Monday, October 24, 2016

Cottage Pie Stuffed Baked Potatoes #HappyBirthdayDrPotato

Just to clarify one thing up front, cottage pie is made with beef. Shepherd’s pie is made with lamb, you know, those animals shepherds watch over. So these cottage pie stuffed baked potatoes are filled with seasoned beef, carrot, onion and peas. They make a fabulous full meal!

When I was growing up in Houston, Texas, there was a fast food restaurant where I loved to eat in the upscale mall called The Galleria. The Galleria is still there. In fact, it’s expanded to include three or four different phases. But, at the time, there was only just the main building in that area, and a Joske’s department store across the street. My favorite eatery served immense baked potatoes, filled with all manner of deliciousness. Two of my favorites were Beef Stroganoff and Broccoli and Cheese but, of course, one could also get a more traditional spud with cheese/bacon/green onion/sour cream fixings.

The potatoes were baked to perfection, fluffy on the inside with a lovely crunchy thick outside, seasoned with just the right amount of salt. As much as I loved the inside and the fillings, I’m not sure I didn’t love the outside more. Truly, is there anything better than an Idaho® Russet for a baked potato?

Ever since, I've looked for delightful ways to fill baked potatoes and make them into whole meals. Today I share this favorite recipe in honor of a special man I have had the privilege to work with over the last year and meet personally in May at Food Wine Conference 2016 in Orlando. You might know him as Dr. Potato but his real name is Don Odiorne, and he's the smart, charming top potato head at the Idaho® Potato Commission.

It’s Don’s 70th birthday today so Sunday Supper is organizing a surprise party! Joining us in sending Happy Birthday greetings to Don on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #HappyBirthdayDrPotato from 8-10 a.m. ET. 

And, if you feel so inclined, please share one of your favorite potato recipes as well.

4 large russet potatoes
1 beef stock cube
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 lbs or 560g ground beef - not too lean!
1 medium onion
1 medium carrot
1/2 cup or 70g frozen peas - we like the young, tender petits pois
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Parsley to garnish - optional

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Scrub your baking potatoes clean, poke them a few times with a fork and put them in the oven to bake for 1 hour.

In a 2-cup or 480ml (or larger) measuring cup, dissolve the stock cube in 1/2 cup or 120ml boiling water. Leave to cool.

Peel and chop your onion. Peel and cube your carrot. Remove the peas from the freezer and leave to thaw.

Meanwhile, drizzle the olive oil in a frying pan and start browning the beef.

When the beef has a lot of lovely browned crispy edges, add the chopped onion. Cook over medium fire until the onion turns translucent. Drain oil if necessary.

Add in chopped carrots with 1/4 cup or 60ml water. Cover and cook till tender.

Once the stock cube water is cool, whisk in the cornstarch. Add another cup of cool water to the measuring cup and stir well.

Pour the stock cube/corn starch mixture into the beef pot. Yes, it is an alarming white color. Just stay with me. All the browned bits on the meat turn it into a lovely brown gravy. Cook over a slow fire until it thickens.

Add the peas and cook for a few more minutes.

Finally, add the Worcestershire sauce and stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the hot baked potatoes down the middle and use a napkin or towel to hold them while you push them open from the ends.

Fluff up the insides with a fork, stretching the sides open to hold more filling.

Spoon the filling into the potatoes. Serve with extra Worcestershire sauce on the side. If you want to make shepherd's pie stuffed baked potatoes, substitute ground lamb.

And since this is a special occasion, go ahead and add a little parsley to garnish.

Happy birthday, Don! I wish you many happy returns of the day!

What's your favorite filling for baked potatoes? Are you a traditionalist or do you play outside the box? 

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Grilled Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza Wraps #SundaySupper

If you love fresh, hot homemade pizza, full of melty cheese and tasty toppings, but time is short, make these grilled pepperoni and sausage pizza wraps instead!

Seriously, these have all the flavor of pepperoni and sausage pizza in a fraction of the time real pizza takes to make. They are ideal for a weeknight supper or game night and would be great for a party as well. Let each person fill her own wrap, choosing from a selection of fillings. The ones below just happen to be my favorites but you do you.

Two important things to remember when filling 1. Do not overfill and 2. Start and end with cheese – this helps seal the wrap when grilling.

Ingredients to feed one
1 large wrap
1/2 cup or 55g grated mozzarella
Jalapeño slices
Onion slices
1/4 cup or 60ml pizza sauce
7-8 small cooked Italian sausage meatballs
6-7 pepperoni slices
3-4 fresh basil leaves

Sprinkle half the cheese in the middle of the wrap. Top with a few slices of jalapeño and onion.

Add the sausage and spoon on half of the sauce.

Next comes the pepperoni, basil leaves and the rest of the sauce.

Finally, sprinkle on the rest of the mozzarella.

Fold in the top and bottom of the wrap.

Then fold in one long side and roll to close the wrap.

Grill the wrap, over a medium low heat, overlapping side down for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. Place something heavy on top. I use my kettle filled with a cup or two of water.

Turn the wrap over and grill the other side for another 1 1/2 – 2 minutes, weight still in place.


Did you know that October is National Pizza Month? Yeah, I missed that memo too. But it really is and has been since 1984 when late entrepreneur Gerry Durnell launched the first trade publication about pizza called Pizza Today. His first issue came out that October, so he designated it National Pizza Month as well.

Sunday Supper cannot resist the opportunity to celebrate such a great occasion so we've got close 60 pizza or pizza-inspired recipes to share today. Many thanks to Coleen of The Redhead Baker who is hosting the event and our event manager Cricket of Cricket's Confections for all of their hard work.






Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter every Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest boardWould you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

And don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get great recipes delivered right to your inbox every Thursday!
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Friday, October 21, 2016

Coconut Curry Shrimp Noodles #FishFridayFoodies

When you have a craving for curry laksa noodles but don’t have the time, this quick spicy coconut curry shrimp pasta hits the perfect spot.

Last year around this time, my husband and I took off for a long weekend in the Seychelles. We booked a place online that looked idyllic, and indeed it proved to be. Set on a lush green hillside overlooking a gorgeous blue-green bay of the Indian Ocean, it was a one-bedroom chalet with a huge porch and a small, but well-equipped kitchen.

One of my favorite adventures in a new place is to explore the local markets and cook with local ingredients. To save from needing to buy essentials in a place where much is imported, I had done a little research to discover what we could bring safely and packed a cooler and a small suitcase with things like pasta and coffee.  The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands so I felt fairly certain seafood would be abundantly available. I had in mind a fish curry for dinner one of our nights, so I brought Thai red curry paste and a packet of coconut milk powder.

The view from our porch

We found local markets without a problem, even a couple that were roadside stands attached to farms, where we bought produce and fresh eggs mere steps from where they were produced. Score! Despite the Indian Ocean all the way around the island of Mahé where we were staying, fish and seafood were hard to find! We didn't know if they were exporting it all or if no one could be bothered to fish for a living but we eventually found a bag of frozen shrimp in a little supermarket to make the seafood curry. You’ll never guess where it came from. Yep, the United Arab Emirates. I should have just brought it from home in my cooler. It would have been way cheaper.

We did manage, finally, to eat local seafood at a seaside restaurant one evening so perhaps they know some fishermen personally. Also, we arrived at the central market in Victoria late one afternoon and there seemed to be a fish counter there, although it was empty, save a few leftover fish from that morning, clearly past their best. I can only hope it's better stocked first thing in the morning.

The mostly-missing seafood mystery aside, I can highly recommend the Seychelles for a holiday. The beaches are gorgeous, colorful fragrant flowers fill the roadsides and forests, the local dishes are tasty, the beer is great and the people are very friendly. We rented a car and explored the island, finding gorgeous little coves to swim in where we felt like we were the only people on the island. Idyllic indeed.

Anyhoo, that’s a long story for a dish that takes mere minutes to make. Since that night in the Seychelles when we dined on UAE shrimp and sipped on chilled Seybrew lager, I’ve made this dish many times, most recently just two nights ago. It’s become a firm family favorite.

3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons red curry paste (I use 3 heaped spoons – we like things spicy.)
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 1/2 lb or 675g shrimp, already peeled and cleaned
8 oz or 225g thin noodles
Fine sea salt
1 14 oz or 400ml can coconut cream
Good handful cilantro, chopped

Sauté the onion with olive oil and curry paste in a pan that’s going to be big enough to hold all of the ingredients later.

Once the onion has softened, add 1 1/2 cup or 360ml water with a teaspoon of salt and the noodles. Cook over a low flame with lid on for five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the shrimp with another sprinkle of salt.

Cover again and cook until shrimp are pink and the noodles are done. Give the whole thing a stir.

Pour in the coconut cream and stir to combine.

Cook at little longer, until the dish is heated through again. Try not to let it come to a boil though.

Stir and taste for salt, adding more if needed. Stir some of the cilantro into the dish then garnish with the rest.


As the nights turn chillier in many places, my Fish Friday Foodie friends are sharing seafood pasta dishes that should help you warm up. Many thanks to our host this month, Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking! Check out all our creative pasta dishes.

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