Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Cooking!

Holidays are always a little frustrating for me. They are the biggest feast days of the year, but I am almost always traveling and unable to contribute to the meal. This Christmas, though, I was determined to make an entree so my vegetarian husband would have more to eat besides mashed potatoes. I found a recipe for Spring Pot Pie from Cook's Illustrated. I used the basic recipe, but changed the vegetables slightly to make it more winter appropriate.

Vegetable Pot Pie

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 medium leeks , white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced 1/4 inch thick, and rinsed well
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1.5 pounds yukon gold potatoes , scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press
1.5 cup frozen peas
7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 ounces Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice , plus 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
4 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
Ground black pepper

Make biscuit topping (see instructions below). Refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare Vegetables
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a dutch oven over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.
  3. Add the leeks, carrot, and ¾ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks have softened but are still bright green, about 7 minutes.
  4. Add the potatoes, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes begin to soften around the edges, about 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Transfer to a 9 by 13-inch baking dish (or a shallow casserole dish of similar size) or six 12-ounce ovenproof dishes. Sprinkle the peas evenly over the top and set aside.
Prepare the sauce

  1. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.
  3. Gradually whisk in 4 cups of vegetable broth, bring to a simmer, and cook until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute.
  4. Remove from the heat and whisk in the Parmesan. Stir in the lemon juice, zest, and tarragon and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble the Pot Pie

  1. Pour the sauce over the filling and stir with a wooden spoon to distribute evenly.
  2. Arrange the biscuits on top and bake until the biscuits are golden brown and the filling is bubbly, about 30 minutes for a large pie and about 25 minutes for smaller pies.
  3. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Biscuit Topping

2 cups minus 2 tbsp (9 ounces) all-purpose flour , plus more for dusting the work surface
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3/4 cup cold buttermilk , plus 1 to 2 tablespoons if needed

  1. If using a food processor, pulse the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Add the butter pieces, pulse until the mixture contains only a few pea-sized butter lumps. If not using a food processor, you may use a whisk to break up the butter.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the buttermilk and stir until the dough gathers into moist clumps.
  3. On a floured work surface, form into a ball and roll the dough out to 1/2 inch thick.
  4. Using a 2 1/2- to 3-inch biscuit cutter, stamp out 8 to 12 rounds of dough.
  5. Space the biscuits evenly over the filling in the baking dish. If making individual pies, cut the dough slightly smaller than the circumference of each dish.

1 comment:

  1. This vegetarian husband was very happy!! Thanks again. It was wonderful