Corned Beef Hash

It is another crazy weather day here in NH it is pouring and close to 50 degrees out there. What little snow we had should be pretty much gone before tomorrow when it is supposed to get cold again.

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My husband and son are working on a very large job with a tight deadline and headed off to work this Sunday morning; just for a couple of hours thankfully. One of his workers mentioned since they were getting out early enough; around 10ish that he was going to head home, make some brunch and watch a movie.  That totally worked into my plans; I was thinking of making a corned beef hash so I am glad the guys were going to coming home; I wouldn’t have made it for just us girls.

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I kind of recall having hash a couple of times when I was a kid but I guess I didn’t care for it? Only because I have never made it and have never ordered it out. Side note my husband is watching football and just asked if I was blogging about hash. He said that it was wicked good and mentioned he doesn’t recall ever having it before.  Hash also doesn’t sound like the most appealing item on any menu; at least in my opinion.

SO I just googled history of hash; first funny thing that caught my attention was that September 27 is national corned beef hash day; who knew 🙂 the next thing is it is derived from the French verb hacher (to chop). Yes everything is chopped and it helps that they are similar in size so they all cook up around the same time. It also said that it became popular during world war II as rationing the limited availability of fresh meat. It makes total sense and I am now on board with hash, I might even order a side of it next time we go out to breakfast.

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This morning my hash consisted of potatoes, onions and corned beef. It probably should have had beef stock but I had some open chicken stock in the fridge so I used that instead. A few weeks ago our WWW World Wide Wednesday meal was from Finland and my daughter made a sausage hash that we all loved which was why I was interested in trying corned beef hash.

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It really is simple so feel free to adjust to ingredients you have on hand and that your family will enjoy

Corned Beef Hash

1 medium onion chopped
2-3 medium potatoes chopped
Several slices of corned beef chopped
1 tbs butter
1-2 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
½ cup beef broth or whatever you have on hand

My favorite type of egg is poached but you can do whatever kind you like or leave the egg out entirely.

In a hot fry pan melt the butter and olive oil together, add the potatoes; salt and pepper to taste. Add the onions and then the beef. Saute till the potatoes are cooked and a nice crust forms on the hash.

Scalloped Potatoes

My daughter Abbi and I were recently looking through the freezer trying to figure out meals for the week. I listed off all the proteins that I had in there. It quickly donned on me that as recent as 5 years ago some of what I listed would have NEVER been in my house let alone in my freezer waiting for me to cook.  Lamb chops – they are for the guys. Salmon I really want to like it, it just hasn’t happened yet. Some Bangers from a local pig farm that just need a little mash to go along the side, and even some pork belly just screaming at me to make pork belly steamed buns.

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There are also some things that used to be in my cupboard that I haven’t purchased in many years. I love scalloped potatoes and since my husband thinks he is a potato farmer we have a lot of potatoes on hand. Thankfully when stored properly his harvest lasts many months and we don’t have to eat them every day.

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While there are many ways to prepare potatoes I feel we sometimes get into a little potato rut on occasion, one of my daughters favorite comfort food is mashed potato and when she arrived home recently from her 2 year stint in Japan she wanted mashed potatoes with every meal and I am pretty sure we had them 3 or 4 times in the first week she was home. I do know that scalloped can take a little more effort than mashed, there cheesy goodness cannot be denied. If you are looking for something a little different tonight I don’t think you will be disappointed and will find it pretty easy to make. And if there are any leftovers, they are amazing!

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A mandolin does help but not neccesary

4 cups thinly sliced potatoes

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon salt

1 dash cayenne pepper

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup grated cheese

In a small sauce pan, melt butter and whisk in the flour. Let it bubble for a couple of minutes to cook out the flour taste. Add all of cold milk at once stirring with a whisk; season with salt and cayenne. Cook sauce on low until smooth and boiling, stirring occasionally with a whisk and it thickens a bit. Reduce heat and stir in cheese.

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Place a half of the sliced potatoes in a lightly greased one quart casserole dish. Pour half of cheese sauce over potatoes.

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Repeat with second layer of potatoes and cheese sauce. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake uncovered for an hour at 350°F

Spinach Bacon and Cheese Breakfast Skillet

This week I found a new found respect for my cast iron skillet. Don’t get me wrong I have used it many times for certain dishes, mainly something to do with chicken. I actually like to use it on my gas grill for beer can chicken, it is very sturdy and I don’t have to use my nice pans on the grill which tend to get quite dirty. I definitely do not use it as often as I probably could or should.

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We do have the grill out and ready but have only been really able to use it only a couple of times so far, the weather has been unseasonably cold around here, just yesterday was the first day I didn’t have snow on my front lawn since last November, it’s got to turn around soon!!! We should be out cleaning the yard and gardens. Not sitting inside with the heat still on. Just this morning I made broccoli cheddar soup, chili and I am going to make a roasted chicken in a little bit. Those are all things I do in the Fall not in the Spring.

I had been craving a good burger for a couple of weeks now and I do make a mean burger so instead of going outside and freezing my butt off I decided to break out my cast iron and make a mess in the house. According to my guys “that was a great burger, thank you”.  I couldn’t agree more, the char on them was “AWESOME” I know that they wouldn’t have been as good if I used a different pan. Leaving the burger in place until the pan releases the meat is key to making the burgers delicious!!!!

This morning I brought the cast iron out again and it didn’t disappoint, I saw a Spinach & Cheese Breakfast Skillet recipe on Eating Well online. I did change mine up a little bit, I added chopped onions, I didn’t pre-cook my potato and I added more bacon and an extra egg than their original one listed. 

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Spinach & Cheese Breakfast Skillet

2 Medium sized potatoes peeled and diced in small cubes

1 small onion diced

2 Slices of bacon – I used 3 and it was too much – if that is even such a thing

3 cups fresh baby spinach

1/8 tsp salt

2 large eggs

2/3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Freshly cracked black pepper

2 Tbs water – for steam – helps cook the eggs quicker

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Peel and wash potatoes, slice in approx. 1/2” cubes. Cook bacon in skillet till crispy remove and set aside. Add potato to bacon grease cook till browned and tender, add diced onion. Cook until onions are slightly browned. Add spinach, stir till combined and barely wilted.  Make a couple of wells and crack an egg in each. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until the eggs are partially set, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese, add water and cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the egg whites are completely set. Chop the bacon and sprinkle on top, garnish with generous grinding of pepper.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

I had a cooking class last week where we made 3 different chicken dishes.  We made Harvest Roasted Chicken, Skillet Chicken and Chicken Cordon Bleu. I had blogged a few weeks ago about the Chicken Cordon Bleu it was a huge hit as I knew it would be the white wine sauce is just that awesome!!!

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I had 4 attendees at this class; 2 have come to previous classes and there were 2 new students.  I always find it quite comical some of the things I end up sharing with the class.  The cutting of an onion is always something new that we practice, this particular class we set a timer for searing chicken so they would leave it alone and let it brown.  Another tip shared was if you try to flip the meat and it doesn’t release from the pan to leave it alone.  Once it releases than you can turn it over.  One student couldn’t believe how long 5 minutes truly was; everyone wants to flip before its time. I see it ALL the time.  Let it set and get all yummy before flipping!!!

 

 

My daughter arrived from Japan Friday night for a 12 day visit.  SO excited to see her after her being gone for 8 months; we will be having several of her favorite meals while she is home.  She has already had mashed potatoes each of the 3 days of her being home in America.  We literally just finished eating a roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, carrots, peas and gravy for Sunday dinner.

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Some of the things that she can either not get or it does not taste like it does here in the states, is bacon, steak and burger. We are all SO excited she is here and are looking forward to hearing all her stories.

Skillet Chicken

1 TBS Cajun Seasoning Blend

¼ Tsp Salt

¼ Tsp Pepper

4 Chicken Thighs – Bone in works best for this

2 TBS Olive Oil

4 Cloves, peeled and lightly smashed

8 Small red or new potatoes, about 1 ½ inches in diameter

2 medium onions chopped finely

1 Cup peeled and cut carrots

2 ribs Celery, halved lengthwise and chopped diagonally into ½ inch pieces

½ Red bell Pepper, cut into large dice

2 Tablespoons AP flour

1 Cup chicken broth

½ Cup Wine

2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley

In a small bowl, combine Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper.  Rub mixture on all sides of chicken

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, add chicken (skin side down) cook until chicken is browned, about 3 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to plate, set aside.

Add potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, garlic and bell pepper to skillet.  Cook and stir 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir to coat.  Slowly stir in chicken broth and wine.  Scraping up browned bits from the bottom of skillet bring to a boil, stirring often.

Reduce heat to medium-low.  Place chicken back into skillet.  Cover and cook about 30 minutes, or until chicken is done and juices run clear. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered about 5 minutes or until sauce is thickened Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Garlic Herb Crusted Center Cut Pork Loin

Super busy weekend AGAIN…I am not complaing – just tired and stuffy today!

Dinner out at MT’s in Nashua Friday night, I am going to try my hand at making their yummy sweet and salty wings.  They have no breading on them, they are baked not fried and they have maple syrup with a bacon crumble on top. They are simply divine!!!

Bought some new skis at our local mountain ski swap; ran to Nashua again for material, I have a baby shower coming up this weekend and I am going to make large versions of receiving blankets. Everyone loves them; at least that is what I keep hearing!  Off to VT (supposed to leave at 2, I didn’t get home till almost 3) to our good friends to have dinner and see their newly built addition. It looks great by the way; it looks like it has always been there; not an afterthought which can happen with addition’s – Nice Job!!!!

Someone; and I won’t name names; had a little too much wine to drink Saturday night, the next morning after we all woke up and the coffee had been made; this particular someone disappeared; he was found sleeping in the car with his sunglasses on covered with a blanket – kind of funny!!! Only because it wasn’t me… You should have seen the look on his face when we mentioned we were going to breakfast at Sugar and Spice, priceless!  He did feel better after eating, but it took a little while! The maple syrup for my buttermilk pancakes (they make their own) reminded me of the wings from Friday night.  Food full circle for me – when I have time; hopefully soon; I will be writing about sweet and salty wings.

After breakfast we rushed home for my husband’s Uncles 86th b-day party. By the time we got home tonight I was exhausted and thanks to my son; he gave me his cold; my head is very foggy!  Forgive me if I do not make any sense today!

Another weekend without grocery shopping and the only thing that I could make quickly was a center cut boneless pork loin. Probably doesn’t sound like a quick simple thing to fix but since I still have some herbs in the garden that have not been lost yet to the weather, and thanks to the harvest this year, we have potatoes, garlic and beets – Voila!  Garlic and Herb crusted pork loin, mashed potatoes and Beets!

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2-4 lb center cut pork loin patted dry with a paper towel

pre heat over to 450′

2 Tsp Kosher Salt

1 Tsp freshly Cracked Black Pepper

2 Tsp fresh Sage leaves chopped

2 Tsp fresh Rosemary chopped

5 minced garlic cloves

2 TBS olive oil

Mix the above (salt thru olive oil) in a small bowl into a paste

place pork in a low sided roasting pan – cover with paste mixture – place in over for 20 mintues, lower heat to 300′ and continue roasting for another 20-30 minutes – an instant read meat thermometer should reach 145′.  Everyone’s oven is different so a meat thermometer will be one of your best tools, these times are what I used for my 4lb loin. Tent with tinfoil and let sit for 10 mintues before slicing – YUM!

“Honey are you trying to fatten me up?” “You were on FIRE this week!”

Those were Just a couple of quotes from my husband this week!  Apparently I made a lot of yummy things.  Actually I must admit they were all pretty yummy.  The “are you trying to fatten me up” comment was on Wednesday,

I think it all started with Sunday night – I made a French Apple tart that I had never made before – Yummy and Easy!

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2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup ice water

For the apples:
4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, small diced
1/2 cup apricot jelly

2 tablespoons Rum, or water

For the pastry, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Roll the dough slightly larger than 10 by 14-inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.

Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife. Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch thick slices. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. Sprinkle with the full 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with the butter.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. Don’t worry! The apple juices will burn in the pan but the tart will be fine! When the tart’s done, heat the apricot jelly together with the Rum and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture. Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn’t stick to the paper. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature. – this is a recipe I found online that is Ina Gartens – I love her!!!

Monday was Ribeye Steak, Mashed Potato, Mushroom Gravy and Asparagus – I think I mentioned before that I am not a fan of Mushrooms!  SO my way of “hiding” them was to chop them as small as I possibly could; the gravy was SO delicious that I couldn’t NOT eat it.  I was told after dinner that “we can have that more often” Ya I’ll get right on it!  My son likes Mushrooms and hates asparagus – which was why I made both – take that!!!!

Tuesday I got up early and threw a beef stew together – I will even admit; it was the best one I made in a crockpot, Hands down!  Wednesday nightI tried another new recipe.  I had harvested my Leeks among other things and had tore one away from it’s root so I wanted to use it up quickly.  I found a recipe online that used the leeks, pancetta which I had in the fridge and chicken stock that I am never without; whether it is my own or from the store. Make some pasta, saute leeks and pancetta add wine and stock and add it all together and cover it with Parmigiano Reggiano Voila!

The “On Fire” comment was when he was getting ready to take me out to dinner on Friday!  I will confess that I was less successful with the dropped eggs on toast Friday morning – Note to self; when poaching eggs. DO NOT leave the kitchen for ANY reason!!!

I ended my week night cooking (we usually go out to dinner on Friday nights) with a new recipe I found in a magazine Deconstructed BLT – This one is a keeper!!!

6 slices of Bacon

4 French Baguette slices

1/4 Cup soft goat cheese

4 Cups Bibb lettuce (I used boston)

2 large tomatoes sliced

1/4 Cup white balsamic vinegar (I didn’ t have white)

2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil

1 large clove of garlic minced

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

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Cook bacon until crisp – set aside

toast baguette slices until brown/crispy, spread with goat cheese and set aside

divide lettuce a nd tomatoes among 2 plates. Whisk together vinegar and next 5 ingredients, drizzle over tomatoes and lettuce

Top salad with bacon and baguette slices. Sprinkle with additional black pepper is desired.

Makes 2 servings – I doubled it as there were 4 of us!

My husband did harvest his potatoes this week – He got an entire wheelbarrow full AND was disapointed it wasn’t more.  Who is trying to fatten up who here! I love potatoes and of course me being me, I don’t want anything to spoil so I must use them up!  I did go out and purchase a rack system and some baskets (KP we didn’t get enough last night) to hopefully make them last for MONTHS!!!  He did have a few ummmmm mutant ones (see last photo) that I won’t bring out for my cooking class or bring out when friends come over to make dinner…BUT we will still eat them!

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It HAS to be the weather; it being so cool and this weekend kind of drizzly – I made a Roaster Chicken for dinner tonight – Swedish Meatballs, Italian Meatballs and Marinara Sauce for later in the week.  This weekend was filled with putting aways screens, summer cars, (my 89′ Mustang GT Convertable, he has a 85′ SVO) washing windows, deep down and dirty cleaning, washing walls and the risers on the stairs – you get the picture.  Oh Ya and lots of cooking!!!

Next weekend my Garlic is going in!!!

Celtic Fest: Bethlehem PA. The Big E – Local Southern NH fairs

Late summer and let the fairs begin; as a child I remember going to any and all local fairs with my family.  Cheshire, Hopkinton, New Boston, Deerfield and the mother of all fairs the Big E – Eastern States Fair.  I have very fond memories of going to all of these, actually looking forward to going and making sure I knew what days the fairs were happening, checking out what the main event was and making plans with friends to attend those days.  My favorite event was definitely the demolition derby. I am sure, actually positive I am not alone in this, derby day always drew the largest crowds.  I learned a very valuable lesson; that I stand by till this very day.  While I am not necessarily afraid of heights per say, I having no problem climbing up on things, in things etc.;  I DO NOT like climbing back down.  Being kind of a punk teenager; I was at the Cheshire fair on derby day, there were no seats to be had, standing room would be fine but I am only 5’4” tall, a friend at the time had a GREAT idea.  Let’s climb the pine tree and watch from up there.  First off you know full well you are not going to be able to stay in the tree, security is bound to kick you out.  Secondly it’s a pine tree, actually I learned a couple of things that day.  I am not a fan of pine trees; pine pitch is the worst, I don’t mind them in the woods, love the smell of them; hate them anywhere near the house and or driveway.  Back to my not being able to climb down; I was stuck; scared shitless; probably one of my first anxiety attacks that I can remember.  Thankfully no emergency personnel had to come, but it took a team of people to help me get down.  Never again!!!

Since this is a foodie blog and there is so many choices of things to eat at fairs; I love the smell of the sausages but to me they never taste as good as they smell.  Fried dough is heavenly and I will forgo everything else just to have a fresh buttered cinnamon and powdered sugar fried piece of dough.  It is amazing to me that as I have gotten older I choose carefully what I eat.  As a kid one of everything please, food was to consume only.  Now I know what I like and don’t and what I should and should not eat, not that I always listen to this. Hence the fried dough!

I cannot go any further without talking about the Big E – now that’s a fair!!!!  My brother passed away way too soon a few years ago. I am so glad that the 3 of us siblings wanted to take our kids and our dad to the Big E.  It was a beautiful late September day; we went during the week, less crowds.  We got to share with the kids how we do the Big E.  We first walk through all the vendors; check out the “infomercial” building; at least that is what we call it.  Check out all the animals, damn those Clydesdales are HUGE.  But the best part of the fair is eating our way through the state buildings.  I am telling you the loaded baked potato from the Maine building is FREAKIN AMAZING!!!!  If you do nothing else Go – Buy – Eat – No sharing please!

We are visiting a very good friend of ours new home in PA this weekend.  I am actually sitting in her living room right now writing this.  There is a Celtic festival nearby so we all (of us) jumped in the SUV and went yesterday.  It was gorgeous day out, though we had a couple of Irish peeps with us, we were ALL Irish on Saturday; or at least we drank and ate like an Irishman.  We walked and walked, we drank beer, very cold beer which was excellent.  Since it was a Celtic Fest the fare was typical Irish food, bratwurst, corned beef, shepherd’s pie etc.  I did see the largest cans of sauerkraut I have ever seen.  After contemplating what we were going to eat while walking by all the food vendors, stopping for a corn on the cob that was covered with some spice rub that had chili powder in it and it was excellent!  Another highlight was their Potato Chip Twister.  Fried to perfection!  Sad to say but we had 3 or them.  The music was great, my bratwurst was awesome and did I mention the beer was cold YUM!!!!

My Shepherd’s Pie Recipe – I know so simple but it is comfort food for me!

Brown some ground beef – remove all the grease, I also dice up (very small) and sauté some onions. I season the beef very well with salt, pepper, garlic and adobo (my favorite go to spice) I use a can of creamed corn and also a can of niblets.  I top with yummy mashed potatoes and then some grated cheddar cheese.  Very simple but OH so yummy! I will be making this sometime this week!!!!