking Italian Food IVIG Kix Cereal lamb lamb curry lamb palak lamb shahi khorma lamb shanks Lasagna leek and potato soup Leeks leftovers literacy love song low-carb main course Mallomars Marissa Tomei marriage Martha Stewart Martin Luther King Mary Oliver Meat Recipes meatloaf mental illness Michael Portillo Mickey Rourke Miss Frances modern omelet monkey bread Moroccan muffins Mushroom Recipes Mushrooms Nelsonian knowledge New England Style Cooking Nixon NY Times Obama one dish meal onion tart onions oscar nominated pack dominance pack leadership pakora parenting Parmesan Recipes pasta pate brisee Paula Deen peach cake Peeps peppermint bark photo photography photos pina colada monkey bread pineapple poached poem polish cooking politics poverty pullman dining car raspberries recipe recipes refrigerated rolls riding the rails roast chicken Rush Libaugh RV lifestyle salad Sally Field salmon Samsung Appriances Sand Hill Crane Sand Sculpture Sausage Recipes sausages Schizophrenia school children hear Obama speak self-perception shepherd's pie Siesta Key Florida snails souffle soup South Florida spaghetti squash Spinach St. Malo Stand By Me Whistle Blower summer meal sweet bread Taffy Tandoori cooking Technology Ted talks The Help theme park This Was the Week That Was Tin Can Tourist Tom Gross transatlantic cruise travel trailer tropical plants UK UK Guardian article urban blight Valentine's Day vegetables vegetaria video VIMEO viseo welsh terrier white blood cell count wild salmon Willful Blindness Willful Ignorance wood look porcelain tile World Showcase Youtube Youtube video zucchini Zuni Cafe Roast Chicken

Entries in casserole (3)


Cottage Pie/Shepherd's Pie

 A Shephherd's Pie is traditionally made with minced lamb.  It becomes a Cottage Pie when made with minced/ground beef.  Here in Florida, minced lamb is now running between $7.99 and $8.99 per pound and is always previously frozen.  Hence the Cottage Pie version.  When I make it, I add one or 2 Knorr Lamb Cubes.  I buy the lamb cubes when we are in the UK where they cost 1.50 pound sterling which today converts to $2.51 USD.  You can order them from Amazon BUT they  cost $7.49 PLUS $3.99 shipping.  Many Americans do not eat lamb so the Cottage Pie version is probably the winner here.  Here ishow I make mine:

 What I Used:

1.5 lbs ground beef

1 lamb  cube (substitute 3/4 cup beef broth or 3/4 cup water plus 1 beef cube)

3/4 Cup water

3 largish carrots peeled and sliced into thin coins

1 med. onion diced finely

2 cloves garlic finely diced

4-5 potatoes, peeled

1T worcestershire sauce

1/4 to 1/2 cup catsup

1 big glug of whatever red wine you have hanging around (or's your choice)

1/2 C milk or cream

1/2 stick butter

salt and pepper

1beaten egg

1 1/2 C shredded cheddar  cheese

olive oil



Add a bit of olive oil to big fry pan

Cook carrots about ten minutes or until slightly limp

Add onion cook until translucent

Add garlic

Add minceed beef, cook until slightly browned

Drain grease

Add wine, catsup, beef stock, salt and pepper and worcestershire sauce.  Simmer until reduced by half.

Meanwhile, peel and  boil potatoes.  When soft, mash with butter, cream, salt and pepper.  Stir in the beaten egg.

Pour meat mixture into buttered/sprayed casserole dish.  Top with mashed potatoes.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees30 -45 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly.


Speaking of Salmon

Yesterday I posted a really simple and delicious recipe for poached salmon to be served either hot or cold. The thing is, I am a sucker for salmon. I am also a sucker for the huge glass fish-shaped platter shown in the poached salmon recipe. And, I am really a sucker for how food looks, the aesthetics of presentation, the color palette one can achieve, the food porn of it. This being said, I always, always, always buy an entire salmon fillet, even if it's just the two of us for dinner. I love the color of it. I love the shape of it. I love the way it fills up almost the entire surface area of that heavy, heavy fish platter. If you can find it, there is nothing more delicious than fresh wild salmon. Every year, for a month or so, our local Costco gets in wild salmon. While farmed salmon is good, wild salmon is excellent beyond description. It's a beautiful thing.

After all my big salmon love fest talk, and poaching and presenting, the next big issue becomes what to do with the leftovers. Even with another couple as dinner guests, there arealways leftovers. I have a plan. I always have a plan...or two...for leftover food. We never, ever throw away food.Below is my recipe for a delicious baked salmon souffle'-type casserole. It uses either canned salmon or, as I do, leftover poached salmon (I've never tried it with smoked salmon, but imagine that would also be good). It's very light and very tasty.

Salmon Souffle'ish* Casserole


1- 14 oz. can red salmon, well drained and round cartilage picked out or 2 cups cold leftover salmon

1 medium onion finely diced

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 beaten egg

1.5  cups milk

1 sleeve (about 24) Keebler Club Crackers broken into very small pieces**

1 Tbsp minced parsley


Mix all ingredients together. Pour into lightly greased 1 1/2Qt casserole dish. Dot the top with small pats of butter and sprinkle with parsley. Bake at 350 degrees 45 mins. to 1 hr or until top is lightly browned and knife inserted in middle comes out clean.

 * Please do not leave me a note (well, you can if you really want to and it makes you feel better in some way) telling me that souffle'ish is not a word.  I know it isn't.  I made it up to try to describe how light and delicate this dish really is.  I love the word and I'm keeping there!.

*FWIW ("for what it's worth" in geek speak), for about twenty-five years I made this dish using Saltines.  A few years ago I started putting the dish together, reached in the pantry and no Saltines!  Flexibility is my middle name so out came the Keebler Club crackers.  Since that day, I've never looked back.  The club crackers make a lighter more buttery tasting dish.  The choice is yours.  Also, I just dump the crackers into a plastic bag, make a fist and smash the heck out of them.  It makes the right size crumbs, not too course or not too fine and helps to release all of my aggressions and hostilities in a constructive and legal manner.


Better Than Your Mama's Macaroni and Cheese


I have been making this recipe in one form or another for well over thirty years. It has continually evolved. I think the batch I made last week for my Grandsons was the best ever. It had a new ingredient...bacon. I had cooked some bacon for breakfast and had some beautifully crisp leftover strips. When I assembled the macaroni and cheese, it seemed a natural addition. It was perfect. Another nice addition would be tomato slices on top of the bread crumb mixture. This is one of my most requested recipes.

Serves 12

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for casserole dish
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for water
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated cheddar cheese
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyère or 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 pound  macaroni (I use Rotini or Penne or elbows, any shape that will hold the cheese sauce well)

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside.

2.  Cook pasta for 7 minutes.  Do not overcook.  Drain.  Rinse with cold water to stop further cooking.  Leave sitting in sink in colander.

3.  Melt the remaining the 8 tablespoons butter in the same pan in which you cooked the pasta (why dirty another pan to make the sauce, that's just silly) over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

4. While whisking, slowly pour in the milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, 8 to 12 minutes.

5. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 4 cups cheddar cheese, and 2 cups Gruyère (or 1 cup Pecorino Romano); Gently stir until cheese melts; set the cheese sauce aside.

6. . Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

7. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cup breadcrumbs mixed with 3 T melted butter over the top.  Bake at 375 degrees until browned and bubbly.