Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mashed Yam and Potato Shepherd's pie

When the cherry blossoms bloom, you know spring has arrived.   Crisp morning air and warm afternoon sunbeams greet me as I commute to and from work.  And then there's the rain.  Unpredictable and inevitable, it is virtually synonymous with the Pacific Northwest.  It rains here more often than not, and on those cold, clammy evenings, I find myself craving a hearty home cooked meal. 

Enter vegan Shepherd's pie.  Underneath the mashed potato crust, it barely resembles the Shepherd's pie (also called Cottage pie)  that my English ancestors once baked.  I don't think I've ever made the exact same shepherd's pie twice, because it's always a mish-mash of whichever vegetables happen to be in the crisper.  That's one of the things I love about it.   But one thing you do need is potatoes.  Unfortunately I was well on my way to assembling my pie when I realized I only  had 3 red potatoes - not quite enough to cover the vegetable layer.When I remembered that I had a large yam that I had bought with the intention of making yam fries, the rest is history.

There's three parts to this recipe:
  • mashed yam/potato crust
  • sauteed vegetable filling
  • cheez sauce.  

Mashed Yam Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients for mashed potatoes
3 red potatoes, cubed and boiled with skin on
1 large yam, cubed and boiled with skin on
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp Earth Balance (or other vegan margerine)
- Make mashed potatoes with these ingredients.  I'll spare the details on how to do this as I'm pretty sure you already know how to make mashed potatoes.

Recipe for Cheeze sauce
"Cheez" Sauce from Get Sconed's Adapted Version of the New Farm Macacorni and Cheez

Ingredients for vegetable filling
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup fresh broccoli, sut into bite-sized pieces
2 cubes frozen spinach
1 tomato, diced
(use whatever veggies you have on hand, be creative!  I've also used mushrooms, cauliflower, carrots and wax beans)

Saute the onion with olive oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium heat.  Once onion becomes translucent, add the corn, peas, broccoli and spinach.  Cover, and let steam for 5 minutes.  Remove lid and stir occasionally until all of the vegetables are al-dente.

Pour cheez sauce over vegetables, add tomato and stir gently until combined.  Pour into casserole dish.  Using a spatula, spread mashed potato over the cheezy vegetable mixture.  Grind some sea salt and white pepper if desired, and bake in 350 oven until mashed yam/potato cover is slightly golden (about 30 minutes)


1 comment:

Hannah said...

This sounds so hearty, warming, and delicious! Now I'm almost hoping for one last cold snap so I can make some. :)