Tuesday, February 16, 2010

tofu times two

Today was a suck, so we repeated last night's dinner, but that's okay because I never got to share last night! I made Two-Tofu Shepherd's Pie, my own creation. I took the best bits of every shepherd's pie recipe I've ever made and combined them into this tasty (and voluminous!) casserole. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:
the tasty filling: smoked & baked tofu, spinach, carrots, corn, and green beans in a tomato roux with garlic and lentils
my "special recipe" home-made mashed potatoes, complete with my secret ingredient!
after baking (and carving away our first helpings...)

I was so impressed with how the mashed potatoes could be so light and creamy, yet more or less hold the filling in place like glue. I think it's in the spreading technique - I used my hard plastic scraping spatula, intended for scraping down the sides of my food processor and I just take about 1/3 cup of potatoes at a time and smooth them over the filling.

I'll share the recipe with you with this note: this is labor-intensive and time consuming. It was our Valentine's dinner and I would definitely recommend keeping this in your weekend/special occasion file, because this is definitely too much work for a weeknight. It also results in a ton of pots-n-pans washing, but it's totally worth it - I was thrilled with how it came out.

Two-Tofu Shepherd's Pie
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground coriander*
black pepper to taste
1 c. chopped carrot (about 2 medium carrots)
1 c. frozen peas/green beans
1 c. frozen corn
1 c. frozen spinach
8 oz smoked tofu, cubed
8 oz baked tofu, cubed
1 cup dried lentils, cooked in 2 cups broth
14 oz tomato sauce
1/4 cup flour
3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1" pieces
1/3 c coconut milk OR 1/4 c unsweetened soymilk + 1 Tbsp coconut creamer
1/4 c canola oil
1 tsp sea salt

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water to 1" above potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil: boil 20 minutes, until tender. Drain well, return to pot and mash until creamy with coconut milk, oil, and salt. Cover to keep warm.
Preheat oven to 375.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet or saute pan. Saute garlic 1 minute, then add thyme, coriander, and black pepper. Add carrots, corn, peas, and spinach and stir well to combine. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 5-10 minutes, until carrots are tender. Add tofu cubes and saute 2-3 more minutes. Mix tomato sauce with flour and add to skillet. Stir and cook until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Stir in cooked lentils and any liquid that was not absorbed and mix well. Remove from heat.
Pour filling into 9x13" baking dish, top with mashed potatoes. Smooth top of the potatoes with a spatula or the back of an oiled spoon.
Bake 20 minutes.
Allow to sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

*apparently we're having a coriander shortage in Philadelphia. At Whole Foods, they stock three or four different brands of herbs and spices and there was not a single dram of ground coriander to be found. At Superfresh, they stock two: McCormicks and McCormicks Gourmet - there was ONE bottle of organic ground coriander, which I bought, but it was apparently the only bottle of coriander in Philadelphia :)

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