Bavarian Bratwurst with Peas and Eggplant over Mashed Potatoes

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Here’s a recipe to top off the month-long celebration of Octoberfest, as we transition over to Halloween (expect more of that theme in the upcoming posts). This is a simple, but tasty and hearty recipe I concocted. Although I usually use ground breakfast sausage for this recipe, I decided to make some changes and they turned out just right. Continue reading

Iron Skillet Deep Dish Vegetables and Pepperoni Pizza

Image contributed by Hymn

Image contributed by Hymn

Depending on how many shortcuts you take, this can be quite a quick meal to prepare by starting with a 1-lb. bag of fresh dough from Trader Joe’s, or any of your favorite brand. You may also have pre-made your fresh dough by using a bread maker, or simply by hand. In any event, we will prepare this pizza, assuming the dough is already made ahead of time. The amount of dough should be at least 1 lb. in weight since that would be enough to fully line an 8- or 10-inch cast iron skillet. Continue reading

Ground Beef with Potatoes and Hard-boiled Eggs (as filling for mini-meat pies)

This dish can be made ahead because pre-cooking potatoes and eggs is required. For a meal during the week, you can prep by browning the (1 lb.) ground beef, boiling the potatoes, and eggs and putting them in separate containers for assembly when you are ready to serve later. Continue reading

Ground Beef with Peas, Carrots, and Mung Bean Sprouts

This ground beef recipe is a filling for egg rolls. Let’s start with the wrappers.

There are different types of egg roll wrappers. There are thick ones made of wheat that tend to overpower the filling and there are paper thin ones like rice paper or lumpia (loom-pyah) wrappers, both of which are found in Asian grocery stores. You can also use phyllo dough if you wish, but you would bake rather than fry them. The one type typically found in regular grocery stores is made of wheat. Whichever you prefer, the ideal taste I find is one with thin wrapper so the filling is the dominant texture and flavor rather than the wrapper. Continue reading

Ground Beef with Kale and Carrots

Summer meals tend to be grill heavy, but after burgers and steaks almost every day, one can get weary of the same preparation. How about a change of pace?

Using fresh or frozen kale, take a bunch and chop (if fresh) and set aside; you can also use pre-cut bagged kale too. Peel and chop 5 carrots, 1 onion, and if you happen to have 2 yellow squashes or zucchinis, chop those also, but they’re optional. Mince 4 cloves of garlic. Chop 1 or 2 plum tomatoes. If you don’t like tomatoes, replace this part with a sprinkle of lemon juice or zest. If you go the lemon route, just add this ingredient after everything is cooked. Continue reading

Chicken Taco Casserole

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This is a complete meal with protein, vegetables, and grains. The beans used here may be canned or dry. Dry beans would require an overnight soaking. You can use a 16-oz. bag of black beans or pinto beans. Before rinsing the beans, pick off any particles that don’t belong there, such as small pebbles. Cover the beans with cold water and let soak overnight.

The next day, the beans will need to be cooked first. The fastest way to do so is to use a pressure cooker, which is a specially sealed pot that cooks food quickly due to the physics of steam and pressure. Without getting technical or sidetracked here, I suggest you Google pressure cooker to learn more about it. It is an excellent way to make certain dishes quickly. For example, if you wish to make beef stew and use a cheap cut of meat, you can easily and quickly tenderize the meat by using a pressure cooker. Also, the pressure cooker makes excellent shredded pork or chicken. Continue reading