Sheppard Pie Cupcakes or Cupcakes of Hachi Parmentier


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One of my children’s favorite food is Hachi Parmentier and I thought that it would be fun to make this dish into cupcakes so that we could easily just pop them into our mouth on any of our family movie night.

What is Hachi parmentier? Hachi parmentier is very similar to Sheppard Pie. It is a dish that layer minced ground beef in between layers of mashed potatoes.

According to Wikipedia, the word “hachis” means a dish in which the ingredients are chopped or minced, from the same root as the English word “hatchet”. The dish “Hachi Parmentier” was named after Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, a French pharmacist, nutritionist, and inventor who, in the late 18th century, was instrumental in the promotion of the potato as an edible crop.

I did not know that about this dish, what i knew is that this dish is one of those easy French comforting  recipe that is quickly made and that makes everyone happy. A bit like a good Mac and Cheese does here in the USA.

It used to be one of my top dish growing up, and I am happy to see that it is the same for my children;-)

There are many recipes of Hachi parmentier outthere, but this one is the traditional one. This recipe is just made from memory of watching my mom.
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Ingredients for 40 mini cupcakes:

  • 1 pack of wontons or 40 wontons wraps
  • 6 medium-sized potatoes,
  • 2 1/2 cup of heavy cream,
  • 1 lb. of lean ground beef,
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped,
  • 1 medium onion,
  • 1 cup of swiss cheese,
  • 1/8 tsp of garlic salt,
  • 1/16 tsp of pepper,
  • seasoning…

To make the Hachi Parmentier, you will need to make mashed potatoes, you may make them the traditional way cooked in water, or you can cook them in the round mold and save time!!!

  1. Peel the potatoes, dice them in small cubes, place them in the round mold.
  2. Add 1 tsp of water and a dash of salt.
  3. Cover the round mold with the octogonal silpat and microwave for 13-15 minutes.
  4. Empty the potatoes into a bowl and mash the potatoes with a potato press until it is very smooth. Add the warm heavy cream that you would have previously warmed up in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic salt, the pepper and stir. Add more salt if you deem it necessary.
  6. Pour the mashed potatoes back into the large round mold again, cover with the octogonal silpat and cook for another 2 minutes to make them fluffy.photo 2
  7. Set aside.Now you need to prepare the beef that will go in the mashed potatoes.
  8. Slice and dice your onion.
  9. Saute your onion in a frying pan in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until golden and translucent.
  10. Stir in the beef and cook it until it turns brown. Add 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of fresh parsley ( dry parsley is fine too). Taste and add more seasoning if you think it requires more salt.
  11. Place a wonton wrap into each cupcake hole of the mini muffin tray.photo 1
  12. Spoon about 1 tsp of potato into each wonton.photo
  13. Add 1 tsp of the meat mixture.photo 3
  14. Cover the meat with another teaspoon of mashed potatoes.photo 1
  15. Sprinkle some swiss cheese over each cupcake.
  16. Cook in the oven at 400 for 15 minutes to brown the cheese. Et voila!!!photo 2

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Ground Beef Tacos a la Cecile;-)


If you know me, you will know that I like challenges. Life would be too boring if you were not setting up challenges or boundaries to cross. As I was shopping for my ingredients for my Mexican Dinner, I decided that I could make my own tacos and tacos seasonings.

Tacos:  from my reading, I learned that tacos are actually fried tortillas. Did you know that? I learned something today;-)

So you can decide to make your own tortilla as explained in one of my blog’s entry,

Ingredients for 8 tortillas: 6 oz of flour ( I used whole wheat flour), 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 cup of water.

In a bowl, mix the flour and the salt, and slowly add the water and mix well. Out of the dough, make a ball that you will cut in 8 pieces.  Roll each little balls out, and with a rolling-pin, flatten the ball to make a disk of about 9 inches. Repeat the process for each ball of dough.

Turn up the heat on your stove to medium/ high and cook your tortilla in a frying pan for 1 minute on each side. Do not use grease or fat!!!! Set aside.

Of course you can decide to buy the tortillas instead which is much quicker.

To make the tacos you will need  1/2 cup of olive oil, and the tortillas ( 1-2 per person).

In a large frying pan, warm up 1/4 cup of olive oil. Place one tortilla at a time and fry it one side for 1 minutes until it becomes golden, with a fork, or with tongs, turn the tortilla and fry it for 1-2 minutes as well. With a fork, fold the tortilla in half and hold it so that the tortilla will assume the shape of a taco. With a tong, remove the tortilla from the frying pan and rest it on a plate that you would have previously layer with paper towel. ( The towel will absorb some of the oil). Set aside until you have fixed the rest of the taco fillings.

The Meat Filling: 1 lb of ground beef ( I used ground sirloin), 1 tsp of dehydrated garlic powder, 2 tsp of paprika, 1 tsp of hot chili pepper, 1/8 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of butter, 1 tsp of flour, 1/4 cup of water., sour cream, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, 1/2 white onion chopped thinly, a few sweet red pepper chopped.

In a frying pan, melt 1 tsp of butter and when it starts to sizzle, throw in the ground beef. Cook the ground beef until it turns to a brown color. Add all the seasonings mentioned above ( garlic, chili pepper, salt, paprika) and stir well. Add the flour and the water and mix well. Turn the heat to high and bring to boil. Lower the temperature and cook for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

To eat place the taco in your hands and fill it up as you wish. We filled it up this way:

ground beef, sour cream, chopped onions, chopped red pepper, cheddar cheese.

Yummy, isn’t it’-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Ground Beef Stuffed Bell Pepper And Parsley Rice Pilaf


What do you do when you see such amazing fresh looking produces in your grocery store? Me, I buy them with the intention of cooking them. And today, bell peppers were looking so yummy that i could not leave them there. At this time of the year, there are lots of things you can do with bell peppers…. roasted bell peppers salad, roasted bell pepper soup, spaghetti sauce, ratatouille, salsa…. so many things… But today, when I picked those peppers all I was thinking was to make one of my husband’s favorite: Ground Beef Stuffed Bell Peppers. It is not really a summer fare, but since I am trying to vary the meals of my difficult family, stuffed peppers with rice pilaf  was going to be their dinner tonite.

Ingredients for 4: 4 or 5 of bell peppers ( of any colors but green), 1 lb of very lean ground beef or even ground sirloin, 1 egg, 5 pieces of whole wheat toast, 1 cup of milk, 4 1/2 cups of chicken broth, 4 tbsp  of fresh parsley chopped, 3/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper, 1 cup of brown rice, 2 tbsp of butter.

Trim the sides of the toast, and place the bread in a bowl. Warm up the milk for 2 minutes in the microwave and pour the milk over the bread. Let the bread soak the milk. With a fork or your bare hands, mix the bread with your hands to crumble it and make into a paste. Drain the extra milk, if there is. Add the beef, 1 egg, 3/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of salt, and mix it well. It should become uniform. Set aside. Take the bell pepper and cut the top of the peppers. Remove the seeds from the inside of the peppers. Rinse them off, and fill them up with the meat mixture. Place the bell peppers in the large round mold. And fill the mold with the 2 cups of chicken broth. Bake in oven at 375 for 30 minutes.

While the bell peppers are baking, prepare the rice pilaf. In a small saucepan, melt 2 tbsp of butter. When the butter is sizzling, add the rice and saute it. You should hear it pop. When you start seeing the rice browning and making popping sound, add 2 1/4 of chicken broth. Bring to boil. Lower the temperature. Place the lid on the sauce pan and cook for about 15 minutes. Check periodically to check if the rice is not burning, and if there is enough water. When the rice is cooked, add 1 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of chopped parsley.

I don’t always fix a sauce to accompany this dish, but my husband was begging so there is one you can fix with it.

Ingredients: 2 tbsp of butter, the 2 cups of chicken broth used to cook the bell peppers, 1 cup of white wine. 1/2 of a purple onion. salt and pepper to taste.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. When the butter is melted, add the diced onion and saute it. When the onion is becoming golden, add 2 tbsp of flour and stir. Add the broth and 1 cup of white wine. Stir and cook low until the sauce thickens.

To serve, place a cup of rice on each plate, a bell pepper and pour the sauce over the rice and on the side. Yum! Now it is your turn!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!