Thursday, January 3, 2013

Turkey Shepherd's Pie

Carrot roots should be firm, smooth, relatively straight and bright in color.

The deeper the orange-color, the more beta-carotene is present in the carrot. Avoid carrots that are excessively cracked or forked as well as those that are limp or rubbery. In addition, if the carrots do not have their tops attached, look at the stem end and ensure that it is not darkly colored as this is also a sign of age. If the green tops are attached, they should be brightly colored, feathery and not wilted. Since the sugars are concentrated in the carrots' core, generally those with larger diameters will have a larger core and therefore be sweeter.

Carrots are hardy vegetables that will keep longer than many others if stored properly. The trick to preserving the freshness of carrot roots is to minimize the amount of moisture they lose. To do this, make sure to store them in the coolest part of the refrigerator in a plastic bag or wrapped in a paper towel, which will reduce the amount of condensation that is able to form. They should be able to keep fresh for about two weeks. Research has shown that the especially valuable (all-E)-beta-carotene isomer is well-retained in carrots if stored properly. Carrots should also be stored away from apples, pears, potatoes and other fruits and vegetables that produce ethylene gas since it will cause them to become bitter.

If you purchase carrot roots with attached green tops, the tops should be cut off before storing in the refrigerator since they will cause the carrots to wilt prematurely as they pull moisture from the roots. While the tops can be stored in the refrigerator, kept moist by being wrapped in a damp paper, they should really be used soon after purchase since they are fragile and will quickly begin to wilt.

I’ve updated an old English dish, using turkey.

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie
Copyright 2013, Christine’s Pantry. All rights reserved.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 cup turkey stock or chicken broth
1 (10.5 oz.) can cream of celery soup
1 (15.25 oz.) can corn, drain
8 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray.

Place potatoes in large pot and cover with water. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add ground turkey, season with salt and pepper, cook until brown and crumbles, about 8 minutes. Add onions and carrots, sprinkle with salt and pepper, cook about 6 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste. Stir in turkey stock or chicken broth, simmer about 5 minutes. Stir in corn into turkey mixture.

Drain potatoes and place in pot. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper, mash potatoes using a potato masher.

Place turkey mixture in baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake until heated through and cheese melted, about 20 minutes. Enjoy!



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