I don’t exactly know when the adventurous spirit strikes me, but when it does, it’s usually a good idea. In this case, it involved a vegetable pot pie (I had some pie crusts left over from my last pie making session, and I didn’t want them to go to waste).
Generally, it’s fairly easy- you have a mirepoix (onion, carrots, celery) and potatoes cooking in an oiled saucepan, then you add flour to thicken the mixture, then broth and milk (or cream). Add other quick-cooking vegetables such as broccoli, mushrooms, or peas, and herbs, salt, and pepper and you basically have the filling. You stuff this into a casserole pan, put a pie (or puff pastry) crust on top of it, and it goes into the oven. Pretty easy, right?
Except I didn’t have enough milk, and I had no mushrooms. Or peas. And I didn’t want to open another 4 cup box of broth when I had only one cup of broth (I needed 2). I did, however, have 1 1/2 cups of condensed cream of mushroom soup, and that’s what I used along with other stuff I found in the fridge.
Please do make this at one point in the winter. If you want to add chicken instead of tofu, that would work too. It’s just that pot pies are such a great winter superheroes- they make cold drafts nonexistent, warm a empty belly, and is generally delicious.
Here’s how I did it:
Vegetable Pot Pie
1 potato, diced (Pine Knot Farm)
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 onion, chopped and diced
3 carrots, diced (Hurtgen Meadows Farm)
minced garlic (I chopped 5 or so cloves)
3 TB butter
1 TB olive oil
1/2 C flour
1 C vegetable broth (I like Imagine No-Chicken)
1 1/2 C condensed cream of mushroom soup (Pacific Brand)
1/2 C milk (Maple View Dairy)
1 tsp or so of salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
a few grinds of nutmeg
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets (again, from mysterious broccoli lady)
1 box tofu cubes (I used NaSoy)
a bunch of cutting celery (CatBriar Farm)
a bunch of thyme (my garden!)
one egg, separated
a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt
Preheat the oven to 400F.
In a heavy saucepan, mix butter and olive oil until hot, then add potato, celery, onion, carrots, and garlic. Stir and cook for about 10 mins or so, when the vegetables get soft and translucent. When done, add flour and stir for a minute, spreading it evenly and well among vegetables. Then stir in broth, cream of mushroom soup, and milk. Cook under medium heat until bubbly. At that point put in broccoli, tofu, cutting celery, thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper and fold them into the hot mixture (it will be very thick).
Pour the filling into a casserole dish of your choice and put pie crust (recipe below) or puff pastry over it. Mix an egg yolk with a small spoonful of sour cream or greek yogurt and brush over the pie crust (this will give it a nice golden shine).
Put into hot oven and let bake for 30-45 minutes until crust is golden and filling is bubbling over just a bit (you may want a drip tray underneath, just in case.)
Eunice’s highly bastardized, er, modified pie crust (as in, I’ve tweaked here and there from so many sources, it’s hard to tell where exactly it’s from):
Note: makes at least 2 pie crusts. I’ve been able to get three crusts from this recipe, mostly because I use the rolling pin er, a little too vigorously.
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, frozen (you can do this ahead of time and freeze overnight)
1/4 C or more ice water
Grate the frozen sticks of butter on a box grater. Mix flour and salt in a separate bowl, then add to the grated butter. Blend, then add 1/4 C water at first. Mix well to create a dough, and you can add more water, if necessary (knowing how much to add is really something you learn from experience, or in my case, baking 7 pies in one night). If you haven’t done this before and don’t know, try tablespoons. The dough should be firm but not too sticky, and malleable. (It should not resemble bread dough or cake batter).
Divide in 2 portions and wrap. Put in fridge for at least an hour (or overnight if you do this ahead of time). You can freeze them in advance as well for about a month- just thaw in refrigerator before using.