Potato & Mushroom Casserole…

I really like mushrooms but I don’t prepare them that often, but I’m not sure why. Probably because of the short shelf live of mushrooms and my chaotic schedule usually doesn’t go well together. I was able to get our schedules to coincide and made this delicious dish from Eating WellLayered Mashed Potato & Mushroom Casserole

I was flipping through my newest copy of Eating Well (Dec ’09) that had just arrived and trying to decide if I was going to renew my subscription. As a vegetarian, I was limited in the recipes offered by this magazine, but as a vegan I am not able to find many choices at all. It’s easy to substitute non-dairy milk and earth balance for milk and butter, respectively. But replacing the eggs can be a challenge and usually one I’d rather not partake in when I have a dozen or more vegan cookbooks where I don’t have to work so hard to make a meal. There are days when I do feel compelled to make a favorite dish veganized, but it is really nice when someone else has done the work for you. That being said, I went ahead and decided to make one of the dishes from Eating Well, but I did have to veganize it… so I will present my changes here. It turns out that the recipe is online, so I have included the link to the original recipe as well.

* As a side note, I still haven’t decided whether or not I will resubscribe. Usually the research provided in the magazine is enough to keep me as a reader, but this time none of the information was new to me, I have found that information from other sources. Also the prevalence of eggs in the majority of the vegetarian recipes turns me off. *

Let’s get to the food…

Oh, I almost forgot… my friend recently moved and gave me all her produce which included a package of mushrooms. Otherwise I was just going to make this with the one package that I already had. Thanks Aimee, hope the move is going well!

potato & mushroom casserole - ingredients

Layered Mashed Potato & Mushroom Casserole
(Eating Well, Dec. ’09, p. 64)
slightly adapted and veganized by nic – the auspicious squirrel

Rating: Very Good

  • 3 1/2 pounds potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (* I had 2lbs 10oz of red potatoes and they worked great, I did NOT peel them)
  • 2 pkgs cremini or white mushrooms, roughly chopped or halved if using food processor
  • 1 tablespoon non-dairy margarine (* I use earth balance soy garden)
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped (* I used more garlic because I had so many mushrooms)
  • 4 cups trimmed and finely chopped chard or spinach (* I used spinach and my favorite slicing method, chiffonade)
  • 1 cup mushroom broth
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup almond meal, optional
  1. Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a large pot. Place potatoes in a steamer basket, cover and steam over medium-low heat, replenishing the water as necessary, until the potatoes are fall-apart tender, 20 to 30 minutes. (* A 2-quart pot is not big enough… I used my spaghetti pot and steamer insert.)
  2. Meanwhile, working in two batches, place mushrooms in a food processor and pulse, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed, until the mushrooms are coarsely chopped. (* I chose to roughly chop my mushrooms to improve my knife skills, and I was feeling pensive, chopping is meditative.)
  3. Combine 1/2 cup non-dairy milk and vinegar, set aside, for a minute or two, to curdle. This will be ‘buttermilk’ in a few minutes.
  4. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Add margarine and mash until chunky-smooth. Gradually stir in ‘buttermilk’, the remaining 1/4 cup non-dairy milk and 1 teaspoon salt. Taste to check seasoning. Set aside.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant and beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they release their liquid and the pan is almost dry, 10 to 12 minutes. Add chard (or spinach) and continue to cook, stirring, until wilted, about 4 minutes.
  6. Whisk broth and flour in a small bowl. (* The best way to do this without having clumps, is to put the flour in a bowl, add a small amount of liquid and whisk into a paste, gradually adding more liquid while whisking until all liquid has been added.) Add to the pan along with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and rosemary. Cook, stirring, until the mixture bubbles and thickens, about 1 minute. Taste to check seasoning.
  7. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  8. To assemble, spread half of the mashed potatoes in an even layer in a 9-by-13-inch (or similar 3-quart) baking dish. Spread the mushroom mixture on top and spread the remaining potatoes over the mushroom layer. (* I put several dollops of potatoes over the mushroom mixture and then spread it lightly with a fork, allowing the fork to leave groves that would toast up and brown.)
    potato & mushroom casserole - dollops potato & mushroom casserole - spread out with fork
  9. Sprinkle with almond meal, if using.
    potato & mushroom casserole - sprinkled with almond meal
  10. Bake until hot throughout and the top is golden brown, about 35-40 minutes. Enjoy.
    potato & mushroom casserole - baked

potato & mushroom casserole

♫ ♪ Playing in the background while this post was being written was the musical sounds of… ♪ ♫

Sting (Ten Summoner’s Tales, The Dream of the Blue Turtles, The Soul Cages, Nothing Like the Sun) set to random.

I was feeling pensive when I prepared this dish because I had received news that my SIL’s four beautiful, curious and intelligent rats, ‘the girls’, had died one by one over the past few months. So this is the music I was listening to while I prepared dinner, and felt it was appropriate to listen to the same music again while posting about this dish. I will have an upcoming post about those girls as well as a few of my other furry friends that have passed away.

Hope you are having a good day,
~nic

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One thought on “Potato & Mushroom Casserole…

  1. Pingback: Parsnips… « The Auspicious Squirrel

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