Diehard "American Idol" viewers will remember Sarah Sellers as the geek-chic food blogger who made it to Hollywood Week last year. (Watch her Season 10 audition here.) Sarah has since continued her food-blogging, and has been cooking up scrumptious snack suggestions for any "Idol" viewing party and posting them here in Reality Rocks each week. She was also my special guest on a special South By Southwest version of "The Day After" in Austin recently, which you can watch HERE!
So tonight, the top five Idols will sing songs from the native land of Hollie Cavanagh and Nigel Lythgoe, Mother England. And Sarah was definitely inspired by this theme. "This week was a bit more time-consuming, but I definitely think I gave a proper homage to traditional British grub," she says. "This recipe is a mashup between the popular bangers and mash and shepherd's pie. The extra time spent is worth it!"
Bangers and Mash Mini-Pies
12 pies plus extra
▪ 4 Yukon gold potatoes (around 1.25 pd), peeled and diced
▪ 1 tbsp butter
▪ 1 tsp garlic powder
▪ 1/4 cup low-fat milk
▪ salt and pepper
▪ 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
▪ 1 lb hot (or mild) Italian sausage, ground
▪ 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
▪ 2 carrots, thinly sliced
▪ 1 garlic clove, minced
▪ 1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
▪ 1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
▪ 2.5 tbsp flour
▪ 1/2 cup beef broth
▪ 1/2 cup frozen peas
▪ 2 pieces pie crust, room temperature
▪ 1/3 cup French's fried onion strings
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a medium sauce pan, cover the potatoes with water. Heat over high, covered, until the water comes to a boil. Uncover and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender.
While the potatoes are boiling, in a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high and add the sausage. Crumbling with a wooden spoon, sauté until no longer pink. Add the onion and next 4 ingredients, through the rosemary, and cook until the veggies are soft. Add the flour and cook for one minute until the meat starts to slightly stick together. Add the beef broth and simmer for 6-8 minutes.
While the meat is simmering, using a 4-inch cutter, cut 4-inch circles into the dough. Roll out any scraps to make 12 circles. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and press the dough into each muffin cup, covering the bottom and sides. Poke the bottoms with a fork to avoid bubbling. Bake in the oven until nice and golden-brown, around 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. Once they are cool enough to handle, gentle pop them out with a knife.
Drain the potatoes and return to the warm pot for a few minutes to remove any excess liquid. Stir in the butter, garlic powder, and milk, and mash with a potato masher. Season with the salt and pepper to taste.
Add the green peas to the sausage mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Layer each mini-pie with a dollop of mashed potatoes, followed by the sausage mixture, then top with the fried onion strings.
Use any leftover sausage for some yummy pasta the next night!
Check out Sarah's food and music blogs at http://sarahsmusicalkitchen.com