Thursday, April 28, 2011

Health Dinners: A Royal Meal

I was secretly pretty excited for the big wedding of the decade- Prince William to now Duchess Catherine.  I didn't go all out and watch it at 5 am, but when I got up this morning, I hopped onto the Internet right away to find a few clips and pictures.  Am I the only one who got choked up?  Duchess Catherine's dress was so wonderful and timeless, the newly-weds radiated love and happiness, and both of them blushing after their balcony kiss?  I wanted to throw my wedding dress back on, hop in the van and say "We're getting married again!" to Nolan.

The thing I loved the most about the wedding, were their subtle gestures of appreciation and love to their family.  They honored the late Lady Diana, Catherine wore earring in the shape of her family crest, both of their families were lovely and classy.  I also love that Prince William chose his uniform to honor British soldiers who had been killed and/or wounded in battle.  They resonate a love of their country, traditions, and family.

This Jule, Nolan will have been married for 5 years and will be renewing our vows at a friends farm.  We'll be serving our favorite foods, dressed fabulously but comfortably (it will be July after all), and probably carry OFF Skintastic wherever we go.  When I read that a traditional Bangers and Smash would be served as a meal, I squealed!  Comfort food at a wedding reception!  How fabulous!

Here's our take on Banger's and Mash at our house.  My mom served her favorite version of it at her restaurant today.  We again have to give Mr. Jamie Oliver credit here, when I first tried the recipe, it was out of my my first cookbook of his I ever bought.  I've tweaked it some and I add peas to the mashed potatoes to make it a tad more healthy.

I know we're slowly transitioning to becoming a vegetarian family, but I do need to use up meat we have, and really? Somehow, I just don't think Bangers and Mash would taste the same without sausage.  Congratulations to the lovely new couple.  A wedding does not a marriage make, but the love and respect they showed each other today most certainly indicates their deep connection.  Enjoy this meal around your table soon!

Traditional Bangers and Mash

  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 8 links sausage (Italian sausage can be subbed in, but really- I do think nice Kielbasa's or bratwursts even work well.)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons cream
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard, plus mustard for dipping (I like a spicier Dijon mustard and you can never go wrong with Grey Poupon!)
  • -2 Cups of peas, fresh or frozen, thawed, drained, and rinsed well
  • Salt and pepper
-Peel and dice potatoes. (1 1.2 inch cubes work well and I never remove the skins unless there are sprouted or dark spots.)
-Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, add salt and simmer potatoes for 20 minutes.
-Meanwhile, prick sausages with a fork, heat a skillet and brown the sausage in 1 tablespoon oil. Slice (or dice- your preference here) the onion.
-Remove the sausage to a plate and add the onion to the pan. Cook onions until soft, then add 2 tablespoons flour, cook for 1 minute.  The onions should soften up rather nicely.
-Add the chicken stock and return the sausage to the pan, cooking it through for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Add peas in and cook for another few minutes.
-Drain the potatoes and mash them well in a saucepan.
-Add the cream, butter, sour cream and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with side of grainy mustard and brown bread for dipping.

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