Shepards Pie in a Potato Cup

Shepards Pie in a Potato Cup

Since I knew the Mad Hatter Tea Party would be the last…

IMG_4782

Since I knew the Mad Hatter Tea Party would be the last opportunity to serve delicious comfort food for a while, I wanted to serve up a classic, and who doesn’t LOVE Shepard’s pie? After I started putting together the details of the dinner I realized two things. A) people are going to filling up on a lot of crust and B) Shepard’s pie doesn’t actually come in a crust.

Chicken Carbonara with Bacon and Mushrooms

Chicken Carbonara with Bacon and Mushrooms

The best pasta carbonara I’ve ever had was last year in Barcelona.…

The best pasta carbonara I’ve ever had was last year in Barcelona. Yes Barcelona, not in Italy, at a build-your-own pasta bar, where everything was made right in front of you with fresh pasta. Ever since then I have been trying to replicate it, and although last night’s dinner was good – it wasn’t nearly as delicious as that pasta in Barcelona.

Last night’s dinner was also a “first” moment for me.

Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup

I love potato leek soup. LOVE LOVE LOVE! It is so diverse…

I love potato leek soup. LOVE LOVE LOVE! It is so diverse and so basic creamy and delicious. You can add and change a million things to this soup, but the only real things you need are potatoes, leeks, fat and stock. The rest is up to you! This is my favourite basic one.

Potato Leek Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 large leeks cleaned and cut into small dice
  • 4 large potatoes washed and cut into small dice
  • 1 large clove of garlic finely diced
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cups of chicken stock or broth, low or no sodium
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • Fresh Parmesan for grating or rind if you have it on hand.
  • Optional, 0.75 cup of diced carrot or celery. I used celery I had on hand.

Instructions

  1. In large stock pot, heat oil, and add celery and leeks and saute until starting to soften, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add fennel and cumin seeds and cook until starting to brown, 1-3 minutes.
  3. Add potato and garlic, and cook until potato starts to soften and brown, approx 10 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add 3-4 cups of stock, cover and let cook for 20-30 minutes until potatoes have softened and begin to break down. If are are using Parmesan rind, add it at this time. Remove it before pureeing.
  5. Remove from heat, and add more stock if it is too thick.
  6. *Optional: Add to blender in batches, pureeing until smooth. If a chunkier soup is desired, puree the last batch less, so that there are still chunks in the soup. If you have a problem pureeing add a bit more stock 0.25 cup at a time until it puree’s easily.
http://www.constantvessel.com/potato-leek-soup/

Italian Inspired Fava Beans and Panzanella

Italian Inspired Fava Beans and Panzanella

I know that Italians can get quite worked up over the use…

I know that Italians can get quite worked up over the use of the titles of their dishes. Which is why I used inspired in this title. These were both inspired but dishes I ate in Italy. Specifically the Fava Bean dish, I had something similar in Rome, with smaller white beans, which I’m not exactly sure what they were. With the left over salad, I tossed in with some scrambled eggs the next morning for breakfast.

Marinated Vegetables

Marinated Vegetables

I served marinated veggies as an appetizer for this year’s Christmas Day…

I served marinated veggies as an appetizer for this year’s Christmas Day feast. Good vegetable recipes are difficult to find for seasonal produce, and this allowed me to prepare the veggies the day before and took stress off of the actual cooking day.