Category Archives: Cooking

Mini Meat Pies

Fun and easy to make. And they’re mini!

1 store bought refrigerated pie crust
1/2 onion, peeled and grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
dash of allspice (optional)
dash of cinnamon (optional)
salt and pepper
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs

Remove 1 of the pie crusts from the box and leave out to warm up. Save the other crust for another time. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all the ingredients but the dough, but reserve about a tablespoon of the egg. Grease a muffin tin with butter. Using a 4-inch biscuit cutter (or a mug with that diameter), cut out six rounds from the dough. Reroll the scraps. Using a slightly smaller biscuit cutter (around 2.5 in.), create 6 more rounds. Punch a hole in the middle of the smaller rounds using a straw. Place the bigger rounds in the muffin tin and shape them to the tin. Add about 1/4 cup of the filling to each pie. Take out the bottom crust after forming it to the tin, add the filling and then place the small crust on top and pinch the edges together all around. Place back into the tin. Use any excess dough and filling to create extra pies. Brush the tops of the pies with the remaining egg and bake for 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let cool about 10 minutes before eating. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.


Cheesy Cornbread Food of Some Type

I am running low on groceries and I was hungry for something salty, sweet, spicy and tangy. I scoured the cabinets and here’s what I came up with.

1 box of Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 5 oz. can of evaporated milk
2 eggs
About 1/2 cup sour cream
3 Tbs. melted butter
1 tsp.  Tabasco sauce
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 green pepper, diced
shredded cheddar and pepper jack cheese

Preheat oven to 375. In a mixing bowl, combine the Jiffy mix, eggs, milk, sour cream and butter till well incorporated (there will be lumps). Add the Tabasco, green onions and pepper. Grease a casserole dish or muffin tin and add the batter. Top with cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes or until sides of cornbread are brown.
Now if only I had ingredients to make chili. If I had a fresh jalapeño and some frozen corn, I would have added those to this recipe.

The Best Thing I’ve Ever Made With Eggs

Sunday Morning Frittata

Olive Oil
1 Tbs butter
4 strips of center cut bacon
1 anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped
2 green onions, chopped
5 crimini mushrooms, chopped
4 eggs, whisked thoroughly
2 slices rustic bread, cut into 9 cubes each
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook the bacon to how to like it and set aside, reserving the bacon grease. When bacon is cool, break up into pieces. In a small saute pan, heat up a little olive oil over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms, green onions and pepper and cook till mushrooms are soft. Turn off heat and set aside. In a medium oven-safe saute pan, add some of the bacon fat and heat up about 2 Tbs of olive oil. When hot, add the bread cubes and toast on all sides. Add the butter. When melted, add the eggs and stir just a little bit. Let sit for about 30 seconds or so and add all the other ingredients and stir a few times. Let sit for a minute and then put the pan in the oven for 5 minutes. Serve with sour cream.

Lucy’s no-fuss spaghetti sauce

We had a lovely Christmas dinner with my brother and his family last Sunday. I made his mom’s special spaghetti sauce with linguine and meatballs. She usually takes a basic Prego sauce and adds onions and mushroom. I make it from crushed tomatoes and add a little twist.

2 TBS unsalted butter
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
about 1/2 lb. crimini or button mushrooms, sliced with a hard-boiled egg slicer (way fast!)
2 TBS dried basil
1 TBS dried oregano
salt and pepper
dash of red wine
sprinkle of red pepper flakes

Good for 1 lb. of pasta

Add butter and olive oil to a large sautee pan over medium heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook till mushrooms are soft and have let off a lot of liquid and onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add more butter or oil if pan gets dry. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add the other ingredients. Simmer till pasta is done.

Check out how I sliced my mushrooms. It was an epiphany.

Homemade Shrimp and Pork Wontons

As per Muggle in Pink’s request, here is my recipe for pot stickers/dumplings. You could use round gyoza wrappers to make a pot sticker shape, or you could use the square ones and make a dumpling where it looks like a Scrooge McDuck money sack.

Homemade Shrimp Wontons | Alaska Knit Nat

Homemade Shrimp and Pork Wontons with teriyaki sauce
Makes about 36 dumplings
Ingredients for pot stickers:
½ lb ground pork
Less than ½ lb shrimp, cooked or raw, chopped finely
2 green onions, chopped finely
Less than one egg, beaten
Salt and pepper
Dash of soy sauce
Dash of sesame oil
Dash of rice vinegar
Pot sticker or won ton wrappers
Ingredients for teriyaki sauce:
1 cup chicken stock
¼ cup soy sauce, or to taste
Dash rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
Mix all the pot sticker ingredients together, making sure it’s not too sloppy (measurements may vary). Spoon about a teaspoon into wrappers and dab edges with water. Fold into half moons (or make little pouches with square wrappers). Crimp edges for decoration.
Heat a large pan with a little sesame oil and vegetable oil, enough to coat pan. When hot, fry one side of pot stickers till brown, just a few minutes. Then add the teriyaki sauce ingredients, turn down heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve with rice and steamed edamame.
For a vegetarian version of pot stickers substitute shrimp and pork for chopped cabbage, blanched for a minute in boiling water and one shredded carrot.
To make a wonton soup, use the square wrappers and use egg to seal pouches shut. Instead of frying, you can boil this in a pot with the teriyaki sauce and serve with thin rice noodles and the broth.

Non-traditional beef stew

No photo. Stew doesn’t look good in photos. I love a traditional beef stew with the carrots, potatoes, peas and whatnot. Several years ago I found a mediterranean lamb stew in a random cookbook and since lamb is extremely expensive up here I used beef instead. It has become a staple in our household and was adamantly requested for tonight’s meal.

1 Tbs cooking oil
About 1 pound cubed stew meat
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef stock (or chicken stock)
3 Tbs Wondra flour, or regular flour
3 cloves garlic
6 anchovy filets
6 sprigs of fresh thyme, stems removed OR 2 Tbs dried thyme
salt and pepper

Coat a large frying pan with cooking oil and turn heat to med-high. Salt and pepper the meat and add to hot pan. Brown on all sides. Meanwhile, mince the anchovies and garlic together till they are somewhat of a paste. Include the fresh thyme in this step, if using. Mix together the stock, wine and flour.
When meat is browned, add the wine, stock, flour, thyme, garlic, and anchovies. Stir, cover, and turn down heat once simmering. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add frozen peas or beans to stew if desired and recover till veggies are cooked.
Serve with buttered egg noodles.

Pesto, Pesto, Pesto!!!

My dad let me thin out his homegrown basil so naturally I had to make pesto sauce with homemade Italian sausage. The pesto recipe is as follows, but you’ve got to check out my dad’s Web site for his Italian sausage recipe.

I use Marcella Hazan’s blender pesto recipe, but tweak it depending on what ingredients I’m lacking. After several taste tests, my dad and I have concluded that if you can’t afford pine nuts at $30 a pound, subbing shelled pistachios does not drastically alter the flavor the way walnuts do. It’s actually quite tasty with pistachios. I can’t really tell the difference.

Pesto sauce — good for about 1.5 lbs. pasta

4-6 cups fresh basil, stems removed
3/4 – 1 cup olive oil (I start with less and add more if necessary)
1/4 cup pine nuts or peeled pistachios
3 cloves garlic, lightly crushed with a chef’s knife
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup freshly graded Pecorino Romano cheese (sub more Parm if you don’t have this)
1/4 cup melted butter, cooled to room temp.

With a blender or food processor, blend the olive oil, pine nuts and garlic till combined. Slowly add the basil till well blended. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the cheeses. When butter is cooled, add to sauce. If a little thick, add more olive oil.

Make the sauce while the pasta is cooking.