Mashed Potato Cakes

 

Mashed Potato Cakes ii

Mashed Potato Cakes

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Way back when I was first learning to cook I tossed a lot of leftovers because I didn’t know what to do with them but thankfully over the years I have evolved as a cook and now I come up with different and interesting ways of using leftovers.

This recipe is a very simple way of using leftover Mashed Potatoes and it can be used with so many different dishes including….. Breakfast. I mean really, what’s better than Toast, Eggs and a crispy Mashed Potato Cake to start your day?

Cooks note: When I make mashed potatoes I make them with pepper, granulated garlic, parsley, butter and milk (the cooking water already has salt in it) that way I don’t need to worry about seasoning the potato cakes when I make them. 

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 4 cups Mashed Potatoes
  • 1 bunch Scallions – chopped
  • 2 cups shredded Italian style cheese
  • All Purpose Flour for dredging
  • Vegetable oil for frying 

Putting it all together:

  1. In a non reactive bowl combine the first three ingredients.
  2. Form into patties.
  3. Dredge in the all purpose flour making sure to shake off the excess.
  4. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a large fry pan.
  5. Fry the patties in batches until golden brown and remove to a paper towel to drain.
  6. You can serve as is or top with sour cream and chopped scallions.

There you have it another “Simple bust tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                           Bon Appetit 

Pork and Pancetta Pasta

Pork and Pancetta Pasta

Pork and Pancetta Pasta

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Pasta is a staple of traditional Italian cuisine with the first reference dating to 1154 in Sicily so it’s no wonder there are more ways to prepare it than one can shake a stick at but what I have found over the years is that Italian restaurants really only do a tomato sauce or cream sauce with the pasta dishes they put out all the while ignoring other ways of serving it. So with that in mind I decided to do this pasta dish “naked” ( no not me… the pasta) meaning I didn’t use a sauce and it was a huge hit.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 1 large package Compliments™ All Natural Fettucini
  • 2 pounds boneless Pork Loin – cut into bite sized pieces.
  • 12 ounces diced  Pancetta
  • 3 large Shallots – diced
  • 1 large Yellow pepper – diced
  • 1 large Red pepper – diced
  • 2 cups Baby Spinach
  • 3 Garlic cloves – fine dice
  • 2 Shallots – diced
  • 2 medium Tomatoes – diced
  • 2 teaspoons dried Basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste 

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and saute the Pancetta until just brown.
  2. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and add the pork to the same pan and brown all over.
  3. Add back the pancetta and remaining ingredients, cover and simmer until the pork is tender.
  4. While the pork is simmering bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the fettuccine. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Drain the pasta, plate and top with the pork and pancetta.

Cooks note: Fresh pasta cooks incredibly fast so keep an eye on it otherwise it will go mushy. 

There you have it another “Simple bust tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                            Bon Appetit

Hash

 

Breakfast hash

Hash

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Was out of town visiting friends for the weekend when the Canadian weather decided it was going to dump a surprise on us….. Freezing Rain. Now for those of you who are not familiar with this phenomenon it simply means that the rain freezes on the ground and turns everything into a skating rink thereby making travel of any kind rather treacherous but it also means that if you have not made it to the grocery store you could be limited to meal ideas and since hash is simply a base of potatoes and onions together with whatever else you want to add it is a quick and easy solution to breakfast or dinner.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • Yukon Gold potatoes – diced
  • 1 small Yellow Onion – diced
  • 1 small Yellow Pepper – diced
  • 1 small Red Pepper – Diced
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
  • Fresh ground Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • Parsley for garnish

Putting it all together: 

  1. In a medium pot of water par boil the potatoes until just fork tender, about 10 mins. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a fry pan and add the onions and peppers and cook for 3 mins. Add the potatoes and mix well.
  3. Add in the seasonings and Worcestershire and cook for about 5 mins more turning it over once.
  4. Top with the over easy eggs, garnish with the parsley and enjoy.

Cooks note: There is an old line cooks trick for making over easy eggs. Once the eggs have been cracked in the pan or on the flat top cover them with a pot lid until cooked.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                           Bon Appetit 

French Toast

French Toast

French Toast

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
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I’m not much of a morning person and so when it comes to breakfast for me it’s usually just toast or a quick fried egg sandwich however for the rest of my family I do things differently.

This particular breakfast was for my wife and I thought I would surprise her with something she has not had in a while….. French Toast.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 3 slices of White bread
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large bowl mix together the eggs, cinnamon and vanilla.
  2. Soak each piece of bread, one at a time, in the egg mix and fry until brown turning once.
  3. Top with berries and powdered sugar.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……

                          Bon Appetit

 

 

Baked Mexican Breakfast Bars

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Baked Mexican Breakfast Bars

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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What nicer thing can you do for somebody than make them breakfast?

Anthony Bourdain

While breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day it can also be the most challenging one to make. I mean how many times can you have bacon and eggs or pancakes with bacon or French toast with bacon before you get tired of it and want something completely different?—- okay let’s be serious…. NO ONE ever gets tired of bacon but you get my drift.

This was the conundrum I found myself in this morning and as I remembered reading about this kind of dish recently I set out to make it and of course put my own spin on it.

These are also great to freeze and use on days when you are in a hurry because you can just heat and run.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 3 cups diced Ham
  • 1 medium white Onion – diced
  • 1 cup chopped Asparagus spears
  • 1 8 ounce can Corn kernals – drained
  • 1 8 ounce can Black beans – drained and rinsed
  • 10 large Eggs 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Chipotle powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons dried Parsley
  • Salsa – (optional)
  • 1 9 x 12 x 1/12 Mini loaf pan

Putting it all together:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375°. While the oven is heating mix the eggs in a 4 cup measuring cup and set aside.
  2. In a large non reactive bowl mix all the remaining ingredients.
  3. Spray the loaf pan with a non stick spray, spoon the ham and veggie mix equally into the mini loaf pan.
  4. Pour enough eggs into each slot to just cover the mix and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and serve with salsa if using.

There you have it “another simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………..

                            Bon Appetit

 

Frittata

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With the new job taking up 10 hours a day of my time I find I’m resorting, more and more, to my bag of tricks for “simple but tasty” recipes that are also inexpensive and filling so it’s small wonder that this one fills both of those requirements.

The great thing about a Frittata is that you can throw literally anything you wish into it and as long as you bake it for the correct amount of time it should wind up being a dynamite dish. The other wonderful thing about it is that it can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Here’s my version.

Ingredients:

–         Six eggs

–         1 Large green pepper – diced

–         1 Medium white onion – diced

–         3 to 4 Dun dried tomatoes – reconstituted

–         1 Teaspoon salt

–         1 Teaspoon fresh ground pepper

–         2 Minced garlic cloves

–         ½ Cup chopped spinach

–         3 Strips of bacon – rough chopped (if you really want to throw a twist into this then substitute Pancetta for the bacon)

–         Three to four slices of Medium cheddar cheese

Method:

–         Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees

–         While the oven is heating up re- constitute your Sun Dried Tomatoes – simply soak them in hot water for approximately twenty minutes and then rough chop

–         In a large non- reactive bowl mix ALL the ingredients together

–         Pour the Frittata mix into a 12 inch stick proof, oven proof skillet (make sure the skillet is deep enough to handle the mix without spilling over)

–         Pop the skillet into the oven for approximately 30 minutes and bake

–         Check after 30 minutes and if the Frittata does not appear to be done then leave a little while longer

I usually cut and serve mine straight from the skillet as it makes clean up that much easier. Also try this with some nice French bread and Garlic butter.

So there you have it another “tasty but simple” dish.

Until next time…….

Bon Appetite

Corned beef hash

Dreamstime photo

 

 

This is one of those dishes that people really only think of as a breakfast item but in fact is one that is extremely versatile as well as very inexpensive and can be served morning, noon or night.

If you are like me I have neither the time nor the space to pickle my own Brisket and wind up with scratch made Corned Beef so this is one of those rare moments when I will use— gasp—- pre packaged food.

Ingredients:

  •       2 -12 ounce Cans Corned Beef
  •          2 -18 Ounce cans of diced potatoes
  •          2- 8 ounce cans of mushrooms
  •          1 Medium white onion diced
  •          3 or 4 healthy dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  •          2 Garlic cloves minced
  •          3 to 4 tablespoons of Olive oil
  •          Pepper to taste
  •          4 Eggs

Method:

  •          Heat the oil in a large non- stick pan
  •          Add the potatoes and sauté over medium high heat until they are crispy and just about fork tender
  •          Add in the onions, mushrooms and garlic and continue to sauté until the onions start to become translucent – about 4 minutes
  •          Break up the Corned Beef and mix it very well with the rest of the ingredients
  •          Mix in the Worcestershire sauce and the pepper.
  •          While the Corned Beef mixture is cooking fry or poach your eggs.
  •          When the eggs are finished spoon some of the Corned Beef onto a plate, top with an egg and enjoy. If you feel ambitious you can also toast some bread to have with the meal. I should also point out that I don’t add Salt because           the Corned Beef is rather salty to begin with.

Now the reason I mentioned that this was an inexpensive dish to make is because when I used to make it the total cost was under $15.00  and it fed four of us.

So I hope the next time you want something “simple but tasty” that also is inexpensive you will give this one a try. Oh and my thanks to Dreamstime for the awesome photo.

Until next time……..

                              Bon Appetit

 

Biscuits and gravy

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I’m not a morning guy which by extension means I’m not a breakfast person either or let’s say not a traditional breakfast type of guy. My breakfast may be anything from peanut butter toast to a fried egg and cheese sandwich however when the mood strikes me or we have brunch quests I will put out quite the spread and one of my favorites is Biscuits and Gravy.

This is the quintessential Southern breakfast dish which is right up there with Grits and one that I trot out when I have a lot of hungry people to feed.

Gravy Ingredients:

–         1 pound sausage meat

–         1 medium White onion – diced

–         2 Garlic cloves minced

–         1 Tsp salt

–         1 Tsp fresh ground pepper

–         4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

–         3 Cups milk

Biscuits Ingredients:

–        2 cups flour

–        1/4 cup sugar

–        1 teaspoon vanilla

–        4 teaspoons baking powder

–        1/4 teaspoon baking soda

–        1 pinch salt

–        3 ounces cold butter, diced

–       8 ounces buttermilk

Method:

–         Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

–         For the biscuits combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until combined

–         Using two knives or a pastry blender cut in the butter

–         Slowly add the buttermilk and begin to mix all the ingredients trying not to overwork the dough

–         Turn out your dough on a table dusted with flour and knead for approximately 4 minutes (dust your hands with some flour so the dough will not stick)

–         Flatten the dough with the heal of your hand until it is about ¼ inch thick

–         Using a standard water glass cut out your dough and put it on a baking pan

–         Put the biscuits in the oven for approximately 12 minutes or until the top is golden brown

–         While the biscuits are baking heat a large frying pan and brown the sausage meat

–         When the sausage is browned remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon while RESERVING the grease in the pan

–         Add the onion and garlic to the grease and sauté until the onion is translucent, about three minutes.

–         Add the flour and whisk until blended— this is a Roux

–         Slowly add the milk while constantly whisking and you will see the gravy start to thicken

–         Add back in the sausage and salt and pepper to taste

–         Split a biscuit and pour the gravy over top.

Now I never claimed this was a healthy recipe in fact a friend of mine calls it a heart attack on a plate but this is just so darn good and when you add scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage and toast you just may die. The other thing I wish to point out is that this is not just a breakfast dish but one that can be used for dinner all on it’s own.

I hope you enjoy this one and if you try it be prepared to loosen your belt.

        Bon Appetit