Saturday, January 15, 2011

Faux Pie

I wasn't sure what exactly dinner was going to look like the other night, but I had a feeling it was going to end up being random bits of leftovers, not quite.  After a quick survey of what was in the fridge, the only thing that caught my attention was the cauliflower. Now don't get me wrong, I really like cauliflower, but it is not usually the most exciting dish on the menu.  Then I recalled Wren telling me a while back that his Nana made a cauliflower mash which she swapped in a meal for mashed potatoes, this seemed like a great idea to try and became the basis for the meal.  With that in mind I decided to make something completely "old" and put this "new" twist on it, so came the birth of Faux Shepard's Pie.  Shepard's Pie, an English dish, is traditionally made with a layer of ground meat, then a layer of veggies, typically corn or peas, all topped with mashed potatoes and baked until warm and golden.  For my version I cooked up lean ground turkey with sauteed onion, then layered on the organic sweet corn and topped it off with cauliflower mash. 

There is no denying, I am a lover of all things potato (minus the store made salad), so I knew that this mash had some big shoes to fill in order to even come close to being a mashed potato substitute.  The first step was to steam the cauliflower; while this was happening I decided roasted garlic would be just the perfect ingredient to kick this mash up, so into the oven the garlic went.  Since my goal was to make a healthier swap, throwing in lots of butter and milk were out of the question.  Instead all I added was a spoonful of Greek yogurt, the roasted garlic (about 6 cloves) and salt and pepper.  A quick mix with the hand blender and voila, smooth creamy mash!

The Shepard's pie turned out heavenly; warm, filling, but not too heavy.  I was so impressed with the similarity to mashed potatoes I thought we might do a little test to see what the unknowing would think.  So, since my dad was unaware of the mashed potato swap I let him try the pie and asked him what he thought the layers were. Not surprisingly he guessed mashed potatoes, corn and ground turkey.  When I explained what the creamy goodness really was, he was quite surprised, I don't think he would have ever figured it out if I hadn't told him.  I have to say this swap was a huge success, not only did it taste just like the original but was also healthier!  I just got another head of cauliflower this morning at the farmers market so it looks like their will be more mash in our near future.  If you give it a try, let me know what you think.


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