Monday, August 23, 2010

Le Pâté Chinois Revisitée d’Annick - Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

My friend Annick, passionate illustrator – check out her website, she’s a super talented flexitarian with a real knack for making vegetarian versions of popular Québec dishes. I saw the picture of this evening’s dinner and had to ask her to share the recipe with us. You should have been the pies she baked recently. It’ll make your mouth water.

This is her recipe, translated very liberally from French.

“Hmmm, I don’t really have a recipe per say. I like to improvise with what’s in my fridge, so here goes:

Pan fry some onions, garlic and bell peppers in olive oil. Add in some salt, pepper and paprika. I then add in some sambal ooleck, roughly ½ teaspoon. I then add cooked green lentils, you can use canned ones if you want.

I mix in some corn kernels, cream corn with green peas (my favourite are the Arctic Garden ones, they don’t get mushy). For the potatoes, I mash them with butter, marjoram, thyme, salt, pepper and milk.

Then I assemble it like a traditional shepherd’s pie (lentils at the bottom, then the corn and peas, and potatoes. Between the mashed potatoes and corn, I add a layer of cheese. I like any kind of cheese, old cheddar works for me, or cheese curds (which gives lots of flavour and makes the dish softer). Then bake at 400F for 30 minutes. That’s it!

In the picture are roasted carrots with olive oil, also roasted for 30 minutes at 400F.”

Thanks Annick for the awesome recipe!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Wine and vegetarianism

I might not talk much about it on this blog, but I'm a big wine and scotch aficionado. I'm subscribed to Wine Spectator's great newsletter, and they posted on their Wine & Health Q&A a question about wine pairings and vegetarian food. I completely agree with the response and applaud them. Nothing irks me more than having someone automatically assume a white wine pairing when I go over for dinner and there's a robust mushroom dish on the menu!

When I switched to a vegetarian diet, I was really concerned about having to turn to flimsier red wines and lots of white wines. Luckily, I've been able to stick to my robust preferences with New World Cabernet Sauvignons, and Australian Shirazes (sp?).

I've actually been more interested in learning more about wines and food pairings and am considering joining some kind of sommelier training. I anticipate many challenges ahead for the non-meat eater that I am. What are your thoughts on wine, spirits and food pairings? Do you have any favorites?