Forget about the fudge, the cake, the cookies. We are well into January now and it seems like a wholesome tasty dinner recipe is needed. If it’s comforting, colourful and nutritious, well, then it kind of is like icing on the cake, isn’t it? This meal fits the bill. I even give it bonus points because when I started boiling up the potatoes and chopping the red cabbage, I still had no idea—not even an inkling, of what I was going to make for dinner. I’m a bit spontaneous like that!
So elbow deep in shreds of purple, I decided I’d make a Shepherd’s Pie of sorts. I haven’t had much practice in the vegetable pie department, but I did make a very successful pate chinois a while back and figured I had the chops to handle dinner on the fly. So along with the red cabbage, I chopped up some celery, a red onion and got out some frozen corn from the freezer. I wasn’t sure how this mess o’ vegetables would come together, but it turned out way better than I could have ever imagined. Not only was dinner uber-delicious, it was also frighteningly colourful enough to beat the dickens out of grey January skies. Purple food? Why not!
And if purple vegetables aren’t your thing, why not check out my new post over at Food Network Canada to read about my foray into adventurous dining at Vancouver’s The Brave Bull’s House of Steaks.
purple shepherd’s pie
4 potatoes, quartered
2 T butter or Earth Balance margarine
3 T milk (rice or soy works well)
1 T olive oil
1/2 purple cabbage, chopped into strands
1 red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 c frozen corn
1 t each dried thyme + basil
2 T hot sauce
salt & pepper
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 T olive oil
2 T flour, heaping
1/2 c vegetable stock
grated cheese (optional for top – I used smoked applewood cheddar)
1. Add quartered potatoes to salted boiling water. Cook until tender. Mash with butter and milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
2. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in onions, garlic and celery and stir around until it starts to sweat. Add in cabbage and saute until everything gets slightly wilty, about 3-5 minutes. Add in herbs, hot sauce and corn and 1 and a half cups of vegetable stock. Salt and pepper if necessary. Bring to the boil.
3. Meanwhile, In a small saucepan, heat up 1 tablespoon of oil, add in 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk around quickly, taking care not to burn the flour. Slowly add in the remaining 1/2 cup of stock and whisk until thickened. Add this to the cabbage mixture, stirring until the sauce thickens up nicely.
4. Add cabbage mixture into an oven proof dish and top with mashed potatoes, spreading the top smooth. Add grated cheese to the top, if necessary, and bake in a 350 degree oven uncovered for 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.