Geek Chef

I cook, I talk, I geek

Classic Comfort June 24, 2010

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 9:11 pm
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Tonight I made an American classic,  meatloaf and mashed potatoes. I made the meatloaf with ground turkey, a lighter and healthier option and added a little brown gravy mix to keep the meaty flavor.

Turkey Meatloaf

1 pound ground turkey
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup sliced mushrooms, baby bella or shitake
3 tablespoons brown gravy mix
1 egg
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon paprika
dash of cayenne
salt and pepper

Mix turkey, breadcrumbs, mushrooms, gravy and egg until blended, but as lightly as possible. Fit into a baking dish or loaf pan. Mix ketchup, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Spread on top of the meatloaf and bake for 40 minutes.

Mashed Red Potatoes

1 pound large red potatoes
1/3 milk
1/4 butter
garlic salt and pepper to taste

Peel and dice the potatoes and boil in salted water until tender. Drain potatoes and return to the pot. In a smaller pot, heat milk and butter until melted. Smash the potatoes and fold in the milk and butter, season to taste.

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Bork-bork, Meatballs June 19, 2009

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 2:56 pm
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I was a little too busy eating to take photos of my last culinary exploit, so today you get a peek at the first chef to inspire me.  I could not be where I am today without his chocolate mousse recipe: “you put the chocolate on the moose”.

Last night I made Swedish meatballs. An easy and tasty meal. Traditionally using beef or pork, but I used ground turkey. I don’t work with ground chicken much, it’s not as common and tends to cook a little too dry. For this recipe a higher fat content is preferred as it will produce more drippings for the gravy.  Note: you might notice, I add brown gravy mix to most of my ground meat dishes. I think it adds a nice meaty flavor to the meat – it’s one of my secret ingredients 🙂

Swedish Meatballs and Baby Red Potatoes

Meatballs:
1 lbs ground meat
1 egg
3/4 c. bread crumbs (or 2 slices bread torn into pieces)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 c. brown gravy mix
salt and pepper to taste

Potatoes:
1 lbs new red potatoes
1/2 c/ salt

Gravy:
1/2 c. flour
2 c. chicken or beef broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the meatball ingredients into a bowl, lightly oil and heat a large saute pan. Roll meatballs into balls about the same size as the potatoes. lightly brown the meatballs on all sides in the large pan, then transfer pan to oven. Cook about 15 min or until thoroughly cooked.

Fill a medium pot with water, potatoes and salt, slow boil until fork tender.

Take pan from oven and set meatballs aside, leaving the drippings in the bottom of the pan. Add flour and return pan to stove, mix flour with drippings and cook until lightly brown, then add broth and stir constantly until gravy has thickened. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve meatballs and potatoes with gravy and lingonberry jam, garnish with chopped parsley.

 

Mirepoix June 10, 2009

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 8:51 pm
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From wikipedia: Mirepoix (pronounced /mɪər ˈpwɑː/) is the French name for a combination of onions, carrots, and celery celeriac). Traditionally, the ratio for mirepoix is 2:1:1 of onions, celery, and carrots. These three ingredients are commonly referred to as aromatics.

Mirepoix derives its name, as do many other elements of French cuisine[1], from the patron of the chef who established it – in this case one of the house of Lévis, seigneurs of Mirepoix since the eleventh century and a famous name in Languedoc.[2

Those simple ingredients make the base of most stocks, soups, stews and sauces.  As far as culinary holy trinities go, mirepoix – in my opinion – is second only to garlic, onion and extra virgin olive oil. It is safe to say I am a fan.

Mirepoix is standard in many cuisines and can be found in many supermarkets packaged together, pre-chopped. I believe that pre-chopped mirepoix is a sin. But it’s one of those minor sins, like red meat on the sabbath. I do it all the time, for the sake of time, but I do not recommend it for the more delicate dishes. Take the time and chop the ingredients, it adds love to the food and that is the best ingredient. </soapbox>

Tonight’s dish is not French, but uses celery, carrots and onion the way is was intended. The following recipe is for Australian shepherd’s pie. NOTE: no Australian Shepherds were harmed in the making of this meal! This is the Aussie version of an English classic, traditionally using lamb but beef and turkey work equally well. This is a popular dish with the men in my life, and I would assume works just as well with kids. It is a meat and potato meal, while slipping in a good deal of veggies.

Another thing to note, I make my version using ketchup. Tomato paste, tomato sauce or ketchup, it’s been greatly debated and I stand by my choice. It’s the same question with Pad Thai and my answer is the same there. I just like the way it makes stuff taste.

Now, on to the food…

Aussie Shepherd’s Pie

1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, trimmed, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
1 lbs ground meat
2 tbs flour
2 cups Beef stock
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 dried bay leaf
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs ketchup

For Mashed Potato Topping:
4 potatoes, cubed
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk

Sauté onion, carrot and celery in a large saucepan with olive oil for 5 minutes or until soft. Add ground meat, stirring occasionally to break up lumps, for 5 minutes or until the meat changes color. Sprinkle the flour and cook for 2 minutes or until combined. Add stock, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and zucchini. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or until sauce thickens. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, in a large pot cook potatoes until tender. Drain well. Return to the pan, add butter and mash with a potato masher or fork until smooth. Add milk and stir until incorporated. Season to taste and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350.

Cover the bottom of a large baking dish with breadcrumbs, then add the meat mixture. Pipe the mashed potatoes on top of the mixture to make the “crust”. I make a piping bag out of a large ziploc – fill bag and cut the corner. Bake until the top is brown and the filling is bubbly.

Enjoy!