When I was a kid one of my favorite things on the planet was that dopey Bing Crosby song that goes, “Who threw the overalls in Mrs Murphy’s chowder, nobody spoke so he shouted all the louder, its an Irish trick that’s true, and I can lick the mick that threw, the overalls in Mrs. Murphy’s chowwww-derrr!” I hated chowder and clams but I loved what my mom called, “Mrs. Murphy’s Potatoes.” Translation: twice baked potatoes stuffed with crab, cheddar cheese, and onions. Along with butter, garlic, salt and pepper and milk.
One of my other favorite things was Shepherd’s Pie, the old standby made with mashed potatoes, ground beef, onions, gravy and vegies and of course, cheese. Two recipes I am happy to share if I hear requests for them. My chef son touts his version made with ground lamb and parnsips in place of mashed potatoes, exotic no?
Last night I wanted Mrs Murphy’s taters, but I was too lazy to put on going-to-the-store clothes to procure potatoes. Those clothes being something besides a paint splattered tee shirt and equally paint splattered sweat pants so I poked around in the pantry and came up with the brilliant idea of Mrs Murphy’s Pie, a cross bred tasty treat. Today is Saint Patrick’s day so the nomenclature fits like a cheap tiara on a prom queen. Perfect, but don’t look too close…
To make this lovely tasty dish you will need:
A 13X9″ baking pan or something somewhere close in size. Smaller pan, deeper pie, its all good.
An onion minced fairly fine
About 2 tsps of garlic powder, adjust the level to your own garlic love
About 1.5 tsp of salt. If you cook some bacon and toss it in for fun, lighten up on the salt.
Pepper to taste
3 packages of those great Idahoan mashed potato mixes, inexpensive and easy. (Substitute 6-8 cups of any other mashed potatoes made according to package directions.)
2 cans of crab. I used Trader Joes, the size of large tuna cans.
1 stick of butter, more or less, again, ask yourself how much do I love this butter? Room temperature or melted.
Some milk, 1/2 cup or so
1 package of cheese shredded or about 2 cups ground up by you.
Asparagus, you could substute peas too. Cook the asparagus tips and mid sections, to medium done, not mushy.
Grease/spray grease the bottom of the pan and spread two cups/one package of the potatoes made according to the package on the the bottom of the pan. This is your ‘bottom crust’
In a large bowl, mix up another package of mashed potatoes, (drain and rinse the crab) toss in the crab, asparagus chopped small, garlic, onions (minced) and about 3/4 package of cheese along with the butter. Crack the eggs over the top and mix the whole mess together. If it’s quite thick put in up to 1/2 cup milk.Salt and pepper to taste, use a light hand here.
Put this layer on top of the layer you already put in, it doesn’t matter if they mix a bit. Spread it with a spatula. Mix up and spread the last layer of potatoes over the top. Spread the last of the cheese over all and pop in a 425 oven for about 30 minutes. It should brown up and the cheese will get all nice and melted. If it is isn’t as brown as you like, slide in the broiler for a few minutes.
Slice into squares and serve with a green salad. This was so easy to make. I think it may become one of those pantry fall backs, where you always have some ingredients handy and toss in everything else that you find.
I’d love to hear your ideas for other versions too.