Southwestern Vegan Beef & Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie with Chipotle Sweet Potato Mash

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I am all about Beyond Meat!    Click HERE to get a coupon to try some yourself & to use their store locator.  This brand is the absolute best vegan meat on the market – in my opinion.  These beefy crumbles are so delicious that even unapologetic carnivore & hyper-finicky eater, the badass Miles Miller, ate this shepherd’s pie & declared it delicious.  He even went on to rave that he would eat this fake ground beef in pasta or in tacos etc etc.  This is a man that takes the TEENSIEST nibble of remotely questionable foods (like any vegetable or dish that is new to him or anything vegetarian) & often even indulges in a sour expression of distaste to make his displeasure clear.  But not in response to this stuff.  I am convinced that you need not even tell a meat eater that this stuff is fake.  They would be very unlikely to guess.

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That said – shepherd’s pie is pretty hard to photograph.  I even Googled an image search to see how others had pulled it off.  Pretty much everyone leaves it in the pan it was cooked in – because, when plated, it spills out & can just look like chunky mush.  In the interest of full disclosure, I stacked two servings on top of each other to create that deep, lasagna look.  You can do this, too, when serving it – otherwise a single serving looks sorta anemic.

This came together in an hour – start to finish – and is really, really easy.   I would use more sweet potato, in the future, to create a deeper pie but it is full of flavor & has a bit of a kick.  Used random vegetables I had in the house from my Farm Fresh to You delivery but you can use whatever floats your boat.

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Southwestern Vegan Beef & Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie with Chipotle Sweet Potato Mash

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

for the chipotle sweet potato mash

6+ medium sweet potatoes – peeled & cubed

2 chipotle peppers – minced

1 TBS adobo sauce (from the can of chipotle peppers)

4 TBS vegan butter

1/3 cup or more almond or soy or rice milk

S&P

for the shepherd’s pie

18 oz vegan ground beef

6 small carrots – chopped

2 sunburst or pattypan squash (or zucchini) – chopped

1 bell pepper – chopped

1 serrano pepper – chopped (seeds removed for less heat)

1 small red onion – chopped

2 celery stalks – chopped

2 garlic cloves – chopped

1 chipotle pepper – minced (or more for more heat)

2 TBS olive oil

1 TBS canned or fresh jalapeno – chopped

1 TBS cumin

1 TBS garlic powder

1 TBS onion powder

Handful of cilantro – chopped (and extra for garnish)

Cayenne or chili powder

Extra vegan butter

(other vegetables you could use might be corn, peas, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Boil the sweet potatoes until very soft.

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil and, basically, heat all the shepherd’s pie ingredients until the vegetables are soft.  Season with S&P.  Add more canned jalapeno or chipotle or adobo for more spice.

Mash the sweet potatoes with the milk, butter, chipotle peppers & some S&P.  Taste & season with more chipotle peppers or adobo sauce or S&P.

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I treated a casserole pan with cooking oil & put the meat & veggies in there & then spread the sweet potatoes on top.  Sprinkle some cayenne or chili powder on top & drop a few butter cubes on there, too.

Bake for 30 minutes or until it begins to brown a bit.

Serve with cilantro.

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Southwestern Salad with Spicy Chipotle Avocado Ranch Dressing (Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Nothing complicated about this one.  Just mix up the ingredients that appeal to you & shake up the dressing.  This is as pretty as it is flavorful.  This goes really well with my 4-Ingredient Easy Enchilada Mac & Cheese!  In fact, I served both of these plus my Beef & Veggie Shepherd’s Pie Empanadas to my guests on Easter Sunday.  At any rate – just choose which of the fresh ingredients you like & combine them in whatever ratio pleases you & toss in some dressing.  Easy-peasy!

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Spicy Chipotle Avocado Ranch Dressing

Makes a lot

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup mayonnaise (or vegan alternative – I used Vegenaise)

1/2 cup sour cream (or vegan alternative)

1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

1/2 large avocado

1 small tomato – diced

2 scallions – chopped

2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – minced

2 tsp lime juice

1/4 tsp white or black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp dry dill

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DIRECTIONS

Blend this shit up in a blender or food processor.  Taste & add salt or other seasonings if you care to.  Chill – and that means both you & the dressing.

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Southwestern Salad

The quantity of each of the suggested ingredients is up to you – depending on how many you are feeding and which ingredients you like more.

INGREDIENTS & DIRECTIONS

Just chop & toss some of these items:

Romaine lettuce

Cherry tomatoes

Black beans

Garbanzo beans

Radishes

Corn (fresh off the cob or not)

Avocado

Bell peppers of all colors

Garnish: Tortilla strips, grated cheese, chopped cilantro

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Chipotle Gouda and Guinness (Stout) Mac and Cheese with Vegan Pulled Chicken (or Pork) in Homemade Chipotle Apricot BBQ Sauce

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

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Macaroni & cheese.  Who doesn’t love it?  It can be customized so many ways and, even better, can be prepared in advance & baked in the last half hour so – if you are hosting a party – you can actually enjoy it, too, and not slave in the kitchen while the guests swill your liquor together.

I hosted a little birthday thingy recently & made three, count’m – THREE – different kinds of mac & cheese.  I made the one posted here and I made a Mint & Zucchini Mac & Cheese & a Smoked Gouda & Truffle Oil Mac & Cheese with Crispy Panko – seen below – respectively.

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I made this pulled chicken version with Beyond Meat vegan chicken.

You could use any fake (or real) meat.  I also made a homemade BBQ sauce (which is VERY easy) but your favorite jarred variety will do.

I used chipotle gouda.  Only 8 oz.  LOTS of other cheese, though, so the chipotle part was a tad overwhelmed but the chipotle BBQ sauce more than made up for it.  If you love chipotle, maybe add a chopped chipotle pepper or two into the cheese mix of double or triple the quantity of chipotle gouda?  These kinds of dishes have lots of wiggle room so do not get all anal about this shit.  Mix it up & trust.  It is fucking cheese & pasta.  Who is gonna complain?

I used a combination of various pastas in my three dishes.  The kind you use is up to you.

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My dish was inspired by this photo – but the recipe is mine.  The list of ingredients in the BBQ sauce is long but the instructions are short – so do not be intimidated.

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Homemade Chipotle Apricot BBQ Sauce

Makes WAY more than you need for just the mac & cheese recipe – so keep leftovers jarred in the fridge

INGREDIENTS

1 TBS Olive Oil

1/2 onion – diced

7 garlic cloves – minced

1 4 oz can chipotle peppers in adobo – minced

3/4 cup apricot jam or preserves

1 cup tomato sauce (I used a spicy homemade pasta sauce I had around but jarred/canned is fine)

1 cup ketchup

A few shakes hot sauce ( I love Crystal)

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 cup brown sugar

1-3 TBS sriracha (or other hot sauce)

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 TBS Dijon

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp celery salt (optional)

1 tsp ground pepper

1-3 DROPS Liquid Smoke (optional – but if you use it – GO LIGHT because this stuff gets gross fast)

2 TBS cornstarch (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a pan & saute the onions.

Once they are soft, add everything else & bring to a boil – then lower heat & simmer for 15 minutes or so.  You could puree this in a blender if you liked – but I did not.  I then left mine in a crock pot for a few hours but a few minutes stove top is great.  If you want it thicker – stir in some cornstarch at the end.  I did not do this.

Set aside.  See?  easy!

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OK – one thing – because I made this mac & cheese for a party, I cooked it in a large casserole pan but the ramekin images were taken the next day – when I reheated the leftovers.

This is not burned on top.  You are seeing the BBQ sauce & vegan chicken.  Mmmmmmm!

Chipotle Gouda and Guinness (Stout) Mac and Cheese with Vegan Pulled Chicken (or Pork)

INGREDIENTS

2 cups BBQ sauce (recipe above)

1 lb dry pasta – cooked & drained & cooled under running water

9 oz vegan chicken or pork (or real meat)

2 cups milk (I used almond)

4 TBS butter

4 TBS flour

pinch of nutmeg

1 tsp chipotle chili powder

1 12 oz Guinness (or other stout)

8 oz chipotle gouda

3 cups grated cheddar

2 cups grated pepper jack – divided

4 oz cream cheese

S&P to taste

1-2 cups panko or other breadcrumbs

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook & cool the pasta.

Heat up 1 1/2 cups of BBQ sauce (reserve 1/2 cup to drizzle over the top later) & drop the vegan chicken in there.  Bring to a boil & the lower heat & simmer while you do the next things.  When you can, however, use two forks & shred the chicken in the BBQ sauce.

Warm the milk.

In another pan, melt the butter over med-high heat & then add the flour.  Whisk constantly & it should bet thick pretty fast.  Heat it until it starts to turn a golden sandy color.  Then, add the milk 1/2 cup at a time, whisking the whole time, until all the milk is incorporated & it is sorta thick – but still pourable.    Now add the beer the same way.  It could get frothy & bubble over so be careful.  It won’t get thick again once you add the beer.  Once it is all incorporated – add all the other ingredients – EXCEPT the BBQ chicken – and be sure to reserve one cup of pepper jack to top the dish.

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Spray a casserole pan with cooking spray & put the mac & cheese in.  If it seems too dry, stir in some milk.  I didn’t have to with this recipe.  Top with panko (and I spray them with cooking spray).  The one on the left is the one for this recipe.

Bake for about 25 minutes & then top it with the BBQ chicken & the reserved pepper jack.  Bake another ten minutes or so – or until the cheese is melted.

Drizzle with reserved BBQ sauce, if you desire.

Let it rest 5 minutes or so & serve that shit up!

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Vegan Sriracha Chipotle Cauliflower “Wings”

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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YEAH!  I wrote a funny & dirty novel that is getting great reviews on Amazon!  Check it out – at – www.BathingBook.com!

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OK – my book has been out for a week & a half.  Have you read it yet?  It is only the funniest, fucking book ever written!!!  What the Hell are you waiting for?

Check it out!!!  www.BathingBook.com

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OK, now for the matter of these faux wings.  I love spicy food & chicken wings are something I always find myself envious of when I see others eat them.  I also love sriracha – but ONLY this brand:

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(Image stolen from Google)

This company produces a sauce that is the very definition of sriracha.  But, alas, they have been victims of Irwindale residents near their plant complaining of the spices in the air & it has resulted in lots of problems for the company.  Recently, I have been finding it VERY HARD to find this sriracha – anywhere.  I was extremely distressed because this is not only a frequent ingredient in my recipes but it is an absolute MUST in my Bloody Marys!

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Well, at my local Bangluck Market – I found a whole selection of other brands of sriracha.  Of course, I bought the one in the prettiest bottle.  See there – behind the holy basil?
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I used it in a Bloody Mary & had to throw the cocktail away.  This sriracha isn’t spicy & has a sickly sweet flavor.  Do not fall for these low rent srirachas!  You have been warned!

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These guys are pretty easy to make and delicious.  I ate them two ways – right off the plate as an appetizer or over rice as a meal.  Ymmmmm!

Sriracha Cauliflower “Wings”

INGREDIENTS

1 small head of cauliflower cut into “drumettes”

2 TBS butter (or vegan butter) – melted

1 TBS olive oil

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

S&P

For the glaze

1 chipotle pepper & 2 TBS of its adobo sauce – minced

1/4 cup sriracha sauce

2 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS butter (or vegan butter)

1/4 cup (or less – to taste) honey – or agave nectar

1-2 TBS soy sauce

juice of 1 lime

Garnish: chopped cilantro and/or sesame seeds

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400.

Whisk the melted butter with the olive oil, onion powder & garlic powder.  Add a little S&P.

Toss the cauliflower drumettes in this & roast for about 15-20 minutes (check mid-way to be sure your florets are not getting to mushy) – or until just beginning to brown at the edges.  Parchment paper makes this a far neater process.  If you don’t have any, treat your cooking sheet with cooking spray or olive oil.

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While the cauliflower cooks, melt the butter for the glaze in a sauce pan & then whisk in the other glaze ingredients.  Bring it to a boil & then simmer it over medium heat until it thickens a bit.  Set aside.

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When the cauliflower is ready – toss it with some glaze & roast another 5 minutes.  I then turned the broiler on and WATCHED THEM VERY CAREFULLY (and turned the pan a few times) to get a bit of a blackening effect.  This is totally an optional step.

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Drizzle a bit more glaze on the wings & garnish with cilantro and/or sesame seeds.  Eat as they are or on top of some steamed rice!

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One Pot Spicy Vegan Orange Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This really is about as easy as a soup can be.  It comes together in about 20-30 minutes total & is powerfully flavorful.  There is no dairy of any kind so it is as guiltless as it is delicious.  A really wonderful, winter warmer!

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One Pot Spicy Vegan Orange Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

INGREDIENTS

2 large sweet potatoes – peeled & cubed

1 onion (I used a red one) – chopped

4 garlic cloves – chopped

Olive oil

Juice of 2 oranges

1-3 chipotle peppers (or to taste) in their adobo sauce – chopped

6 cups stock

1 tsp ground coriander

S&P to taste

Garnish ideas: avocado, arugula, black and/or white sesame seeds

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DIRECTIONS

Heat about 1 TBS olive oil in a deep stock pot.  eat the onions & garlic over medium heat until just tender, trying not to brown them.  Add the stock, orange juice, chipotle peppers, coriander & sweet potatoes.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat & simmer for about 15 minutes or so – or until the sweet potatoes are very soft.

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I used an immersion blender to puree the soup but, if you do not have one, puree the soup in a blender.  Season with S&P.

Garnish as you like & commence indulging yourself!

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Spicy Honey Chipotle Homemade BBQ Sauce & Golden Road Beer

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This is pretty straight forward.  I used this on a bunch of chicken drumsticks that I barbecued over the weekend for my carnivorous boyfriend & some other guests.  They looked like this (the drumsticks – not my guests):

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And they smelled so good – it was all I could do not to just quit this pescatarian business & devour a few of those bad boys.  The BBQ sauce is genuinely spicy & could be used any way you might use such a thing – or maybe even mixed into some potato salad or something.

The beer in this photo here

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is by a local Los Angeles brewery called Golden Road & it is delicious!  See – the cans are all marked with the date they were canned?  I once had a beer from there that was only a day old.  There is a pub, too, with vegan & other bar food.  I will definitely be going there soon so I can report back.

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Spicy Honey Chipotle Homemade BBQ Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1 small onion – diced

olive oil

4 garlic cloves – chopped

3 TBS brown sugar 3/4 cup ketchup

1 TBS molasses

1/4 cup honey

2 TBS apple cider vinegar

1 TBS Worcestershire sauce

2 chipotle peppers in their adobo sauce – minced

2 TBS Dijon mustard

1 TBS sriracha

1 tsp chipotle powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne

DIRECTIONS

Heat about 1 TBS olive oil in a stock pan.  Saute the onion until translucent.  Add the other ingredients & bring to a boil.  Lower heat & simmer for 10-20 minutes to let it thicken a bit & to let the flavors meld.  Add water if it is too thick.  When it cools – blend it to break up any onion or chipotle still left in pieces.  Put it in an old pickle jar or something & chill until you are ready to use it.   This should last at least a week in the fridge – maybe more.

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Spicy Southern Fried Cauliflower and Delta Dipping Sauce with Smashed Baked Potatoes and White Gravy and Buffalo Mac & Cheese

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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In my hunt for other recipes meant to provide a cauliflower version of fried chicken, I ran into THIS post about Popeye’s Fried Chicken.  Here is a picture from that site:

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I have never eaten at Popeye’s or any other fried chicken joint (except KFC & Dinah’s here in Glendale) and I haven’t tasted ANY fried chicken in over 25 years – but my boyfriend Miles eats it all the time.  In fact, he eats it weekly now that the famous Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken opened a few blocks away from him in downtown Little Rock.  Miles is always sending me (at my request) pictures of the food he eats & I find myself looking at fried chicken so much – I have developed an undeniable craving for it.  And – that blogger that spoke of an incredible meal at Popeye’s didn’t help.  And that Delta sauce?  I liked the sound of it & a few clicks here & there revealed that Popeye’s discontinued it.  In fact, there seems to be quite a bit of hand-wringing going on about the now-unavailable Delta Sauce and that piqued my curiosity.  Fortunately, the blogger who loved the Delta sauce posted a copycat recipe for it & I could not resist.  So – I made it & I include that recipe here.  It is like a spicy Thousand Island dressing & it is INCREDIBLE on my – wait for it – Southern Fried Cauliflower!

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Doesn’t that look just like a fried chicken plate?  I was so Goddamn happy with myself yesterday – you have no idea.  If you make any of my zillions of cauliflower recipes – I have to say – it should be THIS one!  So easy & so delicious!  And if, like me, you don’t eat meat but the reasons for that do not include any distaste for meat products – this might really satisfy any existing fried chicken craving you might be in denial about.

That plate above includes yesterday’s recipe for Buffalo Mac & Pepper Jack Cheese.

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It also includes some smashed baked potatoes & a vegetarian white gravy.

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This is quite a decadent meal & the perfect fix on those days when the hole in your heart is bigger than your ass & you just don’t give a fuck.  You wanna eat & you wanna eat something bad.  This is as Paula Deen as I am likely to get but even with this dish – the fried chicken is really cauliflower & there is no bacon (or other meat) fat in any of it (excepting egg & milk) & the potatoes were made with a minimum of butter & WATER – because I’d run out of milk.  So – seriously – AT LEAST try the southern fried cauliflower & Delta dipping sauce.  I am certain you will enjoy!

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Spicy Southern Fried Cauliflower and Delta Dipping Sauce with Smashed Baked Potatoes and White Gravy and Buffalo Mac & Cheese

(This feeds about two (very well) so increase the recipes if you are feeding more.  The mac & cheese recipe feeds at least 4.)

INGREDIENTS

For the Southern Fried Cauliflower

(depending on the size of your cauliflower – you may need more or less of the other ingredients – so maybe have extra on hand)

1 head cauliflower

2 vegan eggs

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce

2 cups flour

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp each of S&P

1 tsp chipotle chili powder (or smoked or regular paprika)

1 tsp garlic powder

Lots of vegetable oil for frying

1 gallon zip lock baggy (not necessary but it makes life easier)

For the Delta dipping sauce

1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise

1 tsp lemon juice

1/8 cup vegetable oil

1/8 cup sambal oelek (or other chili sauce)

1/8 cup ketchup

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2-3 dashes hot pepper sauce (Tabasco or another brand)

1 garlic clove – minced

For the smashed baked potatoes

2 large potatoes

olive oil

2 TBS vegan butter

S&P

For the white gravy

2 TBS vegan butter

1 large shallot – minced

1/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk

1 vegetable bouillon cube

1/2 tsp dry sage

1 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp salt

For the Buffalo Mac & Cheese

See HERE

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DIRECTIONS

For the Delta dipping sauce

Whisk the ingredients together & chill.

For the Smashed Baked Potatoes

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Rub olive oil on the potatoes & sprinkle with salt.  Bake them – DIRECTLY on the oven rack – for about 45 minutes.  Remove from the oven & allow to cool a bit.  Peel the potatoes (I left bits of skin & browned spots for some color) & mash them up with the butter & some salt & pepper and as much milk or water (I used water as I was out of milk) as you need to get to a texture you like.  I used an old school hand masher & left them chunky & on the drier side.  I smashed them a bit more at the end with an immersion blender.  You do it however you like.

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For the white gravy

Heat the butter in a sauce pan & add the bouillon cube & the shallots.  Cook a minute or two until the shallots soften & the bouillon cube is dissolved.  Add the flour, sage & salt and pepper & stir constantly for about 2 minutes.  It should be quite dry.  Add the milk 1/2 cup at a time & allow it to thicken.  Continue until all the milk is incorporated and heat until the gravy is at your desired thickness.  Add milk if it is too thick.

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For the Southern Fried Cauliflower

In a bowl – whisk together the eggs, water & hot sauce.

In a zip lock bag or in a deep bowl – blend the flour with the rest of the dry ingredients.

Cut the cauliflower into the largest “drummettes” possible so they resemble chicken thighs & a few wings.  I sprayed my cauliflower with water so the flour mix would stick.

Put the cauliflower in the flour mix & toss to coat.  Dunk into the egg mix until covered & then back into the flour.  Coat again with the flour.

I do not have a thermometer to measure oil temp but I think 350 is the correct temperature for frying.  I just let it get hot, put one drummette in there & once that started bubbling pretty rapidly – I added a few more pieces

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Turn a few times & fry until they are a golden brown all over.  Drain on a paper towel.  Repeat until all the cauliflower is cooked.  Now – just divvy up the goodness & fill up that whole in your heart with some old school home cooking!

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