MY VERSION OF SHRIMP SHEPHERD’S PIE (or Pastelon de Papas) MIXED WITH MUSHROOM AND A SIMPLE SPINACH CHERRY TOMATO AND FETA SALAD
Summers are definitely hot and I love them. However, since there are so many activities to do between sunrise and sunset, my strategy is to enjoy every minute of it because I know that this nice season is not going to last forever. Mr. snow and Mrs. ice are around the corner and at times they come to visit some of us with a vengeance, smile.
So, yes, I love to have tons of fun but I also love to make fast, delicious and nutritious meals. Very rarely I take more than 30 minutes making a complete meal and when I do, it better be one of my grandma or my mother’s recipe, like, “Pasteles” or Empanadillas; two time consuming recipes, however, out of this world delicious. For now, let’s just stick to my crazy version of Shrimp Shepherd’s Pie. Who would have thought?
Approximate Prep and Cooking Time: 25 Minutes
Approximate Cost: $14.00 or $3.50 per serving.
½ lb. super large raw shrimp (3 per serving) ($4.00)
3 large red potatoes ($1.50)
10 Baby Bela Mushrooms ($1.45)
3 tbsp. Angie’s Dry Seasoning, see my link below or use your favorite (.60)
1 chopped onion (.50)
8 cloves of garlic, chopped (.25)
¼ cup Olive Oil (will not use it all, but you need it for the salad, potatoes & shrimp (.70)
10 Cherry tomatoes (.70)
2 cups Spinach ($1.50)
¼ cup Feta cheese chunks ($1.45)
Angie’s Vinaigrette, see my link below or use your favorite ($1.00)
2 Scallions (.35)
Peel and dice the potatoes in bite size pieces, so they cook fast. In a saucepan with water boil them until tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
Prepare the salad. In a glass bowl add 2 cups of spinach, ½ cup of clean and sliced cherry tomatoes, the vinaigrette, the dry seasoning to taste, toss and add Feta cheese.
Season the shrimp to taste.
Pan- sear the shrimp and mushrooms for few minutes. Do not overcook the shrimp.
In a sauté pan cook the chopped onion and garlic, add the cooked potatoes, dry seasoning to taste, and finally, the cooked shrimp and mushrooms. Toss well and add more olive oil and /or dry seasoning as needed. Serve. Garnish with chopped scallions.
Angie’s Dry Seasonings: http://www.angieslifehacks.com/family-life/oven-roasted-bacon-chicken-and-angies-seasonings
My 5-Ingredient Recipe: Pork Scaloppini’s Stuffed with Chorizo Clasico Slices; Warm Beet and Red Potato Salad and Avocado!
This simple and economical meal for 4 people not only is delicious but can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. When you see my 5 ingredients you can substitute some or all for whatever you have at home. For instance, if you prefer, instead of chorizo you can use another type of protein like prosciutto, Serrano ham, smoked ham, and even mozzarella; the sky is the limit and you can use other combinations of veggies. Do It!
Approximate Prep and Cooking Time: Under 30 Minutes
Approximate Cost: $11.60 (or $2.90 per serving)
4 pork tenderloin scaloppini steaks ($3.75)
8 slices of Chorizo Clasico ($2.50)
4 red potatoes ($2.25)
2 tbsp. Adobo Goya for the pork, and the warm potato-beet salad (.60)
3 tbsp. Olive Oil (to marinate and sauté the pork, and for the potato-beet salad (.50)
2 Avocados just to garnish the plate, yummy! ($2.00)
Pound hard and Season the scaloppini’s with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and adobo to taste, stuff with chorizo slices, and roll them. Refrigerate.
Prep the veggies, peel and cut in bite size pieces. Cook separately, (since the beet stains), until tender but not mushy. Drain the water and season separately with olive oil and Adobo to taste, just like you would do a cold salad. Set aside.
In a sauté pan in med. high add 1 tbsp. of olive oil and cook the scaloppini’s until well done.
Get ready to plate. Cut the avocado in half, serve the warm potato-beet salad in a small plate and add the scaloppini.
HACK: For a different taste, use chicken for the scaloppini’s and instead of the warm veggies salad, serve couscous, yellow rice, mashed potatoes, or anything else you wish.
The first time I ate this dish I was at a nice hotel, I was also a teenager. I thought it was such a complicated meal to cook, never thought I would learn how to make it to enjoy it more often. I did. Smile!
This is not the meal that you eat often during the year. First, it is too rich in flavors and ingredients and furthermore, it is a bit expensive, since at a restaurant a serving for 2 people cost approximately $95.00 to $100, that is, if you can find a restaurant that list it in their menu. Finally, the recipe has a medium-high level of difficulty. But don’t get me wrong, my recipe is uncomplicated and easy to make.
Please give it a try, after all, you owe it to yourself and your loved one and spend quality time together. Yes, you heard me, it will be both of you working happily ever after in your lovely kitchen!
RULES: If he doesn’t cook, have him clean and chop the mushrooms, shallots and garlic and do the dishes. If she is the one who doesn’t cook, then require her to watch him work, with a glass of excellent wine in hand! (You got it, I am bias, and I am also a woman, smile!)
Approximate Prep and Cooking Time: 40-45 Minutes
Approximate Total Cost: $22.76 or $11.38/serving
2 beef filet 1 ½ to 2” thick each (seasoned with 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt & pepper to taste) ($15.95)
10 baby Bella (or white) ($1.00)
5 cloves of garlic (.30)
1 Shallot chopped (or ½ onion) (.40)
2 tbsp. olive oil (.60)
1 egg (beaten with a tsp. of water to seal the pastry and brush over the pastry) (.20)
1 Puff Pastry Sheet, $4.64 for 2 sheets at Walmart ($2.32)
12 Asparagus ($1.99)
Salt and pepper to taste
Prep/clean the mushrooms and veggies, set aside. Whisk the egg and water, set aside.
Get one sheet of puff pastry and thaw according to package directions. Meantime, season the filet and refrigerate until time to cook.
Clean and steam the asparagus for few minutes keeping them crunchy and bright green and set aside.
In a skillet on med. high add 1 tbsp. of olive oil and sauté the mushrooms, shallot or onion and garlic until golden brown. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
Remove the mushroom mix from the skillet and sear the two filet on both sides, they should be medium rare, remove and set aside.
When the pastry is ready, roll it to get a 12x10 rectangular shape about 1/4 " thick.
Cut to pieces.
To assemble the Wellingtons, scoop a couple of tablespoons of the mushroom mix in the middle of the two rectangular pastry sheets and Place the seared filet on top of the mushroom mix.
Fold the pastry into pocket style and seal the edges with egg wash, place the pockets seam side down on a baking pan sprayed with oil.
Make few cuts on top of the pockets to let the steam escape while they bake and garnish with your own artistic extra pieces of pastry on top.
Brush thoroughly with egg wash and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and let them rest for 4-5 minutes before serving.
HACK: Save this recipe for a special celebration or perhaps to impress your boss!
Deconstructed Filet Mignon on the Grill with Fried Plantains (Tostones), Watermelon-Egg-Cranberry-Cherry and Tomato Salad, and Avocado
What do we do during summer time? Go to the beach, go to the pool, look gorgeous and enjoy tons of outdoor heat humid cookouts and BBQ. Today we are going to start the week on the right foot. I am going to step this BBQ up a notch with my simple outdoor meal. Care to join me?
Approximate Prep and Cooking Time: 20-35 Minutes
Approximate Total Cost: $39.43 or $9.86 per serving
4 filet mignon steaks $8.44 ea. = (whole package cost: $25.33)
2 large green plantains ($1.60)
8 slices of bacon ($1.50)
2 Avocado ($2.00)
¼ of seedless Watermelon cubes ($1.50)
3 Eggs (.50)
2 tbsp. Feta cheese ($1.10)
2 tbsp. Cranberries ($.35)
4 cups of spinach ($2.35)
1 Jalapeño to garnish (.30)
½ cup of cherry tomatoes ($1.70)
1/2 sliced onion for the salad (.10)
1/3 cup olive oil (to marinate, to fry plantains and to drizzle over the salad ($1.15)
Salt and pepper to taste
Hard boil the eggs, peel, set aside. Cut the jalapeño in slices and set aside.
Pat dry the filets, add a couple of tbsp. of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate.
Peel the plantains, cut in 1” slices, and place them in salted water.
Prepare the salad by adding to a salad bowl the spinach, cherry tomatoes, cubed water melon, sliced boiled eggs and onion, cranberries, feta cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate.
You have done lots of BBQ meals; therefore, my directions are not necessary. I will just write them down for those who are doing this for the first time, smile. NOBODY!
Start your BBQ and when hot enough place the filet in the grill for about 5 to 6 minutes and close the lid. Rotate them after 3 minutes to get the crossed marks. Flip and cook the other side for the same amount of time. If you like your filet well done, then cook it longer. (I personally like my filet medium well and to play it safe I use a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should be 145 degrees.) Take the filet off the grill and let them rest for 5 minutes lightly covered.
Add the bacon slices to a disposable foil container and cook in the grill until done and crispy.
Treat he plantains as you would treat making French fries. Drain the plantain’s water and place on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess water.
If you do not have a deep fryer, then use a med size pot, add enough olive to cover the bottom an inch or two and bring the heat to med.
When the oil is sizzling hot, carefully add the plantains and cook until golden on both sides. Remove from oil, press them down flat and put them back in the oil for a second fry. This time they will become crispy like French fries. Remove again and place in paper towels to drip.
By now the filets and bacon are done. Arrange the filets in each plate, place two slices of crispy bacon on top, add the fried plantains, the sliced avocado (1/2 per serving) and garnish with Jalapeno.
Bring the watermelon salad from the fridge, if you like ketchup; bring it too to drizzle over the fried plantains.
Finally, enjoy your meal!
Filet Mignon Series- Post #1: Is It Best to Purchase the Whole Cut (as you see in the photo below), or a Small Pack, usually containing 2 to 4 steaks?
The answer is both. It all depends on how many times a week/month do you make a filet meal as well as the size of your family. If you have a household of two, you can still purchase the whole cut, divide it in the number of meals that you plan to make, seal them in packs of 2/ filet per meal and freeze them. I got a total of 6 meals for 2 people out out of this filet , I then sealed and dated the packs to freeze them.
Either way it is a win-win situation; you are saving a ton of money by purchasing a whole filet cut. A filet mignon meal at a restaurant for 2 people runs between $60 to $80 dollars. Furthermore, you are preparing fancy dandy meals for your loved ones, smile.
During this Filet Series Week, I will be posting some of my filet recipes and I hope that you make them at home and enjoy them.
Stay Tuned for this Thursday Post:
Deconstructed Filet Mignon on the Grill with Fried Plantains (Tostones), Watermelon-Egg-Cranberry-Cherry and Tomato Salad, and Avocado.
Another recipe out of my post: Amazing Meals You Can Make with 2 Pork Tenderloin; posted in my Blog recently.
Approximate prep and cooking time: 35 Minutes
Approximate Cost: $10.10 or $2.53/serving)
2 tbsp. olive oil (.50)
2 ½ cups of beef stock ($2.00)
1 tbsp. Paprika (.25)
1 tbsp. Angie’s Dry Seasoning (.30)
2-3 Celery tops chopped (.25)
¼ cup chopped cilantro (.35)
1 red Potato cut in small size cubes (.50)
1 med. Onion, chopped (.35)
5 cloves of garlic, chopped (.30)
1 large Carrot, sliced (.55)
½ red bell pepper cut in small pieces (.75)
½ lb. pork cut in small pieces ($2.00)
2 cups of parboiled rice cook according to bag directions. ($1.00)
1 Avocado ($1.00)
Season the pork for 10 minutes with Paprika, Angie’s seasoning or the one of your choice.
Cut all the veggies as indicated above.
Start cooking the rice, it takes 15-20 minutes total.
In a skillet add 2 tbsp. olive oil and sauté the pork, drain and set aside.
Sauté the potato, onion, garlic, carrot and bell pepper until golden in the same skillet.
Add the pork back, the beef stock and celery. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and cover.
Cook in med low for about 10 minutes. Add the chopped cilantro before serving.
To serve, spoon the stew in a plate and add a scoop of rice on top. Accompany with a salad and avocado
Pork Tenderloin Recipe #1: White Bean Chili with Pork Tenderloin Chunks, a Good Idea for a Quick Lunch (as I promised in my "Tenderloin Meals" post yesterday)
Craving for White Bean Chili? Of course me too. However, I don’t like my chili with kidney beans and often when I make chili, I use pink beans instead and soften them at home the old fashion way. When I am in a hurry though, I cheat and use Goya canned pink beans. Nevertheless, I prefer white chili, either with small white beans or Cannellini beans. I am sure that you do have your favorite, but for now, let's cheat together and make a quick white bean chili for lunch tomorrow to yummmm ourselves, SMILE!
Approximate prep and cooking time: 15 Minutes
Approximate Cost: $8.08 (or $2.02/serving)
1 pack of the cubed pork tenderloins (the one that you reserved to make chili.) ($1.00)
1 pack of McCormick white chili seasoning ($1.29)
2 lb. can Goya White Small Beans ($3.74)
1 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil (.30)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (.25)
1 small onion, chopped. (.50)
1 avocado ($1.00)
Season the pork by sprinkling some of the white chili seasoning and 1/2 tbsp. oil.
In a saucepan add the remaining oil and sauté the tenderloin with chopped onion for about 3 minutes.
Rinse the white beans thoroughly, drain and add them to the pork tenderloin.
Stir and carefully add about 1 cup of water and the remaining chili seasoning pack.
Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
Before serving, add some of the chopped cilantro and stir to mix well.
HACK: When ready to serve, garnish with cilantro, add cheddar cheese if you prefer and never ever forget your avocado.
You can make 4 meals of 4 servings each. Translation, you can feed 16 people with 2 pork tenderloins. Is that reasonable or what?
I usually purchase my groceries at Costco for a good reason, reasonable prices. I took a photo of one pack of pork tenderloins that I bought last February and as you can see in my slide show, the pack of 4 tenderloins was priced at $2.59/pound. My pack had almost 5 pounds so it cost me $12.95 for the 4 tenderloins. In my demonstration today I used 2 tenderloins and I will define the meals by the cut. So these are the cuts of the 4 meals.
(4 servings) White Bean Chili
(4 servings) Pork Tenderloin Mignon (I posted this recipe some time ago, I'll give you the link soon)
(4 servings) Stew Pork with Potatoes or Rice with Pigeon Peas and Pork
(5 servings) of Pork Tenderloin Scaloppini
All these meals could only cost you $6.48 by using 2 pork tenderloins. I don’t know about you but this is a deal for me.
I will be making these recipes in the upcoming weeks, reminding you that they are part of this post. To be continued…
My question is who doesn't like to eat a juicy pork chop? I guess that very few people if any. Chops are kind of your other white meat, that is if you select a cut that is not too fatty or if you do, you clean all the fat from the chops before seasoning. I guess that what made my chops so juicy this time was the red wine reduced sauce. Try it!
Approximate Prep and Cooking Time: Under 30 Minutes
Approximate Cost: $14.32 (or $3.58 per serving)
4 pork chops 1 " thick. ($15.37/pk of 12 chops, $1.28 ea. x 4 chops = ($5.12)
8 cloves of garlic chopped (.35)
1 small onion (.50)
2 cups of chopped Portobello mushrooms ($1.50)
1/2 cup of red wine ($1.50)
1/4 cup of olive oil (to sauté the chopped veggies, chops, and fry the Yucca Bites ($1.25)
1 1/2 cups of sweet peas ($.75)
2 avocados ($2.00)
3 tsp. Angie's Dried Seasoning (.60)
1 box of Goya Yucca Bites ($2.75)
Salt and pepper to taste
Clean, pat dry and season the pork chops with olive oil, and Angie's seasoning. Refrigerate until time to cook.
Pre heat the over 400 degrees.
Chop and brown the mushrooms, onion, and garlic, add olive oil to a skillet and sauté.
When almost brown, carefully add the red wine, salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 4- minutes to reduce and intensify the flavors. Set aside.
Cook the Yucca Bites according to package directions.
Cook the sweet peas according to the bag directions, set aside.
Into a hot skillet, add the chops and let them cook for 3 minutes without moving them at all. Flip and cook on the other side for the same time. Transfer to a pre-heated oven and bake for 3-4 minutes, depending on your oven type. (Gas and electric stoves temperatures differ greatly)
Remove from oven and cover with foil for few minutes before plating and if you like, follow my slide show for plating suggestions.
My Simple Chicken Chori-Burger with Chorizo, Eggs, Lettuce, Tomato and Optional Homemade Rotisserie Chicken Broth
No BLT here friends, but a healthier version of a burger that is packed with flavors. First, the burger is made with ground chicken; the bun is multi-grain, there is no mayo, instead I used olive oil and only one egg. Every little bit helps when we are trying to eat healthier. We don’t have to eat tofu and diet frozen stuff. Life is too short, and after all, we don’t eat burgers every day, right?
Approximate Prep and Cooking Time: Burgers = Under 20 minutes, Broth = 30
Approximate Cost: 8.96 or $4.48 per serving
½ pack of 98% lean ground chicken ($2.55)
1 ½ tbs. Angie’s Dry Seasoning (.25)
1 tbsp. Dried onion flakes (.15)
1 tbsp. olive oil (.25)
2 multi-grain buns (.60)
1 tomato (.40)
4 Romaine lettuce leaves (.50)
2 eggs (.30)
2 chorizo slices (1.10)
2 cups of my rotisserie broth (OPTIONAL-see my “quick” recipe below) ($1.43/cup = $2.86)
2 Lemon slices for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
Add ½ of the ground chicken package into a bowl.
Season well with 1 ½ tbs. Angie’s Dry Seasoning and1 tbsp. Dried onion flakes.
Divide the chicken into 2 equal portions to make your two burgers. Refrigerate.
Cut the lemon, lettuce and tomatoes and transfer to the two plates.
If you don’t have the rotisserie broth, use a store bough and warm it up.
Cook the burgers and just at the end, add the chorizo slice until golden brown and the egg.
Now you are ready to plate, follow my slide show for ideas if you wish.
HACK: Make My Quick Chicken Broth or light soup to serve with your burgers:
Add a rotisserie chicken carcass into a medium large pot with a tbsp. of oil and stir fry it until golden. Add chopped carrots, celery, onion and garlic to taste. (No need to peel these ingredients), 3 bay leaves, if you have in your pantry, spices, salt and pepper to taste and a washed bunch of Cilantro or herbs of your choice.
Carefully, add 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil then bring the temp down to med low and simmer for 20 minutes. Wait until it cools down and pour the stock through a strainer. You will get the most beautiful and tasty broth. You can serve a bowl of this broth with your burger and what is left, with sandwiches for another day. However, if you prefer, add some cooked chopped potatoes, sliced celery and cilantro, you will have now a delicious light soup.
One of my archived chicken burger recipe:
Link: Angie’s Dry Seasonings Recipe:
ABOUT THE Author
I am a blogger, a photographer, a jewelry designer, a gourmet cook, and a recipe book writer. I am also a flea market flipper, an avid gardener, an interior/ outdoors designer, an avid golfer and traveler.