Now I'm left with nothing more than my memory to guide me, and I will do my best to re-create the magic that I once had:
Spontaneous friend visit!
Dinner conundrum ...
Shepherd's pie solves all!
Shepherd's pie delicious.
Luckily my Web site address makes reference to my physical address, so that should make things easier for the Pulitzer people.
The mix of spices and vegetables here is absolutely a condition of what you have on hand and what you love. It's all a matter of taste and minimizing effort. I'm really beginning to love using whole wheat flour in these sauces—there's an earthy richness that you just don't get with white flour.
2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup chopped red onion
2 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
Ground red pepper
Pinch of curry powder
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 generous tablespoons 100% whole wheat flour
1½ cups all-natural chicken broth
¼ cup frozen peas
¼ cup frozen corn
¼ cup sour cream
½ cup freshly grated white Cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Boil potatoes until fork tender; drain, and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; add onion, and sauté until translucent. Stir in chicken, and sauté until cooked through. Add garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Season with mustard, red pepper, curry powder, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Move chicken mixture to sides of pan, and add 2 tablespoons butter. When butter melts, whisk in flour; cook 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in chicken broth until smooth. Let sauce come to a gentle simmer; stir in peas, corn, and sour cream. Reduce heat to low, and keep warm.
3. Mash potatoes with salt, pepper, remaining 1 tablespoon butter, and cheese. (Reserve some some cheese for the top of each pie). Stir in enough heavy cream until potatoes reach desired consistency.
4. Divide chicken mixture between 2 ramekins. Top evenly with mashed potatoes; sprinkle with reserved Cheddar. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until pies are bubbly and browned. Makes 2 servings.