Spring is here, the fruit tree's are both flowering and still overflowing with fruit.
The exotic scent of jasmin mixed with flowering citrus fills the air day and night.
The now over abundant produce spilling out of the garden beds is obscene.
Each night I'm trying to discover how to prepare the ingredients from the garden for my fussy families palate.
Shepard's Pie has been a saving grace. This seems to be the perfect vehicle to dump all the different veggies in to.
It is the most superbly simple recipe; basically a pie crust filled with whatever is on hand and topped with mash potatoes.
I have tried different pie crusts, spelt being the most healthy choice, but not the most tasty, most likely because of the lack of lard or some other fat. Frozen wheat pie crust from Trader Joe's being the one to have on hand in a pinch. Two come in the box, and so use one and freeze the extra for your next pie.
Take out your frozen pie crust from the freezer, or if you have time there are many easy ones to make. Follow directions on the box or shell wrapper for oven temperature.
|place pie crust in pie dish|
2-3 medium carrots or you can substitute one carrot for one parsnip
1/2 cup English peas
1 small bunch spinach or other green
5-6 stems broccolini or broccoli rabe
1 celery stalk
1 med. shallot or 1/2 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb. chicken tenders salted and peppered
2 lbs russet potatoes, or Yam's, which make a sweeter topping. You can also use both together. Or about 4 medium. Scrubbed.
3/4 stick unsalted butter.
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup whole milk warmed
Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce a bit until they simmer. Cook 20-30- minutes until when pierced with a fork they are tender.
Peel potatoes if you like, otherwise it's quite rustic to leave them on.
Mash with a potato masher or fork until soft, stir in butter until it's well mixed and whisk in milk.
Add salt and mix in until potatoes are at desired consistency.
|yam and potato topping still lumpy for a rustic effect|
|minced garlic and shallot|
Mince shallots and garlic and put in small bowl.
peel and cut up carrots/parsnip in to rounds
Shell peas and discard pods, or feed to nearby dog.
cut up broccolini in to 2 inch pieces
Cook chicken tenders on grill or in oven and cut in to small bite size pieces
Heat a large frying pan over medium and add olive oil.
Just before the oil begins smoking add:
Carrot, celery and brocollini
When they begin to get soft and a bit brown add:
Garlic and shallot
Add cut up chicken
Put the delicious compote in to the pie crust and top with mashed potato.
Follow directions for the pie crust. If the potatoes begin to get too brown you can put foil on top until the pie shell is cooked.
Remove from oven and serve!
|et voila! The pie!|