Friday, December 14, 2012

Daring to do it: Pate Chinois

Our Daring Cooks’ December 2012 Hostess is Andy of Today’s the Day and Today’s the Day I Cook! Andy is sharing with us a traditional French Canadian classic the Paté Chinois, also known as Shepherd’s pie for many of us, and if one dish says comfort food.. this one is it!

I don't know about you, but before his challenge was posted I had never heard of pate chinois.  Like, I had absolutely no idea what it could be.  Read on for another moment and see another name for this dish - Shepherd's pie.  That I do know!  Total comfort food, as Andy said.  Yummy goodness covered in mashed potatoes.  Where is the bad?  I am pretty sure I have made a Shepherd's pie before, but I can't remember...  So this challenge was like new to me, even if it might not have been totally new...!
Andy gave us some great recipes to choose from, and also gave us leeway to make something that would work for our families.  I really wanted to try her vegetarian recipe, but between not having any lentils in the house and having a husband who doesn't like mushrooms, I figured I would use her recipe as a base and play from there.
For my base/protein layer I cooked up some white, great northern beans and mashed them up a little.
For the veggies I sauteed a little bit of everything...!   There's onion, carrot, parsnip, celery, bell pepper, garlic...  I think that is it!  Then I made a pan gravy with broth, corn starch, sesame oil and soy sauce to go on that.
Then come the mashed potatoes.  Yum.
But I decided to try something a little crazy.  And potentially icky-looking.  I topped my potatoes wit mashed purple potatoes.   I hoped it would look fun, and Little Girl's favorite color is purple, so I thought she might get a kick out of it.
Hooray!  Purple dinner!
This really is amazing comfort food.  Hearty, filling, warm, it is kind of like a blanket for your belly.  And so versatile!  I really wanted to make a second pie a couple of days later using leftover vegetarian chili, but I still had leftovers of this one and didn't want to overwhelm either the family or the fridge!
Andy, thank you for this perfect challenge for the chilly weather we have been having.  You were a fun host, and your support was awesome.  Definitely take the time to see what the other Daring Cooks created.  The variety is amazing, and you are sure to get inspired!!


  1. Purple potatoes - sounds fun!
    The vegetarian idea was a good one. I ended up enjoying this challenge way more than I thought I would (yea!).

  2. I love the idea of a purple potato topping!

  3. Awesome job! Love all the veggies you put in there and LOVE the purple potatoes!!! I have always wanted to cook (and eat) those, but have never seen them at the store. Great job! :)