Steak and Potato Pie

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Steak And Potato Pie

  • Difficulty: medium
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4 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 / 2 onion, chopped
1/ 4 to 1/ 2 cup flour
1 cup beef broth
1 cup half and half

2 9-inch deep dish piecrusts, room temperature
2 top pie crusts, room temperature

1 1/ 2 cups cooked steak, cubed
3 to 4 baked potatoes, cooled, peeled and cubed
Salt and pepper

1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon half and half

1. Oven 450 degrees
2. In a medium pot, add butter or margarine and onions. Sauté onions until tender.
3. In the meantime, in a bowl, toss the steak and potato cubes. Add salt and pepper and toss again. Place the bottom pie crusts on a large cookie sheet. Fill both bottom pie crusts evenly with the steak and potato mixture. Set aside.
4. Going back to the pot of onions and butter, under a low / medium flame, with a wooden spoon, add flour and make a roué. Gradually add the beef broth to thicken the sauce. As it thickens, gradually add the half and half to the sauce. Continuously, keep stirring until you have a smooth white sauce.
5. Pour the white sauce into the piecrusts, over the steak and potato mixture.
6. Place the top pie crusts onto each pie. Pinch the sides and vent the top pie crusts with the point of a sharp knife with a few stabs all over.
7. Mix the egg yolk and half and half together. Brush the entire top of the two piecrusts, with the egg wash.
8. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven to 350 degrees and continue cooking for 35-45 minutes longer.
9. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Serve immediately.
Optional – Put whatever add ins you want into your pie, example – steamed broccoli, green
pepper, or substitute the onion with scallion, etc. Make it your own.
10. ENJOY – Steak and Potato Pie, tastes good today, but tastes even better tomorrow!

©  This recipe courtesy of

Meat and potatoes men are what this pie is all about. The best thing about this recipe is that this is a meal made from leftovers. The plan: make extra steak and baked potatoes for dinner one night so that you’ll have enough leftover to prepare steak and potato pie the next night. While you’re at it, consider making even more so you can bake 2 pies, one for dinner and the other for the freezer!

My son and his roommate lived in a small 1 bedroom cottage on campus during his freshman year of college. I was told by college personnel not to purchase a meal plan because my son had a kitchen in his cottage. So, we brought our son to school with a large amount of food from the price club warehouse. While steak and shrimp were not part of this care package, we did bring tons of pasta, drink mixes, cereals, frozen meatballs and hamburgers, crackers and various junk foods of his choice. This sustained him for quite a while. Then he started to really miss my home cooking. For his birthday in November, I told him I would make food for him to take back after Thanksgiving. Anything he wanted, he could have, and he was craving steak and potato pie. My son, Tom, loved meat and potatoes. These were some his favorite foods, so I made 3 pies for him. He ate one at home before he even went back to school! I told him to share the remaining 2 pies with his friends, but I can’t swear that they got any of the bounty. Every time Tom came home after that, I had to make steak and potato pies just for him.

When Tom was back home after graduation, his appetite was as hardy as ever, and my food bill was bigger than ever. One time I took out a pie from the freezer and left instructions to put it in the oven before I came home from work. Tom and the rest of the family were really looking forward to that steak and potato pie for dinner that night. I walked in the door from work, starving. The kitchen smelled delicious, but it wasn’t steak and potato pie, it was apple pie instead! Talk about disappointment. I had never labeled the pie and just assumed it was steak and potato pie when I defrosted it. Luckily, I was forgiven, because my apple pie was equally delicious!

When life gives you apple pie, instead of steak and potato, serve it warm with vanilla ice cream!


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Potato Salad

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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DSC042351/2 bag potatoes ( 2 1/2 lbs.)
3 eggs
3 stalks celery, diced small
4 stalks scallions, diced small
Mayonnaise, 3 extra-large tablespoons
salt and pepper

1. Place potatoes in a large pot with skins on fill with cold water to cover potatoes. Add 3 eggs,  ( I put a pin hole in each egg before boiling, it makes it easier to peel later). Bring water to a boil. Time it for 10 minutes at a full boil. Your eggs should be done. Remove the eggs with a spoon from the pot to cool down. Run cold water over them or place them in a bowl of cold water. Peel the eggs and set aside to cool, then chop.
2. Continue to boil the potatoes for 10 to 20 minutes more on a full boil, keep checking for doneness by putting a fork in them. If the fork goes in hard, not done, goes in easy, done. Try not to overcook the potatoes if you can.
3. When potatoes are done, cool for a bit, but it is good to peel while they are warm, the skins come off easier. Dice the potatoes into small cubes.
4. Add potatoes, celery, eggs, scallions, salt and pepper into a large bowl. I add about 3 hefty scoops of mayonnaise to start, more if preferred. Secret is to add water, about 1 to 3 tablespoons depending on look and taste. The water will cream out the mayo.
5. Decorate with paprika on top if you want before serving. Serves 8.
6. ENJOY – Summer without potato salad is like summer without sunshine!

©  This recipe courtesy of

During years of backyard barbeques, graduations, baby showers, and outings, a lot of potato salad has passed my lips; however, my mom’s potato salad is still the best I’ve had. Everybody loves it. I should know; I’ve been making it for years and hearing the satisfied sighs as my friends and family devour it by the forkful.

My mom, Helen, was a good cook and enjoyed cooking and entertaining. To know me is to know that I am my mother’s daughter. She taught me to always chop ingredients into small sizes, believing that it was more pleasing to the eye if the potatoes, celery, and scallions were cubed in small pieces. She did this to regular lettuce salad too. She’d cut up everything into small pieces, including the tomatoes and cucumbers. Mom was right! Smaller is better. Who wants a big chunk of potato or a huge leaf of lettuce when eating? Not me.

The only change I made to the original recipe that she gave me is that I add a bit of water. Many years ago my life-long friend, Joanne, made potato salad for a party, and I noticed that hers was creamier than mine. Her secret was adding water. At the time, I was adding a bit of milk to thin out the mayo in my potato salad. I’m convinced that water is better than milk and makes for a creamier potato salad.

Summer isn’t summer without Mom’s potato salad. When something is this good, you never get tired of making it. My family and friends will agree, because they never get tired of eating it!

Somebody Else’s Mom – Linda’s Cheesy Potatoes

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2 lb frozen bag cubed potatoes
1/ 2 cup butter
1 can Cheddar cheese soup
1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

4 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Mix first 7 ingredients together well in an oven casserole 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle
the other 4 ounces of Cheddar cheese over the top of the potatoes.
2. Oven 350 degrees.
3. Bake 1 to 1 1/2 hours or untl bubbly and browned. Serves 10 to 12.
4. ENJOY – Great for Brunch or Lunch!

A new tradition was established for my family when my daughter, Marisa, married and moved to Buffalo four years ago. Easter weekend would be celebrated at her home, packed with family, cats, dogs, and a lotta love! In addition, we also get to enjoy her mother-in-law Linda’s special Easter brunch over at her home.

Every year our crew is late and the last to arrive. This year we were early and the first to arrive! We think Linda fooled us by telling us to be there an hour earlier than usual; it worked. As all our hungry eyes checked out the buffet brunch, we spotted something amiss: no sign of Linda’s famous, to-die-for Cheesy Potatoes. Panic began to set in and Mia, my daughter, whispered to me, “Where are the Cheesy Potatoes?” Not one to hold back, the words escaped from my lips “Linda, did you make your Cheesy Potatoes?” To our delight and relief, she had, in fact, made two pans. I swear there was a bit of a stampede towards those Cheesy Potatoes. I managed to squeeze in a picture of them before they disappeared – sorry your eyes were closed Linda!

Linda gave me the recipe, which I tweaked a little as I always like to do with recipes. A few nights ago, I had company for dinner, and my slightly revised version of the recipe is listed below.

All I know is when I offered to give my friends some Cheesy Potatoes to take home, they were thrilled, but my husband was a bit freaked out until he realized there was plenty left over for him to enjoy again.

Cheesy Potatoes are great for holidays or any day, especially when entertaining your extended family. Thanks Linda, we appreciate you and your Cheesy Potatoes!

Revised Cheesy Potatoes

2 lb frozen bag cubed potatoes
3 baked potatoes, cubed
1/4 onion chopped
5 tablespoons butter
1 can Cheddar cheese soup
1 cup sour cream
10 ounces milk
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

4 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Mix first 9 ingredients together well in an oven casserole 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle
the other 4 ounces of Cheddar cheese over the top of the potatoes.
2. Oven 350 degrees.
3. Bake 1 to 1 1/2 hours or untl bubbly and browned. Serves 10 to 12.

(I happened to have had leftover baked potatoes, which I peeled and cubed and added to the dish. I cut back the butter and it was fine and added 1/4 onion, chopped which I think enhanced the flavor just enough. I increased the milk a bit because of the added baked potatoes and the last thing I did was not put
any salt in but put pepper in. Which was a mistake because everyone agreed it needed salt. Otherwise, my daughter finished the leftovers the next day and
my husband didn’t get any after all!)


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2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ parmesan cheese, grated
¼ romano cheese, grated
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup Italian seasoned Italian bread crumbs
1 cup flour
3 eggs
4 to 6 cups Canola oil

1. Boil potatoes in water with a little salt until tender. Drain and add butter, milk, salt, pepper, cheeses and parsley. Beat until mixed well.
2. Cover and chill in refrigerator over night or for 5 hours.
3. Heat the oil in a medium pot or fryer over a medium flame.
4. In a small bowl beat eggs. In a shallow dish toss flour. In a third dish toss Italian bread crumbs.
5. In a line place your potatoes first. Next in order place the flour dish, the eggs and last the bread crumbs. Form the potato mixture into 2 to 3 inch size tube shapes. Roll in flour, then in the eggs, then in the bread crumbs.
6. Deep fry the croquettes in the oil, using a wire strainer, shaking and rolling the tubes around to evenly cook them, until they are golden brown.
7. Serve immediately. Makes about 2 dozen. Great side dish for any entrée.
8. This recipe has an Italian flavor to them. If you don’t like the parmesan/ romano cheeses, eliminate the cheeses and try adding ½ grated onion to the potatoes instead.
9. Enjoy – You say potato and I say po-ta-toe, lets call the whole thing off. Instead lets say croquettes!

Family has surrounded me all my life. When I was a kid, my family shared a two family house with my mom’s sister and her family. We entertained in the basement which had a kitchen, bar, and a very rustic stone wine cellar. Every holiday, my mom and aunt would cook and entertain family and friends together as both their kitchens were too small and neither had a dining room. The basement was open, the tables were lined up to accommodate a crowd of family and friends, and everyone left feeling full and happy.

They made it look easy; I didn’t realize how many days they worked on preparing those wonderful dinners until I did my own entertaining!

I have a small diningroom which can just about handle 8 people comfortably or 10 tightly for a sit down dinner. My husband’s family is now too large for us to host a holiday dinner. So a few years ago, I invited just my sister-in-laws, their spouses and a cousin and wife to a formal dinner in February. There are 9 of us, making it a comfy fit around the table. This has been my fourth formal dinner in February for the same guests. I had been hosting the dinners on Saturday nights, but switched to Sunday afternoon this year. From now on, they will always be on Sundays, because I realized how much I needed the extra day. The week before the dinner, I start to put together a menu and by Friday I’m food shopping.

This year, just a day before my big Sunday dinner, my husband had to work, leaving me to my own devices. I cooked all day on Saturday, straightened out the first floor of my home, and set the table. I know you know that setting a proper table with china, special silverware, special wine glasses and linens is an art and a bit time consuming. However, it’s worth it to show my guests how much I appreciate them.

These potato croquettes were prepared especially for my two brothers-in-law, Kevin and John, real meat and potato guys. For this kind of crowd I tend to double the recipe and make 5 pounds of potatoes for the croquettes. I whip the potatoes the day before and let them get very cold in the refrigerator overnight; it makes them easier to mold and handle while breading and frying. These potato croquettes were, without a doubt, the highlight of my dinner. Everyone seemed to love them, especially Kevin and John, who raved about them and my daughter, Mia, who was thrilled to eat the leftovers the following day. If you plan on making these potato croquettes, by all means make extra, because you will be glad you did!

All this planning for one dinner that isn’t even a holiday, yes! Is it a workout? You betcha, more than any 40 minute Zumba or spin class. To have family and friends together, sharing a meal, conversing, enjoying each other’s company, is truly priceless. They are memories in the making, and I so value these times together even if it takes me three days to prepare for it!

Somebody’s Mom Breakfast

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My latest venture over the last 6 months has been as a freelance food writer for “Patch”, an online local newspaper for the Westchester area. Most recently, I’ve delved into writing restaurant breakfast reviews. If you’re a breakfast lover like me, you can surely appreciate that this is the kind of job you can really sink your teeth into!

I hosted a breakfast at my house for a group of friends over the holidays. I usually serve a frittata, quiche, strata or another vegetable egg dish along with fresh bagels. I was feeling a little more creative, so I decided to mix things up a little by baking a French toast dish. I was inspired by my friend, JoEllen, who made this dish last year and gave me the recipe. Naturally, I made it right away, but felt hers tasted better. Unable to find JoEllen’s recipe under all my holiday gifts and wrapping paper, I turned to the magical Internet to search for French toast recipes. Well, if you have about three hours to scan pages and pages of recipes, this is the way to go……I just don’t have the patience. On the first page of my search was a Paula Deen recipe for overnight French toast. That worked for me; I had all of the ingredients except for corn syrup. I printed the recipe, and then began to do what I love…… improvise with what I already had in my pantry.

And that’s how I came up with the breakfast menu: Oven French toast, home fries, cream cheese crescent rolls, cherries and raspberries. A plate of some homemade cookies added just the right note to this combination of foods.

Crescent rolls are very versatile and can be filled with almost anything and still taste delicious. My kids made bacon, cheddar, and cream cheese crescents on Christmas morning, giving me the bright idea to make them for my breakfast guests.

In preparation for this gathering, I made extra baked potatoes for dinner the night before. The next morning I cubed about five leftover baked potatoes, gathered together 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 small onion, and 1 sweet Italian green pepper. I quickly chopped and then sautéed everything to make home fries. A little paprika, salt, and pepper and the home fries were done. Just before serving, I broiled the top of the potatoes to make them extra brown and crispy.

Lastly, the oven baked French Toast that I prepared in no way resembled the picture from the recipe, but I was determined to serve it anyway. I can’t justify throwing out good food. While it wasn’t exactly a good-looking dish, but it was a darn delicious one! Two of my friends asked to bring a piece home.

So what’s cooking for breakfast at your home?

RE-Stuffed Potatoes

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6 Idaho large potatoes, baked and cooled
3 scallion stalks, chopped
3 1/ 2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
1 / 4 cup milk
1 / 4 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper

1. Oven 400 degrees.
2. Wash potatoes, stab with fork all around the potato skin and place in oven on top rack. Bake 60 to 75 minutes or until baked thoroughly but not too soft. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
3. Hold potato with a pot holder and take a serrated knife, cut the potato lengthwise in half. With a tablespoon, scoop the inside of the potato into a bowl containing the 3 1 /2 tablespoons of butter. Try not to scrape all the way to the skin, otherwise it might break after re-stuffing it and baking again. Place the scooped out skin onto a cookie sheet. Continue until you have 12 skins.
4. In the bowl with the potatoes and butter, add milk and sour cream. Whip potatoes with a mixer until all lumps are gone. Then add the parsley, scallions, 4 ounces of cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Stir with a wooden spoon at this point until everything is mixed.
5. With a large spoon, put the potato mixture back into the potato skins. After stuffing all the skins, sprinkle the remaining 4 ounces of cheddar cheese over the tops of the potatoes.
6. Place the re-stuffed skins back in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more on a 375 degrees oven.
7. Serve immediately.
8. Enjoy! – Re-stuffed will never taste overstuffed or stuffed enough!

Who doesn’t love the combination of potatoes and cheese? I ask you…is there a better dish to please both man and child? Kids seem to especially love the cheddar cheese topping for its high gooey factor, while the guys tend to relate to the re-stuffed potato because it brings to mind their favorite haunt – the sport’s bar! In fact, it’s probably where I first chowed down on one of these “make a meal of it” potatoes. When I like something, I usually try to make it myself at home. My family loves their sport’s bar menus; cheeseburgers, onion soup, buffalo wings and potatoes. And I do mean potatoes of any kind.

Recently, all 10 members of my family spent a day in Manhattan walking around together at the Central Park Zoo. Less than an hour had passed when that familiar buzzing began: “Where are we eating?”, followed by “When are we eating?”. As a person who loves to cook, I love that my family loves to eat. My son, Tom, and my daughter, Marisa, usually take charge, searching the internet via their cellphones scoping out restaurants in the area. Not only were they looking for something close by but also someplace relaxing and reasonably priced that could accommodate a large family. With Marisa in the lead, we walked and walked and walked. I am not kidding, we walked 25 New York City blocks (which I personally think are much longer than blocks anywhere else) for what seemed like an hour. So where did we end up? A sports bar, of course. We sat down and I proceeded to tell our waitress that after walking 25 blocks, this better be the best cheeseburger I ever had. Everyone ordered cheeseburgers, waffle fries, wings, sweet potato fries and soup, typical bar food. At the end of the meal, our waitress thoughtfully brought us an extra pitcher of beer on the house because we walked 25 blocks to eat there.

Obviously, there is no limit to how far one will go for a good burger or a good re-stuffed potato!


2 1/ 2 lbs red potatoes
3 tablespoons margarine
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion

1. Oven 350 degrees.
2. Leave red skins on potatoes. Scrub the skins under running
water to remove any dirt.
Cut potatoes into quarters or cube. Place in a 9 x 13 pan.
3. Slice onion and mix with potatoes. Toss around.
4. Cut the margarine and butter into pieces and place on top
of potatoes and onions.
5. Sprinkle generously paprika over all the potatoes and
6. Bake in oven 1 and 1/ 2 hours. Every 1/ 2 toss pull pan out
and with a spatula or large spoon, toss the potatoes and
onions. Add more paprika every time you toss.
7. Serve immediately from the oven and make sure to scrape
the bottom for the good crunchy pieces.
8. ENJOY! – These “new” potatoes will be old and gone

Have you ever met a person who didn’t love roasted potatoes?
Not me!

My home is never without a potato; it is usually white, gold or your standard Idaho. When I want some comfort on a cold winter’s day, I slice a little onion, add olive oil, butter, salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary, and I sit back and savor the flavor!

Today’s recipe is all about the red potato. I prepare this baby a little differently by adding paprika instead of fresh rosemary – there’s something special about that combination as it sits so well on the taste buds. I also choose to leave their skins on – I just give the potatoes a good scrubbing before quartering and cooking. Interestingly, not everyone is fond of eating potatoes with their skins. My cousins from Italy visited over the holidays and joined me at my cousin, Steven’s home. Steven and his lovely wife, Trish, served a delicious lunch which included roasted red potatoes complete with skins. Our Italian cousins were rather surprised that we were eating potatoes with their skins on, but politely ate them – skins and all.

Family history has always fascinated me, and I began to seriously research mine about 6 years ago. I started by contacting the few remaining relatives, attempting to find information about my grandparents. So far, my grandfather, Giuseppe, my father’s father, has been the most successful to trace. His sister, my Aunt Peggy, sent me an address of her 1st cousin, Melvina. I wrote to Melvina and, bingo, she answered me through her daughter, Marietta. This letter set me on the most direct route to connecting with more cousins than I could imagine. In addition, I had been in contact via email with Nicla in Italy who spoke and wrote English and worked for City Hall Department of Records in Pescara. In the meantime, Melvina. who lived in Arizona with Marietta, was heading to New York for a visit. Two years ago, I finally met Melvina, Marietta, and her sister, Margie, at my home for a luncheon. As Melvina entered my home she immediately noticed the large family group photograph taken in the ‘40’s of my grandparent’s family and friends. Melvina saw herself, her brothers and parents in the photograph and began to cry, “Why do you have a picture of my family?” I started to cry, “Because it’s my family.” After a good cry and a group hug, we enjoyed lunch, exchanged some family stories about my grandparents and vowed to keep in touch. Marietta and I continue to connect via holiday cards and emails.

A second reunion occurred last summer which I attended with my brother, Jimmy, and Melvina, Marietta, and Margie at my cousin Steven’s house. As I mentioned, Steven’s wife Trish and I are both working on family histories. After the reunion, Trish and I continued to compare notes on the family history through email. One day, I got an email from Trish, “Mariann, you will not believe this, but a cousin from Italy contacted Steven and will visit New York over the holidays.” I couldn’t contain my excitement. “Could I meet them, if possible, even for an hour?” I begged Trish. As the visit from the cousins from Italy approached, Trish emailed me, “Would you like to join us for lunch?” Of course, I would be there! The pieces of the puzzle of my family were fitting together and this opportunity might not come again. The anticipation when I walked into Steven and Trish’s home was overwhelming. Standing around the table were 7 relatives from Italy with black & white photos of not only my grandfather, Giuseppe, but my father, Jackie (Jacamo) and my brother, Jimmy. My grandfather must have mailed them to his brother, Antonio, in Italy over 55 years ago. Antonio’s son, Pietro, must have passed them on to his children, Carla and Renata, who were at that moment standing next to me in Steven’s kitchen.

Life has a funny way of gifting you with special moments. Meeting my cousins, here in New York, from Long Island and Italy was definitely a high point in my life. I am grateful to be a member of such a smart, gracious, funny and warm family. The saga continues, and I for one am looking forward to the next family history entry and seeing my recently discovered cousins again!