Saturday, May 19, 2018

DVD Player, Air Con, Asparagus,

I mentioned in my last blog that I had bought some DVDs which only played on Region 2 players
(UK) and not on region 1 (North America). After a fair amount of research plus lots of trial and error I finally found out how to unlock my DVD player so it will not run both types of DVD. I eventually discovered that the manufacturer itself had posted the instructions to make the change. I am so pleased, it means I don't have to either throw out the ones I have nor buy a new player or any of the other solutions I had considered. Amazing, you can find out the answers to most things on the net can't you?

Also, we managed to remove the grille on our a/c and I washed the filter. The last one wasn't done in 16 years (didn't know it had to be done) and could virtually stand alone. Getting the grille off isn't as easy as they show, but we did it in the end. Also, there is a frame which is part of the apartment fixing. Neatens it all up, but it has to be unscrewed too. Now if I could just get off my rear end and do the silver.

I didn't even go to exercise classes on Friday as my legs were really hurting. Roll on these tests I am booked in for.

Friday supper cooked the Garlic Asparagus with Shrimp and it turned out very well, however, if I make it again I will par boil the asparagus first. Also, I used the asparagus from the store. It wasn't bad but wasn't as good as I get from  the farm, so off to the farm I will be going toute suite.

I had to pass on this recipe before I forgot it. I couldn't believe anyone would come up with such a recipe. Must be lots of lobsters wherever they come from. I somehow doubt I will ever try it, too expensive by half. If anyone does try it, do let me know.

Lobster Shepherd’s Pie 

Potatoes and Stock

2 lb russet potatoes, scrubbed, pricked all over with a fork
¼ cup ( ½ stick) unsalted butter, divided
1 ½ lb lobster tails, meat removed from shells and cut into 2" pieces, shells broken into 2" pieces
2 Tbs tomato paste
½ cup dry white wine
1 medium yellow onion, peeled, halved through root end
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
2 celery stalks, halved crosswise
1 medium carrot, peeled, cut on a diagonal into 2" pieces, divided
2 bay leaves
1 tsp black peppercorns
Kosher salt
1 cup half-and-half
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large egg yolks
¼ cup chopped dill
2 Tbs prepared horseradish
8 oz pearl onions, peeled


¼ cup ( ½ stick) unsalted butter
8 oz pearl onions, peeled
3 medium carrots, peeled, cut on a diagonal into 2" pieces
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup half-and-half
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Flaky sea salt

Potatoes and Stock

Place a rack in top-most position of oven; preheat to 400°. Roast potatoes directly on rack until tender, 60–70 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. butter in a large saucepan over medium-high until melted and foaming. Add lobster shells and cook, stirring often, until bright red, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it starts to brown and stick to pot, about 1 minute. Add wine and cook, scraping up browned bits, until almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add yellow onion, garlic, celery, carrot, bay leaves, peppercorns, and 4 cups water. Toss in a generous pinch of kosher salt and bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat and simmer briskly until liquid is reduced by two-thirds, 50–60 minutes. Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof measuring glass; discard solids. (You should have about 1½ cups.)

While potatoes are cooling, warm half-and-half and remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over low heat just to melt butter.

Split potatoes lengthwise and scoop flesh into half-and-half mixture. Smash with a potato masher until mixture is smooth and lump-free; season generously with kosher salt and pepper. Remove from heat and mix in egg yolks, dill, and horseradish; cover with plastic wrap.


Melt butter in a clean large saucepan over medium. Add pearl onions and carrots and cook, stirring, until onions start to turn translucent, 5–8 minutes. Sprinkle flour over; stir to combine. Cook, stirring, until flour leaves a film on bottom of pot, about 4 minutes. Stirring constantly, gradually stream in stock, then bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in half-and-half; season sauce with kosher salt and pepper. Let cool slightly.

Arrange lobster pieces in a shallow 1½-qt. baking dish and ladle sauce over. Dollop mashed potatoes on top and use the back of the spoon to spread across surface, creating decorative swirls. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake on a foil-lined baking sheet until lobster is cooked through and filling is bubbling around the edges, 20–25 minutes. Turn on broiler and broil pie just until topping is browned in spots, about 1 minute. Let rest 5–10 minutes before serving.

Servings: 4

Do Ahead: Pie can be assembled 1 day ahead; cover and chill. Bring to room temperature and uncover before baking.

Source: Bon App├ętit

Author Notes
Removing the lobster from the shells prevents them from overcooking, and the shells help build an excellent sauce for this sheperd's pie recipe.

Have a great day


  1. My kids love my lobster mac and cheese, but I make make with 'fake' lobster and they cannot tell the difference. The brand I buy is called Lobster Classic and they sell it in packages where they sell the fresh seafood.

    1. You mentioned that before Denise, I hadn't thought about buying 'fake' to make the Shepherd's Pie. It is such a mundane dish that making it with lobster threw me a bit. Never looked to see if they sell 'fake' here.

  2. Yes, you can find out how to do darned near anything on the internet. Simply amazing.

    Not sure if I'd use lobster to make a shepherd's pie. The thing I most often do with lobster tails is make lobster rolls. I steam the tails, remove the meat, and turn it into a chunky salad. After chilling it overnight, we enjoy it the next day on top-sliced toasted hot dog buns. Heavenly!

    1. It is Susan - some of it is a bit difficult to grasp, but it's all there.

      Those sound delicious. Have you ever tried doing it with 'fake" lobster?

    2. No. I'm not a big fan of fake lobster and fake crab.

    3. I ate it a few times at conferences and the like Susan, it is made from a fish called Pollock which isn't a bad fish on it's own, but I must admit lobster is irreplaceable to me.

  3. You are so technology savvy, Jo. I bow down to you. Seriously, you are an inspiration. Most people over 50 would just give up, myself included.

    1. Yeah, well you've got Scotto Pinky. Matt doesn't know anything about this stuff unfortunately. I actually find it quite interesting if frustrating at times and wish I knew more but am too lazy to learn now.

  4. I don't even like to reboot my computer! Nice job!

    1. Thanks JoJo, I was rather pleased with myself.