Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie

This was casserole was truly a one-dish meal. It is so loaded with vegetables, I didn’t feet the need to serve it with a salad or other green on the side. 🙂 We enjoyed it as our celebratory St. Patrick’s Day dinner this year. The “meaty” combination of lentils and mushrooms in this dish made my meat-loving family members happy. Don’t worry… they had corned beef sandwiches for lunch too.

My riced-potato topped casserole was filled with lentils, mushrooms, fresh herbs, as well as roasted cauliflower, butternut squash, and carrots. The sauce was flavored with dried porcini mushrooms, wine, onions, and loads of garlic. It was fabulously saucy with layers of rich flavor.

This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit. Next time, I would prepare the components of the dish a day in advance, as much as possible. The potato topping would ideally be prepared in advance at the very least. This delicious dish was absolutely worth the work and the wait! Great.

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

For the Topping:

  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, unpeeled
  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
  • about 3/4 to 1 cup milk (I used 1 percent)
  • coarse salt

For the Filling:

  • Âľ cup brown or French green lentils
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 17 garlic cloves, divided
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped (about 3-4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock (I incorporated 4 cups homemade Turkey Stock)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce or 2 tablespoons white miso
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 cups ½-inch pieces peeled fall/winter vegetables (such as squash, turnips, carrots, and parsnips) (I used 1 medium butternut squash, 1 head of cauliflower, & 2 carrots)
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed, halved
  • 2 4-inch sprigs rosemary
  • 10 oz (about 2 cups) bite-size pieces mixed fresh mushrooms (I used sliced cremini & white button mushrooms)
  • ÂĽ cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme, chives, and sage)

To Make the Topping:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°, preferably on convection.
  2. Bake potatoes on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet until tender, about 40 minutes for the gold potatoes and 1 hour for the russet potatoes.
  3. Let cool slightly, then peel.
  4. Press potatoes through a ricer, food mill, or colander into a large bowl.
  5. Add butter; stir until well blended.
  6. Stir in milk until desired consistency is achieved.
  7. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.

DO AHEAD: Potatoes can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool, press plastic wrap directly onto potatoes, and chill.

To Prepare the Lentils:

  1. Combine lentils, 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp salt, and 4 cups water in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender but not mushy, 15–25 minutes.
  3. Drain lentils and discard garlic. Set aside.

To Make the Sauce:

  1. Soak dried porcini in 3 cups hot water; set aside.
  2. Heat 3 T olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. (I used an enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
  3. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add 10 cloves of chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Stir in tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until tomato paste is caramelized, 2–3 minutes.
  6. Add bay leaves and wine; stir, scraping up any browned bits.
  7. Stir in porcini, slowly pouring porcini soaking liquid into pan but leaving any sediment behind.
  8. Bring to a simmer and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
  9. Stir in broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 40 to 45 minutes.
  10. Strain mixture into a large bowl with a spout. Discard the solids.
  11. Wipe Dutch oven clean and returned strained sauce to pot; bring to a boil. (I had 5 cups of strained sauce.)
  12. Stir cornstarch and 3 T water in a small bowl to dissolve.
  13. Add cornstarch mixture to hot sauce; simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  14. Whisk in soy sauce/miso.
  15. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To Make the Vegetable Filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°, preferably on convection roast.
  2. Toss vegetables and pearl onions with remaining 2 T oil, 6 garlic cloves, and rosemary sprigs in a large bowl or on 2 parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheets; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide evenly between the 2 rimmed baking sheets. Roast, stirring once, until tender, 20–25 minutes.
  4. Transfer garlic cloves to a small bowl; mash well with a fork and stir into sauce.
  5. Discard rosemary.

DO AHEAD: Lentils, sauce, and vegetables can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately; chill.

To Finish the Dish:

  1. Arrange lentils in an even layer in a 3-qt. baking dish; set dish on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Toss roasted vegetables with fresh mushrooms and chopped herbs; layer on top of lentils.
  3. Pour sauce over vegetables.
  4. Spoon potato mixture evenly over. Swirl decoratively.
  5. Bake at 425°, preferably on convection, until browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking process.
  6. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

I’m sharing my St. Patrick’s Day feast at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #163 this week. Enjoy!!

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Coarse Mustard & Brown Sugar Glazed Pork Tenderloin

This simple (five ingredient!), mildly sweet, pork tenderloin dish was a quick and elegant meal. After marinating, it was ready to serve in 30 minutes. We ate it with roasted potatoes and a mound of sautéed greens on the side. Wonderful.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Marian Burros. It was first published in 1989 but recently republished as a classic.

Yield: Serves 6

  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
  • 6 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons dry sherry

  1. Pat the tenderloins dry with paper towels.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a ziplock bag and shake to combine. Add pork tenderloins and turn to coat well with marinade. Marinate for 15 minutes or as long as overnight. (I marinated the meat for 6 hours with great success.)
  3. Drain pork of excess marinade and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Broil the tenderloins in the oven – about 10 minutes on one side, then turn, baste with marinade, and broil for approximately 5 additional minutes, or until the internal temperature is 135 degrees. (Alternately, heat a charcoal or gas grill to high; bank coals or turn off burner on one side.)
  5. Remove and lightly tent with foil. Let rest about 10 minutes before slicing into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices.

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Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole

Woo hoo! I’m excited to share that I am co-hosting Angie’s Fiesta Friday #109 this week with lovely Lily of Little Sweet Baker. Fiesta Friday is my absolute favorite online party. I get so many fabulous recipe ideas every week! It’s also a great place to meet other bloggers.

I’m bringing this gigantic potluck casserole to share with everyone. This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by chef Gavin Kayser of Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis.

This dish has it all. It has layers of tender wild rice, loads of Swiss chard sautĂ©ed with shallots and garlic, creamy mushroom-herb sauce, and chicken tenderloins. Because it can be baked a day ahead, it would be perfect to bring to a potluck dinner. It might be the most elegant casserole I’ve ever made!

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Time: about 2 1/2 hours

For the Wild Rice:

  • 1/2 pound wild rice (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 of a large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the Swiss Chard:

  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 pounds Swiss chard, stems discarded and leaves coarsely chopped (I used 2 bunches of green chard and 1 bunch of rainbow chard.)

For the Mushroom Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small celery rib, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced rosemary
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

To Finish the Dish:

  • 2 pounds thinly sliced chicken, pounded 1/4 inch thick (I used 14 chicken tenderloins)
  • 1 1/2 cups panko
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • chopped parsley, for serving

Make the Wild Rice:

  1.  In a large saucepan, combine all of the ingredients with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper.
  2. Cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer over moderate heat until the rice is tender, about 1 hour. Drain well.

Cook the Swiss Chard:

  1. Set a rack over a large rimmed baking sheet.
  2. In a pot, heat the oil. ( I used a Dutch oven.)
  3. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the Swiss chard in large handfuls, letting each batch wilt slightly before adding more. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the chard is wilted, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Spread the chard out on the rack to drain and let cool completely. Squeeze out any excess water.

Make the Mushroom Sauce:

  1. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering.
  2. Add half of the mushrooms and cook over moderately high heat, undisturbed, until browned on the bottom, 5 minutes. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and browned all over, 5 minutes longer; transfer to a plate.
  3. Repeat with the remaining oil and mushrooms.
  4. Wipe out the skillet and melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in it.
  5. Add the onion, celery, garlic, thyme, rosemary and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms.
  6. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, until incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  7. Gradually whisk in the stock and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and no floury taste remains, about 7 minutes.
  8. Stir in the cream and season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Finish the Dish:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly coat the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch or 4-quart baking dish that’s at least 2 inches deep with cooking oil spray.
  2. Arrange half of the chicken in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  3. Scatter half of the Swiss chard over the chicken, followed by half of the wild rice and half of the mushroom cream sauce.
  4. Repeat the layering once more with the remaining chicken, greens, rice and sauce.
  5. In a medium bowl, toss the panko with the 3 tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle evenly over the casserole.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for about 35 minutes, until bubbling.
  7. Uncover the casserole and turn on the broiler. Broil 6 inches from the heat until the panko is lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
  8. Let stand for 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

Note: The baked casserole can be cooled down and refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently and crisp the panko under the broiler before serving.

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Balthazar’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

I was agonizing over what to make my mom for an early birthday dinner celebration. She is the most gracious guest and always says she likes everything she is served- but I wanted to make sure that she was truly pleased. Finally, I just asked her what she would like! (That was simple enough.) “Soup and salad. Perfect in the colder weather. Mushroom soup would be wonderful,” she said. I was happy to find this fabulous recipe from the Balthazar. We ate it with a sourdough baguette and green salad- of course! A Birthday pear and apple galette was our celebratory dessert. Perfect. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from The Balthazar Cookbook via Smitten Kitchen. I decreased the amount of sage, olive oil, and cream, increased the garlic, and modified the amount of each type of mushroom. Earthy and special. Happy Birthday, Mom!! ❤

  • 1 ounce dried mushrooms (porcini, morels, or shiitakes)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 large sprigs of sage
  • 1 large yellow or sweet onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 20 oz white button mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 12 oz shiitake mushrooms stemmed, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 6 cups organic chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  1. Soak the dry mushrooms in 1 cup of warm water for 20 to 30 minutes, until plump.
  2. Strain the soaking liquid through a coffee filter to remove grit and reserve, along with the reconstituted mushrooms, until needed.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over a medium flame. Bundle the rosemary and sage together and tie with kitchen twine. When the oil is hot, add the herb bundle and sizzle for a few minutes on both sides to infuse the oil.
  4. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown.
  5. Turn the flame to medium high to high and add the white mushrooms and shiitakes.
  6. Cook for 10 minutes, during which the mushrooms will give off their liquid (which should evaporate quickly due to the high heat) and deflate significantly. Stir occasionally.
  7. Add the chicken stock and the dried mushrooms along with the soaking water.
  8. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the herbs, then add the cream and butter.
  9. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. (I used an immersion blender.) Return to the pot and keep at a very low simmer until ready to serve.

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Greek Red Lentil Soup

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First of all, who doesn’t love something with a giant dollop of salty cheese on top? 🙂 This soup has it all- loads of fresh herbs, garlic, onion, and red lentils. I knew that I had to move it to the top of my must make list before my herb garden succumbed to the cold weather…. Mmmmm…

Well, I barely remember when my herb garden wasn’t buried under 3 feet of snow, but I do remember this delicious soup! I made it again but used dried oregano this time. Still delicious!! We ate it on a snow day with a homemade Pullman bread loaf, green salad, and cake pops for dessert. This recipe was adapted from Chef Juliana of Foodie on Board. I reduced the lemon juice to 1 lemon. Wonderful!!

For the Soup:

  • 2 cups red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ÂĽ teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups store-bought or homemade turkey, or chicken or vegetable stock
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • juice of 1 to 2 lemons, to taste

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons minced rosemary
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat and sauté onions with 1 teaspoon salt until translucent. Add garlic, carrot, pepper, chiles, herbs, bay leaves and remaining salt. Stir well and sauté until the carrots are just tender.
  2. Add the lentils and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the lentils are soft and falling apart. If you like, the soup can be puréed or left as it is. If you choose to purée, remove the bay leaves first. (I puréed it.)
  3. Season the soup with lemon zest, lemon juice and more salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Before serving, stir together the feta cheese, rosemary and pepper. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the hot bowls of soup and enjoy.

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If you like this you may also like:

Fresh & Wild Mushroom Stew

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This is a delicious and intensely flavorful vegetarian stew- hearty when served over pasta or polenta as well. We ate it over whole wheat pappardelle but I think I would have preferred it over polenta. Next time! 🙂 This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by David Tanis. I used the leftover wild mushroom broth in a Broccoli Spinach Puree- yum.

I am bringing this earthy and elegant dish to share with my friends at Fiesta Friday #45 at the Novice Gardener. Enjoy!

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

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For the Stew:

  • 1 ½ pounds, 24 oz, cultivated brown mushrooms, like shiitake, cremini or portobello
  • ½ pound pale wild mushrooms, like chanterelle (or use King trumpet or oyster)(I used shiitakes instead)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped sage or rosemary
  • Pinch red pepper flakes or cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 small ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped or 20 grape tomatoes (not peeled)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups wild mushroom broth, heated, or use chicken broth, or more to adjust consistency (recipe follows)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • pasta such as whole wheat pappardelle or polenta, for serving, optional

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  1. Clean mushrooms, keeping colors separate, and trim tough stems. (Save stems for stock.) Slice mushrooms about 1/8-inch thick.
  2. In a wide skillet, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until onion has softened and browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add 1 more tablespoon oil and turn heat to high. Add brown mushrooms (I added all of my mushrooms because I used shiitakes instead of pale wild mushrooms.), season lightly and stir-fry until nicely colored, about 3 minutes.
  4. Lower heat to medium. Add thyme, sage, red pepper and tomato paste. Add tomatoes, stir well, and cook for 1 minute. Season again with salt and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour, stir to incorporate and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in reserved onions.
  6. Add 1 cup mushroom broth and stir until thickened, about 1 minute. Gradually add 1 more cup broth and cook for 2 minutes. Sauce should have gravy-like consistency; thin with more broth if necessary. Adjust seasoning. (May be prepared to this point several hours ahead and reheated.)
  7. If using pale wild mushrooms: Just before serving, put butter and 1 tablespoon olive in wide skillet over medium high heat. When butter begins to brown, add chanterelles, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for about 2 minutes, until cooked through and beginning to brown.
  8. To finish the dish: Add garlic and parsley, stir to coat and cook 1 minute more. Add chanterelles, if using, to brown mushroom mixture and transfer to a warm serving bowl. Accompany with polenta or pasta if you wish.

For the Wild Mushroom Broth:

Yield: about 3 cups

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  • .88 oz mixed wild dried mushrooms or ÂĽ cup crumbled dry porcini (about 4 grams)
  • 1 small onion or shallot, sliced
  • 6 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Put all ingredients in a sauce pan. Cover with 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Strain. Broth may be made in advance and will keep a week, refrigerated.

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One Year Ago:

Milk-Braised Pork Loin

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This pork loin was waiting in my extra freezer to be served to a crowd… but then…  my kids left the freezer door open long enough to defrost it, along with everything else in the freezer. (No more self-serve popsicles for them!) What a cooking emergency… 🙂 At least we were able to enjoy this delicious dish. The milk gravy was especially amazing. Now I will have to make this dish again for a crowd! This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living; I doubled the garlic. We ate it with green salad and roasted potatoes and kohlrabi on the side.

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

  • 1 boneless pork loin with fat cap (4 to 5 pounds)
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 sprigs sage
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 10 large cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 5 strips fresh lemon zest (1 inch by 2 inches each; from 1 lemon)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. Season pork with 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot (it should be just large enough to fit pork) over medium-high heat. (I used a 4-quart enameled cast iron pot.) Add pork, fat side down, and sear, turning as it browns, until browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Drain fat from pot and wipe out any blackened bits.
  2. Tie together sage, rosemary, and bay leaves into a bouquet with kitchen twine. Melt butter in pot over medium heat. Add herbs, garlic, and lemon zest and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Return pork, fat side up, to pot, along with any accumulated juices. Pour milk and cream over pork, raise heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. Partially cover pot, reduce heat, and simmer, undisturbed, until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of pork registers 140 degrees, about 1 hour.
  4. Transfer pork to a carving board and let rest at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes. Increase heat to medium and simmer braising liquid until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, 12 to 15 minutes. Discard herbs and lemon zest. Cut pork crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve with milk gravy.

One Year Ago:

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