Thursday, March 17, 2011

Shepherd's Pie - Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Hello Foodies and welcome to another holiday edition of Edible Rex.  Hope you're all enjoying this great St. Patrick's Day and are looking forward to an easy-to-make traditional recipe.  This day includes some festive dishes like Corned Beef & Cabbage and Irish Soda Bread, but since I want to get back to my local pub crawl, I'll give you all something quick and easy...  Shepherd's Pie!

You'll need ground beef, onion, beef broth, canned or frozen veggies, mashed potatoes, and shredded cheese.  Since we're all loyal to the bachelor style of cooking, use instant mashed potatoes... it saves a lot of time!  Also have a skillet and brownie pan ready to cook everything, and preheat your oven to 350*!

Start by browning the ground beef in a skillet, and add in a handful of onion (about half a cup).  I also suggest adding a few spices, like basil, black pepper, and a few shakes of cayenne.  When it starts getting brown, add in a can (or frozen bag) of assorted mixed veggies.  Mix everything together and drain the oil. Then place it all in the brownie pan.

Add half a cup of beef broth to the pan.  Don't use more than this or the pie will come out very liquid.  You can use canned broth, or prepare your own from bullion cubes.

Now prepare your mashed potatoes.  If you want to use fresh potatoes, go ahead, but for the time-starved (or just plain starved) mix up a batch of instant potatoes.  A 3.3oz pouch of brand-name dried potatoes will yield enough for the entire meal.  In fact, you can get creative and get some of the flavored varieties to add a special zing to the meal.  Mix up the batch as per the instructions.  Once fluffy, carefully layer them on top of the beef-onion-veggie mix in the pan.

Now for the crust.  Take whatever shredded cheese you have and generously cover the top of the potatoes.  I used a heavy layer of Parmesan cheese first which gives it a nice flaky texture, then topped it with another layer of a Mozzarella and Cheddar mix.

Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes.  Enough time to enjoy a fine Guinness while you wait!

This will yield 3-4 generous portions, or 2 for the famished pub-crawler.

So have a great St. Patty's Day, try not to get too wild, and Bon Apetit!  Or should I say, Erin Go Bragh!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Season 2, Episode 1 aka The Good Morning Burger

Welcome Back Foodies!  Edible Rex is back with a new season of awesome recipes for all you aspiring chefs... or people just looking for something better than fast food for dinner.  I'm finally going to reveal my famous chili recipe, and stay tuned for more delights like Stuffed Chicken and Pot Roast.  But let's go nuts with our first new recipe...  The Good Morning Burger

Props to you if you get the reference.  Yes, got to admit, this recipe is not my own.  Like anything worth quoting, this one is from The Simpsons:

 "We take eighteen ounces of sizzling ground beef, and soak it in rich, creamery butter, then we top it off with bacon, ham, and a fried egg. We call it the Good Morning Burger..."

I can hear Homer drooling right now...

The burger is as tempting to make as it is difficult to manage.  But this recipe makes it simple for even the least experienced of bachelor chefs.

Start by putting a liberal amount of butter in a frying pan big enough to hold four burger patties and melt it to cover the bottom of the pan.  If you want to fry the bacon, add it now.  It'll add to the heart attack you'll have later.  Personally, I prefer crisping it in the microwave, but to each their own.  Add four burger patties (as close to 18oz as possible) and spread them out equally.  Lastly, top each patty off with a slice of ham.

Ok, since you're an oft-unprepared bachelor chef, you might be missing an ingredient.  So improvise!  I used large-cut pepperoni in place of ham.  Similar meat, more spice!  I also threw in a handful of diced onion... goes great on burgers.

While that's cooking, grab half a loaf of french bread (or a giant roll) and cut it open.  Put aside...  it soon shall meet its toppers!

When the burgers begin bleeding through, flip them.  When the burgers are near your specified 'done-ness', stack them up 2-by-2 and top accordingly.  Leave to cook a few minutes more.

While that is cooking, add an egg to the frying pan.  The recipe calls for a fried egg, but a scrambled egg cooked in the grease of its fallen meat brethren should do the trick.  I'm just not a fan of the standard 'solid-yoke' fried eggs.

When cooked, place it on top of your burgers.  Cheese is optional, but I like to use it not just for the taste and texture, but to keep the burger together.

Place it on top of the bun (and another piece of cheese if you wish) and cover.  Check it out, your giant creation.  Awesome.  But that's not it...

The Good Morning Burger is really messy.  So want to contain it better?  Grill it!  Yes, make the Good Morning Burger panini style.  Break out the ol' Foreman grill, the burger should fit perfectly on the small one.  Lightly push down on the bread... this will squish it down, covering the melange of meaty innards.  And make the bread nice and toasty!

So celebrate Simpsons Mania while making a crazy-awesome meal.  Add a side of fries for ultimate perfection.  And don't forget, have fun, foodies!