HOW TO MAKE KENTUCKY HOT BROWNS

Around 1926 at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky…the chef wanted to come up with a new late night dish for partying guests. All the drunken party-goers (during the depressions no less) had the munchies! Hence, the Kentucky Hot Brown was born. It is still a favorite in those parts to this day. In fact, they make tons of them during the Kentucky Derby weekend at many different restaurants. Apparently, it goes well after soaking up Mint Juleps!

Similar to the diner favorite, the Open-face Hot Turkey Sandwich, the Hot Brown takes bread, usually Texas toast, sliced roast turkey, sliced tomatoes, a tangy Mornay sauce (basically, a béchamel with cheese), and crispy bacon. Give it as little broiler time and you’re there.

This recipe is for 2 people. In fact, I’ve cut it down in volume from the original original Kentucky Hot Brown recipe called for twice as much turkey, bacon, and tomatoes. For us smaller eaters, this works well.

You can broil it on an oven-proof serving plate or use a small gratin like I have here.

Traditionally, you’ll want to to use roast turkey breast. Either roast it yourself like I did (actually, I roasted it in a smoker), or, your deli counter may have roasted turkey, just ask them to slice it kind of thick, like 3/8-1/2 inch. Also, toast the bread, it helps it hold up under the Mornay sauce.

After you have all your ingredients gathered together, you’re looking at 15 minutes tops from start to finish. About 10 minutes for the sauce and another 5 minutes assembling and broiling.

We’re off to the races! Did you catch the Louisville reference there? The Kentucky Derby? Louisville? Onward.

Youtube video: https://youtu.be/RFd6CoXsRB4

Ingredients:

  • 1 unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup + more if necessary for sauce consistency
  • 1/4 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp grated Pecorino Romano or parmesan cheese
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 8 ounces roasted, turkey breast
  • 4 slices of Texas toast or other hearty, thick white bread
  • 2 thick slices of bacon, cooked crisp, chopped
  • Sliced Roma tomato
  • Chopped parsley

Directions:

  • In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter than whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Whisk in the half and half. Cook over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes until it has thickened. Whisk in the cheeses until the sauce is smooth. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Slice off the crusts from the bread then cut 2 slices diagonally. Lightly toast in toaster.
  • Place the full piece of toast in the center of the dish and place the toasts points on either side. Lay on the slice turkey, about 4 ounces per sandwich. Lay 2 slices of tomato over the turkey. Ladle the sauce over the dish covering almost completely. Sprinkle on 1 tbsp of grated Romano on the sauce then sprinkle on some paprika. Place under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown.
  • Remove from the broiler and sprinkle on the chopped bacon and the chopped parsley.

THE KING OF PORK CHOPS: THE PORTERHOUSE

Arguably, the king of the port chop world is the Porterhouse cut.

Just like the beef Porterhouse, the Porterhouse Pork Chop has the bone in the center, a tenderloin side, and a larger loin side, plus some fat left on.

Though the most popular cut of pork these days is the boneless loin cut, this Porterhouse cut, to most pork fans, is the best! And in my opinion, the best (only) way to cook it is pan-searing in a cast-iron skillet.

If your chop is not too thick, maybe 1 inch or so, it can be fully cooked in the skillet without having to finish in the oven. Historically, most of the time I like a thick (2 inch) Porterhouse chop, pan-seared and basted, then finished in the oven. It’s just too thick to cook properly just in the skillet without incinerating the outside. Speaking of the outside, with this method you do want a good, brown crust…the key to pan-searing flavor goodness.

These cuts are hard to find just laying around in your meat section of the grocery store. If you are lucky enough to have a butcher nearby or your grocery store has an actual, live butcher on duty, you can have them cut one or two for you. Mind you, if the person minding the grocery butcher counter is a child (more often than not), he or she will not even know what a Porterhouse is. So, some explanation may be needed to get want you want. I actually found these chops in the grocery meat section…just laying there saying, “Don’t pass me up…I’m a rare find around these parts!”

This really needs fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs, so don’t try to substitute dry, you’ll see why when you read the cooking directions below. Fresh garlic, butter, and salt and pepper is about it. Also, F.Y.I., the National Pork Board recommends cooking pork chops, roasts, and tenderloin to an internal temperature of 145 degrees for medium rare, 160 for medium. Gone are the days when you had to torch pork to well done to be safe. Times have changed. Pink pork will not kill you! I like mine somewhere in between…150 degrees for medium. And, as always, let it rest for at least 5 minutes after cooking before slicing.

Youtube video link: https://youtu.be/8bmksWHlP08

Ingredients:

  • Two 8-ounce bone-in Porterhouse pork chops
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Avocado or canola oil
  • Unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 small sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled, smashed

Directions:

  • Pat the chops dry. Brush lightly with oil to help the salt stick. Season with Kosher salt. Fresh cracked pepper will come later.
  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat and add about 1 tbsp of avocado or canola oil. When the oil is hot and shimmering, place the pork chops in the skillet and press down, use a grill press if you have one. This will help create that nice, brown crust on the surface. When the first side is browned, turn over the chops and turn down the heat to medium-low. Add another tbsp of oil to the skillet. Place a pat of cold butter on each chop, then a sprig of rosemary and a couple sprigs of thyme. As the butter melt, start basting the chops with a spoon, Carefully tilt the skillet to do the basting. Baste until the internal temperature is where you want it. I like 150 degrees for a nice medium. Remove from the skillet and rest on a cutting board covered loosely with foil.
  • After they have rested for 10 minutes, slice them like a Cote de Boeuf, ie, reassemble the slices. Place on a serving platter then pour over some pan juices. Add fresh cracked black pepper and Maldon salt (use Kosher if you don’t have this).
  • I like to serve these with sherries mushrooms and crispy oven-roasted potatoes.

B.L.T….THE PERFECT SANDWICH

So, what’s the big deal? Bacon…lettuce…tomatoes…bread…mayonnaise. You’re right. It’s simple. But…not all B.L.T.’s are created equal!

To make a proper B.L.T., here is a short list of Do’s.

  • Always use ripe, flavorful tomatoes (No brainer).
  • Always use good bacon and plenty of it. And, cook it crisp.
  • Always use plenty of good, whole mayonnaise like Hellmann’s or Best Foods, which, by the way, are the same thing.
  • Always use the right lettuce. Young, small, inside leaves of Romaine hearts are good, but a lot of finely shredded, cold, crisp iceberg is the ticket for me. It provides a good contrast to the soft tomatoes. Forget the flimsy, floppy, Arugula or other “fancy” stuff.
  • Always season the tomatoes with Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  • Always cook bread on a flat griddle to a golden brown with butter, or better yet, some of the bacon fat. Do not toast it. And use a good, artisan white bread…forget the hard, crusty sourdough or ciabatta breads.
  • And never put cheese on it. O.K., I would look the other way if you did…but please don’t, save the cheese for a grilled cheese!
  • And, try to slice it diagonally into…so much easier to eat.

Here is a suggested stacking order, top to bottom:

  • Griddled bread
  • Plenty of Mayonnaise
  • Several half slices of crispy bacon
  • Sliced, seasoned, ripe tomatoes
  • Plenty of thinly shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Plenty of Mayonnaise
  • Griddle bread

It really is the perfect sandwich. It has fresh ingredients that totally complement each other. It’s easy to make in short time. And, you probably have these ingredients in your fridge and pantry right now!

Oh, one more thing. It goes well with sliced avocado. But you may want to serve the sliced avocado on the side…it always squishes out when your try to eat it!

HOW TO MAKE THE WORLD’S BEST GUACAMOLE

Okay, okay…the World’s Best Guacamole may be a little over the top…but, it’s really, really good!

I’ve made (and failed) at many versions of Guacamole. By the way, I have been making this version for about 30 years or so…and fallen from the lesser guacamole faith a number of times with other ingredients that just didn’t cut it.

The keys to the best guacamole are: #1 – Use only the best RIPE Haas avocados. #2 – Ensure all your ingredients are fresh and high quality. #3 – Taste…season…taste…season until it is just right.

These ingredients compliment the star of the show…I can’t explain it any better. Guacamole should be avocado-forward all the way. Whatever you choose to put in it, just make sure it doesn’t interfere with this most luxurious fruit! It is a fruit, isn’t it?

Feel free to add more jalapeño for more heat. Or more cilantro and lime juice.

Also, ‘Guac’ just doesn’t last long after making it. Saving it overnight and expecting it to taste the same ain’t gonna happen! Plus…it gets brown real fast!

IMHO…don’t even think about garlic…it will overwhelm the avocado taste.

Here’s a hint or two about ripening these things. Don’t do the microwave thing to speed the process…NOT! Do not think it will ripen in the fridge, it won’t. Room temperature only. You can hasten it along a bit by placing them in a paper bag for a day or two.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe medium to large Haas avocados
  • 1 medium jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, minced
  • 3-4 tbsp onions (white or red), minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp lime juice, fresh is best
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp white or black pepper
  • 1/4 cup ripe tomatoes, cored and seeded, 1/4 inch dice

Directions:

  • Scoop out the flesh from the avocados and place in a medium bowl. Mash with a fork leaving some chunks. Add the jalapeño and the onions. Mix until well combined. Add the lime juice, cilantro, and salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and fold everything together. Taste and reseason if necessary
  • Place an avocado pit in the middle of the guacamole and push down. Then cover the surface of the guacamole with some plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or so until chilled.

HOW TO COOK AN EASY CHILI MAC AND CHEESE – PANTRY RAID

We love chili and we love Mac and Cheese…and, we definitely love Chili Mac! And, yes, it’s more chef-like to make your own chili and your own Mac and Cheese. However, a Pantry Raid may be in order from time to time if you want to make the old school diner favorite: Chili Mac.

My pantry (and fridge) ingredients of choice for this are Kraft Mac and Cheese and Hormel Chili without beans, a little salsa, a few spices, Pepper Jack and Cheddar cheeses, and Sour cream. It will come together in just a few minutes, excluding 15 minutes in the oven. Is incredibly filling. And, makes great leftovers or even frozen for later.

Mix it up if you want, ie, use beans in your chile, try your favorite or different cheeses and toppings…it’s very versatile.

Who didn’t grow up with Kraft Mac and Cheese?

Link to YouTube video: https://youtu.be/VJiXthmUTOs

INGREDIENTS:

  • One can Hormel Chili without Beans
  • 1 box Kraft Mac and Cheese
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Pace salsa
  • 1/2 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Tortilla chips
  • Diced green onions
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Sour cream

DIRECTIONS:

  • Prepare Kraft Mac and Cheese according to package directions.
  • Heat the can of Hormel chili.
  • To the chile, add the salsa, chile powder, garlic powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, and Pepper Jack cheese. Stir to combine and heat until cheese melted.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Place Mac and Cheese mixture in a large bowl then add the chile and fold in completely.
  • Pour the mixture into a buttered 8×8 baking dish and smooth out. Top with the cheddar cheese. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Garnish with diced green onions, chopped cilantro, sour cream, and tortillas chips.

Starting a YouTube channel at 70!

Actually, I’ve had the YouTube channel for quite a while and just never did anything with it. Well, after months of procrastinating, I finally started posting videos last month. Even better, I started posting here on WordPress again and linked it in my YouTube channel and vice versa.

I’ve been a photographer for a long, long time, mostly amateur, though I did venture into the “professional” end about 15 years ago…and hated it! I did wedding and portrait photography for a while. And even though I had been in the service industry for quite a while as restaurant manager, I was just not comfortable with the “business” end of being a professional photographer. In a nutshell, you’ve heard of the word “Bridezilla”? Well, add “Motherofthebridezilla to the equation! Simply, it was an exasperating experience trying to please the bride and the mother (sometimes the mother-in-law). Enough of my whining. It just wasn’t for me. Decent money, but not for me. Back to YouTube.

You could describe me as a Chef/Photographer/Writer, in that order. With that in mind, I felt it was time to get off my ass and join the 21st century…at the age of 70!

Youtube is a tough road. To do it right, you need to have a few skills, like video and editing skills, among others. Plus…it is a long road to making it “successful”. There is so much “crap” out there to compete with, getting your videos noticed required a full-time effort as well as a lot of patience. They will all say, “Making a successful YouTube channel is not a sprint, it is a marathon”. I suppose there have been overnight success stories, but, for the most part, you need to strap in, buckle down, prepare for the long haul.

And what we’re talking about here is something called “monetization”. Basically, it means your channel is viewed enough for YouTube to pay you per view…cash…money…income. I won’t get into algorithms and other technical jargon, but, there is no magic bullet to making this venture successful. There are a few basics that push you toward that goal, and two of them are “quality content” and “consistency”.

Quality content is a subjective term. Just look at all the cute kitty videos that get hundred of thousand of views. For me and what I do, it means producing decent looking, food cooking videos. One of the things the successful “content creators” always say, “Just start posting videos and you will get better”.

Consistency means do it regularly. I have been posting 2 to 3 videos a week for a month and a half. My goal was at least 2 videos a week and I have managed to do more than that. One of the worst things you can do is not post on a regular basis, ie, post hot and heavy for a while, then not post anything for weeks or even months.

There is a third basic that is really important, and that is find a niche and stay within that world. In other words, my channel is called “In the Kitchen and Other Places with Skip”. My plan was to make food tutorial and recipe videos that also, from time to time, ventured out to some food related place, like a restaurant or farmers market. That part of it has not happened simple because of our situation in the world right now. By the way, this blog was written and posted in April 2020. If you are reading this sometime down the line, you will remember the COVID19 Corona Virus apocalypse! When all the heinous stuff has ended, I will sprinkle in a field trip or two once in a while to my efforts.

I love taking photographs. I love doing videos. I love “creating”. People who post videos to YouTube are called “creators” and the videos are called “content”.

Doing it right and consistently is pretty much a full time job. It takes an hour to two to record the video content, then another 3-4 hours editing, at least. There is also this component. I have chosen to resurrect my blog efforts to go along with the videos so I can provide links and photos to my recipes. That takes time as well.

All in all, I feel good about what I am doing and what I have done so far. My fledgling channel is growing, ever so slowly, but it is growing.

If you haven’t already, please visit the channel by clicking on the link in the recipes on this blog. I’m still backtracking to include links to all my recent videos, so I apologize if you come upon a recipe without a link. I have tons of recipes posted here but only a few since I started posting the YouTube videos.

Yes, I just turned 70. Is it too late? I think not. I am retired and I have a lot of time of my hands to do exactly this….create content…on this blog and on my YouTube channel. By the way, if you do visit and video of mine, please hit the SUBSCRIBE button, that would really help move all this further along and allow me to do more and better “content”. Also, the little BELL button will get you notified of any new videos.

Thanks for reading this. Thanks for watching the videos. I appreciate each and every one of you.

Stay safe.

Skip

HOW TO COOK A DECONSTRUCTED CHICKEN CORDON BLEU

We love Chicken Cordon Bleu. We hate making it. You attempt to roll up a pounded chicken breast around some sliced ham and Swiss cheese, toothpick it together, bread it, then fry it and bake it. And most, if not all, of the cheese leaks out! Well, at least in my experience it does. So, I came up with a workaround that really works well!

You still need to pound out the breast and you still use sliced deli ham and Swiss cheese. But I also spoon on a little parmesan Dijon cream sauce at the end that really tops it off well.

You can use prosciutto instead of ham and Gruyere instead of Swiss, but that is your choice. This recipe serves 2-3 people.

Ingredients:

  • One 8-10 ounce skinless boneless chicken breast, trimmed
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Flour
  • 1 large egg beaten with a little milk
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 2 thin slices deli ham
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Unsalted butter
  • Chopped parsley

For the Parmesan Dijon Cream Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  • Place about 1/2 cup of panko crumbs in a small food processor. Add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and 1/4 tsp garlic powder. Pulse a few times until it is a fine consistency. You can use regular bread crumbs and not bother with the processor.
  • Butterfly the chicken breast, lightly coat with olive oil, and place between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, or, use a large freezer bag. Gently pound the breast halves until about 1/4 inch thickness. The olive oil help the breasts not split apart when pounding.
  • Set up a basic breading station. Using flat bowls, place flour seasoned with salt and pepper in one bowl, an egg beaten with a little milk in one, and the seasoned bread crumbs in the other. Lightly coat a breast piece in the flour and completely pat off the excess, you don’t want a lot of flour. Dip in the egg mixture, turning and letting the excess drip off. Then into the bread crumbs turning and patting a couple times so it is evenly and completely breaded. Place on a dry plate and repeat with the other breast.
  • Make the parmesan cream sauce. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter then add the flour and cooking, stirring, for about 1 minute. Whisk in the stock and then the milk and bring to a simmer, continue whisky until it comes to a simmer and it is thickened. You have just made a Béchamel Sauce!. Whisk in the Dijon, the Worcestershire, garlic powder, and parmesan. Heat through until everything is combined and the cheese has melted. Taste and reseason with salt and pepper as needed. Keep warm.
  • In a medium to large non-stick skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil then 2 tbsp unsalted butter.When the oil and butter is hot and not foaming any longer, carefully add the breaded chicken breasts, laying them down away from you so you won’t get splashed with hot oil. Cooking tip #37! Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes, Then turn over and cook the other side until golden brown. Try to turn with a fork and your fingers on top instead of tongs as tong can scrape off some of the breading. It takes a little practice to do it this way, just keep your fingers out of the oil. Remove the breasts to a wire rack over and baking sheet. They won’t be entirely cooked as the oven will finish the cooking. Keep warm.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • When you are read to serve, place a folded slice of ham on a breast then lay a slice of Swiss cheese on the ham. Sprinkle a little grated parmesan on if you want. Place in the oven until the cheese is melted and golden brown and the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees.
  • To serve, spoon some parmesan cream sauce on the plate and spread it around a bit. Then place the breast on the cream sauce and spoon a little more on top, not much as too much will make the breast soggy and ruin all the great breading work you’re done. Garnish with chopped parsley and provide a small ramekin of the sauce on the side. Server with Lemon Orzo Rice Pilaf or any other favorite rice side dish.

HOW TO COOK A CRISPY CHICKEN PARMESAN

Everyone loves chicken parmesan. It’s such a great, Italian comfort food that is relatively easy to make. However, one of the caveats with most Chicken Parmesan recipes is that after you have worked so hard to bread and cook a crispy chicken breasts, it gets overly-slathered with marinara sauce then baked in the oven with mozzarella cheese and…it gets soggy! Well, here’s a way to avoid some of that sogginess and still get the true Chicken Parmesan experience. Also, to keep with the “parmesan” part of Chicken Parm, there will be grated parmesan in the Marinara sauce, the bread crumbs, and the cheese topping! This recipe serves 2-3 people.

YouTube recipe video: https://youtu.be/4um79iDm-Gc

Ingredients:

For the marinara sauce:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small shallot, about 3 tbsp, minced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

For the chicken:

  • One 10-ounce skinless boneless chicken breast, butterflied then pounded to 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten with a little milk
  • 1 cup flour

Assembly:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil;
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 6 ounces cooked spaghetti

Directions:

  • Heat a medium saucepan over medium-low heat then add 1 tbsp of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the shallots and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes and cook another 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Let reduce for about 3 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes with juice and the chopped parsley and bring back to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to low, cover, and cook 15 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese. Keep warm.
  • Set up 3 bowls for breading. Flour, seasoned with salt and pepper. One egg, beaten with a little milk. One cup of breadcrumbs with 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese. Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, tapping off the excess. Dip in the egg mixture and coat thoroughly. Then coat with the bread crumbs on both sides, pressing down and turning several times. Place on a platter lined with parchment paper or wax paper.
  • Cook the spaghetti in salted water according to package directions, about 10 minutes. Drain and keep warm.
  • In a medium to large non-stick skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil then 2 tbsp unsalted butter. When the oil and butter is hot, add the chicken breasts and cook until golden brown, turn and repeat on the other side. Place on a wire rack over and sheet pan. They will finish cooking in the oven.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • On each chicken breast, place 1/4 cup of grated mozzarella and 1 tsp grated parmesan in the middle of the breast. Place in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown and the chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven.
  • To serve, place some cooked spaghetti on the plate. Then spoon on some marinara sauce on the the spaghetti. Place the chicken breast next to the spaghetti.. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with extra marinara sauce on the side in a ramekin.

HOW TO COOK TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE FROM SCRATCH

My Mom made this when I was kid countless times. A rich, creamy not fishy tasting casserole with wide egg noodles…made with Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup. Over the years, I kind of forgot about Tuna Noodle Casserole…until recently. I wanted to make it from scratch, not using that, albeit tasty, sodium-laden soup. Yeah, as I’ve grown older, I have had to monitor my salt intake. Hence, scratch recipes for dishes like this.

It’s not hard to do and doesn’t take very long. And, as always, makes great leftovers!

A tip: Don’t use some oily, cheap, dark cat food tuna…stick with the white albacore in water. And, yes, mayonnaise!

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/446nOOvwWOc

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup minced onions
  • 1/2 cup minced celery
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 7 oz can (Kirkland) white albacore tuna in water, drained
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 6 oz wide egg noodles
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup potato chips, crushed
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Directions:

  • Cook the egg noodles al dente. They tend to cook faster than other pastas, only 7-8 minutes.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add the butter and saute the onions, celery, and mushrooms until softened, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the flour and stir, cooking another minute or so.
  • Add the stock and half and half and bring to a simmer, stirring, until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in the mayonnaise and cook on low, covered, for 5 minutes. Add more half and half if it gets too thick.
  • Crumble and fold in the tuna and 1/2 the cheddar cheese. Add the peas. Fold the sauce into the cooked noodles in a large bowl. Place in a buttered 8×8 inch baking dish and top with the rest of the cheddar cheese. Crumble on the crushed potato chips.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes until the top begins to brown.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.

HOW TO COOK A COTTAGE PIE

This ain’t no Shepperd’s Pie…it’s Cottage Pie! So, what’s the difference you say? That’s easy…GROUND BEEF instead of GROUND LAMB. The ubiquitous English pub dish can also be found with ground beef in it, and many prefer it this way.

The recipe is relatively easy and produces a savory, satisfying comfort food casserole good any time of the year. And, incredible leftovers the next day!

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/C-8yC-jegh8

Ingredients:

For the potatoes:

  • 1 1/4 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes (3 medium)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

For the filling:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup white onion, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup carrots, 1/4 inch dice, cooked
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef stock
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  • Place the peeled potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and cook about 22 minutes. Drain then run them through a potato ricer. If you don’t have a ricer just mash them well. Return the to the pan over low heat then start adding the butter and cream, a little at a time, and stir with a wooden spatula until creamy. Do not whip them or they will be gummy. Turn off heat, cover, and keep warm.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a medium skillet over medium heat crumble and add the ground beef and the diced onion. Cook until the beef is done, browned and no longer pink. Drain the excess fat and return to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste, beef stock, carrots, peas, Worcestershire, herbs, and stir to combine. Cover and cook about 10 minutes. Taste and reseason if necessary.
  • Place the ground beef mixture in a greased 8×8 baking dish, spread around evenly. Spoon the creamy mashed potatoes over the ground beef and spread evenly. With a fork, make ridges all over the surface of the potatoes. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheddar cheese.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes until it is golden brown.
  • Allow to cool 10 minutes before serve. Garnish with chopped parsley.