Farmer’s Pie

Patti pointed me to this recipe. .
http://www.onegreenplanet.org/plant-based-recipes/lentil-and-mushroom-shepherds-pie-vegan/ I have tweaked it to suit myself. My son commented that if there is no meat it should be Farmer’s Pie instead of Shepherd’s Pie and you really can’t argue with that.

Cook 1 c. lentils with 2½ water and set aside.

Make mashed potatoes to your taste. I use 4 or 5 Yukon gold potatoes, quartered and boiled until tender. Then mashed with about ½ c. of butter and 1c. of milk. S&P to taste.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and saute 1 large onion, finely chopped, and 2 cloves garlic, minced. When the onion is starting to clear, wilt 8 ounces sliced mushrooms. When I remember, I wilt 8-10 oz of baby spinach in at the end. Frequently, I forget.
Add 2 Tbsp. dry red wine and ½ tsp. dried thyme (or as much fresh as you feeling like picking off the stems) to the lentils.

This part is all up to your preference: There are 2 ways to make crust. You can use 2 half-baked deep dish pie crusts. Or you can oil a 2 qt casserole dish and layer 1 c. of bread crumbs in the bottom. If you don’t want crust, just oil the casserole dish very well.

Finally, put it together with lentils on the bottom, onion/mushrooms in the middle and potatoes on top. Bake at 375ºF for 35 minutes or until the potatoes make a golden crust. Allow to set for 10-20 minutes before serving.

Hoe cakes

Chuck and I went to an event at Monticello a couple of years ago and had hoe cakes that were made by a food historian.  I thought they were corn meal and water cooked in grease.  I have been looking for a recipe for proportions and all the recipes I can find use milk, too.

This seems to be the closest recipe to what we had at Monticello.  I will tweak it as I use it. (http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Johnnycakes.htm):

1 cup white cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup milk
Bacon drippings (I think I’ll use vegetable oil)

Preparation:

In a medium bowl, place cornmeal and salt.

In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring water to a rapid boil; remove from heat. With the saucepan in one hand, let the boiling water dribble onto the cornmeal while stirring constantly with the other hand. Then stir the milk into the mixture (it will be fairly thick, but not runny).

Generously grease a large, heavy frying pan with the oil and heat. When pan is hot, drop the batter by spoonfuls. Flatten the batter with a spatula to a thickness of approximately 1/4 inch. Fry until golden brown, turn, and brown on the other side (adding more oil as needed).