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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, April 24, 2015

A new definition for ‘TV dinners’


Kay's Cooking Corner



Kay Bona

It just doesn’t pay for me to watch the Food Network. I get so inspired by the food the chefs prepare that I immediately go running to the store and buy all the ingredients. Not for just one particular recipe – but for many. Oops! There goes the grocery budget! Down the tube... (Pun intended!)

Just the other day, I was watching “Giada at Home,” and the food she prepared looked awesome. I couldn’t wait to get to the store, purchase the items I don’t keep on hand, and start cooking.

First, I made Thankful Shepherd’s Pie, which most of the items in that recipe I had on hand. Then I made Chocolate and Hazelnut Gelato Pops, and then I made her recipe for Chocolate Orange Mini-Cheesecakes.

There were not many leftovers with any of the recipes, and what was leftover was quickly consumed the next day.

The recipes for today are for the Thankful Shepherd’s Pie and the cheesecakes. They were both so delicious.

As far as the Gelato Pops, they were very tasty, but not so easy to make. Or let me put it this way – it was a breeze for Giada De Laurentils on TV; for me, not so much. In fact, I used only four popsicle sticks because I gave up. The rest were just little balls of Gelato covered with chocolate and nuts.

Also, I used Macadamia nuts instead of Hazelnuts. The macadamias were awesome, and I really didn’t care that they didn’t look as lovely as Giadas’ fancy-looking ones with popsicle sticks. Hers looked perfect. Mine tasted perfect. 

If you decide to try that recipe, I have one tip for you: Make sure your freezer is super cold. Gelato is very soft, and melts quickly. It can get messy when you’re trying to cover it with the warm chocolate.

If you look up her recipe for Chocolate Orange Mini-Cheesecakes, you’ll see from my picture of them and her picture of them that, once again, hers were perfect and mine were, well, cute. But they tasted great and didn’t hang around long.

Here are the recipes. Have a great week!

 

Thankful Shepherd’s Pie

One nine-inch refrigerated pie crust

1 tablespoon butter

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup gravy, plus 1/4 cup warmed for drizzling

1 cup whole milk, at room temperature

3 cups diced turkey

1 cup glazed carrots, chopped

1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas

1 teaspoon chopped, fresh parsley

1 teaspoon chopped, fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon chopped, fresh oregano

2 cups mashed potatoes

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

     Place a rack on the top of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Press the dough into a pie plate, prick the bottom of the crust with a fork, and flute the edges. Bake the crust until golden, about 10 minutes.

 

Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally until they’re softened, about five minutes. Add the garlic, one quarter of a teaspoon of the salt and one-eighth of a teaspoon of the pepper, and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Stir in one cup of the gravy and the milk, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about five minutes. Stir in the turkey, carrots, corn, peas, parsley, thyme, oregano, and the remaining one quarter of a teaspoon of salt and one-eighth of a teaspoon of pepper, making sure all of the ingredients are evenly coated with the gravy. Simmer until the mixture is warmed through, about five minutes. Pour the mixture into the pie shell. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the mixture, making sure the potato layer meets the edges of the crust. Cover the potatoes with the cheese. Bake the pie until the top is golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

     To serve, cut into slices and drizzle with gravy.

 

Chocolate Orange Mini-Cheesecakes

1/3 cup finely crushed chocolate wafers

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup ricotta cheese

2 ounces cream cheese

1/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons

1 orange, zested

1 egg

Butter, for greasing

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the crushed chocolate wafers and the melted butter. Place a tightly packed teaspoon of the wafer mixture into each mini-muffin cup and press down firmly.

In a food processor combine the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, one quarter of a cup of the sugar, half of the orange zest, and the egg. Blend until smooth. Lightly grease the sides of the mini muffin tin with butter. Fill the cups with about one and a half tablespoons of the cheesecake mixture. Place the mini muffin tin in a baking dish and pour enough hot water in the baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the mini muffin tin. Bake for 25 minutes. Transfer the mini muffin tin to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Use a small knife to gently pop the cheesecakes out of the cups.

 

Just before serving, combine the remaining orange zest with the remaining two tablespoons of sugar. Top each individual cheesecake with about one quarter of a teaspoon.

Recipes courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Kay Bona is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald and an award-winning columnist and photographer. Contact her at kay@dailydata.com.

It just doesn’t pay for me to watch the Food Network. I get so inspired by the food the chefs prepare that I immediately go running to the store and buy all the ingredients. Not for just one particular recipe – but for many. Oops! There goes the grocery budget! Down the tube... (Pun intended!)

Just the other day, I was watching “Giada at Home,” and the food she prepared looked awesome. I couldn’t wait to get to the store, purchase the items I don’t keep on hand, and start cooking.

First, I made Thankful Shepherd’s Pie, which most of the items in that recipe I had on hand. Then I made Chocolate and Hazelnut Gelato Pops, and then I made her recipe for Chocolate Orange Mini-Cheesecakes.

There were not many leftovers with any of the recipes, and what was leftover was quickly consumed the next day.

The recipes for today are for the Thankful Shepherd’s Pie and the cheesecakes. They were both so delicious.

As far as the Gelato Pops, they were very tasty, but not so easy to make. Or let me put it this way – it was a breeze for Giada De Laurentils on TV; for me, not so much. In fact, I used only four popsicle sticks because I gave up. The rest were just little balls of Gelato covered with chocolate and nuts.

Also, I used Macadamia nuts instead of Hazelnuts. The macadamias were awesome, and I really didn’t care that they didn’t look as lovely as Giadas’ fancy-looking ones with popsicle sticks. Hers looked perfect. Mine tasted perfect. 

If you decide to try that recipe, I have one tip for you: Make sure your freezer is super cold. Gelato is very soft, and melts quickly. It can get messy when you’re trying to cover it with the warm chocolate.

If you look up her recipe for Chocolate Orange Mini-Cheesecakes, you’ll see from my picture of them and her picture of them that, once again, hers were perfect and mine were, well, cute. But they tasted great and didn’t hang around long.

Here are the recipes. Have a great week!

Recipes courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Kay Bona is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald and an award-winning columnist and photographer. Contact her at kay@dailydata.com. v