Oh yea!!! It's FALL!!!  It's time to whip out your scarves and PSLs.  Okay, the PSL made its appearance in September.

For those of you who follow the show Outlander on Starz, they have a newsletter that they post on their Facebook Page. Well, the Outlander Kitchen Page that is.  Did you know that they had a book with ALL the recipes you can possibly imagine from the show? UH-MAZING!

Okay - I started a new day job (I am a paralegal).  Well, the other paralegal in my office is a vegetarian AND she just moved here from Alaska! Have you been?  You have to go!!

So, with that, I told her about this dish, Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie.  Now, I LOVE Shepherd's Pie (thanks to my friend and colleague, Harris).  I first had my exposure to shepherd's pie at the Princess Pub in Little Italy (PERFECT for FOOTBALL SEASON)! So, when I saw this beautiful photo grace my newsfeed, I had to click. 

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie. Photo courtesy of Outlander Kitchen @Facebook

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie. Photo courtesy of Outlander Kitchen @Facebook

Oddly enough, mine did not come out as pretty. I spent the better part of Saturday night/Sunday Morning making this dish for my husband. It still came out pretty decent. 

I want to say, peeling an acorn squash, took FOREVER! I had to look for Youtube videos on how to peel the squash.  Man oh Man! A hell of a time. I planned to use the acorn squash and butternut squash, but I was so involved with the acorn squash, I forgot to add the butternut squash (I guess I am having soup this week)! Sad Panda.

I am so, SO BAD at prepping everything before cooking.  I recommend that if you make this dish, prep everything before cooking. Sometimes I remember, sometimes I don't. Okay, you should prep everything before cooking.  On a serious note.

Here is the recipe for the Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie (courtesy of the Fall newsletter):

Outlander Kitchen's Vegetarian Shepherd's/Cottage Pie

:You’ll never miss the meat! Dried and fresh mushrooms, as well as tomato paste, up the umami in this new and satisfying version of a comfort-food classic.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound winter squash (acorn, butternut, pumpkin, etc), peeled, seeded and and in 1” cubes

  • ½ medium cauliflower, in 1” florets

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • ½ cup French, or green, lentils

  • 1 oz. dried porcini or morel mushrooms

  • 1 large onion, julienned

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped finely

  • 1 large carrot, chopped finely

  • ¼ pound shiitake or button mushrooms, stems discarded and quartered

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 sprigs thyme

  • 2 pounds yellow potatoes, peeled, in 2-inch pieces (4 medium)

  • 6 tablespoons butter

  • 3 large egg yolks

  • 1 cup shredded aged Cheddar cheese

  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan, for garnish (optional)

Method:

Read the recipe through at least once before you begin.

Move a rack to the middle rung and heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, toss the squash and cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper and transfer to the parchment-lined sheet. Roast in the oven until tender, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small pot, gently boil the lentils and ½ teaspoon salt in plenty of water, until the lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Cover the dried mushrooms with 2 cups boiling water. Soak 5 to 10 minutes, then scoop out the mushrooms with a fork. Strain and reserve the soaking water. Chop the mushrooms and set aside.

In a large, deep pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering add the onion, celery, carrot, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook, stirring regularly, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook 1 more minute. Deglaze with the wine, stirring to loosen the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, and cooking until the liquid is almost all evaporated, about 5 minutes.

 

Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the roasted cauliflower and squash, the cooked lentils, chopped reconstituted mushrooms, and about 1 cup of the strained, reserved mushroom soaking liquid. Simmer gently for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Spoon into a 2 quart baking pan (I used a 9”x9” glass dish).

 

With the rack still in the middle position, heat the oven to 400°F.

Add the potatoes to a large pot with 2-inches of cold, salty water.  Cover and bring to the boil over medium-high.  Reduce to medium and steam, covered, until tender, 25 to 30 minutes.  Drain and return to the pan.  Allow them to steam themselves dry for 1 minute, tossing gently once or twice.  Mash, then add the butter and egg yolks and stir thoroughly until smooth.  Add the cheddar and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Spoon or pipe the potatoes on top of the filling in the baking dish. Sprinkle with the optional Parmesan. Bake until the filling is piping hot and the potatoes are golden, about 40 to 45 minutes. Allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.


Ith do lèor! (Eat Plenty)

So, about this dish.  It was AMAZING! I used dried shiitake mushrooms and fresh porcini mushrooms.  I almost forgot the fresh mushrooms! Of course I have to be that one. I also used an 8x11 baking dish instead of a 9x9. Use the recommended 9x9. Don't forget to place a cookie sheet underneath it, for spills. I think it came out great. Hubby enjoyed it, but he enjoys meat. Sometimes, you have to substitute a meat night with a veggie night.  Perfect for Meatless Monday! 

There is plenty of flavor in this dish. So much.  I think it's more of the shiitake mushrooms and the wine.  I didn't use a lot of salt (not about that sodium life), but it still came out delicious. I have plenty for the week (for the both of us).

Before I added the mashed potatoes

Before I added the mashed potatoes

I am totally taking some to my co-worker.  Make it this Fall!!! Hello Comfort Food!!!

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