Saturday, November 15, 2014

Slow Cooker Beef Stew over Mashed Garlic Idaho® Potatoes!

Want to instantly be happier? Then, get into your
kitchen now and cook something for someone you love!
Today I'm making my slow-cooker beef stew served over my
mashed garlic Idaho® potatoes. So easy and... So good!
It seems each time I post about how much I enjoy cooking with my collection
of Le Creuset Dutch ovens, I hear from readers who tell me that they would
love to own them too, but they don't know what they would do with them!
Of course, my answer is always the
same... You will use them to cook, Everything!
Because no matter what I'm cooking, (or baking, as is the case
whenever I create NKbread) my Le Creuset is the first thing I grab!
Even today... Even though I'll end up finishing my stew in my slow cooker!
The first step to my rich and savory beef stew is to cut
up a two pound chuck roast into one inch cubes...
Then, brown the meat on all sides with a generous dose
of fresh minced garlic and a few springs of thyme!
After the meat has browned on all sides, add six
stalks of celery and one whole white onion, chopped...
Then, add two'ish cups of beef stock and one can of tomato paste...
Stir to combine, then allow to simmer for ten
minutes while you prepare your slow cooker...
By the way... I always use Reynolds slow cooker liners for easy clean up!
After you remove the thyme sprigs, transfer beef and cooked garlic, celery
and onions to your slow cooker. Add five carrots cut into half-inch pieces...
And, add a pound of sliced mushrooms... Plus, all that rich sauce from your pot too!
I set my slow cooker on low for seven and a half hours and went shopping!
When we got home, just as the stew finished, I whipped up a
big pot of my delicious Mashed Garlic Idaho® Potatoes!
I promised to show you how I make them when I posted my
favorite Thanksgiving leftovers recipe here... So let's do it!
By the way... When I said I went shopping, I mean I visited
the Le Creuset outlet in Mebane... Where I found these goodies!
Anyway, peel three pounds of always perfect Idaho® potatoes and cut
them into 1-2" pieces. Bring 6-8 quarts of well-salted water to a boil. Then,
add 6-7 cloves of fresh garlic that you've peeled and your potatoes. Cook just
until potatoes are fork-tender. About 17-20 minutes over medium-high heat!
Using a strainer, transfer potatoes and garlic pieces to a large bowl
lined with paper towels to drain. Rinse stock pot and dry thoroughly...
Return cooked potatoes and garlic pieces
to stock pot over medium-high heat...
Salt and pepper to taste, then add 4-6 tablespoons
of unsalted butter cut into pieces. Like this...
Add 3/4 cups of whole milk...
Then mash potatoes using a hand masher. Remember, potatoes
are very sensitive to over mashing; therefore, to avoid ending
up with sticky, pasty potatoes, be careful not to over mash them!
So good!
Transfer potatoes to a serving dish and serve. Or, if you're like me...
Add a little extra butter, salt and pepper, cover your dish tightly
with aluminum foil and bake potatoes at 375ยบ for 20-25 minutes!
Because baking perfectly mashed garlic
potatoes makes them extra light and fluffy!
Served with my beef stew or with your Thanksgiving turkey, I promise
this is a mashed potato recipe you'll come back to again and again!
As you have probably guessed by now, I have returned from my trip
home to California - And, I have tons of photos to share, so stay tuned!
In the meantime I send you my best wishes for a great week!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

{Be Thankful for} Holiday Leftovers Shepherd's Pie - Featuring Garlic Mashed Idaho® Potatoes!

Now that Halloween is behind us, it's finally time to kick
off that magical, most wonderful time of year we all
know as the Holiday baking and cooking season!
That season when comfort foods reign supreme, families gather together and
socializing always revolves around really great food! And, if you're anything
like me, it's also the time of year when we cook a whole lot more than we
need so we're left wondering what to do with all of those great leftovers!
In our house, there's a tradition of having Shepherd's Pie the day
following our Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts. It's so easy to put
together and is as delicious as the first time dinner was served. In
fact, if you ask my son who loves to eat a little bit of everything on
his plate in one bite, he would tell you that it tastes even better!
I think holiday dinner leftovers make the perfect Shepherd's pie! This
recipe can be made in a casserole dish, pie plate and even in a muffin
pan for individual servings that can be frozen and popped into the
microwave for quick meals that tastes like you spent hours in the
kitchen! The first step to creating my Be Thankful for Holiday
Leftovers Shepherd's Pie is to gather up all your dinner leftovers!
Stuffing naturally creates the perfect crust - So just add a few cups to
a pie plate and press it over the bottom and into the sides. Like this...
Then, spread whole berry or jellied cranberry
sauce over the surface of stuffing crust...
Leftover turkey meat is added to the cranberry sauce layer...
Then, topped with vegetables. Any veggies will do. Honey-glazed
carrots, green beans, asparagus... Even broccoli and cauliflower or a
mix of every vegetable served at your holiday table works just fine!
Just don't forget to drizzle a little gravy over your vegetables before...
Crowning your Shepherd's Pie with my incredibly
Seriously, this is a mashed potato recipe you'll have to double, just
to ensure you have leftovers to create this Shepherd's Pie at all!
Finish with a pinch of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper and...
Slip your Shepherd's Pie into a preheated 400°F oven...
For 22-25 minutes or until potatoes turn golden brown!
This Shepherd's Pie is a marvelous way of using up all of
your holiday dinner leftovers! And, it tastes so good...
You may find yourself bringing out desserts
early, just to make sure you have leftovers!
That being said, there are no rules! Which means you have permission
to create my Holiday Shepherd's Pie for dinner any time!
I am delighted to have shared this recipe with the good people
of the Idaho® Potato Commission where you can now find it,
along with other amazing holiday recipe ideas featured at their website!