Mom’s “Hamburger Hash (stew)”, made my way

hamburger-hash-stew

This one’s an old family favourite for me. It’s one that we had very frequently as kids and I always looked forward to it. It wasn’t until recently that I said my mom, “Remember when you used to make hamburger hash for us? I used to love that and haven’t had it in years!” My mom told me she had, ironically, just made it a few days prior. So I asked her, “How do you make it??” I said, “Do you first brown the meat–?” She cut me off and said, “Oh, god no! That’s too much work!” or something very similar. She told me how she did it all those years ago and now I’m going to share with you how I made it recently for my hubby and myself.

Oh, but wait. What is hamburger hash, you ask? Oh! It’s not like a breakfast hash made with potatoes. It’s more like a ground beef stew that’s poured over mashed potatoes. When I was a kid, it was made with onion and ground beef and was in a really thick gravy. I imagine it was a favoured dish because it was relatively cheap and easy to make — which of course made it really easy to feed a family of four on a budget and without having to spend hours in the kitchen. Here’s what I did…

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Canada Day breakfast: chicken maple sausage patties

A plate holds two maple chicken sausage patties overlapping each other with a side of tomato slices.HAPPY CANADA DAY!

Why not celebrate with two posts in one day? 🙂

I had a surplus of extra lean ground chicken in my fridge this weekend and knew I needed to cook some of it up today (along with the roast which is already in my slow-cooker). I could make burgers for lunch, but then, I hadn’t had breakfast yet. Canada Day without breakfast?! How about brunch? Even better!

By noon, I had whipped up two pounds of this ground chicken into 18 chicken sausage patties based on Sophy’s Chicken Maple Sausage Patties #1 recipe on Spark Recipes. My version is very similar, but I made a few adjustments based on what I had on hand and dietary needs.

Three tablespoons of maple syrup bumped up the sugar content a bit more than I wanted, so I cut back, for example, and still found that we could taste the maple-y sweetness in  them. We’re also not fans of cayenne, so I omitted that and the coriander because I didn’t have any on hand. But what a special way to celebrate Canada Day, imo!

Here’s how I made mine:

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Cajun Chicken Alfredo – Guy-Style

A plate full of Cajun chicken alfredo, garnished with chopped green onions.It’s no secret that I’m a Food Network junkie. One of the shows I enjoy watching is The Best Thing I Ever Ate and its counterpart, The Best Thing I Ever Made. Watching The Best Thing I Ever Made this weekend, I saw Guy Fieri show off his Cajun Chicken Alfredo dish. He said it got him through culinary school and was the first dish on his menu when he opened Johnny Garlic’s.

I’ve always shied away from Cajun or Creole dishes for fear that my palate would not be able to handle the spiciness of  it. But something he said caught my attention. He said that some people avoid Cajun/blackened dishes for fear of them being too spicy, but he said that blackened doesn’t necessarily mean spicy, but flavourful. He said you can control the heat with the proportions of cayenne and such.

The dish looked fantastic, sounded like it would be delicious, and the recipe was online, so I thought I’d try it, in my own way. I didn’t have heavy cream and such, but I had jars of Alfredo sauce (store-bought). I also don’t have a cast-iron skillet, but an indoor grill. So here’s what I did… Continue reading