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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Light Shepards Pie

We have been living in bonus time for the past few months.  The weather in the northeast has been anything but wintery this year and I was loving it.  The sun shone bright and the winds were calm for the Thanksgiving day parade.  Rather than inches of snow for Christmas, a light rain fell.  We hit fifty-five degrees on New Years Eve in the city and it was pleasant enough to stroll the streets of Manhattan with your coat open. 

Yesterday, it seemed like winter had finally won and we were at last in its grip.  The temperature dropped into the single digits overnight and I was not looking forward to my morning commute.  Waiting for the train in the bitter cold is not my idea of a good time.  I decided to brace myself for the wait with knee-high boots, an extra heavy sweater, thick scarf, hat and gloves.  I decided that crazy hair for the day was worth it, just call me Kramer!

Even our offices weren't immune to the cold.  My chemicals all were cold, those with high freezing points were solid blocks in their bottles.  Space heaters were out in full force under desks, sadly I was without one.  I wrapped myself in my scarf and sweater and drank lots of hot chocolate.  I'm okay with winter being outside, but in the office too?  No fair!

Thankfully I had refuge waiting for me at home.  (No, I didn't run home and dive under the blankets.  I actually came home and went to the gym!)  Our apartment is perpetually warm!  It's a big problem in the summer, with the place heating up to nintey degrees easily.  In the colder months though, it's a fabulous thing.  The temperature went down to nine degrees here in New Jersey, but our apartment only fell to a comfortable seventy-two (that's 25 C for all my foreign friends!).

January Sheperd's Pie
A Wilde Original

One Year Ago: Pineapple Upside-down Muffins

Dinner in our warm apartment was destined to be comfort food.  Since it's January and we're all watching what we eat, it wound up being healthy comfort food.  Yes, potatoes are good for you, because they are tasty...  Stay warm everyone and eat more pie!

1 lb Yukon potatoes, peeled & cubed (I used baby Yukons, so I didn't peel them)
1/4 cup skim milk
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup sharp cheddar, grated
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup frozen corn
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F and place 6 medium ramekins (mine are 10 ounces) on a baking sheet.

In a medium pot, cover cubed potatoes with 2-3 inches of water.  Boil potatoes until they are fork tender, depending on how large you cubed the potatoes, it should take 20-30 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium.  Add onion, carrot and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add ground turkey and break up with a spoon.  Cook until no longer pink and slightly browned.  If it is taking a long time, pop the lid on for a few minutes. 

In a small bowl, whisk together stock, Worchestershire sauce and tomato paste, add to the skillet.  Stir until the liquid has been absorbed.  Add corn and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the corn has cooked through.

Your potatoes should be done by now, drain them in a colander and transfer to a large bowl.  Start mashing potatoes with your masher or handheld mixer.  Add butter and mash to melt it into the potatoes.  Add milk and switch to a spoon, stir in the milk.  Finally, add cheese and stir to mix.

Spoon the turkey mixture into the ramekins, trying to add equal amounts to each serving.  Add potatoes evenly across the top of the turkey mixture.  I used a 1/4-cup ice cream scoop to evenly distribute the potatoes.  Spread the potatoes over the top of the turkey.  Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before curling up under a blanket and enjoying your dinner.
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