Whenever I ask Devine what he wants to eat, he'll always say pasta. I don't always say yes to this, not unless I want to eat pasta everyday. Second, he'll ask for Pâté Chinois. It's hard for me to say no to that, it's one of my favourite childhood meals, so I succumb, peek into the fridge and see what variation of it I can make. It's a super versatile dish, my recipe has layers consisting of tofu and burmese tofu, green peas, sweet potato and cauliflower.
Pâté Chinois is very much like Shepherd's pie, I'm not sure how it got that name, I've researched it but no one knows its true origins. Quotes from Wikipedia: '...one possible explanation for the Chinese reference is that it was introduced to Canadian railway workers by Chinese cooks during the building of the North American railroads in the late 19th century'. I guess we'll never know.
My mom made this all the time when I was a kid - she would make the traditional meat version with creamed corn. My meals, as you know, are always meatless, and I now have an aversion to creamed corn, but the spirit of the dish remains. It inspires the same kind of comfort.
I've made versions of this dish with just cauliflower, or just using tofu, or just potatoes too. I've made it so often, I've gone through every possibility. All in all, it consists of a protein layer (tofu, burmese tofu, lentils etc) veggie layer (corn or peas), and topped with a doughy vegetable (potatoes, pumpkin, parnisps, cauliflower etc).
I've also made a version which consists of cubed, cooked potatoes (or pumpkin), with scrambled chickpea flour and corn — as I've said, it's always good and can take on different forms!