Mmmm... so good!
My son arrived home from college this week!! My husband and I are so happy to have him around the house again. He worked in another state over last summer, so we only saw him for brief periods. I know we just spent Thanksgiving week with him (see earlier post “What’s in your suitcase …?”), but it’s still good to have him home for a longer stay. He’s a really good kid and we all enjoy doing things together.
One of the things we really enjoy is sharing a good meal! I made a hearty clam chowder last night with a fresh tomato and mozzarella salad, fresh bread (not gluten-free) with olive oil and parmesan cheese for dipping. Tonight, I made Shepherd’s Pie with ground turkey.
Shepherd’s Pie is a wonderful comfort food and can be adapted for anyone’s taste preferences. It’s a great one-dish meal. You can add any vegetables, spices, or different types of meat and it tastes great all blended together. Both my husband and son only eat seafood or poultry (no red meat), so ground turkey is a great substitute. The dish my mother made when I was growing up had ground beef, corn and mashed potatoes. Very simple. As my taste buds matured, I learned to enjoy some extra spiciness, so I began adding garlic, oregano, basil, onions, cheese and extra vegetables – like mushrooms, spinach, or shredded carrots. I put spices and some veggies in with the meat to cook and absorb flavor and other veggies, like fresh spinach, layered on top of the meat. The potatoes are always the final layer. There really is no wrong way to make a Shepherd’s Pie, so have fun, and try some new veggies or spices! Bon apetit!
3-4 large baking potatoes, cut into chunks, skin on
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb. ground meat (beef, turkey or lamb)
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped mushrooms
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon dried basil
salt/pepper to taste
1 (15 oz.) can corn, drained
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup shredded cheese (your choice – cheddar, monterey jack, mozzarella,…)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large baking dish. In a large pot, place potato chunks, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until potatoes are soft when pricked with a fork. Drain well. Add milk and mash with a beater or masher. Set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, add ground meat and thoroughly cook through. Drain fat, if needed. Add onion, mushrooms, garlic, spices and cook until onions start to soften – about 5 more minutes. Layer the meat mixture in the bottom of the greased baking dish. Layer the canned corn on top of the meat. Evenly spread the mashed potatoes on top of the vegetables. Place the butter and cheese on top of the mashed potatoes. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Makes 4-6 servings.