Posts Tagged ‘Potatoes’

Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb

December 3rd, 2011

Shepherd's pie with lamb

I love lamb.  This puts me quite alone in my family – my father refuses to eat “the cute little baa-lambs” and my mom isn’t a fan of the “strong” flavour.  However, in my very humble opinion, there’s nothing quite like a steaming bowl full of lamb casserole on a cold winter night.  A shepherd’s pie treatment is the ultimate, with the saucy lamb smothered in a toasted layer of mashed potato.  Just the perfect combination of flavours and textures when you need a warm serving of comfort food.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, diced
8-10 white mushrooms, quartered
1 tbsp white flour
3 roma tomatoes, diced
3/4 cup white wine
1 tsp dried oregano
salt & pepper

4-5 potatoes, peeled and chopped into small chunks
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk

In a large, deep frying pan, cook the lamb in the olive oil over medium heat.
Once the lamb is no longer pink, add the onion, garlic, celery and mushrooms.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies have softened and the lamb has started to brown.
Sprinkle over the flour, stirring quickly to incorporate.
Add the tomatoes, white wine and seasoning.  Simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid has reduced to a gravy thickness.
While the lamb is cooking, boil the potato chunks in salted water until soft enough to mash.
Drain the potatoes, return to the pan and mash along with the butter and milk.
To assemble, spoon the lamb mixture into individual ramekins or one large casserole.
Top with the mashed potato, leaving it nice and lumpy for browning purposes.
Stick in the oven under the broiler for a few minutes, until the top of the potato layer is nice and browned.
Allow to cool slightly before serving – it will be very hot!

Salmon with Sour Cabbage and Garlic Potato Cakes

January 3rd, 2011

Salmon, cabbage and potato cakes

I love having a fridge full of leftovers after a big holiday meal.  When you’re cooking for one, having dishes full of bits and pieces in your fridge makes pulling together a post-holiday dinner a fun challenge.  You don’t need much more than a scoop of anything to make a tasty meal.

This meal came about after staring at the fridge, seeing the leftover Christmas mashed potatoes, and thinking how great they would be with a nice piece of salmon and some dill sauce. I’d been reading Barbara Sjoholm’s The Palace Of the Snow Queen so I think the dish also has a bit of a Nordic feel to it.

2 cups cold mashed potatoes
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 egg
salt & pepper

1/4 of a small Savoy cabbage
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper

1 fillet of salmon

1/2 cup yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dry dill

For the potato cakes: combine the first five ingredients in a bowl, shape into patties and fry over medium heat in a bit of olive oil.  Turn once when the bottoms of the cakes start to brown.

For the sour cabbage: toss the next five ingredients into a frying pan, cover and cook (stirring occasionally) until the cabbage has softened slightly.

For the salmon: brush the salmon lightly with olive oil and cook in a hot pan, 3 minutes a side.

For the sauce: mix together the yogurt, lemon and dill.

To serve: Plate the cabbage and potato cakes side by side, then top the cabbage with the salmon and sauce. Or if you’re feeling fancy, and your potato cakes haven’t fallen into small chunks, start with the potato, then the cabbage, then the fish and finally the sauce.

Ginger and Mustard Glazed Ham

March 3rd, 2010

Roasting a small ham makes for a nice cozy dinner, plus lots of useful leftovers.  I usually buy a pre-cooked ham, purely for size reasons.  I love the taste of a proper country ham, but something of that size just isn’t practical (or economical) for the single cook.

Before baking the ham, I give it a good smothering in mustard.  For a bit of a change, I mixed this ham’s glaze with a bit of fresh ginger – 1 part minced ginger to 2 parts grainy mustard.  I also squeezed over the juice of half a lime.  After about an hour in a 350°F oven, I carved off some slices and ate them with a scoop of mashed potatoes and a pile of steamed greens.

Potato salad

August 22nd, 2009

potato salad

This isn’t all that profound of a salad, except for the fact that it’s the first dish I’ve blogged from my new house. The chef girl has landed, and she has her very own turquoise, red and white kitchen.


The main colours were there when I moved into the house and just happened to look perfect with all my red kitchen accessories. The kitchenaid looks especially at home, as does my spiffy red colander. I’m settling in – setting up a pantry, determining which drawers will house which utensils, and making the place mine-all-mine.

Dinner tonight was especially nice. I’ve had friends and family over for most of my free evenings, and tonight was the first night that I had all to myself, to indulge in some foodie pampering. One of the local grocery stores has upped the ante at their meat counter, offering tasty-looking, ready-to-go meat, fish and fowl. I picked up a spinach and swiss cheese beef rouladen and made an almost-all-local potato salad as a side. (the same grocery store sells veggies from one of the area Hutterite colonies) Tasty stuff, and pretty much guilt-free, as far as carbon footprints go. Here’s the recipe – adaptable to location, though it obviously tastes best in Southern Alberta. ;)

4-5 small white creamer potatoes
handful of fresh green beans
handful of baby carrots
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp grainy mustard
juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp dill
salt & pepper
handful of small dill pickles

Scrub the potatoes and chop them into bite-sized pieces.
Toss the potatoes into boiling water (just enough to cover) and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the carrots and beans to the pot and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
While the veg are cooking, mix the mayo, mustard and seasoning together in a salad bowl.
Slice the pickles into finger-width pieces and add to the dressing.
When the potatoes et al. are finished cooking, drain them and immerse in ice water until cooled.
Add the cooled veg to the dressing and toss to coat.

Lefse – step by step

January 4th, 2007

Every year, right before Christmas, my family makes lefse.  Wikipedia describes lefse as “a traditional soft Norwegian flatbread made out of potato, milk or cream and flour, and cooked on a griddle.”  This is fairly accurate to the recipe we use, except for the milk/cream.  Here is a visual guide to the way we do things:

First, we peel 20 pounds of russet potatoes.  It’s important to use the dryest variety of potato available, or the dough ends up being too sticky to work with.

» Read more: Lefse – step by step

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