Shepherd’s Pie Pizza (Vegetarian – Vegan – or Not)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Hey!  Guess what!  I wrote a novel!  Maybe enter a drawing to win one of five copies??  Hmmmmm?

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Bathing and the Single Girl by Christine Elise McCarthy

Bathing and the Single Girl

by Christine Elise McCarthy

Giveaway ends March 17, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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You can find out all about it – HERE!

Or – you can listen to me on LA Talk Radio last night on the Sheena Metal Show – HERE.  We talk about 50 Shades of Grey, Girls, my book & things like chocolate & the liability of possessing a vagina!

And – just because they are SO CUTE – I share the faces of my three dogs.

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OK – who doesn’t love Shepherd’s pie?  Vegetarians – you might say.  But with all the vegetarian & vegan meat choices out there these days, there is no reason we all cannot still enjoy traditional comfort foods like Shepherd’s pie!

I made a more typical version for the blog & that can be found HERE.

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But, if you follow this blog, you know that there are two things I never tire of: cauliflower & pizza. This pizza is just the natural extension of my pizza obsession.  I know that Shepherd’s pie is made with mashed potatoes but mashed potatoes just seemed far too dense to put atop pizza, so I used potatoes sliced very thin on a mandolin.  I used this vegan ground beef:

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You can use soyrizo or even real ground beef if you prefer.  I used real cheeses but you can sub them out with a vegan variety, if you choose.  I used peas & carrots but you could use corn or shredded Brussels sprouts or whateverthefuck you might use in your traditional Shepherd’s pie.

OH!  And I used my HOMEGROWN scallions!!!

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Check THAT out!  That is about one week’s worth of growth regrown from the ends I typically threw away.  See the romaine in the foreground?  Regrowing – just in WATER.  Learn how (and learn what other grocery items you can regrow) HERE.

With that – let me present:

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Shepherd’s Pie Pizza (Vegetarian – Vegan – or Not)

This makes enough topping for AT LEAST two pizzas

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (I used THIS)

12 oz Ground beef (vegan or otherwise)

4 ounces mushrooms – sliced (maybe reserve a few slices to top the pizza as garnish)

1/2 onion – chopped

2 carrots – chopped

1/2 cup peas

Potato – sliced very thin (enough to cover your pizza in a single layer)

Cherry tomatoes – halved (optional)

Fresh Thyme – stems removed

Olive oil

Garlic – to taste (I used 4 cloves on one pizza) – sliced very thin

Scallions – chopped

Parsley – chopped

Cheese (or vegan alternative) – I used both sliced fresh mozzarella & some bullshit bagged grated cheese blend

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to a very completely reached 450.

Heat a glug or two of olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add the mushrooms & onion & carrots & saute until soft.  Add the ground beef (faux or real) & cook til heated through & then add the peas.

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Roll the dough out & place it on a greased cooking sheet.

Layer with sliced potato, sliced garlic & thyme.  Drizzle with olive oil.

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Top with your meat blend.  See my Memphis praying for me to drop something??

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Top with your cheese selection & maybe place a few slices of mushrooms on top.

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Last minute, I decided to add the tomatoes – primarily for color.  Then just bake your pizza until the cheese is melted & the crust is as you like it – probable 10-15 minutes depending on a few variable factors like oven temp & pizza density.

Top with parsley & scallions & maybe another drizzle of olive oil.

MMMM!!!!!

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Honey, Maple, Mustard & Sriracha Glazed Baked Ham

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

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I don’t eat meat.  I probably have not tasted ham in 25+ years.  But – my badass boyfriend lives almost exclusively on animal protein (something I want to work on) and, occasionally, I make a meat item for him.  During his most recent trip to LA, I hosted a small shindig.

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I served Vegan Hoppin’ John & vegan collard greens & corn bread.  Others contributed deviled eggs & an antipasto salad (among other things).  At the very last minute, as I shopped for a few forgotten groceries, I spotted hams at the store.  $20 for a ten pound ham seemed like such a cost effective way to feed a crowd that I stood there for a few minutes pondering my willingness to make it for Miles.  Then I saw the 50% off sticker.  $10 for a ten pound ham?  That cinched it for me.  I mean – at that price – it was a cheaper source of food for my dogs than their limited ingredient dog chow so – I could not possibly lose.

So I bought the gruesome thing & brought it home.

This isn’t really a recipe beyond the fact that I customized the glaze that came with the meat.  I cooked it as instructed with the exception of covering it in foil for the first part of the heating.  I neglected to do that.  This resulted in quite a charred exterior but, once this was glazed, the charred bits became a crust that I saw Miles seeking out as he stole bits of ham as he walked by it.  That sentence is clumsy but I have a terrible cold & my brain is foggy.  Please forgive me.  My point is – the burned bits were quite popular so do not be afraid to burn your ham a bit.  Oh!  And…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

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Honey, Maple, Mustard & Sriracha Glazed Baked Ham

INGREDIENTS

Ham (I used a cooked, spiral-cut ham)

The glaze packet that comes with it

1/2 cup honey

3 TBS grain mustard

1 TBS maple syrup

1 TBS sriracha

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DIRECTIONS

Over medium heat – whisk the glaze packet with the other ingredients & cook until the sugar dissolves.  Let cool.

Cover a baking sheet with a few layers of foil.  It makes cleaning so much easier.  Put the ham cut side DOWN on the foil-lined cooking sheet & either cover it with foil (or not – if you want a bit of char on the outside like mine) and cook it at 350 for 45-60 minutes.

Remove the ham from the oven & increase the temperature to 425.  Remove the foil covering if you used one.

Use about 1/4 of the glaze to coat the ham.  Cook it for 15 minutes & repeat the process – glazing every 15 minutes until the glaze is gone.

Let the ham cool for AT LEAST 30 minutes.  Then, simply serve it – cut side facing out (not down) – and watch your carnivorous friends lose their shit.

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Pasta Roses: Ham & Fontina and Zucchini, Mozzarella & Basil with a Spicy Pink Sauce

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

Well now – here is an embarrassing blog post: I am posting two recipes here WITHOUT any photographs of the final results.  (Update!  I made these a second time in 24 hours & have result photos to share.  They will follow at the end of the original post.)  This happened because I had a dinner party yesterday & by the time these guys came out of the oven – I was more interested in serving them & eating them that I was in photographing them.  Let me assure you – there were no visual surprises when they came out of the oven so do not be afraid to try these.  They are easy & delicious!!!!  They are an interesting alternative to tradition lasagna.  My sauce was made with the produce I had handy – which included a leek & both a red & yellow pepper.  You need not use two colors of pepper nor a leek.  Onions alone would do as would just a single red bell pepper.  I am going to list quantities here but they are really approximates.  When making dishes like this that require layers of assembly, I always err on the side of making or buying more of each ingredient than the recipe calls for.  That way, you do not run out of sauce or cheese or whatever midway through putting it all together.  This made about a dozen of each of the two rose varieties.  And – as a brilliant coincidence – I served my guests pasta roses & after they left – my awesome stud of a boyfriend, Miles, presented me with these roses!  At like – 11pm.  It was a total surprise.  Isn’t he great?

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Pasta Roses: Ham & Fontina and Zucchini, Mozzarella & Basil with a Spicy Pink Sauce

INGREDIENTS

Approximately 1.5 lbs lasagna noodles (I cooked two boxes but threw a lot away)

For the sauce

1/2 onion – diced

1 bell pepper – diced

1 leek – diced

6 garlic cloves – minced

1-2 TBS olive oil

2 (29 oz) cans of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes

2 TBS crushed red pepper

2 TBS fresh basil – chopped

1 cup heavy cream

S&P to taste

For the ham & fontina roses

Approximately 1/2 lb sliced ham

1/2 lb sliced fontina

For the zucchini, mozzarella & basil roses

1-2 large zucchini – sliced into rounds

12-16 oz fresh mozzarella – sliced

1 large bunch basil

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DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the lasagna noodles.  About 2-3 minutes before they are done – add the zucchini rounds to the water.  I cooked mine for 5 minutes – which was too long.  Then – rinse the noodles & zucchini under cold water.  Then set the zucchini aside & lay the noodles out to dry.

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For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a stock pot & saute the onion, bell pepper, leek (or additional onion) & crushed red pepper for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Add the garlic & basil & stir for another minute or so.  Add the canned tomato sauce & simmer on medium heat for about 20 minutes.  Stir in the heavy cream.  I used an immersion blender here & pureed the sauce into a smooth & creamy texture.  You can do this in a blender or skip this step & leave the sauce with the vegetable texture.  Set aside.

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To assemble the roses, layer a casserole pan with the sauce.  I needed two casserole pans to fit all my roses.  Roll the ham & fontina in some of your lasagna noodles.  No need to roll them tightly.  A nice loose roll is good.  Stand the roses up in the pan.

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I cut the ribbon edge off one side of the lasagna noodles on the ham rolls so I could identify which roses had meat in them & which did not.

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Roll up some zucchini, mozzarella & basil in the other lasagna noodles.

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I had a little extra zucchini & mozzarella left over so I just stuck in in where I could fit it – once my casserole dishes were filled to capacity with roses.

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I then slathered lots of sauce on top of both casseroles.  You might want to go lighter than I did & leave the edges of the lasagna noodles uncovered.  That way they will brown & curl a bit & create the rose effect you want.

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Bake for 20-30 minutes – or until the top of the noodles are golden.  Again – apologies for the lack of final result images!!!  Serve with additional sauce if you have more left over.

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UPDATE at 3:00pm!

I made these again so I could show you results.  This time – I used oven-ready lasagna noodles soaked in warm water until they were pliable.  I cut them in half to make smaller roses.

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I made the ham & fontina again and the zucchini, mozzarella & basil again.  I added some amazing garlic sauce that I bought at Super King to the veggie ones but I might not in the future.  It made them too wet & sort of limp in the end.

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Here is the assembly of the two versions.

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I’ve read that slicing an X into the tops of the roses will allow the lasagna noodle to curl outward as they cook – creating a better blooming effect for your roses.  I neglected to do this.  Just cut about a 1/2 inch down into the tops & you should get a good curl.

I baked them in about 1/4-1/2 inch of the spicy pink sauce at 350 for about 20 minutes.  I then took them from the oven & added a tad more sauce & some grated Parmesan to the roses.

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Ten minutes later – they looked like this.

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And they serve up looking like this!  Whew!  What a relief!  I felt like such a fraud!

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Pretty, right?  And yummy!