ALL I NEEDED WAS A PIECE OF IRISH SODA BREAD#SHEPARD’S PIE

It wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without an Irish dish. And what better way to get a snippet of good luck than with a generous wedge of Shepard’s pie. If you don’t have chopped lamb or beef, don’t sweat it. Shhhh, I used some Italian spicy sausage I had on hand. What was I going do? Have you seen the prices? There was no way I was going to purchase lamb or beef for those prices.

Rendered my sausage pieces in a hot skillet and set aside. Then, I added a mixed vegetables both fresh and frozen and made sure to season with salt, black pepper, dried basil and a few sprigs of thyme. Added back my sausage pieces then covered with smooth and buttery Irish mashed potatoes.

With a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, light bread crumbs and drizzle of olive oil, I baked my Shepard’s for at 350 degrees until all the cheese melted and pie was set. When I cut in it, oh, it was all so succulent and delicious. All those ingredients released delicious and superb gravy. I’m quite sure an Irish chap would just lap it up with a chunk of soda bread and do the River Dance. And guess what? I think he wouldn’t mind the Italian sausage.

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

LOOK YE HERE! LOOK YE HERE! I STILL HAVE SOME JAMAICAN RUM MARINARA OVER HERE ##EGG CUPCAKES

My Jamaican rum marinara sauce has some long legs. Had a few leftover spoonfuls on hand and decided to ‘rock’ it with a couple of eggs. Grabbed my whisk, tossed in a pinch of salt, cracked black pepper, a sprinkle of cheddar cheese (love to keep that in the freezer), a splash of milk, and of course, my recent concoction, Jamaican rum marinara sauce.

Egg cupcakes ready for the oven
Egg cupcakes ready for the oven

Had cupcakes on my mind; so I decided to download my batter in a muffin tin. Placed in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. The result was soft and flavorful cupcakes. I served my cupcakes on two slices of grilled rye bread which were drizzled with a little olive oil and rubbed with garlic.

With fresh straw and blue berries, my palate was refreshed and so was I. To say I was happy is quite an understatement, me and my palate were on cloud nine. Guys, that’s what beautiful things are made of.

A CAULIFLOWER DISH THAT IS THE ‘STAR’ OF THE MEAL

Who would have thought that this former forgotten veggie could be celebrated as this. Cauliflower has somewhat emerged as a bright star among its counterparts. Step back broccoli and cabbage and in enter this cruciferous member. This creamy white and  tight veggie is standing out on its own and seems to be stealing the stoplight from its family members. Well, that’s my observation.

Head of Cauliflower
Head of Cauliflower

And, the great thing is that cauliflower has numerous health benefits. Based on studies, it is excellent in preventing different cancers, like ovarian, prostate, and cervical. In addition, it is ideal for the lowering of the blood sugar in the body. It’s low in calories and as a result, it’s perfect in the area of weight management.

Chefs have created many dishes that seems to compliment this flower veggie. As a home cook, I’ve cooked cauliflower in the form of a mash, soup, roasted, and steamed. However, the last I’ve checked I realized it can be had many more ways.

One of the ways I’ve decided to cook this amazing veggie is to roast it in coconut milk. But, first I cut it in huge slices. Then, I soaked it overnight in coconut milk which was seasoned with a pinch of salt to taste along with paprika, and  black pepper. I also put a  sprinkle of cinnamon for added flavor….winner!  Nutmeg would also be perfect as well.

Cauliflower sliced
Cauliflower sliced
Cauliflower in coconut milk ready for roasting
Cauliflower in coconut milk ready for roasting

In a 400 degree oven, cauliflower pieces were roasted for approximately 45 minutes until fork tender and coconut reduced.  It was then placed under the broiler for another five minutes with shredded cheddar cheese for a quick melt and browning on top.

Final dish of cauliflower with melted cheddar cheese topping
Final cauliflower dish with melted cheddar cheese topping

Guys, this dish is excellent for a perfect side dish at your holiday meal or any meal for that matter. It’s a crowd pleaser dish and will have everyone returning for seconds.

Guys, as always, be kind to your loved ones as well as your beautiful palates.