Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Creative Leftovers!

I am back! After a vacation in Hawaii I am finally back and ready to blog! Excuse my absence--it was for very important reasons. So, upon returning I had a big party where I prepared homemade Beef & Vegetarian Empanadas. I found a fabulous recipe for this on http://www.epicurious.com/ and prepared dough, filling, and chimchurri sauce! Delicious and strongly recommended! Now comes the inspiration...
I made far too much filling and really needed to use the leftover ground beef...what can I do...what can I do? Poof--inspiration for Mexican Shepherd's Pie! I must pat myself on the back, because this recipe turned out to be a huge hit and it will definitely be a keeper!!!
Wendy's Mexican Shepherd Pie
Serves 6 Hearty Portions
4 cups cooked ground beef
1/2 ts cumin
1/2 ts pepper
1/2 jar picante sauce
1 potato
1 cup cilantro
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/4 ts salt & pepper, each
2 slices Pepper Jack cheese (cheddar or colby would work, too)
Homemade Pico de Gallo (see below for recipe)

Preheat oven to 350*F. Scrub potato and cut into 2" chunks. Place potato in stock pot with enough cold water to cover it. Bring water to a boil, cover, and simmer for 5-8 minutes or until fork tender. Drain water and mash potato with sour cream. Season with salt & pepper. Stir in cilantro. Meanwhile, reheat ground beef in a skillet with picante sauce until warmed up. Place ground beef mixture in a baking dish. Top beef with cilantro-mashed potatoes. Top potatoes with cheese slices. I tore my cheese into smaller pieces before putting on top, but you don't have to. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly. If cheese is not browned enough toss under a broiler for 2-3 minutes. Serve with pico de gallo:
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, minced without seeds
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lime, juiced
salt to taste
Toss and serve! Why do we ever buy the store-prepared stuff? Such a difference!!!!
Oh, and I used up my leftover chimchurri sauce over my carrots! Bring water to a boil and toss in cut up carrots for 3-4 minutes. Drain and run cold water over carrots. Heat up 1 ts oil and toss in carrots. Sauté for 3 minutes and pour chimchurri sauce overtop! No chimchurri sauce? Easy--toss in fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime and it will taste great, too!
Variations I thought of:
1. Add a can of black or pinto beans, drain first
2. Make it Italian and use basil in place of the cilantro, jarred spaghetti sauce in place of picante, and bruschetta mix in place of the pico!
What would be your additions?


hormonewoman said...

Seems we both like to mix and match...while you were being an Irish Mexican...I was being an Irish Italian...I was working on Mexican Pasta Sauce, forced inspiration, really, it was what I had in my kitchen while my car was at the garage. Your recipe goes tops on my list to try soon! I enjoy your blog and I am glad you had a nice vacation...

hormonewoman said...

Oops! Make that Italian Mexican!