Yup. You read that right. When I first brought our puppy Kaylee home, 2 years ago, I re-watched Firefly with her. She needed to see the real Kaylee that she was named after, she slept through most of it ofcourse. One moment that caught my eye was Simon’s birthday that takes place in the episode ‘out of gas’. Kaylee says (the character, not the dog…if the pup starts telling me things I understand, then the rumors of my craziness have no longer been exaggerated):
Kaylee: [about Simon’s birthday cake] Couldn’t get ahold of no flour, so it’s mostly protein. In fact, it’s pretty much what we just had for dinner.
Kaylee: But I tried to get the frosting as chocolatey tasting as possible.
Hehe. So there it was, I too need to make a meat cake. Now, I didn’t make the frosting as chocolatey as possible but it does make for a mighty fine dinner.
- 1 lb extra lean ground beef
- 1/3 cup panko bread crubs
- 1/2 cup garlic bbq sauce (divided into 1/4 cups)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbl dehydrated onion
- 4 tbl egg substitute
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1/2 tsp italian spice blend
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup mashed potato
- Combine the ground beef, panko, 1/4 cup bbq sauce, parsley, dehydrated onion, egg substitute, garlic, and spices in a bowl until well mixed.
- Press the meat mixture into jumbo muffin cups (6) and top with the remaining 1/4 cup of bbq sauce.
- Bake at 350F for 40 minutes.
- Remove carefully from the muffin cups, place on your serving plate and top with mashed potatoes. I stuff my mashed potatoes in a sandwich bag, snipped the tip and piped onto each meat cake. Best done when the mashed potatoes are warm.
Makes 6 meat cupcakes, I do not include the potatoes in my serving analysis as everyone likes to make them different or even use the frozen ready made kind. Mine were made with just potatoes, a splash of chicken stock and a tbl of margarine. Each serving contains 224 calories, 13.2 grams of fat, .5 gram of fibre, 9.4 carbs, and 15.8 grams of protein. Each serving also contains a high dose of shiny. Heh, yet another firefly inspired meal…I need to get out more.
When I was in my early teens my dad came back from a trip to south africa with a bunch of french culinary magazines for me. I was elated, oh so many new tasty things to pour over, this was of course before the internet was so full of the information it is now. Back when BBS stuff was more the norm. I know, I’m a fair bit aged. I came across a recipe that was called potato surprise that just sounded oh so tasty…and it was. It was the first time I had come across a stuffed potato and I was in love. Years later, driving across the country with my husband I encountered another version of the stuffed potato that made me raise an eyebrow in Alberta. Served in this amazing steakhouse was a spiced potato surprise. I have been adding a kick of spice to them ever since. Now that things around here are a bit lighter I have had to re-imagine my potato surprise and you know what? It is still awesome. Oh potato surprise, you never let me down.
- 2 large potatoes (any type will do, I’ve done them with them all. For a really interesting show get yourself a blue or purple potato. Awesome!)
- 1/4 cup fat free sour cream
- 1 tsp low fat cooking margarine
- 1 tbl montreal steak spice
- 1 tbl finely chopped chives
- 30 grams parmesan cheese
- Clean, dry, stab the potatoes with a fork 6 times. Bake at 350F for 1 hour. Sure, you can do them in the micro but I hate the texture you get when that is done. Bleh.
- Carefully slice the potatoes in half and allow to cool enough that you can handle them safely.
- Scoop out the insides of the potato leaving about a centimeter of flesh still attached to the skin. Reserve the potato flesh in a bowl. Place the skins on a baking sheet.
- Add the sour cream, spices, and half the cheese to the potato flesh you reserved. Mash until smooth and creamy (this happens best if the flesh is still warm when you are working with it). If you want to get fancy get out the mixer and whip.
- Spoon the mixture back into the potatoes (or if you are being fancy pipe them back in). Top with the remaining cheese.
- Place back in the oven at 350F for 20-30 minutes. Serve.
Makes 4 servings (1 half a potato). Each serving contains 191 calories, 3.1 grams of fat, 34.3 carbs, 3.3 grams of fibre, and 7.3 grams of protein. It’s definitely a filling special occasion side dish. The work involved really isn’t much considering it can be broken up. I tend to bake and stuff the potatoes before hand and then do the final baking step right before serving. They work out just fine if you make them the night before. Great for serving to guests.
It’s time to work on our rep! In LOTRO cooks that are a part of the guild prepare certain recipes that help them earn a reputation as a scrumptious cook. Ok maybe not scrumptious but it is rep all the same. One of those recipes is the large supreme repast. Wow….that was a potential typo of doom. The game says this meal is made of pork, spiced potatoes, mint sauce, mixed herbs, mixed spice. As luck would have it I had just visited a local epicurean spice store that is sadly closing it’s doors. This means ofcourse I picked up all sorts of fun spices to play with for unbelievable prices…and play with them I shall. I absolutely had to use the juniper first! It called to me, it told me to do things. Tasty things. Shall we?
- 1 tbl dried juniper berries
- 2 cloves garlic
- 12 black peppercorns
- 1 tbl smoked sea salt
- 9 oz red potatoes, wedges
- 8 oz pork tenderloin
- 1 tbl dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- butter cooking spray
- Hardcore Hobbit Mint Sauce
- Grind the juniper berries, 1 clove of garlic, smoked salt, and peppercorns together. Rub the mixture to coat the outside of the pork tenderloin. Allow to sit for atleast 1 hour.
- Boil the potato wedges for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender but not too tender.
- In a separate bowl, press the garlic and add the parsley, oregano and pepper flakes. Add some salt and pepper if desired. Add the cooked potatoes and toss to coat. Pour the potatoes onto a baking sheet and spray with butter spray.
- Heat the oven to 425F. Cook the potatoes for 35-40 minutes.
- Heat a skillet to medium high. Add the pork tenderloin. Sear on all sides for 2 minutes. Move the pork tenderloin to the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.
- Allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing. Serve topped with a drizzle of mint sauce and potatoes on the side.
Serves 2. Each serving contains 324 calories, 9.5 grams of fat, 5 grams of fibre, 36 grams of protein and 21.3 grams of carbs. Great served with a side of steamed asparagus to complete the dish. I have to say I am totally in love with the way juniper goes with pork. So floral and woodsy at the same time! Perfect for a hobbit dish. I must explore this spice more.
This week I revisited my tasty salmon cakes. I made a small change to them but it was such a difference I just felt I had to share it. I just plain didn’t think it was possible for these to get even tastier. My husband made the suggestion of coating the cakes in potato instead of panko. They are much easier to coat now and the nutritional value of them is much better! This is definitely how I will be making them from now on. Look how pretty they turn out!
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp old bay seasoning
- 2 tins salmon, boneless and skinless
- 1/4 cup light mayo
- 1 shalot, diced fine
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- 3 tbl panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup instant potato flakes (in a separate bowl)
- Combine all except the potato flakes in a bowl.
- Form into 6 patties (use an ice cream scoop as a measure)
- Dip the patties in the potato flakes.
- Spray a baking sheet and preheat your broiler a bit.
- Cook the cakes under the broiler for 4 minutes per side.
My original attempt is here: Salmon cakes
As you can see I changed the seasonings just a little and the coating. Here are the new servings! Makes 6 slider sized patties. Each patty contains 96 calories, 4 grams of fat and .7 grams of fibre. It’s just a small adjustment in the values but I think they make a nicer salmon cake. I find that the potato flakes are an easier coating to work with too. Win/win really! In the picture I served them with a sweet heat mustard. Num!
Yes, this is also called a Latkes but really I first heard them called potato pancake so I’ll go with that. A tasty brunch item or even a dinner side dish. These are great on their own with a bit of fat free sour cream and sautéed onions, or topped with light cream cheese and salmon. Num! No limits with these really. I’ve even seen them eaten with honey. Sweet and savoury. My grandmother would often make something similar to these for breakfast. Want to add a bit more flavour to your potato pancake? Try subbing in a bit of shredded carrot or celery root instead of half of the potato. It’s great and more veggy nutritious goodness! These particular pancakes were made by my husband for a special weekend breakfast under some advisement from me. Goodtimes.
- 200 grams potato
- 1 small onion
- 1 tbl whole wheat flour
- 2 egg whites
- salt and pepper to taste
- Grate potatoes and onion using the coarse side of the grater. Stir to combine. Using a colander, squeeze the mixture to get the excess liquid out.
- Move the mixture to a bowl. Add the flour, egg whites and seasoning.
- Spray a pan with non-stick. Heat to medium, when hot enough drop 1/4 cup of batter into piles on the pan. Leave plenty of room between the piles. Press the piles to form a flat pancake.
- Allow to brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes, flip carefully and allow other side to brown. Serve.
Makes plenty to serve 2 people. Each serving (half of the resulting pancakes) is 123 calories, .4 grams of fat and 3.1 grams of fibre.
I hummed and ha’d over this dish for a long time. Originally, I had wanted to make my own pork sausage…but then I realized that wouldn’t really be true to the game. We buy the pork sausage from the vendor. So, in real life I also bought the pork sausage. I found a really nice low fat one made by president’s choice. In the game pork sausage is made with spiced potatoes and (the real shocker) pork sausage. So, I concentrated on making some fun spiced potatoes on the side and served this with a tasty curry mayo (combine a bit of curry dip mix with a tbl of light mayo, very nummy with pork sausage). I know, it’s a bit racy to post a pork sausage on valentines day but…well…it makes me giggle and we all need a good giggle sometimes.
- Low fat pork sausage of choice
- 2 large red potatoes, cubed (I like to leave the skins on)
- 1 tbl dried parsley
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Curry mayo *optional, refer to the recipe intro
- Combine the parsley, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, onion, salt and pepper in a container. Add the cubed potatoes and shake to coat.
- Remove the potatoes and onions from the container and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 450F for 30 minutes.
- Score the top of the pork sausage. Prepare the sausage according to directions. I pan fried mine since it seemed to capture the “fried to perfection” essence of the recipe.
Serves 2. Since the pork sausage would vary according to the brand you bought I’ll just give the nutritional info for the potatoes. Each serving contains 318 calories, 2.2 grams of fat, and 8.9 grams of fibre. This is a really generous portion, you could probably feed four folks with it but I was really in a potato mood that night.
Putting the peasant back into this peasant food inspired haute cuisine dish. This is only vaguely close to the cooking processes used for this dish today. It’s easy and tasty this way though…and I don’t argue with tasty. She fights dirty. Ofcourse, the other thing that makes this dish a good idea for hungry hobbits all over the world….MUSHROOMS!! See? Tasty fights dirty bigtime. The key to make this healthier is really in the cut of your stewing beef. Try to get one that only has a bit of marbling. If you can get sirloin stewing beef then you are golden. Some butchers offer “steak ends” which are the bits they cut off those sirloin steaks to make them beautiful. These are awesome lean cuts that are perfect for this dish. The other reason I absolutely had to post a beef dish today? I was watching ‘Come Dine with me Canada’. On it was this woman who kept complaining that when she was dieting all she could eat was chicken, that is why she dislikes chicken. Sheesh. No idea what diet she was trying but I seem to be doing just fine and NOT living on just chicken. So there. It’s not a beautiful picture, as I embraced it’s peasant roots, but it sure was tasty.
- 1 slice bacon, chopped
- 1 pkg crimini mushrooms, sliced or puree (according to preference)
- 8 pearl onions (I used red pearl onions for colour)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbl cornstarch (I like my boeuf with a thick sauce, if you don’t skip this)
- 1 tsp poultry spice
- 1/2 chicken broth
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 large potatoes, cubed
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 8 oz stewing beef
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a pan to medium, add bacon, garlic and mushrooms. Cook until the bacon is crispy. Drain the fat and pour into a crockpot.
- Toss the beef in cornstarch to coat then add to the pan and brown. You just want to sear the meat here, not cook it. Pour into the crockpot.
- Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping off the browned bits from the pan. Pour into the crockpot.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the crockpot and allow to cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours.
Makes 4 servings. Each serving contains 278 calories, 5.7 grams of fat and 3.8 grams of fibre. Very diet friendly to me. Living on chicken, heh, the very idea!
Posted in Comfort Foods, Crockpot Creations, Dinner
Tagged bacon, Beef, carrot, celery, Garlic, mushroom, Onion, Potato, wine