Mexican Shepherd's Pie; June Cooking Club

I'm in a cooking club.  It's called Spam and Anchovies.  We're awesome.  

My cooking club party just happened to fall on my birthday this month!  I decided to host this time.  The theme was Vegan-Mexican.  We all contribute different parts of the meal, and meet together at someone's house to enjoy the food.  We were missing a good bit of the group this month, but we definitely weren't short on food!

I made 2 entrees (kale and potato enchiladas, & Mexican shepherd's pie), and the drinks (Margaritas). Kenna made mexican quinoa salad (yum), Vanessa made Mexican street corn (sooo good), Melissa made guacamole and salsa (awesome), and Anne brought a cake for my birthday (so delicious)!  It was all super good.

So this Mexican Shepherd's Pie...It's pretty awesome.  Typical Shepherd's Pie includes lamb and/or ground beef, corn, peas, and carrots, topped with traditional mashed potatoes.  To make this mexican and vegan, I substituted the filling with black beans, mushrooms, corn, tomatoes, peppers and onions.  For the mashed potatoes, I added some lime zest to them, which gave them just a touch of lime.  I was skeptic of the lime-and-potato combination, but it worked well with this dish!  

Vegan Mexican Shepherd's Pie
Adapted from PostPunkKitchen

For the mashed potatoes:
2 1/2  pounds red potatoes, unpeeled and chopped into big chunks
1/2 cup soy milk
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lime zest, grated
3/4 tsp salt

for the filling:
olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 jalapeño or serrano peppers, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped and lightly packed
1 28-oz can of chopped tomatoes, drained
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup corn
1/4 cup dry red wine
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
4 handfuls of tortilla chips
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp hot sauce
2 15-oz cans of black beans, rinsed

For the potatoes:  Put potatoes into a pot of salted water.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, turn heat down low and cook for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender.  Once tender, drain the potatoes and immediately return to pot, give a few mashes, and add the milk, oil, lime zest and salt.  Mash to combine.  Add additional salt to taste.  Set aside.

For the filling:  Saute onion, bell pepper and hot peppers in olive oil over med-high heat for about 10 minutes, until softened.  Add garlic and sauté for 30 more seconds.  Add in the cilantro, and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms have released moisture, about 5 mins.  Add in the corn, tomatoes, wine, salt, cumin and red pepper flakes.  Turn up the heat and cover.  Cook for 5-7 mins, stirring occasionally.  

Take the tortilla chips and crush them into fine crumbs.  Add them to the mixture.  Mix in lime juice and hot sauce, and fold in black beans.  Taste for salt and seasonings. 

Preheat oven to350.  grease a large casserole dish, and spread filling out into it.  Add potatoes in dollops, and spread out with a spatula.  Bake for 25 mins, until Potatoes are lightly browned.

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