Shepherd's Pie

my comrade Thomas made this recipe and it was great! I made a few changes to it (as did he) and it was badass. I made this instead of corned beef for St Pats this year
olive oil
1 big yellow onion, sliced up
2lb meat (I used chopped stew beef)
1/3 c flour
minced garlic
other seasonings (I used garlic & herb seasoning, forgot what else..)
about 2.5 c beef broth
12-16oz fresh sliced mushrooms
around 12oz frozen peas/carrots

4 pouches of instant potatoes (I was lazy dont judge)
cayenne pepper
1/4 c cream cheese spread (or similar)
8oz shredded cheddar
dash of cream (or milk, whatev)

Preheat oven to 375F.
Heat up a big skillet over med-hi heat. Throw some olive oil & butter into it.
Add in the sliced onion & maybe a little sugar. Cook it till onion is soft & smells like win.
Add in the beef. Continue cooking / stirring occasionally until the beef is browned on all sides.
Add in the flour & mix it all up.
Mix in some salt & pepper, and the seasonings & garlic.
Pour in the beef broth.
Add in the mushrooms, then the peas/carrots.
After that is all cooked down some, spread it in a big baking dish. (At this point I realized it wasn't going to fit in a 9x13" pan so I used the only bigger pan I had which was a roasting pan).
Now make the instant potatoes: boil however much water they call for.
After you mix the potato powder up add in some butter, cayenne, cream cheese, and some shredded cheese, & cream.
Spread the potato mixture over the meat/vegetable mixture.
Top with some more seasoning & butter if you want.
Bake for 25 - 30 min.

note: original recipe calls for lamb not beef, I didn't feel like going looking for lamb so I used "stew meat" aka cheap chopped meat from the groc store, which I cut into smaller pieces before I cooked it. You can use ground beef also or whatever meat hell you could use chicken if you want.
Also this made a pretty huge amount, you can cut this in half to fit in a 9x13" pan

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Cucumber Blueberry Slaw

I saw this recipe in the June 2013 issue of Better Homes & Gardens. I improved it. It's a nice, fresh slaw, and a good way to balance spicy entree

~8oz mixed baby greens (see photo below of what I used) Can use spinach, or romaine, or whatever you prefer.
~12oz blueberries
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced then cut into 4ths
3-4 green onions, chopped
6oz crumbled feta
dried (or fresh chopped) parsely, to taste
big ol glob of minced garlic
salt/pepper to taste
few scoops of lite mayo (add a little at a time so you don't over-mayo it)
buttermilk (I bought a 1/2 pint, and used like 1/2 of it maybe)

Mix it all together in a big bowl

notes: Last time I made this I just grabbed a big pile of baby spinach leaves, cut em up fine then dumped everything else in, I thought I added too much mayo (which is why I edited the recipe to say add a little at a time) but nobody seemed bothered by it)

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Chicken Noodle Soup

This is basically a quick modification of chicken minestrone. If I ever make a traditional style chicken noodle I'll post it here

2 or 3 lb of chicken breast / ckn tenderloins
1 can cream of chicken soup
poultry seasoning etc

1 medium onion, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced then cut the slices into quadrants
bunch of celery, chopped
bag of baby carrots, chopped
1 red & 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
3 T tomato paste
dash of pinot noir (or whatever wine u like)
buttload of chicken broth (I used chicken base & made like around 10c of it)
seasonings: bay leaves, garlic, parsley, tiny bit of curry powder
16oz linguine noodles (I got the ones that were pot sized or whatever cuz walmart knows how I roll. If you get the full sized ones break them in half)

1) cook the chicken.
I laid it all in a pan, covered it with cream of chicken soup/garlic/poultry seasoning & roasted in the oven & then shredded it (see 1st pic). 400F for like 30min outta do it but I don't remember exactly what I did, Doesn't matter as long as the chicken is 165F in the middle it's done.

2) Fill a bigass pot like halfway with water then bring to a boil. Add in the chicken base. If you're using pre-made broth then dump all of that in the pot instead & bring to a boil.
After it boils reduce heat to a simmer and add in the seasonings.

Meanwhile, chop up all the necessary vegetables & throw in the pot. Add in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste,  and shredded chicken.
Let it simmer for awhile bro. Like 10 min is good.
Add in the linguine pasta. When it's soft, soup's done.

Protip: soup is always good with cheezits.
note: if it bothers you that the soup has a reddish tinge to it then leave out the tomatoes & tomato paste. But if you do u better substitute something else awesome to it! (like mushrooms or bacon)



Chicken Roulade

This was featured on "The F Word" season 2, episode 5!! Was delish. Easily modified to use whatever filling you want.

deboned chicken leg/thigh quarters
raw bacon (4-5 strips per piece of chicken)
ground sausage (I used 1lb for 4 servings, less would be fine)
handful of pistachios (shelled)
fresh thyme
fresh parsley
salt, pepper, garlic (to taste)

sherry vinegar
chicken stock (1 or 2 cups)
aluminum foil

Heat up a big pot of water.
Debone chicken if needed (I got bone-in quarters and sucked at removing the bones, but doesn't matter bc it will be wrapped in bacon. Can use pounded breast meat or whatever else instead)
In a bowl combine the ground sausage, pistachios, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic.
Lay out a piece of foil. Throw down some salt/pepper on it. Lay out 4 or 5 bacon strips next to eachother on the foil.
Lay a piece of chicken on top of the bacon strips.
Form some of the sausage filling into an ovoid shape. Lay it on top of the chicken,
Now roll it all up in the foil so that the bacon is wrapped around the outside of everything, and seal the ends of the foil (basically make a big foil tootsie roll with the bacon wrapping up the chicken inside it) see photo below.
Poach the chicken: throw the foil-wrapped chicken in the pot of water & boil for 25 min.
Remove the foil-wrapped chicken & refrigerate for 30 min.

Heat up a skillet to med-high, add some oil. Unwrap the foil from the chicken and roll it around to cook it on all sides. Spoon juices over it as it cooks, When interior is 165F it's done, Set aside on plate and let it rest while you make some SAUCE.
Deglaze skillet with some sherry vinegar. Reduce it then add in some Marsala.
Reduce again then add in some chicken stock.I added some garlic also.
Slice chicken rolls at an angle and serve with some of the sauce over it.

I served over risotto.

note: I didn't add a roux to the sauce, probably should have. Will try it next time

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Chicken Pastilla

Recipe video here
I had some chicken & was looking for a simple Ramsay recipe haha. I followed it & added mushrooms.
Next time I'm going to bastardize this recipe & make some kind of breakfast filling

10 sheets of filo (phyllo) dough
melted butter
chicken thigh meat, chopped (I chopped it before cooking it. can chop after, whatever is easier).
fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used around 12oz)
chicken stock
yellow onion, sliced thin
ginger (fresh or powder)
2 eggs, beaten
sliced almonds (I used honey roasted almonds from salad/crouton aisle)
(optional) grated parmesan
powdered sugar (for garnish)

Set out the filo dough if it's frozen.

Make the filling:
Heat up a big skillet & add in the onion, mushrooms, & some ginger.
Cook till onions are soft, then add in a bit of cinnamon & sugar.
Add in the chicken, and cook it till the chicken is done.
Add in chicken stock, simmer for a few min.
Stir in eggs.
Add in the almonds.
(optional) Mix in some parmesan (or other cheese)
Remove skillet from heat.

Heat oven to 425F.
In an appropriate sized oven-safe skillet (cast iron best) assemble the filo dough:
Brush each piece of filo dough with melted butter.
Layer 4 sheets in the skillet (drape it over the edge of the skillet & carefully press it into the skillet). Add in half of the chicken filling mixture.
Layer 4 more filo dough sheets on top of the filling. Then top with the rest of the filling.
Layer on 2 more sheets of dough.
Fold all the overhanging dough into the skillet (basically making this thing upside down you will flip it later). Brush some more butter on top.
Place skillet in oven & bake for 10-15 min, till it turns golden brown on top.
Remove skillet from oven & flip the pastilla "pie" onto a baking sheet.
Add back into the oven for 10 more min.
Remove & sprinkle powdered sugar on top.
Let it cool for a min till it's sliceable, serve warm.
I served over noodles.

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Sea Bass with Sorrel Sauce

this recipe is featured on "The F Word" season 2, episode 2.
Note: I used spinach instead of sorrel, because I forgot to get sorrel (doh!)

Sea bass fillets**
salt / pepper
olive oil

fish stock: (can use store bought instead)
bones from the sea bass
bay leaves
fresh parsley
fresh thyme
dry white wine

sorrel sauce:
shallots, chopped
salt, pepper
dry white wine
fish stock (see above)
sorrel, chopped (I used spinach)

Filet the sea bass leave skin on. Save the bones (leave whatever meat on the bones) to make stock out of.
Rub salt & cracked pepper on the filets, and set aside on a plate while you make the stock.
Make the fish stock:
Put the fish bones in a large pot. Add in some water. (I didn't use exact measurements, I made more than enough stock  froze the leftover). Use enough water to cover the bones plus all the vegetables, you can always add more.
Add in the other stock ingreds and bring to a boil. Let simmer for awhile & reduce, like 20-30min.
Strain out the liquid & set aside. Discard the bones/vegetables etc.

Now make the sauce:
Heat up a skillet & add in a few pieces of butter.
Add in the shallots & salt/pepper.
Add in some wine, and reduce.
Add in some fish stock. Reduce.
Add in some cream, and let simmer for a few min.
Sift out the liquid and add into a saucepan. Stir in the sorrel.

Cook the sea bass:
Heat up a skillet & add in olive oil.
Place sea bass fillets in skillet, skin side down.
Cook like 3-5 min each side, baste with the juices in the skillet. It cooks pretty fast.
After fish is done remove from heat, serve with the sauce.
I served with boiled broccoli & wild rice.

**note: I used a whole Mediterranean sea bass that I got from Whole Foods bc the fish market was closed. I also got some "Chilean Sea Bass" from a groc store because 2 more people made the guest list & I already left Whole Foods lol, but it was frozen with no skin. I cooked it along with the sea bass, but it wasn't near as good. Chilean Sea Bass is apparently not really a bass, it's a marketing ploy. Next time will hit up the fish market for a nice large sea bass.

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Asparagus-Stuffed Chicken

This is pretty similar to Prosciutto-Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breast. I found the recipe here.
This can easily be modified to be stuffed with something other than asparagus, or substitute any ingredients you like.

INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)
4 chicken breasts (I used 8 thin sliced breasts)
8 slices provel cheese, or similar (2 per serving)
thin sliced prosciutto (1 or 2 per breast)

16 pieces of asparagus
balsamic vinegar
olive oil

1/2 c mayo
squirt of dijon mustard
minced garlic (to taste)
grated parmesan
salt, pepper
chopped parsley
squirt of lemon juice
some zest of lemon (optional)

crust mixture:
bread crumbs
grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 475F.
If you're not using thin sliced breasts, then pound each chicken breast to like 1/4" thickness.
Microwave the asparagus for 90 seconds.
Finish the asparagus off in a skillet:
Heat skillet to med heat. Add in olive oil. Add in asparagus.
Stir in some balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, then stir. Add in some butter.
After asparagus is nice n sauteed set aside.
In a bowl combine bread crumbs and parmesan (I also added some left over crumb mixture that I had from making crusted rack of lamb)

In a 2nd bowl mix together the filling ingredients. This will be spread inside the chicken, and on the outside so that the bread crumb mixture sticks to it.
Lay out a piece of prosciutto. Lay chicken breast on top of it. Set a slice of cheese on top of it.
Spread a little of the filling mixture. Set 4 pieces of asparagus on top of it, then another slice of cheese.
(add 2nd chicken breast on top of all of that if using the thin sliced breasts).
(If using pounded breasts fold it up to enclose the filling as much as possible).
Wrap prosciutto around the stuffed chicken breast.
Brush some of the filling mixture on the outside of the stuffed breast, then coat with the bread crumb mixture.
Grease a baking pan, and sprinkle on some garlic, salt, & pepper.
Place chicken breasts on baking pan & bake for 25min.

I served with sauteed mushrooms and wild rice.
note: next time I think I'll use pounded chicken breasts so that everything holds together better (cheese oozed out of it) and I may put the prosciutto on the inside instead of the outside. I dunno.

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