Epic Oops

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  • Servings: “5”
  • Difficulty: “easy”
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I, like many other cooks, love to take a recipe and twist it to make it my own especially if it is something I have not tried before. Now most times this works beautifully and the recipe gets filed away for future dinners or for use by others however every once in a while one of these recipes falls into the category of “Oh lord!! What have I done?” This one my dear friends falls squarely into that category but at the same time it also offers up the challenge of getting it right.

Now I have always said that I am my own worst critic when it comes to the food that arrives from my kitchen to your table and this is one of those times despite the fact that my dinner guests loved the flavour profile and the idea of the dish. My disappointment comes from the fact that instead of being presented like a seafood type Cottage Pie it resembled more of a seafood “Swamp Pie” with the mashed potatoes slowly sinking into the horizon which then got me to thinking (after I finished berating myself) — “just what on earth went wrong?”

After carefully going over what I did (hey this could lead to a new profession….. “Forensic Foodologist”….LOL) I came to the conclusion that it was simply a matter of the broth/sauce being too thin and the mashed potatoes not thick enough and thankfully this type of mistake is easy to correct the next time around.

Here is how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 pounds peeled and diced potatoes
  • Alaskan Pollock fillets – cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 package 51-60 shrimp – cleaned, peeled and tail off
  • 1/4 cup White wine
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh Dill
  • 2 cups frozen Mixed vegetables
  • 1 tablespoon granulated Garlic
  • 3 1/2 cups Chicken stock
  • 1 cup quartered small Cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup milk

Putting it all together:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 375
  2. Bring the potatoes to boil in a large pot of salted water
  3. When tender, about 15 minutes, mash with butter, milk and granulated garlic
  4. Melt the butter in a large stock pot and add the onions
  5. Cook the onions for about 3 minutes
  6. Add the flour to the butter and onions and mix until there are no lumps
  7. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and mix until you get the consistency you want
  8. Add the mushrooms and mixed vegetable and cook for about five minutes
  9. Add the fish and shrimp and cook until the fish is firm and the shrimp is pink, about 10 minutes
  10. Pour into individual ramekins or an oven proof casserole dish, top with the mashed potatoes and bake for 15 – 20 minutes

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

Until next time………..

                                 Bon Appetit

 

 

 

I wanna be Lobster Mac N Cheese

  • Servings: ”6″
  • Difficulty: ”medium”
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One of the all time classic side dishes is Macaroni and Cheese or as it is more commonly referred to “Mac N Cheese”. Now this college dorm room staple has been around for decades because it is inexpensive to buy and very easy to make…… as long as you can boil water you can make store-bought Mac N Cheese. My big issue with store-bought Mac N Cheese, however, is that it lacks substance and flavour and I just find it unappealing so I set out to find a scratch made version.

My search of the Internet revealed that 98% of all Mac N Cheese recipes have one thing in common— they all start with a basic Bechamel sauce. What sets them apart are the different cheeses that are added and the proteins such as bacon, ground beef, ground chicken, shrimp and even lobster. Since I eat a lot of bacon and chicken as it is and seafood has gotten expensive I took a peek in my grocers seafood section to see if I could find an alternative because I really wanted to use some kind of seafood in my Mac N Cheese. What I settled on was—- Lobster flavoured Pollock and before you question my sanity let me tell you that it is really not that bad…. and this from a guy who would not give you a dime for a train load of lobster….. and now you can see why I named this post “I wanna be Lobster Mac N Cheese”.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • One package Cavatappi- I like the corkscrew noodle. It holds the sauce better
  • 4 Cups milk
  • 8 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 Package Lobster flavoured Pollock (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 Cup each of Mascarpone, Gruyere and Fontina
  • 2/3 Cup Panko (optional)

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water cook the Cavatappi as per the package instructions
  2. In a medium saucepan heat the milk until just simmering.
  3. In a second medium saucepan melt the butter and add the flour stirring until you get a Roux (paste) but don’t let it brown
  4. Slowly add the hot milk to the roux whisking until smooth. It will initially be quite thick but will thin out as milk is added- BTW…. you have just made a Bechamel
  5. Blend in the cheese to the Bechemal a little bit at a time so it won’t clump
  6. Brake up the Pollock into medium-sized chunks and add to the cheese sauce
  7. Drain the pasta and toss with the cheese sauce
  8. Spoon the Mac N Cheese into individual serving dishes.
  9. If using the Panko, add the Panko to some melted butter and sprinkle on the Mac N Cheese.
  10. Place in a 350 degree oven until the Panko is nice and toasty brown… 5 to 10 minutes
  11. Serve with your favourite main dish or enjoy on its own

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

Until next time……….

                     Bon Appetit