Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers Take 2!

More Thanksgiving leftovers!  Hopefully this will use up the rest of the leftovers in the refrigerator so I can get onto creating more fun and new things!  So, Hubby and I still have a ton of nutritional yeast gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, his turkey and my vegan un-turkey loaf.  Sounds like the perfect ingredients for a Shepherd's Pie!  And an easy dinner after a day at work!  Most of the components of this recipe were already cooked, but I'll try to outline the ingredients as much as I can remember.

Shepherd's Pie:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes:
2 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes washed and peeled
2 heads garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, sea salt and pepper
1/4 cup earth balance
1/4-1/2 cup potato cooking water
sea salt and black pepper to taste.

1.  The first step is to get the garlic roasting.  Keep the heads of garlic together - do not peel.  Cut off only the very tops and drizzle each head with 1 tablespoon of olive oil each and a sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper.  Cover tightly with tin foil and roast at 4oo degrees for 30-45 minutes or until cooked all the way through and fragrant.
2.  While roasting, peel and chop potatoes.  Cover with lukewarm water and boil until softened.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water.  Place drained potatoes back into pot and add earth balance, salt and pepper.  Mash, adding potato cooking water as needed to create the desired texture.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Nutritional Yeast Gravy:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 heaping tablespoons unbleached flour
2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons shoyu
2-3+ cups filtered water
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1.  Heat the oil in a medium sized sauce pot.  Add the chopped onion and cook till nicely browned, about five minutes.  Add the flour and nutritional yeast, whisking until thick.  Continue whisking periodically every minute or so until flour emits a toasty aroma and has turned a golden color. 
2.  Add the shoyu and begin whisking immediately - the mixture will thicken intensely and begin bubbling.  Begin adding the filtered water in steps, 1/2 cup at a time until the mixture is nice and smooth.  Season with sea salt and black pepper.  Continue cooking until gravy has thickened and is well flavored, adding more water as necessary to achieve the desired texture.

Shepherd's Pie Filling Add-Ins:
frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 each onion, green, red and jalapeno peppers, all chopped
1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
chipotle pepper powder and black pepper to taste
Vegetable protein of choice, such as seasoned tvp, seitan, baked tofu (I used leftover Thanksgiving loaf here)

1.  Prepare frozen mixed vegetables according to package directions.  Drain and place in a medium sized bowl.  Saute the onion and peppers in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil until just softened, about five minutes.  Place in the bowl with the mixed vegetables.
2.  Chop or otherwise prepare your vegetable protein of choice into bite-sized pieces.  Add to the bowl.  Pour enough gravy over top to make a nice creamy consistency.  Stir all ingredients together, adding more gravy as needed.  Season to taste with sea salt, black pepper and chipotle pepper powder.
3.  At this point, you can decide whether or not you want the Shepherd's pie to be in a crust or crustless in a pie pan.  I always opt for the easier of the options - crustless!
4. This mixture will fill a standard size 9" pie pan or several mini pie/tart pans.  Simply place vegetable/protein/ gravy mixture into the pie pan  and cover with mashed potatoes.  You can be as creative or as simple as you like here.  For a nice touch, place potatoes in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe the potatoes onto the filling.  Bake at 350 degrees until heated all the way through.  For a nice touch of added color, place under the broiler for a couple minutes or until nicely browned. 



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