Food Photo of the Day: Chicken Korma and Yak Chili.

Chicken korma and yak chili. (Christina House / For The Times)

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Shepherd’s Pie & Inspiration from Kori (via ReFresh and Foodbuzz)

My cousin, Alice, cooks up some Shepherd's Pie.

For those of us who are temporarily unfamiliar with this particular piece of food history, Shepherd’s Pie is a dish that originated from the English – specifically, in the 1870s under the lesser used “cottage pie.”

I must admit that this piece took some time to finally post. But the experience of witnessing my cousin Alice bake this on the spot was truly memorable and enjoyable, albeit, nearly a year after the fact. 🙂

From what I recall that night, Alice’s version had a bit of a bite to it. Perhaps the addition of cayenne pepper in the mix?

I’ll have to catch up with her to affirm whether that’s true.

To be clear, I borrowed the recipe below from an established website but the essential ingredients and methodology remain the same. Do enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1-2 cups vegetables – chopped carrots, corn, peas
  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs potatoes (3 big ones)
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice

Method

1. Peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).

2. While the potatoes are cooking, melt 4 Tablespoons butter (1/2 a stick) in large frying pan.

3. Sauté onions in butter until tender over medium heat (10 mins). If you are adding vegetables, add them according to cooking time. Put any carrots in with the onions. Add corn or peas either at the end of the cooking of the onions, or after the meat has initially cooked.

4. Add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink. Add salt and pepper. Add worcesterchire sauce. Add half a cup of beef broth and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth as necessary to keep moist.

5. Mash potatoes in bowl with remainder of butter, season to taste.

6. Place beef and onions in baking dish. Distribute mashed potatoes on top. Rough up with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. You can use the fork to make some designs in the potatoes as well.

7. Cook in 400 degree oven until bubbling and brown (about 30 minutes). Broil for last few minutes if necessary to brown.

Serves four.

(The original recipe is located at Simply Recipes.)

And to end this on a high note, Kori, a friend from Foodbuzz, shared the following quote on her blog ReFresh. I wanted to pay forward the inspiration.

Inspiration for the day…

I just love this quote… and the person who shared it with me! – Kori

Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So love the people who treat you right, forget about the ones who don’t and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it’d be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.   (Unknown)

Cake in the States.

Here’s a gallery of a Filipino bakery in Elk Grove, California. They weren’t too happy when they saw me snapping pictures and insisted that I should have asked for permission first before I did. Whoops.

Julia & Julia and Cinnacake.

Salsa

Tomato, cilantro, cucumbers, peppers.

I’m back! In the United States, of course. Present location: Elk Grove, California. I’m currently watching my Aunt Eppie chop up a nice bowl of salsa and cooking a pot of steamy chicken adobo.

Today, I’ll be relaying email messages to my cousin back in St. Vincent to retrieve her recipes and hopefully media (pictures and videos) of future culinary creations.

To add to that, I’ve been surfing the net for recipes of Caribbean eats that I hope to put together myself in the near future and perhaps write about. My inspiration?

Call me a sap, but on the flight from Chicago to Sacramento, I happened to watch the fantastic film Julia & Julia, a movie about food. Nora Ephron directed this movie about two true stories, two women: Julia Child and Julie Powell who find happiness, heartache, and love through cooking. And although these two ladies are focused on French cuisine, I couldn’t help but relate to their admirable affection for making marvelous masterpieces in the kitchen. Well, relate to the eating part.

If you haven’t seen Julia & Julia yet, it’s worth a peek. If not, Powell’s blog about Child is a fun and hugely entertaining read. Who knows, maybe my endless display of food photographs may land me a book deal like she did with her authentic grasp of the cooking experience and her enthralling life through masterful prose.

By the way, here’s the gift Ate Jhoanape left us before we set off for St. Lucia – Puerto Rico – Chicago – Sacramento. Heavenly? You bet. 🙂

Cinnacake

Cinnacake = heaven.

Heading Home.

San Juan

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Well, today is my last day in Kingstown. I’m flying out to San Juan, Puerto Rico and Chicago before returning to California. I should be back in Washington state in time for my father’s birthday, my niece’s birthday, and Thanksgiving! There’s plenty to look forward to but I already miss this place.

I intend to keep my promise about posting recipes and I still have an enormous amount of pictures to post so keep checking back for new material. It’s currently up in the air – I’m hoping to return July of next year. Don’t forget to visit the bakery if you get the chance. 🙂

– Anthony