Hi friends! Here you will find a lovely little selection of recipes that were inspired by my culinary adventures. ‘Tis just the beginning. Enjoy!
Cream of Celery Root Soup with Fennel Compound Butter
No one will argue that celery root is probably the unsightliest vegetable on the shelf; thick-skinned and knobby. But once peeled and cooked, it’s subtle celery flavor and delightful creamy texture make for a number of gorgeous dishes. Its versatility allows it to be prepared in a number of ways, including pureed in a soup.
Yield 8-10 cups
1 medium onion, diced
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
1 lb celery root (approximately 2), peeled and diced (3 cups)
6-7 cups chicken stock, warm
2 TB butter
1/4 cup cream
1/2 tsp Pernod (optional)
Fennel Compound Butter (recipe below)
Melt the butter in the bottom of a 10 quart stock pot. Add onions, cover and sweat on low heat until they are soft and sweet with no browning. On top of the onions, add the celery root in a layer, then the potatoes. Cover and sweat until tender. Pour in enough stock to cover the vegetables by an inch. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Puree in batches in a blender until silken in texture. Add additional stock as needed and salt to taste. Finish with blending in the cream and Pernod. Serve warm, with a pat of compound butter.
Fennel Compound Butter
6 TB unsalted butter softened
1 TB Fennel Seed
1 TB fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
With a large knife, fold and press the butter and seasonings together on a cutting board, using the flat side of the blade. Press into a cylinder or rectangle and refrigerate until ready to use. Slice about a 1/4” thick for the garnish.
Wine Poached Beet Salad with Toasted Walnuts, River’s Edge Aged Chèvre & Walnut Oil Vinaigrette
Summer is the time of so much bounty, including, for me, a huge excess of lettuce and greens from my garden. In an effort to utilize the extra 18 heads of lettuce that I somehow convince myself to plant every spring, I have been making A LOT of salads.
Walnuts, lettuce, eggs and beets can all be purchased at the Farmers Market. Poaching beets in wine is so simple, and is a welcome addition to other methods of preparing them. Tender, young beets work best and are just coming in.
Walnut Oil Vinaigrette
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup walnut oil
1 TB champagne vinegar
Salt TT (approximately a rounded 1/4 tsp)
To make the vinaigrette, whisk the egg yolk in a bowl. Gradually add the walnut oil in a steady stream. With the oil incorporated into the egg yolk and slightly emulsified (but not thick like a mayonnaise), add the vinegar and salt. Can be refrigerated and used within 3 days.
1 bunch of beets (approximately 3-4 beets)
2 cups dry white wine
1 head lettuce
1 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 lb chèvre, preferably aged and firm. (River’s Edge has a gorgeous cheese, in addition to Buenalba, a raw goat’s milk aged chèvre from Spain. Both can be purchased at the Cheese Bar.)
Edible flowers for garnish (nasturtiums, pansies, calendula, borage . . . )
Finishing salt (I like the Maldon salt which can be found at The Meadow.)
Peel and quarter the beets. Cover them with wine in a pan on the stove, and simmer for 30 minutes covered. Remove the lid and simmer for another 10 minutes, reducing the wine and cooking the beets until tender. With a slotted spoon, remove the beets from the wine and let cool. Continue to reduce the wine until it forms a thick syrup (but watch it closely towards the end as it can easily burn). Slice the beets and toss them in the syrup.
To toast the walnuts, put them in a dry skillet on low to medium heat. Once they begin to release their oil and gain color, remove from heat and let cool.
Shave the cheese into thin slices.
Assemble the salad on individual plates with the lettuce, beets , walnuts and cheese. Drizzle with the dressing. Garnish with flower petals and sprinkle with finishing salt.
Omelette with Mâche & Raclette
Mâche is a delightful, spinach-like green with a subtle peppery flavor. It grows well in the Pacific Northwest. Read more about it on Kate Bryant’s blog, Plantwise. Raclette, a soft cow’s milk cheese, and dijon mustard compliment the mâche in this omelette that just screams “spring!”
1 1/2 cups of lightly packed mâche
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup grated raclette
2 tbsp butter
Whisk the eggs with the salt & mustard. Melt the butter in a small skillet, seasoned or non-stick, over medium-high heat. Toss in the mâche and saute just for a few seconds, quickly adding the egg mixture. Let the eggs form a light skin, taking just seconds. Using a spatula, push the edges of the omelette towards the center of skillet allowing uncooked surface eggs to run underneath the skin on the bottom. While doing this, shake the pan back and forth while holding it over the heat, helping the omelette thicken. Once most of the egg has turned lightly opaque (the top may still have a wetness, that is fine) add the cheese. Fold one edge over by a third (do not fold it completely in half). Holding the handle of the skillet up, roll the omelette off the skillet and onto a plate using a spatula in your other hand to help it along. Serve immediately.
Beer Braised Cabbage with Cumin Seed
Cabbage is an incredibly versatile winter, cruciferous vegetable. Slowly braising on the stove with butter and beer makes for a delicious and easy side-dish. The warm spice garnish of whole cumin seed compliments and brings together the flavors.
1 head green cabbage
1 stick unsalted butter
1 12 oz. bottle of beer*
1-2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cumin seeds
Core and chop the entire head of cabbage. Melt butter in a 3 quart saute pan on low heat. Add cabbage and sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, turning cabbage every 10 minutes. Add beer after 30 minutes and let braise uncovered for an hour. Let liquid reduce into a “glaze” that coats the cabbage. Add salt to taste. Rub cumin seeds between the palms of your hands to release the oils. Sprinkle on the plated cabbage.
*Note: Medium to lighter bodied beers work well with the cabbage, infusing a light, earthy flavor without overwhelming the sweetness of the cabbage by making it too bitter. New Belgium Brewery’s Trippel ale is spiced with a trace of coriander which works beautifully. Bridgeport Brewery’s Blue Heron Pale Ale is excellent especially if the cabbage is prepared the day before.
Roasted Rutabaga with Apple and Pancetta
Roasting rutabagas is a wonderful way to take advantage of this lesser-known of our winter root vegetables. The flavors of the carrots, apples and balsamic glaze compliment the sweetness of the rutabaga while adding color. And lets be real, everything loves the addition of pancetta.
4 large rutabagas
1 yellow onion
1/4 cup golden raisons
1/4 lb pancetta
2 Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp chopped parsley
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 400°.
Peel and chop vegetables. Chop the apples (do not peel) and hold aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half, creating a syrup.
Drizzle olive oil in a roasting or Pyrex pan, at least 9”x13”. Spread vegetables and raisons in the pan, drizzle with more olive oil and salt to taste (about 1 1/2 tsp). Pour the glaze over the vegetables. Top everything with chopped pancetta (leaving the pancetta on top allows it to crisp).
Roast at 400° for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss with the apples. Cook for another 20 to 25 minutes until apples are tender and the vegetables have caramelized. Add more salt and pepper as needed and parsley.
Steamed Bao with Quince, Shallot & Pork Filling
Makes 8 buns (bao)
2 quinces peeled, cored & chopped
1 large shallot
2 tbsp of raisons
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup shredded pork (either from braised or roasted pork, as long as it is falling-off-the-bone tender and not heavily seasoned with other ingredients outside of salt)
Melt butter and add shallots with salt. Cover and let soften over low heat. Add the raisons and quince. Cover again and let cook over low heat. After about 8-10 minutes, check the quince to see if they are done, but not too tender or mushy. Add the honey and season with more salt if need be. Set aside. When cool, mix in the pork. This mixture can be refrigerated and done in advance by a day or two.
For the dough, Asian markets sell flour mixtures that work well in the steamer. Look for those that say Bot Lam Banh Bao. I prefer the DD Bell brand. The directions are a confusing English translation. This is what worked for me:
1 1/2 cups of Bao flour plus 2 tbsp
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup of sugar
2 tsp vegetable oil
Warm the milk with the sugar until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool a little. Make a well in your flour and incorporate milk and sugar mixture and the oil. Use a fork until well blended. Turn out onto a floured counter and lightly knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a disk and roll out into 3-4″ circles. Place a heaping spoonful of filling in the center and bring the edges up, around, and together on top. Pinch and seal them (see photo above). Place them in a bamboo steamer (or any other kind of steamer) with parchment paper below them. Steam covered for 20 minutes until done. They will be light and airy.
Wild Rosehip, Mint & Lavender Relish
Wild Rose Lavender Mint Relish
This relish is excellent served with grilled meats, especially lamb.
5 cups finely chopped onions
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp orange infused olive oil (optional, see note)
2 tsp salt
1.5 cups diced rose hip flesh
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup fresh mint, chiffonade
Sweat onions and rose hips (sprinkle with the salt) in 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp citrus oil, covered 10 minutes. Meanwhile, warm vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour into onion mixture. Taste for salt. Let onion mixture cook until the mixture is thick and sweet. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Fold in mint. Refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to infuse. Serve at room temperature with grilled lamb. Sprinkle top with lavender and fresh rose petals (optional).
To infuse olive oil, gently warm 1/4 cup of high quality olive oil with the rind (no white pith) from one orange. Let steep on low for 1-2 hours. If it goes for too long, you will end up with a bitter flavor and something akin to a citrus cleaning solution. However, taste the oil to make sure that notes of orange are infused and present.
Rose hips ripen throughout the summer, but are more prevalent towards the end of August and into October. Wild roses are prevalent throughout Oregon. Avoid those growing by busy roads or dusty ditches. They can often be found in clearings with blackberry brambles and snowberries. Slice them open and remove the hairy, seedy pith from the interior. Process immediately, or as soon as possible after picking. Avoid rose hips that have insect holes. Really. I learned the hard way with that one!
Cultivated roses work just fine as well, as long as they have not been sprayed with nasty chemicals.
Buuuuut, as much as I love to forage, New Seasons does sell dried rose hips in the bulk spice section.
Blackberry Panna Cotta on a Walnut Wafer
2 1/4 cups cream
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp of gelatin + 1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups of fresh (or frozen) blackberries to make 1 cup of strained juice
Warm the berries in a saucepan over medium to low heat, until they soften and release their juices. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing the liquid through with a spatula. You want the juice to be completely free of seeds.
Bloom the gelatin in the water and set aside.
Place the cream, milk and sugar in a saucepan. Warm it until the sugar dissolves. Add the blackberry juice and gelatin. Stir until the gelatin dissolves.
Pour mixture into ramekins or muffin tins. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours. If making smaller panna cottas for small dessert bites, use the miniature muffin tins or small ramekins. But, increase the gelatin to 2 1/2 tsp so that they are easier to remove, or, refrigerate for at least 24 hours to firm.
To remove the desserts from muffin tins, place the tin in a warm bath of water (a sheet pan works well). Let sit for just a few seconds (watch closely – otherwise you melt the entire thing and have to put it back in the refrigerator to firm up again) until the edges liquify and loosen ever so slightly. Remove from the water and place another sheet pan on the top of the muffin tin. Flip over. Lift and hold the muffin tin at a small angle from the sheet pan, peer under it, and shake the remaining panna cottas loose onto the pan below. If held at too much of an angle, they fall too far and break. This part is tricky, but once you go there you get the hang of it. Once removed, the panna cotta can be chilled until placed on the walnut wafer or served otherwise. A small blackberry on top looks smashing.
For the walnut wafer, scroll below and follow the recipe for graham crackers (under Indoor Smore Action). However, replace the 1 1/2 cups of the graham flour with regular flour, and 3/4 of the regular flour with finely ground walnuts. I toast my walnuts just until they release their aroma. Chill the dough for an hour. Flour the counter heavily and roll it out to a bit under 1/4″ thick. Either cut it into squares or use a mold for a round shape that will hold the panna cotta. The wafers can also be served along side the panna cotta on a plate.
Note on blackberries:
Blackberries are August in a bite. Their juice is of late summer. I stumbled upon my favorite batch of wild blackberries while jogging along country roads, which are my own version of track and field. Just beyond the horizon in the photo below, you come upon abandoned railroad tracks that host swaths of blackberry brambles. While you pick, the birds chirp and the wind rustles the wheat fields beyond the tree break. The air smells of dry grass and the berries are ripe. This is what inspired my panna cotta this year.
Indoor Smore Action
On May 14, 2009, we created a little adventure elevating the smore to new heights. Normally I only post recipes that I have created myself, however, I did get help with the smoring and found the whole experience too fantastic to pass up on posting. The lovely photos were shot by Kent Johnston – thank you Kent!
Adapted from a quick-internet-search-pulling-up-Alton-Brown.
I increased the gelatin to make a firmer marshmallow (no one wants melted marshmallow goop oozing out onto tableware inside).
3 packets of gelatin + 2 tsp
1 cup of ice water
1.5 cup of sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
nonstick spray or vegetable oil
Place the gelatin in a large bowl or mixer bowl. Pour 1/2 cup of the ice water and let gelatin bloom.
Mix the cornstarch and powdered sugar. Spray or oil a 9×13 pan. Coat the inside with a portion of the sugar/cornstarch mixture, shaking off excess. Save the rest of the powder to coat the marshmallows once they are cut.
In a saucepan combine the remaining water, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Cover and let cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Uncover, and cook for another 7-8 minutes using a candy thermometer to measure the temperature. When it reaches 240 degrees, immediately remove from the heat. With the mixer running, gradually pour the hot sugar mixture down the side of the bowl into the gelatin. Whip until all is incorporated then turn the speed to high and whip for another 12-15 minutes. Towards the end add the vanilla. When light and fluffy, pour into the 9×13 pan. Dust the top with some of the cornstarch/sugar. Let sit for at least 4 hours or overnight.
When firm, cut the marshmallow rectangle in half while still in the pan. Remove both squares. Use scissors to cut into smaller squares, whichever size you choose. You can oil the scissors, or just periodically rinse them off. Continue to coat the marshmallows with the sugar/cornstarch mixture so that they do not stick together. Place in an airtight container. These are made with corn syrup so they will keep for, um, forever.
Homemade Graham Cracker
Makes about 30 2.5” round crackers, more if square
1/2 stick butter softened
1/4 cup of sugar plus 2 tbsp
1/4 cup of honey
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp water
3/4 tsp salt
1.5 cups graham floor (I got it at Bob’s Red Mill)
3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a cookie tray or a sheet pan with parchment paper. Combine the butter, egg and sugar in a bowl and mix until creamy and white(ish). Dissolve the baking soda in the water and add with the honey to the butter mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the flours and salt. Add to the butter mixture. Dough should hold together but not be “tacky”.
On the counter, divide the dough in thirds. Using plenty of graham floor (it really is great at preventing sticking), roll the dough out to a thickness in between 1/8” and 1/4” (what is that, really? .375”?). Cut to desired shape. Delicately take a spatula and lift cookies off the counter and onto the tray. Pierce with forks to give it that “graham cracker” look. Bake until lightly browned, about 14 minutes. They firm up when cooled. Store in an airtight container and eat in a couple of days, or freeze.
Elizabeth Montes of Sahagun created these custom, 72% Ecuadorian 2″ chocolate wafers for the smore. They were delicious. If you have not skipped over to Sahagun (10 NW 16th), do this very minute. She makes freakin’ unreal chocolates.
Chocolate Egg filled with Sabayon and
3 cups of dark chocolate chips or coins (preferably chocolate coverture)
3-4” Egg Mold (can be bought at places like The Decorette Shop)
Set one cup of the chocolate aside. Melt the remaining two cups in a bowl over a pan of hot/softly simmering water. The water cannot touch the bowl. While melting, measure temperature with a digital thermometer until it reaches 110º-115º. Mix in the rest of the chocolate (vigorously), and stir constantly until it cools down to about 83º-84º. Remove any chunks that might be left unmelted. Place bowl over pan of hot water, and bring temperature up to a range between 89º-91º. Hold the temperature in that range by placing the bowl on a heating pad, or alternating it between the counter and the pan of hot water. If it rises above 97º, you need to start the process over.
If you have 6 molds, that is fantastic. Otherwise you will need to spend more time maintaining the temperature. Quickly brush the insides of the molds with approximately a 1/4” layer of chocolate and clip the mold together while pressing firmly (black binder clips work best). Place in freezer for a few minutes. Remove and pop egg out of mold. Washing mold prior to doing another round is recommended.
Place eggs on a sheet pan. Heat a paring knife in hot water. Jaggedly “saw” a hole in the top of the egg and place the lid to the side.
Rind 1 lemon
Juice 1 lemon + 2 tbls. Water
3 egg yolks
1/2 c. sugar
2 tbls. Limoncello
1 stick of unsalted butter cut into chunks
Beat yolks with sugar in bowl until creamy and thick. Meanwhile heat lemon juice and water with lemon rind. Slowly add egg & sugar to lemon mixture on stove, whisking so egg does not curdle. Constantly stir until thickened. Add Limoncello and butter. Set aside and cool. This can be made a couple of days ahead and stored in the fridge.
1/2 cup of sugar
1.5 cups of a white Muscat
4 tsp of gelatin, “bloomed” in 2 tbls water
2 cups of heavy cream, whipped soft
On high speed, beat yolks and sugar until the mixture forms a 1” ribbon when held from a spoon. Slowly warm in a saucepan until mixture turns white and add wine. Continue to gently cook until the eggs have thickened and cooked, but not curdled. Remove from heat and stir in the dissolved gelatin. Place in a cold-water bath and cool completely. Fold in the whipped cream.
Spoon sabayon into the eggs, filling them halfway. Place a large spoonful “dollop” of lemon curd in the egg. Spoon remaining sabayon into the egg, filling it to the top. Place the chocolate lid askew on the top. Do not worry if mousse drips over the edge, it can be part of the look.
Have fun with this one. To be honest, it is a heckavalot of time and patience, but well well worth it.
Pecan Genoise with Maple Cream
A cake inspired by my friend and teacher Robert Reynolds
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of ground pecans
3/4 cup of sugar
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 340. Butter a 10 by 15 inch pan buttered, layer with parchment paper, press down on it, and flip it over buttered side up.
In a small food processor, grind about 3/4 cup of pecans into a fine grit. Sift that with the flour and salt into a bowl.
Separate the yolks from the whites. Gradually add the sugar to the yolks and whip on high until a 1” ribbon drips from the spoon. Whip the egg whites until light and frothy, forming soft peaks. Lightly fold into the egg yolk and sugar mixture. Through a sieve, shake the flour and pecan combination into the eggs & sugar and fold. Pour into pan and bake for 10-15 minutes until cake springs back and is done. Run a knife along the edges and lift out of pan with the parchment paper and cool on a wire rack.
1.5 cup of pecan halves
1 tbls sugar
In a 300 degree oven, lay out the pecans and lightly roast them until the oils are released but not totally roasted. In a small food processor, grind the nuts and sugar until they form a paste. Spread out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap. Roll with a rolling pin until it forms a thin and consistent layer of “nut butter” – about 1/4 inch thick or so. Remove the top sheet of plastic wrap. Holding one end of the bottom layer of plastic wrap, flip it onto the cooled cake and peel off the plastic.
1 cup of whipping cream
1/4 cup of maple syrup
pinch of salt
Whip the cream until soft. Add salt and drizzle in maple syrup. Whip until firm – but not to the butter stage, just under. Spread on top of marzipan layer r the cake.
Roll cake from the long side of the rectangle (not the short, gets too wide). Wrap and chill for at least 3 hours until set. Slice into 1 inch pieces and plate.
Butter Rum Maple Drizzle:
1 stick of butter in chunks
1/2 cup of maple syrup
2 tsp of rum or to taste
Heat syrup in a pot. Whisk in butter, whisking until melted. Add rum. Whisk until desired consistency (I like it thicker, like a glaze). Drizzle over cake.
Apricot Pork Cabbage Rolls with Hoisin Sauce
These lovelies were created as part of an Art+Palate menu collaboration with artist Meagan Geer. So fun.
Makes 40 rolls
1-2 Savoy cabbages
1 lb. Ground pork
2/3 c. julliened water chestnuts
2/3 c. sliced dried apricots
8-10 garlic chives
4 small shallot minced
3 garlic cloves minced
1 tbls minced ginger
1 tsp Chinese Five Spice
1 small hot orange (or red) pepper diced
1 bunch of cilantro chopped
1/3 c. chopped tree ear mushrooms (reconstituted, and the ones that already come sliced
2 tbls soy sauce
salt to taste
Blanch cabbage leaves until soft. Set aside on a plate to cool. Cut into 2 inch squares, removing the rib of the cabbage for easier rolling.
Meanwhile combine all of the above ingredients in a bowl and mix together using your hands (can be refrigerated at this point overnight) and let sit for a minimum of 3 hours. After the meat has marinated, cook thoroughly, but not dry, on the stove (leaving some moisture in the meat will help it bind). Let cool.
Press meat tightly into an oblong roll and wrap in cabbage leaves, leaving the ends open. Wrap the outside with a wilted chive or scallion green for decoration. Serve immediately with Hoisin sauce or refrigerate up to 24 hours (however the green color will dissipate from the cabbage leaves with time).
Lamb & Parsnip Shepherd’s Pie
I fixed this one for the Hollywood Farmer’s Market Board of Directors, great folks. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo, but trust me, it’s a “keeper”.
4 lbs ground lamb
1 lb pancetta
2 large onions
1/4 c diced garlic
1/2 lb mushrooms
3/4 cup prunes
3 tbls chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbls butter + 2 tbls olive oil
salt to taste
Slice the eggplant and lay on a clean dishtowel. Sprinkle with kosher salt and let drain for 30 minutes to an hour. Halfway through flip the eggplant and salt the other side to drain.
Cook the lamb and pancetta separately and set each aside. Drain liquid from the lamb and fat from the pancetta.
While meat is cooking, finely chop onions. Melt butter and oil together in a large, straight-sided saucepan. Add onions and garlic, sprinkle with 2 tsp of salt, cover and cook slowly on low heat. Some browning/caramelizing is good/okay. Cube eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes and quarter mushrooms. Add to onions with prunes, spices and more salt. Cook 15-30 minutes on low heat until eggplant is soft and mushrooms have released their juices. Finely slice radicchio and add with more salt to taste. At this point the mixture can be set aside for a vegetarian shepherds pie. Add the lamb and pancetta. Mix and salt well. Press about 1.5 inches of the meat filling in the bottom of a large baking dish, dutch oven, or casserole dish.
5 lbs potatoes
2 lbs parsnips
2 heads of garlic
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1.5 cups heated whole milk
1 stick of butter
Slice the tops of two garlic heads, leaving the tops of the cloves exposed. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil. Roast in a 450º oven until soft and browned. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out of their peels. Meanwhile, peel and quarter the potatoes and parsnips. Cook separately in salted, boiling water until each are soft (I like to add a bay leaf and whole star anise to the water for extra flavor). They cook at different rates, about 10 minutes for the parsnips and 15 minutes for the potatoes. Drain each and combine in one of the pots. Add the butter, warm milk, garlic cloves, cheese, a boatload of salt and mash away. Spread approximately an inch of potatoes over the meat filling. Sprinkle the top with thyme. At this point it can be made ahead and refrigerated for a couple of days if you wish. To serve, heat through.