comfort food thursday.

when i was living life in the big bad city (aka boston) my friends and i created champagne thursdays. we would all bring a bottle of our favorite bubbly (aka a different shade/flavor of andre) sit around and talk about our long weeks and make plans for the weekend ahead. it became an institution and one that we all looked forward to with much anticipation.

so, in homage to my friends and the great tradition of yesteryear, i created the vermont edition and have dubbed it comfort food thursday.

'cause what better way is there to celebrate the last "school night" of the week than with a steaming hot pot of wonderfullness like this super easy, super healthy shepards pie? plus, a good shepards pie goes really well with a nice glass of bubbly (recommended, the one in the purple bottle)

Sweet Potato Shepards Pie

what you need:
2 teaspoons orange zest (i cheated and used orange juice)
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
2 tablespoons EVOO (thank you, Rachel Ray)
2 pounds ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
2 small chile peppers, red fresno, jalapeno or serrano
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 to 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 to 3 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper
cheddar cheese, grated

what you do:

Add the potatoes to a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Salt the water and cook to tender about 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and return to hot pot. Add the zest, butter, yogurt, salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste.

While potatoes are coming to a boil, heat a chili pot with extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high to high heat. Add the turkey and brown, then add in the onions and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Chop the peppers, then add them along with the garlic to the turkey. Stir in the spices, and add salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, then add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the stock and simmer a few minutes to thicken and combine flavors.

Preheat the broiler. Transfer the chili to a casserole, spread the potatoes over the top and cover with Cheddar cheese. Brown under the broiler until golden and serve.

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