A Little Bit of Everything

The basis of this dish comes from my mom – “Mother Unit”. It was one of the first dishes I asked her to teach me. I’ve taken it and tweaked it over the years. If you are looking for an easy but filling comfort food meal, this is as good a place to start as any.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb Ground Beef 95% lean or better
  • 1/2 lb Ground Pork
  • 1/2 lb Ground Lamb
  • 1/2 lb Ground Bison
  • 1/2 Red onion
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper
  • 2 large Jalapenos
  • 2 Carrots
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 2 10 oz cans of Cream of Mushroom
  • 3 lbs Red Potatoes “C” size
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 4 tablespoons Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 to 1 cup milk
  • Shredded Mozzarella

Directions:

Meat and vegetable mixture

Meat and vegetable mixture

Start by cutting the potatoes into 1/4″ to 1/2″ cubes. Added these to a large pot with water and boil for 45 minutes. The rest of the dish can be prepared while the potatoes boil. Chop the bell peppers and onion into 1/4″ to 1/2″ sized pieces. Cut and de-seed the jalapenos and  into 1/4″ to 1/2″ sized pieces. Peel the carrots and slice into small slices. In a seperate, small sauce pan, blanch the carrots for 3-5 minutes. In a large pan, I use a Paella pan, add the olive oil over a medium-high heat. Add carrots, onions, bell peppers and jalapenos and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the beef, pork, bison, lamb, in that order separating and stirring in each for 1 to minutes before adding the next. Once all meat has been added, add 2 tablespoons of salt and pepper and one tablespoon of oregano and basil. Continue stirring and mixing until all of the  meat has been browned. Add the two cans of cream of mushroom and thoroughly mix. Let stand on heat for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove to deep casserole dishes, (I have to use 2). The casserole dishes should be filled approximately 1 1/2″  deep.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. After the potatoes have been boiled, drain and add butter cut into small pieces, 2 tablespoons of fresh ground pepper, and 1/2 cup milk. After the butter is mostly melted, use a hand mixer to mix the potatoes, add milk as necessary. Remember you can always add milk but can never take it away. I always mix in an empty sink as the hand mixer may spray some potatoes out of the pot.

Layer the top of the meat and vegetable mixture with an even layer of the mashed potatoes. Top with a layer of  Mozzarella cheese, and place in oven for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted. Remove from oven and serve.

Variations:

When fresh English Peas are in season, I will add a cup when I add the meat.

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Oompa Loompa Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cornish Game Hens
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • 2 Lemons

Directions:

Heat oven to 400 deg. Separate skin from the breasts and put small to medium pats of butter under the skins. Place stems of rosemary under the skin as well. Smash the garlic and place 1-2 cloves under as well. Rub the top with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place lemon slices in the cavity of the hens along with a few cloves of the smashed garlic. Place in the oven till the skin is brown. Use a meat thermometer to tell if the chicken is done. Probably 20 minutes or so. Baste as needed.

Notes:

Don’t trust the popping things that comes in your chicken or turkey. they aren’t as deep and don’t measure as well. Use a good thermometer. They are about $10-$15 for a good one and will last you a long time. Great investment. You can use this recipe for chicken breasts as well and it makes a great, healthy, cheap meal! Enjoy!!

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Simple Pad Thai

Simple Pad ThaiA very simple and quick recipe for Pad Thai. Being single, I can whip this up pretty quick when I need a meal and don’t have a lot of time to cook.

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

2 oz Pad Thai noodles
10 medium shrimp, peeled deveined, tails removed
3 tablespoons pepper infused extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons Teriyaki sauce
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon Teriyaki Ginger rub (Adams Reserve)
Dried Cilantro leaves
Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

Directions:

Soak Pad Thai noodles in warm water for at least 10 minutes until soft, salt can be added to the water if desired. I put them in a medium sauce pan over low heat. While noodles are soaking peel, devein and remove the tails from the shrimp, chop garlic, and slice shallot. In a medium skillet or wok, over medium-high to high heat, add olive oil, garlic, shallots and shrimp. Saute until shrimp become pink and opaque. Remove and set aside, leaving oil. Add eggs to the skillet and scramble until cooked. Reduce heat to medium-low. Drain and add noodles, Teriyaki sauce, Teriyaki ginger rub, sugar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir fry until thoroughly mixed and sauce is absorbed. Add back in shrimp, shallots and garlic. Mix well. Remove to dish and garnish with cilantro leaves and Sriracha sauce.

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Green Beans with Bacon Gravy

Monterrey Jack White Potatoe Au Gratin with Green Beans and Bacon Gravy

Monterrey Jack White Potato Au Gratin with Green Beans and Bacon Gravy

Bacon, bacon, bacon — one definate way to get a kick out of green beans. The following recipe is a savory side dish that could be served with just about anything.

Ingredients:

12 oz Fresh Green Beans
6 slices bacon
2 eggs, well beaten
1/3 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Green Beans with Bacon Dressing

Green Beans with Bacon Dressing

Simmer green beans in a saucepan over medium heat for 30-40 minutes. Drain and transfer to a serving dish.

Place bacon in a medium skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Remove crumble and set aside.

In a medium bowl beat together the eggs, vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Cook in the bacon drippings over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened about 10-15 minutes.

Pour hot dressing mixture over beans and sprinkle crumbled bacon on top.

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Monterrey Jack White Potatoes Au Gratin

A very filling side dish. Mixing the Mexican flavors of Monterrey Jack and Paprika with a traditional French preparation of potatoes in a creamy cheese sauce.

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

4 White potatoes
1 White onion
1 1/2 to 2 cups Shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
2 tablespoons Paprika
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Monterrey Jack White Potatoe Au Gratin

Monterrey Jack White Potatoe Au Gratin

Scrub and wash white potatoes. Slice two potatoes into 1/4 inch slices, a mandolin works great for this. Spray non-stick cooking spray in a large deep casserole dish and layer potatatoe slice on bottom. Season with one tablespoon each of salt, pepper and paprika. Slice onion into 1/4 in slices as well. Make a layer of these slices over the potatoes. Finally slice the remaining two potatoes into 1/4 inch slices and layer once more. Finish by seasoning with 1 tablespoon each of salt, peeper and paprika.

Monterrey Jack White Potatoe Au Gratin with Green Beans and Bacon Gravy

Monterrey Jack White Potatoe Au Gratin with Green Beans and Bacon Gravy

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and a teaspoon of salt, and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Stir in milk. Cook until mixture has thickened. Stir in cheese all at once, and continue stirring until melted and thickened, about one to two minutes. Pour cheese over the potatoes, and cover the dish with aluminum foil.

Bake for 1 and 1/2 hours.

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