Monday, October 17, 2011

Re-igntiting my interest in the kitchen

I am just back from a fabulous month-long vacation in the USA. We drove over 3,000 miles through the South-West, we took on Orlando with a vengeance and we sampled some of the best that NYC and Washington D.C have to offer.

We collectively agreed we probably didn't need to eat another burger or fry for quite some time and my daughter definitely doesn't want to see a children's menu featuring cheese pizza, pb&j or mac and cheese anytime soon.

So now we're home and it's back to the kitchen for me. It's time to get creative and it's spring which means a shift in how we eat; more eating outside, less casserolles and pasta bakes.

Tonight however we're having a Shepherd's Pie. I found some nice lamb mince at a bargain price and it's a nice hearty veggie filled dinner. For a twist I'm cooking it in my cast iron skillet which we are putting in the oven to cook the potato. Sometimes just altering the way you serve or present a meal can alter your experience of it entirely.

Sheperds Pie in a Skillet
500g lamb mince
1 onion diced
2 carrots diced
2 celery sticks diced
1/4 cup tomao paste
1 tin crushed tomato
1/2 jar spagetti sauce
1 tablespoon worstershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried italian herbs
4 chopped basil leaves
2 teaspoons chopped dill
1/2kg potato, boiled
1/2 cup grated cheese.
1/4 cup grated cheese (reserved)
paprika if desired

Soften onion, celery and carrot in oil in skillet or oven-proof fry pan. Add lamb mince and herbs and brown. Add tomato paste and cook off to release flavour. Add tomato, spagetti sauce and worstershire and cook till delish and flavours melded...about 1/2 an hour.(you may need to add water if it is too dry).

Mash potato to taste and stir in grated cheese. Top meat mix and sprinkle on extra cheese(and parika). Cook in oven till potato sets...about 1/2 an hour.

Enjoy. We're having ours with corn, brocolli and grean beans. The whole meal works out at about $2 a head which is very good value for a meal laden with veggies.

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