Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Food


I don't know why, but I was thinking about cooking and stuff. I'm a good cook, and I enjoy it, the problem is that I've never liked cooking for myself; it seems kind of pointless to cook a big meal for just me.. I'd much rather cook for someone else and feed them. I dunno, I get pleasure out of making other people happy.

I think the reason I was thinking about this is that for the past 3 or 4 months or so, I've pretty much been living on pizza. I'd order about two pizzas a week and just reheat a slice whenever I got hungry. It's quick and easy, and well, Papa John's is some damn good pizza. But you know, I was wondering if and when I'd get sick of eating pizza, and I think I'm finally at that point. The other night, I had no food in the house, and the thought of getting another pizza kind of turned my stomach.

So I started thinking about my options, one of which was to cook something for myself and then eat off the leftovers for a few days. One of the easiest things I can make is shepherd's pie, which I must say rocks, and it's easy to reheat and just as good. I started thinking about how everyone loves my shepherd's pie (Kit was telling me she'd been sort of craving it because it was just so damn good), and then I also remembered how I can make the most awesome breakfast burritos you've ever had.

Therefore, I'm going to post my recipes, so everyone can make them. They're really, really good.

My World-Famous Shepherd's Pie and Breakfast Burritos

Breakfast Burritos

Ingredients:

Burrito-sized tortillas
6-8 eggs
One red onion, medium-to-large
8 oz or so of mushrooms
Package of sausage (you'll use half to 3/4 of a tube)
Cheese (cheddar or whatever you like)
5 or so potatoes, depending on size and personal preference
Butter
Milk or water
Salt and pepper

- Clean and slice potatoes into relatively bite-sized chunks. I leave the peel on because it's nutritious. :)
- Chop/dice onion into manageable pieces.
- Clean and slice mushrooms.
- Begin boiling potatoes, boil until desired consistency/edibility, then drain and set aside.
- Crack eggs into a bowl, adding in a bit of milk or water and enough salt and pepper to taste. Beat/scramble eggs and then add as much grated cheese as you want.
- Place onion in a pan with butter on med-high heat -- high enough to soften them, but you don't want them to brown
- After a few minutes, put mushrooms in with onions to sautee and soften.
- Before onions are completely soft, add sausage (you want tubed or patty sausage, otherwise you'll have to squeeze the meat out of the casings [insert dirty joke here]).
- Brown the sausage in the pan with the onions and mushrooms. When sausage is fully cooked and brown, add egg/cheese mixture and potatoes to the sausage/onion/mushroom pan. If you cook it in mass quantities like I do**, you'll probably want to do the mixing of everything in a large-ish pot.
- Cook all ingredients in pot/pan together, stirring until the eggs are fully cooked.
- Heat up some tortillas (a nifty trick is to place tortillas between damp paper towels while heating, to keep them moist).
- Scoop a plentiful amount of the egg mixture onto warm tortilla, wrap, and eat.

** I usually make a large amount because I've found that leftover burrito mixture tastes just as good reheated as the first time you make it. If you make enough, you can feed yourself for a couple of days. Also differently flavored sausage (such as sage or maple) can give you different flavors. I really liked the sage sausage in my breakfast burrito mixture.




Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients:

About a pound of ground beef
One red onion, medium to large
Two 5-inch sprigs of fresh rosemary
4-5 red potatoes
Frozen peas
Frozen corn
Butter
Salt and pepper
Milk
Sour cream (optional)

- Set oven for 375 degrees.
- Slice and boil potatoes for mashing.
- Chop or dice onions
- Rinse rosemary sprigs to get rid of any dirt, then pat dry with a paper towel. Pluck all rosemary leaves off the sprigs, leaving the stems and branches aside. Then chop up the rosemary leaves until fine.
- Put rosemary and onion in a pan with butter. Use medium-high heat, as you want the rosemary and onion to just soften, not brown.
- When the onion is soft, add the ground beef and brown. In this case, you don't have to worry about leaving a bit of pink, as you'll be cooking everything more in the oven.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, and when the meat is brown, drain some or most of the fat out, but leave some to retain moistness of the beef.
- Put beef/onion/rosemary mixture in a casserole dish or baking pan, then add frozen corn and peas (don't thaw beforehand). Mix this together in the casserole until you have as much of the veggies as you want, then set aside.
- Drain and mash potatoes, adding butter, milk, salt, and pepper to taste. Basically, make the potatoes as you would normally. My suggestion is to add a bit of sour cream to the potatoes; this makes them infinitely more creamy and delicious than just butter and milk.
- Scoop mashed potatoes on top of beef mixture in the casserole, then smooth them out evenly. You want a layer of beef on the bottom, and a layer of potatoes on the top.
- Place casserole on middle rack of oven, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.
- When the shepherd's pie is done, the potatoes should be somewhat brown, and the beef should be sizzling/bubbling nicely.
- Scoop out and serve.




If you try either of these recipes, let me know how you like the end result!

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