Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cauliflower Mash Shepards Pie

 I can honestly tell you this rocked!  I mean literally rocked!  My husband and child were fighting for the leftovers, what?  That never happens.  What's even more surprising is how easy this was to put together, I made this on a weeknight.

Hubby had NO CLUE these were not mashed potatoes, he kept looking at me like; "honey why are you making me mashed potatoes"?  I just smiled, you know that smile where you know something your partner doesn't know?  Yes, that smile.  Waited till he was half finished with his piece to finally tell him, these are not mashed potatoes...
I should of taken a picture, I really should of by the look of total surprise on his face!

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

Prep time: 25 minutes
Bake time: 35-40 minutes
Yield: 12 servings

Meat mixture
2lbs ground beef (I used 90/10)
1 large onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup frozen peas (still frozen)
1 packet (.87oz) brown gravy 
1/3 cup water
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp pepper

Cauliflower Mash
1 large head cauliflower, roughly chopped
4 tbsp butter
1/4-1/3 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper (can use black)

-Prep and dice vegetables, set aside.  Place cauliflower into a medium stock pan, add enough water to cover and boil till cauliflower is tender.  About 12-15 minutes. 

-Preheat oven to 375F.

-Spray a 13 X 9 baking sheet with non stick cooking spray, set aside. 

-In a large skillet, brown ground beef till no longer pink.   Add in the onions and saute for a few minutes till they are just beginning to become translucent.  Add in the diced carrots and cook for just a minute or so longer. 

-Sprinkle the brown gravy packet over the beef mixture.  Add in the Worcestershire sauce, water, salt, pepper and thyme.  Cook for about 3-4 minutes till all the flavors have been combined.  

-Mix in your peas and place beef mixture onto the bottom of your baking pan, set aside.

- Meanwhile, the cauliflower should be done at this point.  Drain cauliflower and return back into same pan.  Add in the butter and using an immersion blender, blend the cauliflower with the butter.  Slowly add in your milk.  Blend till you have a smooth consistency. 

-When cauliflower mash is to your liking add in the the salt & pepper to taste.  

-Blend in the beaten egg.  This will ensure the mash stays on top of the beef mixture.

-Pour and spread the mashed cauliflower over the meat mixture, spread evenly to the edge, ensuring all meat mixture is covered.

-Bake for 35-40 minutes till edges are starting to become golden.

Let rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting.

My family thoroughly enjoyed this, and what I loved most of all?  It was healthy!  I hope your family enjoys it as much as we did.

Till next time!

Dishin with Didi

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Gingerbread Pork Rind Cake - Review

My husband had been wanting something sweet.  For my readers that have been following me for a while, you know I do not really have a sweet tooth.  My husband on the other hand?  Yeah!
I had to keep it low sugar and lower carb.  My post here; Managing Diabetes - The Wife's Confession

I searched the internet for low carb recipes.  I came across this one with very good reviews.  Cinnamon Spice Pork Rind Cake
I was adamant however to not use fake sweeteners as the recipe called for, but to reduce the amount of sugar the recipe called for, using real sugar. 

Coupled with the orange cream cheese frosting?   It tasted like gingerbread cake, you would not realize there is no flour in this cake, but the base starts with pork rinds.  I did make a few alterations, here are my variations below. 

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 30-35 minutes
Yield: 10-12 

2 pkgs plain Pork Rinds (3.5 oz or 99.2g), ground
3/4 cup sugar 
1 cup milk ( I used whole percent)
2 tbsp white vinegar
5 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1-1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
7 egg whites
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup boiling hot water
1/4 cup chopped pecans

-Preheat oven to 350F.

-Grind the pork rinds in a food processor till they are crumbs, place in a medium bowl and set aside.

-Separate the eggs, whites from yolks.  Reserve 4 egg yolks for the recipe.  Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer till stiff peaks form, set aside.

-Measure your dry ingredients, and place in the bowl with the pork rind crumbs.

-Measure out the milk and in a small bowl, add the white vinegar and mix till thoroughly combined, set aside.  This is called "souring".

-With a whisk, mix the dry ingredients to make sure they are evenly distributed.  Then with a hand mixer, add in the hot water, the eggs, one at a time till incorporated.  Finally add in the milk mixture till combined.

-Fold in the egg whites to the batter till they are fully folded in.

-Fold in the chopped pecans.

-Spray your baking pans with non stick baking spray and divide batter evenly between 2 - 8" inch round pans.

-Bake for 30-35 minutes till cake pulls away from side, about 32 minutes in my gas oven.

-Remove from oven and place on cooling racks for a few minutes.  After a few minutes, invert cakes from pans onto cooling racks.

-Once cooled, frost cakes first the middle and then the sides and tops with your favorite cream cheese frosting.

*I used my favorite cream cheese frosting, but cut back on the sugar to 1/3 a cup of confectioner's sugar, 2 tsp good vanilla and then added in the zest of 1 large grated orange - the frosting was simply delicious*

Good Vanilla;  

The cake is moist!  Just like the other reviews state, the cake doesn't rise very much even though there is baking soda, powder & eggs, probably because of the heaviness of the pork rinds.  
Will I be making this again?  No!  It had a very weird rubbery like texture.  My husband and children agreed on the texture, and so did a coworker as well being my foodie buddie and pal.  I ended up throwing the rest of the cake out to be honest, what a waste of time and money!
I took pictures and shared my personal review of the cake for you, because even though the internet is our friend...
It's not always truthful!

I will stick to "almond flour" base recipes moving forward.  

Till next time!
Dishin with Didi