Shepherd’s Pie

1 deep-dish pie shell
1 lb ground beef or fake beef crumbles
3-4 average-sized potatoes
1 c milk
3 tbsp butter
1/2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350. Poke some holes in the shell (to keep it from puffing up and to take out some of your anger at the cold weather. Don’t poke too hard, though; you don’t want to pierce through the aluminum tin.) and cook the empty pie shell for 10-15 minutes or until it’s not so dough-y. Peel and dice the potatoes, and boil them until a fork pierces a piece easily (around 30-45 minutes).  Drain the potatoes and return to pot. Add milk*, butter, salt, and pepper and mash. (Note: If it’s, like, 11:30, and you don’t want to go through the trouble of making real mashed potatoes, I won’t tell if you use boxed flakes.) While the potatoes are cooking, cook the beef thoroughly (or warm up the fake beef), drain**, and season. Place the beef in the pie shell, then spread the mashed potatoes over the top. Top with shredded cheddar and bake for 20 minutes or so, until the cheese is melty and starting to brown. Don’t serve with vegetables, because dude, who needs vegetables when you’re eating meat and carbs inside of carbs?

*1 cup is a wild guess in the dark. I always eyeball it, so just add little splashes of milk until you get frosting consistency. Don’t cut down on the butter, Only fools have potatoes without tons of fat.

**DUDE,  whatever you do, DO NOT drain animal fat directly into your sink. It will clog so fast, and that will be gross. I either pour mine in a disposable paper cup, or I line a jar with aluminum foil and pour it on. When it’s solid, you can just throw it away.


Beer Bread

2 tsp yeast
3-4 tbsp honey
1 (12 oz) bottle or can of beer
1-2 tsp salt
about 2.5 c flour

Combine all ingredients and mix in a stand mixer with a dough hook or knead by hand for around 20 minutes. I normally knead, but 1) wet doughs like this are hard to knead, and 2) I just got a new mixer, and I wanted to play with it. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for an hour at 375. You should get a nice chewy bread that’s going to go well with soup. I’d say more fun things, but I’ve got strep, and I’m still not feeling very clever.

Chicken Tikka Masala

1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder*
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
dash of ginger
dash of allspice
dash of ground cloves
dash of black pepper

1 – 1.5 lbs chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 can low sodium condensed tomato soup
splash of cream
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons sugar
more of the spices listed above, to taste

Mix the yoghurt, lemon juice, and spices together in a plastic bag. Add the chicken pieces and marinate. (The timing’s up to you. I did 7 hours.) In a large pan, stir-fry the chicken pieces. Once they are thoroughly cooked and begin to brown, drain and return to pan. Add the condensed soup, curry powder, sugar, and cream. Stew for 20-30 minutes (or however long it takes to cook your rice). Serve over rice. (Didn’t I just tell you to cook some?)

*I feel like I’m cheating with curry powder, but you get so much variety in one little jar: coriander, fenugreek (What is that?), tumeric, cumin, etc. I don’t feel like buying all that, and good curry needs lots of spices. Besides, you’re making a chicken tikka with canned condensed tomato soup; you do not need to be pretentious. Just make sure your curry powder doesn’t have cilantro in it, if you hate cilantro. (All the best people do.) Also, pro-tip: coriander is cilantro seeds, but it doesn’t taste like dead soap! Hooray!