Evelyn Chartres Author
Ready to Serve

Crying Lamb

Featured - Crying LambCrying lamb is said to have its origins from communities that used shared ovens. The meat is cooked above the vegetables absorbing any drippings which adds to this meals distinctive flavour.

This ready-to-serve recipe is sure to attract some attention during its preparation and cooking. It’s great for family gatherings and has a traditional feel that is sometimes missing from modern dishes.

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces (285 g) of potatoes cut into small cubes
  • 8 ounces (225 g) of parsnips or carrots cut into small slices
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) of finely chopped onions
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) of sliced red peppers
  • 2 cloves (5-10 mg) of pressed garlic
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil
  • 2 pounds (900 mg) of lamb shanks
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of thyme
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of dill
  • 4 tablespoons (15 ml) of lemon juice (divided)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a large bag or sealable container, mix all ingredients up to and including the olive oil.  Mix until contents are evenly coated before placing them in an oiled stoneware container.
  3. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes to soften potatoes and parsnips.
  4. Remove from oven and stir contents.
  5. Mix thyme, dill and lemon juice into a small container. Cover lamb shanks in mixture and set aside.
  6. Using an oiled skillet sear the lamb shanks on every side for a minute or so.
  7. Top stoneware with a grill and place the lamb shanks overtop to make sure that any drippings will pour onto the vegetables.
  8. Return to the oven and cook for about an hour until the internal temperature has reached 160°F (71°C) for medium or 170°F (77°C) for well-done.
  9. Remove from oven, let stand for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Meal is ready-to-serve.

Macaroni and Mushroom Casserole

featured_macaroni_au_fromage_webWhen I ventured out into the real-world, home cooked meals meant I cooked myself. So this became one of my go-to meals, since it is simple, straightforward and typically offered enough leftovers to keep me going for three to four days.

This recipe combines pasta, cheese, mushrooms and a soup base to create a tasty dish which is ready-to-serve within an hour.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (470 ml) of elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of butter
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of garlic butter
  • 10 fluid ounces (295 ml) of canned mushrooms
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of ground cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon (0.625 ml) of ground pepper
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of finely chopped onions
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of chopped pimentos
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) of mayonnaise
  • 10 fluid ounces (295 ml) of condensed mushroom soup
  • 1 cup (235 ml) and ¼ cup (60 ml) of grated velveeta cheese

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Cook macaroni according to packaging instructions, rinse then drain.
  3. Over medium heat melt butter and garlic in a pan then add mushrooms, cumin and pepper. Sauté until the mushrooms are golden brown.
  4. Add onions and pimentos, sauté for 1-2 minutes until the onions are transparent.
  5. Drain pan of excess butter, then place in a large bowl.  Add mayonnaise, ¼ cup (60 ml) of cheese, milk and condensed soup.  Mix until you have a consistent finish.
  6. Add macaroni, mix then pour into a 1.5 litre stoneware baker.  Cover with remaining cheese then place in the oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Makes approximately four portions.

Ready to Serve Baked Potatoes

Featured_Ready_to_Serve_SpudsWhile not necessarily a French Canadian dish, it has been one of my go-to sides dishes for a while.  This dish combines all of the elements of baked potatoes into one dish (minus the sour cream and bacon).  The heat will melt the butter while it cooks the potatoes, onions and garlic to create this ready to eat dish.

Easy to prepare and cooks in the oven or barbecue while you work on the main dish.  You can also add in leftover chicken, pork or beef to make this a complete meal.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz (350 g) of potatoes
  • 2½ oz  (75 g) of minced onions
  • 2 cloves (7 g) of pressed garlic
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of butter
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of Italian seasoning

Preparation

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Prepare two pieces of tin foil, approximately 12 x 15 inches (30 x 40 cm) in length.
  3. Scrub, rinse and cut up the potatoes into small cubes then place on the tin foil.
  4. Drop onions, garlic, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning atop potatoes.
  5. Top with butter and close up the first layer of tin foil.  Wrap in a second to prevent any leaks.
  6. Place in the oven and cook for 60 minutes.  Alternatively, place on an outdoor grill for the same amount of time.
  7. When done, pull from the oven, mix the contents and it is ready to serve.