I am not one of these people. I do not understand their little quirk.
Because I, for one, adore leftovers; I will even make extra quantities of food simply to insure that there are goodies awaiting me for breakfast, lunch or dinner the next day. Sometimes it's something that is merely reheated, and other times the primary ingredient is re-envisioned into something entirely different. But I think leftovers are a fabulous thing, and I put bunches of 'em to good use on Saturday.
For starters, I had leftover latkes 'cause I'd made a huge batch for the first night of Chanukkah. Tom and I each had a couple for dinner that evening, another couple for breakfast the next day, I brought two for my lunch at work on Friday ... and still, there were two just sitting patiently and hoping that someone would pay attention to them on Saturday morning. Well, who am I to make any poor little latke feel rejected??? Show those babies some love!
And let me tell ya -- a fried egg, just crispy at the edges but over easy so that the yolk is nice and runny, makes a mighty fine accompaniment to those curried latkes ... yes, indeedy. Served with Green Mountain coffee that was part of a most thoughtful and generous Chanukkah/holiday (or, rather, choliday -- with a good gutteral "ch" at the beginning???) gift package from a beloved friend, it was an exceptional start to my weekend.
Then I moved on to lunch, almost immediately afterwards. My brain is perpetually consumed with what I want to eat, what I'm going to make, what sounds good to try, what I've eaten and enjoyed. So it was only natural that, once breakfast was over, I started getting lunch ready! I had a busy morning planned; getting the meal prepared so that it only needed to be warmed up once I got home was simply careful planning on my part, rather than obsessive behavior.
I still had turkey and garlicky mashed potatoes left over from Thanksgiving; when there's only two adults in the household -- and no 19-year-old son devouring everything in sight anymore, since I moved in with Tom -- it takes awhile to use up the food! I also had a few peas in the freezer, 3 carrots, the last dribble of flour in a bag, half a lemon ... much of it found a home in my Shepherd's Pie.
Though, really, if it doesn't use lamb -- the animal that's actually shepherded -- then can it be called "Shepherd's" Pie ...? It's not Fisherman's Pie, 'cause there's no fish. Farmer's Pie, since turkeys and vegetables come from farms??? Let's just call it what it was: Individual Turkey 'n' Mashed Potato Casseroles. Make this and enjoy!
(Yes, I know that the photo above looks more like onion soup with cheese melted on top than it does a casserole! But trust me -- I can vouch for its true identity.)
Individual Turkey 'n' Mashed Potato Casseroles
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons unbleached flour
1-3/4 cups turkey stock
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dill
juice of 1/4 lemon
1/2 small onion, diced, sauteed
1 carrot, thinly sliced, cooked
3/4 cup cooked peas
1 cup chopped leftover turkey
2 cups mashed potatoes
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 2-cup ramekins.
In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour in the stock very slowly, whisking constantly, until the flour mixture is smoothly incorporated and all the stock is in the saucepan. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the gravy is starting to thicken.
Add the salt, pepper, dill and lemon juice. Stir in the onion, carrot, peas and turkey. Divide the gravy among the ramekins.
Stir the egg into the mashed potatoes until the mixture is well combined. Spoon the potatoes over the turkey gravy, smoothing a bit; yes, some of the potatoes will start to sink -- that's okay.
Sprinkle the parmesan over the potatoes.
Place ramekins onto a baking sheet to catch any drips, and bake for 30-35 minutes until the potatoes are nicely golden brown and the gravy is bubbling.