If a sweet potato were to come alive I bet it would be the nicest, most genuine little spud to everyone it meets. There isn’t one bad aspect about sweet potatoes. They taste delicious, have a decadent texture and awesome color, can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, are very nutritious, and they have a fairly long shelf life. And to think I grew up not knowing one sweet potato- I shudder at the thought.
I’m always looking for recipes that include the awesome potato breed, but this one came to me by none other than Rachel Ray during one of her Halloween specials. I call my version cottage pie (it is also known as shepherd’s pie) because it sounds homey and then I can say “I’m hibernating in my cozy condo with a cottage pie.” Doesn’t that sound like a delicious evening?? It also seems to me like a friendly dinner, as if Sweet Potato Cottage Pie wants nothing more than to make you happy.
My knife must have a thing for sweet potatoes because it slid from a section and shaved off pieces of my nail polish. I kid you not, I have two little circles where nail polish used to be. Its as if the knife was saying “No! Don’t make me do it!” Close call, and believe me I’m more than happy to have only ruined my manicure. At this point I find it necessary to warn you that while cutting sweet potatoes make sure you have a firm grip because your kitchen tools are against you.
Last night I accidentally used all the butter for the butter-flour mixture, so make sure you do not do the same. I ended up making double the sauce and using half so the mixture had correct measurements.
Sweet Potato Cottage Pie Adapted from Rachel Ray’s Turkey Shepherd’s Pie recipe
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a deep skillet or a Dutch oven heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Add ground chicken and break up with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper and poultry seasoning.
Place sweet potatoes in a large por and cover with water. Cover pot and bring to a boil, add a sprinkle of salt and cook 15 minutes until tender. While those are cooking…
Add onions, carrots and celery into the turkey. Stir and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add flour to melted butter and whisk 1 minute then whisk in stock and season with salt, pepper and Worcestershire. Let it begin to thicken (this will take a few minutes).
Stir the gravy into the turkey mixture. Stir peas and corn into the meat mixture and turn the heat off.
Drain potatoes and return pot to heat. Add remaining butter and melt over medium heat. Add slices of banana and add potatoes back to the pot. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Mash potatoes and banana to combine and now is the time to adjust the seasoning. Top the meat with the potatoes (or, if you are like me and are waiting for your Dutch oven to be marked fulfilled on your wedding registry, put your ground chicken into a glass baking dish at this point). Cover potatoes with cheese and set in oven. Bake to melt cheese, 5 minutes.
*You could use leftover turkey for this! Just a small dice will work great.