Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Shortcake and Shepherd's Pie...or what season is it anyway?

Spring along the shores of Lake Michigan can be an odd time of year. One day we'll have summer-like weather and within a couple minutes there will be a cold wind (when it is cold it's wind) off the lake. I'm thankful for a cooling breeze(when it's cooling it's a breeze) in the summer but spring finds me wanting grilling weather. It even affects meal planning since writing out a menu with a chill coming off the lake makes the weekly food shopping a bit more stew and soup. The winds may shift, and it's grilling weather the next day.

That's what happened with this menu. I was craving something fall-like, so Southwestern Shepherd's Pie in the crockpot sounded delicious when I planned and shopped. Sweet potatoes are a favorite at this house, and I think they are one of the healthiest foods that can be eaten. The sun came out and the wind shifted, and it was the perfect day for strawberry shortcake(with chocolate redi-whip). That's how we ended up with this mixed-up menu.

Both were good...even at the same meal!!

The original version came from Judy Finlayson's book, Delicious and Dependable Slow Cooker Recipes, I think.

The recipe noted on my card calls for hydrating some dried chiles and chopping them to use in the meat mixture. I didn't do that since the spicy factor would then be unpredictable (Eleanor is not a huge fan of spicy..unlike her parents). It also called for mixing the sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar but I just mashed them without the other ingredients.

1 pork tenderloin, 1" cubes
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 t each cumin, oregano, cinnamon
1 t grated lime zest
juice of one lime
3 large sweet potatoes

Saute the pork on the stovetop. Remove from pan and place in slowcooker. In a bit of olive oil saute the onion garlic and jalapeno. Add the spices and zest and turn off the stove. Stir and add to the slowcooker along with the juice.

Cook the sweet potatoes in water on the stovetop. Drain and mash and place over the other ingredients and cook on low for 10 hours or so.

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