I spend a lot of time cooking, so much that it’s not unusual for my friends to know that when they invite me over for a meal, it will probably result in me cooking for them! A common thing I hear from my friends is “I miss [Melba] cooking in my kitchen!” especially when I haven’t been around for a while. So really “Melba’s Kitchen,” is a metaphor and not necessarily always a physical location.
For the video please click here: Shepherd’s Pie: Melba’s Kitchen
Due to many circumstances in my life I have learned to complete tasks very efficiently. All my meals usually only take as long as the item that needs the longest to cook. People always say cooking is a science, and I definitely agree. I also know it’s about timing and using all your senses so that everything can come together at the perfect time to create the perfect meal. For me… that’s the “love” people taste when they eat my meals.
I think people are always blown away by my meals mostly because they don’t expect something so delicious and rich can be made in such a short time. THAT is the love. THAT is the magic of my cooking.
The love is the timing and preparation of my meals so that any one of my friends and family can have a gourmet meal in the time it would take most people to get in their cars drive to the fast food chain and order and receive their fast food meal.
Meal Time: ( As long as it takes for the potatoes to finish) approx 30 min.
1/4 Can of Beer
4 Quartered Med Potatoes (I leave mine unpeeled because there’s lots of nutrients in the skin and gives the mash a nice texture.
1lb of Ground Beef
1 Carrot diced
1 Can of Peaches and Cream corn
1 Small Onion Diced
1/4 container of Herb and Garlic Cream Cheese
2 Stems Chopped Green Onions
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
2 Bay Leaves
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1tbsp Corn Starch
- I always start with the potatoes because they take the longest. Place them in a medium pot and boil them until a fork inserts easily. (Approx 25- 30min)
- While the potatoes are cooking, place the diced carrots in a small pot with enough water to cover them and boil them until they are slightly tender. (That way the carrots will be soft by the time the beef is ready.)
- While the potatoes and carrots are cooking, brown the diced onions in the olive oil in a large frying pan. (5-7min)
- While the onions are browning, mix the salt, pepper, and cornstarch to the ground beef in a medium mixing bowl.
- Once the onions are nicely browned, add the ground beef mix to the large frying pan and brown the beef.
- While the beef is browning with the onions, strain the diced carrots, and open the can of Peaches and Cream Corn. (Keep the can.)
- Check the potatoes. Still not quite soft enough yet? Leave them. If they are already soft strain them and set aside in a medium pot.
- The beef should be nicely browned now, add the strained carrots, corn, cinnamon, bay, leaves, beer. Let this simmer. (Should reduce to the consistency of thick, thick stew)
- Potatoes? They should be ready now! Strain the potatoes and start mashing! Add the cream cheese and mix it well into the mash.
- Time to plate it! Take your corn can, rinse it and grease it with some olive oil, or line the inside with wax paper.
- Sprinkle the bottom of the can with green onions. Add a layer of mash potatoes and finish with a layer of the beef mix.
- Invert the can onto a plate and give it a few good taps. Hopefully it comes out in a nice cylindrical shape! You may need to use a spatula to reshape, but I feel if i had wax paper it would have turned out fine.
That’s the fun part of cooking in Melba’s Kitchen, sometimes you don’t always have the tools you need so you have to get creative! Have fun and I hope you enjoyed my recipe. Please let me know your thoughts!
Click for the video on Sheperd’s Pie : Melba’s Kitchen