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Entries in one dish meal (7)


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.


Sunday Supper Refrigerator Clean Out

What I found:

4 frozen bone in, skin on chicken thighs

1 really  ripe tomato

1 pkg shredded carrots

1/2 bottle Trader Joe's white wine

1 large shallot

3 really big cloves of garlic

1 pkg Simply Potatoes shredded fresh potatoes

What I did:

Browned chicken on both sides in 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil

Removed chicken to plate, poured off all grease but about 3Ts

Sauteed shallot 3  mins.; added diced tomatoes, garlic and carrot, sauteed 5 mins

Added chicken back to pan, added the wine, salt, pepper, boquet garni (tarragon, parsley, savory) and bay leaf

Brought to a quick boil, turned to low, covered and simmered gently.

Added 1T oil, 1 T butter to large non-stick fry pan, added shredded potatoes, seasoned with salt and pepper

Cooked on medium high heat flattened like a pancake; browned on both sides.

Removed chicken, bay leaf and boquet garni.

Mixed 2 tsp cornstarch with water, thickened chicken sauce; added chicken back to pot and cooked ten minutes more.

Served over the  shredded potatoes.


Refrigerator Clean Out

What I Found:

1 large sweet potato

1 green bell pepper

1 large onion

6 whole baby bella mushrooms

1 package of 5 Johnsonville Bit O' Garlic Irish Sausages

1 small package of organic baby broccoli florets and carrots


What I Did:

Threw it all together, added 1/2 cup water, drizzled with a tige of good olive oil, added freshly ground pepper and some French sea salt, baked at 350 covered for 30 minutes, stirred and baked uncovered until sausages browned, 15 more minutes

What I Got:



Moroccan-ish Lamb Stew Over Couscous

It all started with a craving for Moroccan Lamb Stew over Couscous.  I adore my husband, but he's English.  He has an English palate.  If you're English, please don't take offense.  It may be just my husband.  He likes his food plain...meat, potato (not pasta or rice or couscous, just potato) and tasteless steamed vegetables.  If I make the same four things all the time, he's happy so in that respect he's easy to feed.  Me, I need variety in food.  Potatoes are my least favorite starch.  Hence, my craving for the Moroccan Lamb Stew and the couscous.  I started digging around and found the recipe below on the internet...

Couscous with Lamb Stew Gourmet | May 1954; reprinted September 2001


Active time: 1 1/2 hr Start to finish: 3 1/2 hr

This recipe, which accompanied our 1954 article on Tunisia, called for what were then two very exotic ingredients. One, the granular pasta called couscous, is now commonplace in supermarkets across America. The other, dried rose petals, is available by mail order.


Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings
For lamb stew
2 lb boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large onions, thinly sliced
8 large tomatoes (4 1/2 lb), peeled, quartered, and seeded
4 cups canned tomato juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 fresh habanero or cayenne chile, finely chopped, including seeds
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 bay leaf (not California)
Pinch of saffron threads
4 carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick
4 turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-wide wedges
3 red or green bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 lb zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1 1/2 inches thick
1 (19-oz) can chickpeas (about 2 cups), rinsed, drained, and skins slipped off

For spicy tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon crushed dried rose petals (pesticide-free; optional)*
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste

For couscous
4 cups water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 (10-oz) boxes quick-cooking couscous (3 1/2 cups)
Make lamb stew:

Pat lamb dry. Heat oil in a 7- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown lamb in 3 batches, transferring to a bowl.

Add onions to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in lamb with any juices that have accumulated in bowl, tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, black pepper, chile, herbs, and saffron and simmer, covered, 1 1/2 hours.

Stir in carrots, turnips, bell peppers, and pumpkin and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Stir in zucchini and chickpeas and simmer, covered, until zucchini is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Make spicy tomato sauce:

Pour 1 cup broth from pot into a small heavy saucepan and add tomato paste, whisking until smooth. Simmer, stirring, until thick, about 10 minutes, then stir in paprika, rose petals, and cayenne.

Cook and serve couscous:

Bring water to a boil with butter and salt in a 4-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Mound couscous on a platter and top with stew, using a slotted spoon. Serve broth and tomato sauce on the side.

*Available by mail order from Kalustyan's (212) 685-3451.


Stuffed Cabbage/Golabki

 We have been having cold weather here in south Florida (today it's warm again....yay!) with lows in the low forties and highs in the high fifties/low sixties.  I was craving childhood comfort food.  It isn't always easy for me to share recipes as a lot of what I make isn't from a written recipe.  A recipe is just a framework.  If one tries to understand the basic structure, there is much room for the individual cook's creativity.  This was our Saturday evening dinner.  It's basically how my grandmother and my mother made theirs.


Stuffed Cabbage/Golabki


1 medium head of cabbage

1/3 lb salt pork

1 large onion finely diced

1/2lb ground chuck

1/2lb ground pork

1 1/2 cups cooked long grain rice (after cooking;not 1 1/2 cups dried rice)

1 egg

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 can tomato soup or tomato sauce

How to Make this Recipe:

Cook rice until just tender, do not overcook; set aside to cool

Core cabbage and put in large stockpot of boiling water

carefully remove individual leaves as they cook and separate from head, drain and set on large platter

continue to remove leaves and cook cabbage until all leaves are tender

cut rib from center of each leaf

sautee' onion and salt pork (finely diced)

combine ground meat, rice, seasonings, egg and half of onion/salt pork mix; add half can of soup/sauce

Using largest leaves first, place meat filling in each leaf, roll up, tucking in sides as you go

If you have more meat than leaves, roll into little porcupine meatballs

Chop up any leftover leaves that are too small to stuff and put in bottom of baking dish/roasting pan/crockpot

Gently layer stuffed cabbage bundles in pan

Top with baby meatballs if you have them

Sprinkle with the rest of the cooked onion salt pork mixture

Top with the rest of the tomato sauce.

Pour over the rest of the tomato sauce (you can use as much or as little tomato sauce as you wish.  My mother never used any, but I like a small amount.  My friend Chris, pours a large amount of tomato juice over her cabbage rolls and then bakes them in a covered roasting pan).  You can bake them or cook them slowly in a covered pot on top of the stove.  I usually do mine in the oven, but this time, because we're in the trailer, I used the crockpot.  If baking, about an hour and a half at 325 degrees.  I did mine in the crockpot for 45 minutes on high then 2 hours on low.  On the stove top, cook on fairly low heat covered so that the cabbage rolls steam and the filling cooks thoroughly.