A special visitor from London was hungry for home-cooking and home atmosphere on a jam-packed business itinerary at our local, gigantic online retailer of everything imaginable to humans, animals and robots. It featured meetings including business breakfasts, networking lunches and evening dinners/drinks with more business people. I asked my daughter to find out what our visitor liked to eat and also what she did not prefer. Mash and maybe some rum raisin ice cream would be nice.
British food does include mashed, creamed potatoes, that’s for sure, and Shepherd’s Pie combines the mash with some type of meat/gravy/veg. My daughter suggested a dish I sometimes make for Taco Tuesdays, and here it is. Ground beef is seasoned with cumin seed, coriander, chili powder and a bit of chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce along with some garlic and caramelized onion and red bell pepper. The meat is sandwiched between layers of fresh Yukon Gold mashed and creamed potatoes, and a sharp cheddar cheese sauce is poured over the potatoes. I run a spatula around the edge and poke holes all the way down through the layers with the wooden spoon handle to force some cheese sauce over and through before baking. They loved it.
I served up the main dish while it was still very hot and spready (unlike the photo of a slice of the layered, cold meal the next day.) We’d moved from the dining to the living room for some live music and rum raisin ice cream (with sober raisins this time) and I realized after the girls buzzed off that I’d forgotten about the additional preparations made and unserved, a dish of sliced oranges and pears in the fridge as well as the pretty plate of three kinds of cookies on the dinner table. Ah well, I enjoyed the chocolates from our special guest and my neighbors enjoyed my Peppermint Cream Jones, Rum Raisin Jones and Crookies along with a couple servings of the ice cream.