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Thursday, November 10, 2011

*november challenge, day 10.

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Once upon a time I wrote a lovely, sincerely self-deprecating post about my frustration with my photography lately and my ambivalence about (but commitment to!) my unfailingly arbitrary November Challenge. And then Blogger went and deleted it. Profanity after the jump.
BASTARDS!

 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:

Photos bad. 


Challenge sad. 


Spontaneous friend visit! 


Dinner conundrum ... 


Shepherd's pie solves all! 


Shepherd's pie delicious.  


FIN.

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.

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Company Shepherd's Pie 

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 mustard 
Ground red pepper 
Pinch of curry powder 
Salt 
Black pepper 
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 
Heavy 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.

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I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.

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