Kitchen Experiments

Last night’s dinner was Messed-Up Shepherd’s Pie a la Tanie (modified from a recipe in the February 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living).

Pie in a Pot

Topping:
2 russet potatoes (about 1 lb), peeled & cut into 1 inch pieces
1 parsnip, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup of plain yogurt
salt & pepper

Filling
3.4 tbsp olive oil
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 carrot, peeled & sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 an onion, chopped horribly because I hate cutting onions
1 lb of ground turkey, unless you are me and then you buy ground chicken by mistake
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 slightly overfilled tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup frozen peas
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°F

Boil up the potatoes & parsnips for about twenty minutes. Drain, saving 1 cup of the cooking water for the topping. Mash the potatoes and parsnips with the yogurt, pepper and salt.

Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a skillet. Throw in the celery, carrots, garlic and onion and stir them around for 10 minutes or so. Add in the turkey (or chicken if you’re me) and cook for five minutes, breaking up any large pieces. Add some salt and pepper as well as the chili powder. There was also supposed to be fresh thyme in this but I don’t have an herb garden and it’s February so no dice.

Whisk together the potato water & cornstarch & add to the turkey/veggies mix. Boil for one minute, then add the frozen peas. I had to mix it around for another minute or two because my frozen peas were kind of old and had formed into a comet of ice and peas that needed to be broken up.

Dump the whole thing into a 1 or 1 1/2 quart baking dish (I didn’t even think I had one of these, hooray for my Pyrex collection!), scoop the potatoes on top and bake for 35 minutes.

Pie for eatin'

I would say this meal was about 60% delicious. My main problem was with the topping. News flash: parsnips are gross. If I was to make this again I would just make my own Most Delicious Mashed Potatoes in the World for the topping.

Tanie’s Most Delicious Mashed Potatoes in the World

2 or 3 potatoes, cut up but not peeled. Once I used a mix of white skinned, red skinned and PURPLE nugget potatoes and it turned out white with subtle swirls of lavender. AMAZING.

Boil the potatoes to within an inch of their lives. After draining set aside, and in the pot melt a couple tsp of butter and mix minced garlic into it so that it’s nice and garlicky. Add the potatoes back in and mash them up with about five tons of sour cream and a tsp of lemon juice.

Serve with anything and prepare to die from delicious potato bliss.

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