Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Meat and Potato Pies

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 C plain bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp ketchup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • 1 C prepared warm mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 C shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  In medium bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, ketchup and salt; mix well.  Press mixture in bottom and up sides of two ungreased mini pie pans.  Bake at 375°F for 5-7 minutes.
2.  Stir vegetables into mashed potatoes, set aside.
3.  Remove beef crusts from oven; pour off any drippings.  Spoon potato mixture evenly into partially baked crusts.  Return to oven; bake an additional 5 - 8 minutes, or until beef crusts are thoroughly cooked and potatoes and vegetables are thoroughly heated.
4.  If desired, sprinkle tops with cheese just before the last 5 minutes of baking.

Robyn's notes: if mini pie pans are not available, two ramekins/cocottes or custard cups, as long as they are oven-safe.  The mashed potatoes can be warm or hot, just not cold.  They can be leftovers, or freshly made for the occasion, and instant will work.  If using a custard cup or any other container that size, your crust will be thinner and therefore cook faster.  Watch me demonstrate this video on youtube!  

*** 3 Stars: Good. At least one of us liked this enough for me to make it again, but not often

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Greek Yogurt Parfaits

I made this last year for my sweetheart's birthday and completely forgot to get a picture.  I'm not a big consumer of Greek yogurt, but have found one brand that I like (interestingly, a store brand), which is apparently no longer being sold.
  • 1 C vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp raisins
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sliced almonds
1.  Spoon one quarter of yogurt into each of two thin glasses or parfait cups.  Top with one quarter of honey, raisins, and almonds.  Repeat these layers and serve.

Robyn's notes: he had requested a birthday dessert without sugar, and since we were having lamb with a pomegranate glaze for dinner I thought this would be light and refreshing to follow it.  It had the added benefit of being very quick, especially nice after having spent the afternoon preparing and cooking the entree.  I used golden raisins, but either sort will work.  

*** 3 Stars: Good. At least one of us liked this enough for me to make it again, but not often

Monday, June 27, 2016

Salmon with Asparagus and Herb Vinaigrette

I actually made this for my sweetheart's birthday 3 years ago, while on my hiatus from this site.  It went far more quickly than I expected. 
  • 2 (6-ounce) center-cut salmon fillets, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 C olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 pound thick asparagus, tough ends trimmed
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 4 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp minced fresh parsley, basil, or mint leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1.  Pat salmon dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  Heat 2 Tbsp oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.  Carefully lay salmon in skillet, skin side up, and cook until well browned on first side, about 5 minutes. 
2.  Flip salmon over, reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook until center of thickest part of fillets is still translucent when cut into with paring knife and instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part registers 125°, about 3 minutes longer.  Transfer salmon to platter, tent loosely with foil, and let rest while cooking asparagus. 
3.  Wipe out skillet with paper towels, add butter and 1 tsp more oil, and heat over medium heat until butter has melted.  Add half of asparagus to skillet with tips pointed in one direction and add remaining spears with tips pointed in opposite direction.  Sprinkle with 1/8 tsp salt and gently shake asparagus into even layer. 
4.  Cover and cook until spears are bright green and still crisp, about 5 minutes.  Uncover, increase heat to high, and continue to cook until spears are tender and well browned on one side, 5 to 7 minutes, using tongs to move spears from center of pan to edge of pan to ensure all are browned.
5.  Meanwhile, whisk remaining 3 Tbsp oil, shallot, lemon juice, parsley, and mustard together in small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer asparagus to platter with salmon, drizzle with vinaigrette, and serve. 

Robyn's notes: this is probably his favourite meal I've ever cooked for him.  The whole time he was eating it he raved about how good it was.  I can't eat salmon, so I took his word for it.  

***** 5 Stars: Excellent. A favourite for both of us, I will make this repeatedly