CHINESE PIE WITH CRISPY ONION
What the world calls Shepherd’s Pie my mother called Chinese Pie. It wasn’t till I left home that I discovered what I thought was Chinese all this time was something else. Named after Shepherd’s herding their animals to slaughter. The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want…something about not fearing the price on your head!
Well, this is my version, not unlike Mom’s, just a few differences. She always used fresh potatoes and ground beef and onions topped with creamed corn, then the potato. It was always good – leftovers too!
I’m trying crispy onion for the first time ever as a topper.
One chore I dreaded as a kid was peeling potatoes. I used a paring knife instead of a peeler to make it quicker. My father would yell at me for cutting away half the potato with the peel. Oh well, then along came instant!! My kind of invention. Of course I still do prefer fresh mashed, but over the years improvements were made in the instant category. Yea!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mashed Potatoes – Makes 12-13 cups – I’m making more than I need, to use in more than one recipe (it saves time down the road)
9 c. water
1 T. salt
a few fresh sprigs rosemary
fresh grind black pepper – I like lots
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. fine grind caraway seed
2 t. smoked paprika
2 t. garlic powder
2 t. onion powder
1/4 c. margarine (4 Tablespoons)
1 c. non-dairy cream (I used Rich’s COFFEE RICH Non-Dairy Creamer)
- don’t use flavored creamers for savory dishes
5 c. instant potatoes – I used IDAHOAN brand
1 T. light sesame oil
2 T. margarine
2 lg. celery stalks, thinly sliced for even cooking, 1/4 inch thick
2 lg. fresh sweet red peppers, cored and cut into 1/2 inch squares
1 heaping c. diced sweet onion, 1/2 inch squares
salt and fresh grind black pepper
12 oz. pkg. MorningStar Farms GRILLERS CRUMBLES, thawed
2 t. garlic powder
15 oz. can cream style corn
French’s Crispy Fried ONIONS – in a can
In extra-large saucepan or soup pot combine water, salt, fresh rosemary, nutmeg, caraway, smoked paprika, garlic and onion powders plus margarine.
Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook 10 minutes (like rice). This will extract the flavor from the rosemary into the water.
Remove from heat. Remove rosemary sprigs.
Add creamer, stir, then add instant potatoes, stirring with large fork or spoon till dissolved. These potatoes will be thick, so whisking isn’t called for.
Add additional hot water if needed, but keep stirring and you may not need any.
Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Use in any recipe calling for mashed potatoes or as a side dish.
In extra-large skillet, over medium heat, melt oil with margarine.
Add celery, and saute about 5 minutes.
Add red peppers and onion, Stir to coat with oil, then saute till tender, lowering heat if it begins to char too much.
Salt and pepper to taste – a little more than normal, since it’s going into a casserole.
Add GRILLERS CRUMBLES, stirring to coat evenly with oil.
Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Continue to cook till all crumble pieces are cooked throughout, stirring as needed – about 10 minutes. Adjust for salt and pepper. Set aside.
Assembly: Use a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Empty skillet of veggies and crumbles into bottom of baking dish. Even the top out.
Spread the can of cream corn evenly over the top of the crumble mix.
Spread as much mashed potato over the corn as you like, taking it all the way to the edges.
Top evenly with a generous amount of crispy fried onion.
Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes (ovens vary) or till top is browned and you can see the bottom bubbling up.
Remove from oven and place on board. Wait 10 minutes before cutting or scooping to serve.
Serve alone, with a side salad or applesauce.
Notes: Heating leftovers. In the oven works best to keep the topping crispy. Microwaved is also good, but absent the crispy part of the onion. Pan-fried works – just flip the crispy onion side onto the pan before finishing up to crisp it up.