Shepherd’s Pie – in potato skins! Making this my “express” way, it takes just 15 minutes to prepare to pop into the oven to get those gorgeous brown crunchy bits on the mashed potato!
“That moment when you cut through the creamy mashed potato with the golden crunchy ridges and the filling comes oozing out….I can’t describe how satisfying it is!”
As a potato-obsessed-carb-o-holic, I take great…
This complete meal is made from scratch and on the table in 15 minutes. Don’t believe me? Try it and see!
Have you ever tried to make one of Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals? I did. I made Ricotta Fritters with Tomato Sauce and Zucchini Salad. I really tried to make it in 15 minutes. I even followed his “rules”, where you start with all the ingredients on the counter, washed and ready to go, the…
Amazing what you can make with plain bread! It’s like french toast, a muffin and pull apart bread had a baby……..A great make-ahead to feed an army. Also a superb morning-after recovery food. Highly recommend drowning in maple syrup for optimal experience.
If I had to choose 1 sweet thing to live on for the rest of my life, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups would be it. It is therefore unfortunate that I live in Australia as it’s an expensive addiction to feed. Fortunately, however, they are actually really easy to make yourself!
A complete dinner on the table in 15 minutes, made from scratch!
This is how this 15 minute meal goes down:
- Chicken – 30 seconds to prepare, 3 1/2 minutes to cook (using chicken breast minute steaks)
- Marsala Sauce – 2 minutes to prepare ingredients, 3 1/2 minutes to make by deglazing the pan
- White Bean Puree – 1 minute to prepare, 2 minutes to simmer, 1 minute to puree or mash
- Asparagus – 1…
Transform a can of beetroot into an elegant side dish with just 2 ingredients and 5 minutes. Or if you really want to up the stakes, make this with fresh beetroot!
“This is a great example of making a really elegant dish on a budget.“
This is how you turn a budget cut of beef into the most meltingly tender version of this popular Chinese take out. And you can make it freezer friendly!
“Very few stir fries can be converted into a slow cooked version without compromising flavour or texture. Beef and broccoli was made for it.”
Have you noticed that when you order Chinese that the meat is always incredibly tender? It’s not because they are made with expensive fillets. It is because of a technique used to tenderise the meat called “velveting”. All you do is marinate the meat in cornstarch and sauces.
But even with velveting, you can’t disguise cheap beef cuts because stir fries are cooked quickly over high heat so the meat is still quite tough. And if you use an expensive cut of beef, it will be tender but it won’t be meltingly tender.
The solution? SLOW COOKING. Not an authentic method, but the ingredients in the recipe are. Time savvy? YES. Cost efficient? DOUBLE YES.
“I took an authentic Chinese Beef & Broccoli recipe and adapted the quantities and directions to suit slow cooking and freezing.”
There are 2 basic steps to make this:
1. Throw the beef and sauce ingredients in the slow cooker. Then let it cook on High for 3 hours, or pressure cook it for 40 minutes on High.
2. Toss in lightly cooked broccoli. Just steam or boil broccoli until it is “tender crisp” (which means the broccoli is just cooked, still bright green and crisp). I once saw a recipe where the broccoli was slow cooked with the beef. Please do not be tempted to try this! The broccoli gets overcooked to the point that it practically turns to mush and it’s horribly brown. The extra few minutes it takes to toss in freshly cooked broccoli is worth it.
“Thie entire meal can be made ahead and frozen, including the cooked rice.”
This recipe can also be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen. I didn’t realise that broccoli could be frozen until I researched it for this recipe! It actually freezes really well, you just need to make sure you blanch it before freezing. So the recipe includes directions for how to make this freezer friendly as well. It worked perfectly – when I thawed and reheated it, the broccoli was perfectly cooked and bright green.
Plus the other tip is to freeze cooked rice. It’s not common knowledge, but cooked rice freezes incredibly well and it’s a standard thing to do in Asian households. All my relatives in Japan do it, and I’ve never known any different because my mother always did it.
Hope you enjoy it! Leave me a comment if you have any questions.
PS This recipe is part of my mission to consume an abnormal pile of broccoli I stockpiled because it was insanely cheap at the grocery store. Here are the other broccoli recipes I’ve shared as part of the Broccoli Consumption Mission:
- 500g / 16 oz chuck steak or other beef cut suitable for slow cooking
- 300g / 16 oz broccoli florets (about 6 cups, 1 giant broccoli or 2 medium)
- 2 tbsp corn flour (corn starch)
- 1 cup water (see note 2)
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp finely sliced fresh ginger (note 1)
- 3 tbsp soy sauce (normal dark soy sauce)
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 4 tsp rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 4 dashes white pepper
- Cut the beef into thin slices against the grain (which means at 90 degrees to the direction of the fibres in the meat).
- Place beef in slow cooker.
- Mix the corn flour with the water, then add to the slow cooker.
- Add the Sauce ingredients to the slow cooker.
- Cook on HIGH for 3 hours (or pressure cook on high for 40 minutes).
- Steam or boil broccoli until “tender crisp” (just cooked, still bright green and still crisp).
- Add to beef and sauce, toss to combine. Serve over rice.
- Let the beef and sauce cool.
- Meanwhile, blanch the broccoli very briefly, then run under cold water or plunge into ice water to stop from cooking further.
- Drain broccoli, then combine with the beef and sauce.
- Place into ziplock bags or airtight containers and freeze or refrigerate.
- To cook, thaw then reheat in the microwave, covered. Be careful not to heat for too long because otherwise the broccoli will overcook.
- Serve with rice.
The nutrition analysis will vary depending on the type of beef you use as different cuts of slow cooking beef can have very different amounts of fat. I used chuck steak and cut off the excess fat which is reflected in the nutrition analysis below.
“Crack bread” is an appropriate name for this because it’s garlic bread – on crack! This is a great cost effective FUN centrepiece for your next gathering!
Is there a law that says pies have to be baked with the pastry on top? If there is, it’s time to break the rules because this is everything you know and love about chicken pot pie, but you can get it on the table – MADE FROM SCRATCH – in 20 minutes.
There is a seriously high ratio of broccoli in these! A great way to hide a lot of greens into irresistible little bites. And they’re freezer friendly too!
“You will be amazed how little batter there is for the mound of broccoli used.”
I’ve been posting a broccoli recipe every week for the last few weeks because it’s been insanely cheap lately! For those of you in Australia, it’s currently $1.00/kg (that’s $0.50 / lb) at Coles (usually it’s $4+/kg!). So me being me, who can never resist a good bargain, I stocked up big time which means I’ve had to get seriously creative to get through the ridiculous amount of broccoli stockpiled in my fridge. Here’s what I’ve shared lately:
- Creamy Bacon, Chicken and Broccoli Bread Bake – made from scratch, ready to pop into the oven in just 15 minutes, this is a great way to use up any leftover stale bread lying around.
- Magic Broccoli – it truly is magic how a little roasting with garlic, a drizzle of lemon juice and a scattering of parmesan completely transforms broccoli!
So the Broccoli Mission continues. And today it’s bite size goodies that even kids love! These are seriously tasty fritters. And you will be amazed how much broccoli there is in them. There is an entire head of broccoli to make 6 fritters, and it only uses about 3/4 cup of batter. The “secret” step is to use a potato masher to lightly crush the cooked broccoli. This loosens them up so you only need enough batter to hold them together, and they mould into a fritter shape with a smooth golden brown surface rather than lumps of broccoli sticking out.
“These fritters freeze well. Just pan fry briefly to reheat them so you get the crispy crust.”
I made these with a quick yoghurt sauce but you don’t even need the sauce to be honest, they are great eaten plain. These also freeze really well! To reheat, just thaw then cook them quickly in a dry fry pan to make the surface slightly crispy as well as heating them through. I don’t recommend microwaving them as they will go soggy, and in the oven the underside goes soggy though the top crisps up nicely.
- 3 cups broccoli florets and stem, roughly chopped into 2cm/1 inch pieces (see notes) (about 1 medium head of broccoli)
- 2 tbsp oil (vegetable, olive oil, canola)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp milk (low fat or full fat)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Black pepper
- Yoghurt Sauce
- 1/4 cup plain yoghurt
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- Steam or boil the broccoli until quite tender (but not mushy). I did this in the microwave using a steamer, it took 3 minutes on high.
- Use a potato masher to roughy “squish” the broccoli. Not to look like mashed potato, but just to squish it a bit so when cooked it can be flattened with a spatula to make fritters with a smooth surface rather than having big lumps sticking out.
- Combine the Yoghurt Sauce ingredients and mix well.
- Place egg in a bowl and use a fork to lightly beat the egg. Add the remaining Batter ingredients and mix until combined. The Batter may seem a little thick but it will loosen up when you add the broccoli because when you squish it, it will release some liquid.
- Add the broccoli and mix to evenly disperse throughout the Batter.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a fry pan over medium heat.
- Scoop 1/4 cup of Batter and drop into the pan and use a spoon to gently flatten to about 1cm/1/3″ thickness. Cook 3 fritters at a time.
- Cook each side for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Repeat with remaining Batter.
- Serve with the Yoghurt Sauce and extra lemon wedges, if desired.
Broccoli Fritters There is a seriously high ratio of broccoli in these! A great way to hide a lot of greens into irresistible little bites.