Cast Iron Skillet Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie is one of my ultimate comfort foods. I have so many fond memories of my mom making a huge casserole dish of it it after Thanksgiving or Christmas, when she had lots of creamy leftover mashed potatoes to use up. Since it's neither Thanksgiving or Christmas and tragically, I don't have any leftover mashed potatoes, I made this smaller scale version to fit my cast iron skillet. The lazy cook in me loves that I can cook almost the entire meal in the skillet (except for the mashed potatoes), and honestly, I just love the way food looks in my skillet.

Spicy Sausage & Wild Mushroom Pappardelle

Mushroom pasta is one of my all-time favourites (see: my creamy mushroom mafaldine), but sometimes when I’m craving that earthy mushroom flavour without all the heavy cream, I make this herby mushroom and sausage balsamic ragu. It’s loaded with all off my favourite herbs, and big splashes of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil for a lighter, more summery version of my favourite pasta.

Rainbow Veggie Jap Chae

Jap Chae is one of the first Korean dishes I learned how to make - it’s something I had at restaurants countless times (I’m obsessed with the chewy texture of the noodles!) but it had never occurred to me to try making it at home until I scrolled past a homemade recipe for it on my IG feed. Beyond the noodles, jap chae is really just a stir fry recipe at its core, and it’s surprisingly easy to make at home.

Grandma’s Pork and Ginger Dumplings

Making dumplings with my family at my grandma's house is one of my most fond childhood memories. I loved when the whole family would gather around big bowls of dumpling filling, stacks of dumpling wrappers on the table, competing for who could make the most perfectly plump dumpling (without overstuffing!). It doesn't hurt that the result would be hundreds of steaming dumplings for dinner, dipped in the tangy combo of Worcestershire and soya sauce.

Silken Tofu, Pork Tenderloin & Green Bean Stir Fry

I love learning my mother and my grandmother’s home style Chinese recipes - they’re the foods I crave that I just can’t seem to get anywhere else. This pork tenderloin with silken tofu and crunch green beans is one of my all-time favourites that never disappoints, and always leaves me feeling extra grateful that I got to eat this so often growing up.

Fresh Thai Summer Rolls

The heat in Toronto has been deadly over the past couple weeks, and I couldn’t bear to turn the stove on and make my tiny AC-less apartment even half a degree hotter, so fresh summer rolls were the answers to my heatwave woes. I actually discovered this recipe in Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings cook book (an all-time fave), but over the years I’ve gradually adapted it to suit my own taste preferences. The key to making this dish *extra* simple is storing away leftover grilled meat in the freezer, so that whenever you’re craving summer rolls all you need to do is unthaw the meat and you’re ready to go.

Spicy Pork and Udon Stir-Fry

I love making stir fry for a quick midweek dinner, and this spicy udon has quickly become a regular go-to for me. I don't typically love ground pork because I find it can be a bit dry, but in this recipe it soaks up all the spicy goodness and blends wonderfully with the pillowy udons and tender Napa cabbage. This recipe was originally inspired by Bon Appetit's Better Than Takeout Udon recipe, but I made a few variations to suit my tastes (ie. adding gochujang for a more complex, spicy flavour) and now I can't imagine ever going back to the original version without spice!