Is there anyone that doesn't like them?
The mere sighting of this word on a menu can bring instant ”comfort” to an individual’s ear.
Where would ”bangers” be without their mash? (a bit like Cagney without Lacey!).
You wouldn't dream of serving up a hearty meatloaf and NOT enjoying it with a side of mashed potatoes.
Today though, I wanted to veer off the traditional path and showcase some alternatives.
Don't get me wrong. I like my regular mash but it's nice to know there are other veggies out there that can compete with the humble spud.
I touched on this briefly a few years ago when I made a carrot and dill mash.
Let's explore the possibilities.
Preparing Sweet Potato Mash
This has become a new favourite for me. I’m not sure if I'm late to the party with this but my kumara purchases have skyrocketed!
Simply peel a sweet potato, chop it up into even sized chunks and boil it for fifteen minutes.
Finish it off with a good knob of butter, a little cream, salt and pepper and voila! Next time you make a shepherds pie try using this as your topping.
Preparing Pea Mash
If you have a bag of frozen peas on hand this one is a no brainer.
Microwave or blanch two cups of peas, place them in a food processor and add jazz them up with whatever you like.
- Greek yoghurt and garlic
- Sour cream and dill
- A little cream, butter and fresh mint.
Once you've whizzed the peas up serve them with a good steak or a piece of grilled salmon.
Preparing Cauliflower Mash
I always get the impression that cauliflower is seen as more of a ”supporting” vegetable than an actual ”star”.
I prefer to steam my cauliflower rather than boil it. I find it keeps its shape and does not get too limp or soggy.
Prepare one head of cauliflower by chopping it into even pieces. I use a steamer insert for this on a pot and check it at ten minutes. (It’s usually ready between the ten to fifteen minute mark).
To ”mash” it I use a food processor and add two cloves of garlic, a good ”splash” of olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Sometimes I add a good dash of nutmeg too.
Which brings me to the fish pie.
This is my first time making a fish pie and I have to say I loved it. I read like a million recipes online and all talked about using potatoes as a topping and making a white sauce for the filling.
Whilst all that sounded delicious, I was after comfort food without the heaviness. Yes, the dish has a little pouring cream stirred through the filling but it actually keeps it light.
There's also a little Dijon, dill and lemon juice.
The fish pie is topped with the cauliflower mash and for a little ”naughtiness” topped with some good grated Cheddar cheese (not the fake yellow, plastic stuff thanks!).
If you're starting to feel the cold, this fish pie will definitely warm up the insides. It won't win any awards for prettiness and presentation but it will win in the comfort stakes.
|Fish Pie Recipe|
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 leek, washed and finely sliced
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 200 grams white, firm fish fillets (snapper, ling)
- 200 grams shelled, green prawns (shrimp)
- 1 tbs Dijon mustard
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 tbs chopped parsley
- 2 tbs chopped dill
- 1/2 cup pouring cream (thin...not thickened)
- 1 quantity of cauliflower mash
- grated Cheddar cheese for the topping
- Pre heat your oven to 200 deg C
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the sliced leeks, garlic and carrots. Allow this to cook for 2-3 mins until it becomes translucent.
- Add the peas, fish and prawns and give everything a good stir.
- Add the mustard, lemon juice, parsley, dill and cream. Again, give everything a good stir and allow this mixture to cook for 5 mins on the stovetop. Once cooked, remove and set aside.
- Place the fish mixture into a heavy based baking dish and top with the cauliflower mash. Spread the cauliflower mash nice and evenly.
- Top with a little grated Cheddar cheese and cook in the oven for approximately 30 mins or until browned on top.
- Allow the fish pie to rest for 10 mins before serving.