Comfort food for the ages: Cottage Pie recipe from an old Irish pub
"This is one of my favorite comfort foods...Cottage Pie from an old Irish pub on Hilton Head Island." Marge Davis Fields.
Hilton Head, South Carolina has over a dozen Irish pubs where people can go for the Island's pub fare. It's an atmosphere locals and those on vacation seek out for community and friendship. Marge's favorite pub prepared individual pies but she makes one big pot for the family at home. "With a little help from the pub years ago, this is the version my kids enjoyed growing up."
2 lbs. ground chuck, turkey, or lamb (your preference)
1 lg. onion chopped
1 small pkg. fresh mushroom sliced
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 cans of Golden Mushroom Soup
1 pkg. peas and carrots
1 lb. mashed potatoes (I prefer Bob Evans or you can make a batch)
2 pats butter
Small pkg. sharp cheddar cheese
Two sprigs of fresh thyme
Brown the meat and set aside. Sauté the onion, add mushrooms, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. After sautéing, add meat, keep simmering on medium heat for a couple of minutes, then add both cans of Golden Mushroom Soup (no added water).
After combined, cook for a couple more minutes and remove from the heat. Either pour into a casserole dish or use one stove-to-oven dish to do all. Drain one can of peas and carrots (if you don’t like carrots, use green peas only).
Pour the peas and carrots on top of the meat mixture. Next, slather the mashed potatoes on top of the peas until evenly distributed. Add a couple of small butter pats, then sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
Bake 375 degrees for 30 to 40 mins until bubbly and the cheese has melted and browned. Sprinkle a little fresh thyme over the top when serving into individual bowls. All you need is a salad for a complete meal!
Tip: Please your own palette. Add a can of drained corn with the peas or sauté celery with the onions. You know what your like so make it your own. Enjoy!
Sami Craine Owens shared a recipe that's a take on Food Network Star Bobby Flay's shrimp and grits. There are small but significant changes that add more flavor to the delicious southern dish. A subtle tweak here and there can make all the difference in the world.
tip: If you would like a richer, creamier grit, go ahead and add a 1/2 cup of cream cheese. It's all a matter of preference.
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
salt and pepper
1 cup stone-ground grit
3 Tbs. butter
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 slices of bacon, chopped
4 tsp. lemon juice
2 Tbs. chopped parsley
1 cup sliced scallions
1 large clove garlic, minced
Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Add grits and cook until the broth is absorbed (approximately 20 - 25 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese.
Rinse and pat dry shrimp. Fry bacon. Remove the bacon and set it on a paper towel. Add shrimp to bacon grease. Cook until pink. Turnover once while cooking. Add lemon juice, chopped bacon, parsley, scallions, and garlic. Sauté' for three minutes.
Ladle grits into a bowl and add shrimp mixture on top. Serve immediately.
Deborah and her clan live in Nashville, Tennessee, and finely experienced 'a worthy snowfall.' Typically when it snows, eager eaters crave snow cream. The traditional milk, sugar, vanilla, and snow. However, in the Williamson family, the traditional 'out of school due to snow day' treat to beat is Chocolate Gravy and Biscuits.
There's no breakfast brunch menu item around that could hold a candle to this incredible ooey gooey chocolaty sensation. Just looking at the picture makes my mouth water. BTW: Deborah is my cousin so she knows her way around the kitchen. We love to eat!
How the tradition started...
"We lived in Mississippi, so it didn’t snow very often, but every time it did my Mom made chocolate gravy! This made it a special occasion and one I have carried on in my family!!" Deborah Burnett Williamson
Thanks so much for sharing the recipe. Yum Yum
3/4 cup cocoa
3T all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
Whisk ingredients together in a bowl making sure there are no lumps
2 cups milk added to dry mixture stir
Put into a pot on top of the stove on a medium heat
It is important to stir continuously so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Stir until it is a thick gravy consistency.
Add in 1T of butter and 1t of vanilla
Pour over biscuits!
February is for Mardi Gras, Carnival parades, and snow?! Sami and Dwayne Owens have an authentic gumbo recipe that's been passed around the family for decades. This particular recipe was given to the Owens family by Louis Kirschoff and has been a staple in their kitchen for over 18 years. In fact, Dwayne recently learned how to make his own andouille sausage.
Sami said, "Dwayne makes the sausage from a pork butt that's been smoked. Then, grinds it into Paul Prudhomme's sausage recipe and puts it into casings. It's a process that takes approximately two days to complete. Yep, he's competing with Paul Prudhomme."
Competing with Paul Prudhomme is quite the lofty goal but Sami admits that Dwayne's andouille is tastier than the Cajun Kings. If you're unfamiliar with Prudhomme, he's an American celebrity chef known for his Cajun and Creole cuisines and has been credited for popularizing it.
As the story goes...
Kirschoff lived in the west end of Paducah and was neighbors with Dr. Dennis Owens, obstetrician/gynecologist in Paducah, KY. It was Dr. Owens who shared the recipe with his brother Dwayne and dad Jim. The gumbo was so well-liked by Jim Owens that he requested his sons learn how to make the recipe from start to finish. Jim wanted his sons to slow down and perfect the roux, the most important ingredient in authentic gumbo.
Kirschoff owned Kirschoff's bakery and deli in downtown Paducah. It was a family-owned business that opened its doors in 1873 by Louis' great-grandfather Franz Kirschoff. After a closure, Louis and his daughter reopened the bakery in 1997. The famous bakery, known for its delicious artisan bread, famous baked treats, and wonderful lunch combos, had always been a favorite in Paducah. The family sold the business in 2019. Louis Kirschoff died this past December from natural causes.
Sami and Dwayne have been a couple for 18 years. (together 10 and married eight). Both have a tremendous love of food and enjoy cooking for friends, family, or just the two of them. For years, Sami had a catering business and still throws a party from time to time.
This weekend her niece Miranda Walker is having a Mardi Gras-themed wedding and Sami and Dwayne are providing the food. Part of the festive menu includes the famous gumbo from Kirschoff.
Sami said, "I've had that recipe hanging in my garage for over 18 years." She said after Dr. Owens shared the recipe with Dwayne and their dad, every time the family headed down south to vacation on the gulf, they made the gumbo. With all the fresh seafood, who could resist.
Ingredients: Modified from "Cooking Across the South" Serves 12
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
8 stalks of celery, chopped
3 onions, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 pound sliced okra
3 Tbs. shortening
2 quarts chicken stock
2 quarts of shrimp stock
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. hot sauce
1/2 cup Ketchup
1 large tomato, chopped
1 Tbs. salt
2 slices of ham, chopped (Cured Tasso or smoked ham)
1 pound of andouille sausage or polish (Kielbasa)
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. Rosemary
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 chicken cooked and chopped (remove skin and bones)
1 pound cooked crabmeat
4 pounds boiled shrimp (get your shrimp stock)
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 pint oysters
Juice of one lemon
Directions: Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add flour slowly, constantly stirring with a whisk until the roux is dark brown. 30 - 45 minutes.
Add celery, onion, green pepper, garlic, and parsley, and cook on low for one hour stirring frequently (very important to cook this low).
Fry okra in 3 Tbs. shortening until brown. Add to gumbo and stir well over low heat for a few minutes.
In a large stock pot add chicken stock and shrimp stock, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, ketchup, chopped tomato, salt, ham, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, and cayenne. With a large spoon and roux mixture to stock. Simmer for three hours stirring occasionally.
About 30 minutes before serving time, add cooked chicken, crabmeat, and shrimp. Add oysters, lemon juice, and brown sugar the last 10 minutes of simmering time.
Serve over hot cooked rice in a soup bowl.
Simple recipes that pack a ton of flavor in little bites.
This collection of Super Bowl treats couldn't have been assembled without my Aunt Marge. She's my mom's sister and has always been there for me. Even as I work on a website that's keeping me occupied during the pandemic. She's one of those, like my mom, that's always there when I need her. How lucky am I...
Marge serves these little tidbits at family gatherings or as a treat for her and David. I have to say, it's a very good spread of food. The vegetables, the meats, the flavors...it's really a perfect Super Bowl feast.
For any of the recipes, click on one of the links below or go to WKY Table. It's a public group so feel free to scroll through the pages and even join if you want. The only agenda on this page is food.
Roasted Okra: Available on WKY Table or here:
"We also like fresh okra. Wash and pat dry. Place on cookie sheet. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top. Sprinkle kosher salt and ground pepper. Mix well and roast in a 400-degree oven for 15-20 mins. Yummy, just to eat." Marge
Cowboy Caviar: Available on WKY Table or here:
Can Rotel, 15 oz. can black-eyed peas (drained), can black beans (rinsed and drained), can white Mexican corn, 1/2 diced red onion, 1/2 cup diced green pepper, and red pepper. For the dressing: 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 fresh squeezed lime, 2 T. Sugar, 1/3 cup vinegar, tsp cumin, salt, and pepper to taste, and fresh cilantro, pour the mixed dressing over vegetables and refrigerate for several hours. Serve with tortilla chips.
Bacon wrapped medallions will be the ultimate treat for Super Bowl LV
By Margie Davis Fields
Another fabulous recipe from my Aunt Marge. She has so many wonderful combinations and getting these quick and easy 'go-to' appetizers will please the whole crew.
With only two ingredients needed for this Super Bowl sure thing, it's easy on the wallet and time spent in the kitchen. Both translate into more family and game time.
So, make a quick trip to the grocery with no worries. FYI: She suggests serving it with your favorite sauce. I have a two-ingredient sauce that will pair nicely with the medallions at the bottom of the recipe.
Package of pork tenderloin (comes in pkg. of two)
Wrap the little pork loins in bacon, nothing else, and either grill or bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes. Slice as medallions and serve as an appetizer with favorite condiments and small bread slices. It's easy and really good.
Dragon Sauce Dip:
1/4 cup of strawberry preserves
2 Tbs. Frank's Original Red Hot Sauce
Blend and serve with medallions
The non-vegetable lovin' fan will do a complete 360 when they try this classic veggie pizza. It's one of the most wonderful appetizers, snacks, and 'get your veggies in' type dishes that will keep them coming back for more. Seriously, make two.
I was given this recipe by a friend 30 years ago. In fact, the gnarly sheet of paper in the above photo was her handwritten copy of how to assemble it.
As the story goes, three decades ago it was a warm summer afternoon and the perfect day to enjoy the outdoors. At Paducah's downtown riverfront, a concert was about to start. The concrete stage was the perfect venue for live music. It was located at the foot of Broadway along the Ohio River. In front of the stage was a grassy knoll.
We spread our double blankets out on the ground to accommodate both families and 'save our spots.' Next thing I know, out comes Tupperware with a mound of vegetables strategically placed on top of a creamy spread and crescent crust. I will never forget that day, that friend, or that pizza.
One package of crescent rolls (double the recipe)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 pkg. of hidden valley ranch dressing (dry)
Four ounces of cream cheese (room temperature)
Three ounces of mozzarella
Three ounces of sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 head cauliflower
Head of broccoli
Two green peppers (or green and red)
1/2 small red onion
Three stalks of celery
(Fill free to add a few other veggies of your choice)
Spread your crescent rolls out on a sheet pan like a pizza crust (connect the squares) and bake at 350 degrees for 7 - 10 minutes (until lightly brown). Mix the mayo, sour cream, hidden valley ranch pkg., and cream cheese together. Spread over the cooled layer of crescent rolls. Chop all of the veggies and strategically place them on the pizza. Next, top with the mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Cut into squares and serve.
Mouthwatering buttery garlic lemon shrimp that takes minutes to prepare.
Lemon garlic shrimp "One of our favorites." Margie Davis Fields
Jumbo bag of Sam's frozen shrimp
Stick of butter
Lemon - 1/2 juiced, 1/2 sliced
3 garlic cloves - chopped
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
Fresh parsley (chopped)
Thaw jumbo shrimp according to directions. If you've got a fresh fish market, pick up 1 - 2 pounds. Spread the lemon slices then the shrimp across the bottom of a 9 x 13 dish in a single layer and salt. Melt butter. Add to it lemon juice, garlic, pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning. Mix together and set aside. Pour the butter mixture over top of the shrimp. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 10 - 12 minutes (until pink). After coming out of the oven and slightly cooled, spring chopped parsley over the top. Eat as an appetizer or serve over angel hair pasta with a sauce.
More bang for your buck with this recipe. I've had pork belly in restaurants. Typically, it's not stand-alone. My Aunt Marge and her husband David make it at home. They eat it as a dish...not often though because it's fatty. But, if you slice it thin and cut off the excess fat, it's like eating most any pork and it's packed full of flavor.
This particular recipe will work great this Super Bowl weekend. We're the lucky food lovers that get to take pork belly to the next level. She shares how to prepare it, cook it, and serve it. I myself tried it as a pork belly taco and it was oh so yummy.
"So Pork Belly.....if you've never tried to make it, it's yummy. David and I discovered that Walmart sells it and it's already cut into strips. It makes this recipe so easy. I buy several packages and freeze them. Then, take it out to thaw and give it a quick bake!" Margie Davis Fields
Pork Belly ingredients:
6 - 12 1/2 inch thick slices
Place the pork belly strips on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Season it with kosher salt, pepper, and paprika. Place a single layer in a 400-degree preheated oven. After 30 minutes on one side, flip. Drain the excess grease before sticking it back in the oven for another 20 - 30 minutes. Then, place it under a broiler for another minute to make it nice and crisp on top. It should be crispy and brown before removing from the oven. When under the broiler, watch it because it could burn quickly.
There are a couple of different ways to serve the pork belly. As an easy protein, try it with a couple of sides like greens or green beans and mac n' cheese. A real Southern meal. If you prefer a more Asian flavor, try 3 T. soy sauce, 2 T. honey, 1 tsp. garlic. Rub it on the pork belly before cooking.
Different ways to eat pork belly are on brioche bread as a sandwich or slicing it thin and eating it with your sides. If you have leftover pork belly, here's another idea:
Leftover Street pork belly tacos:
4 flour tortillas
Leftover pork belly
Diced red onion (small)
pinch of chili powder
Two cloves of garlic (minced)
Pinch of cumin
Salt & pepper
Chili sauce (your favorite or use some Siracha)
Avocado is always optional as a topper
Cut off any excess fat from the pork belly (it may be jelly-like). Cut the cold meat into thin slices and lightly salt. Add the onion and garlic to a little bit of olive oil and sauté' for a minute, salt and pepper. Add the meat and the spices to warm through. Remove from the heat. Warm your tortillas as directed. Add the meat mixture to the tortilla topped with arugula, cilantro, and a little chili sauce (your choice). a squeeze of fresh lime and enjoy.
Cheese chicken & rice casserole is a leftover comfort food that makes you want to kick of your shoes, snuggle under a blanket, and savor each delicious bite.
Cheese chicken & rice casserole
For those that enjoy working with leftovers, this is a delicious casserole that takes minutes to assemble and very little time in the oven.
Planning meals ahead can be a real lifesaver for many working parents. And, I'm saying parents at this juncture because many are working from home. Both moms and dads are available to help with the everyday cooking.
My friend and chef Laura Arredondo spends a lot of time in the kitchen. When you're a chef, this is what you do because you love it. There are some days that take hours to prepare a meal and others that only take minutes.
When I'm writing an article, there are days I spend hours on one particular story. Typically, it's a profile of a friend or acquaintance. These particular articles are the ones I invest not only my time but my heart. It's the same with cooking. Chefs/cooks put their time and heart on a plate.
"This casserole recipe is a special preparation with leftover rice and a rotisserie chicken (leftover chicken of any kind)." Laura Arredondo
Leftover boneless chicken cut into pieces
Two cups leftover white rice or minute rice
One large yellow onion (diced)
A green or red pepper (diced)
Cup of frozen sweet green peas
1/2 cup heavy cream
Cup of chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
Cup shredded parmesan
1 tbsp. flour
Two pats of butter
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. Chicken seasoning blend (see how to make your own below)
Saute the onion, pepper, salt & pepper. Add flour and seasoning blend. Add the chicken. Pour in the white wine. Add the rice, green peas, heavy cream, chicken broth, and parmesan cheese. Mix it all together and sprinkle a little extra parmesan on top along with a couple pats of butter. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy some of the white wine along with the casserole. Sit by a fire with a nice book and relax.
Chicken seasoning blend: (1/2 t. paprika, 1/8 t. cayenne pepper, 1/2 t. garlic powder, 1/2 t. onion powder, 1/2 t. dried thyme, 1/2 t. dried basil, 1/2 t. dried rosemary, 1/4 t. dried parsley, 1/2 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper). Reserve the remaining blend for future dishes or use it as a dry rub the next time you make baked, grilled, or sautéed chicken.