Thursday, October 23, 2008

Barefoot Thursday - Vegetable Pot Pie

This is the kind of recipe that makes me so glad I'm a part of Barefoot Bloggers. My family and I loved this dinner and I probably never would have made it without having had someone else choose it for me. It is a little on the time intensive side and uses a lot of bowls and pots - and I really wasn't sure how well the kids would like the fennel. In the end, it was one of those oh-so-worth-the-effort meals. This was simply delicious and so much a comfort-type food - nice and warm for our tummies on a chilly fall evening.

I ended up just making one large pot pie (in a 9x13 inch pan) and really didn't stray much from the recipe, except for the stuff I completely forgot to add: no cute little onions and no flat leaf parsley. Oh yes, and no saffron - it was nowhere to be found in my neck of the woods when I went shopping last week. I guess I'll have to order it from somewhere on the internet (and if any of you have a good site to do that from, please let me know!) or get some family member who lives in a bigger city (hellllooo Atlanta folks :-) to buy it for me. I didn't miss any of those things, however, as this pie tasted fantastic without them. The only thing I think I will try when I make this again is to cut down on the fat content a little by reducing the butter and omitting the heavy cream (eh, it was only three tablespoons - maybe I'll keep it in there...)

Vegetable Pot Pie from Barefoot Contessa Parties

12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2 cups sliced yellow onions (2 onions)
1 fennel bulb, top and core removed, thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups good chicken stock
1 tablespoon Pernod (oops, forgot to mention I didn't use this either - I subbed 1/4 tsp anise extract)
Pinch saffron threads
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 cups large-diced potatoes (1/2 pound)
1 1/2 cups asparagus tips
1 1/2 cups peeled, 3/4-inch-diced carrots (4 carrots)
1 1/2 cups peeled, 3/4-inch-diced butternut squash
1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions (1/2 pound)
1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
For the pastry:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper

  • Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and fennel and saute until translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the flour, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly add the stock, Pernod, saffron, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the heavy cream and season to taste. The sauce should be highly seasoned.

  • Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Lift out with a sieve. Add the asparagus, carrots, and squash to the pot and cook in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain well. Add the potatoes, mixed vegetables, onions, and parsley to the sauce and mix well.

  • For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  • Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the sides, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

I really don't see how you would make 4 servings out of this - those would have to be some pretty large bowls. Like I said, I made this in a 9x13 pan and we had half of it left over (this after 2 grownups and 4 kids had their fill!). Yum - plenty for lunch for tomorrow!

Big thanks to Deb of Kahakai Kitchen for selecting this delectable dish. Be sure to check out how the other Barefoot Bloggers Vegetable Pot Pies turned out here.


Peggy said...

Oh Laura - yours looks delicious. I'm with you, it was enough for four even though I halved the recipe. It was a huge pot pie! I'm not complaining though because it tasted so good. I could eat it again today if I had any left over!

Anonymous said...

Yours looks so much better than mine! Glad you all liked it. I think my family has an attitude problem against anything without meat!

Cathy said...

Yum! Looks delicious, Laura! I love how you did this in a 9x13 pan -- I think family style is definitely the way to go. I completely forgot to add the cream -- oops! Maybe that would have helped with the "dry" issue I had. And I skipped the little onions -- my instinct is always to pick out whole little onions out of my food, so I decided that I'd just save myself the trouble to begin with. I'm so glad that your family enjoyed this - I find that I never mind the work when everyone is happy in the end.

chocolatechic said...

Brilliant idea.

I should have done that.

Audrey said...

Because the only trouble with pretty little individual pot pies is that you can't have seconds without looking bad...
Laura, do you have a Trader Joe's (or is there one in Atlanta?) I found a little bottle of saffron there for $5.99 and there was enough in it for a couple of recipes at least. (I'm just nuts about saffron after these last two recipes...)

Cynthia's Blog said...

Simply delish photos! And mine made enough for 6 or more too. I had it for breakfast the next day. It was really good.

Debinhawaii said...

I love the big pan--your pie looks wonderful and I am so glad you liked it!

Prudy said...

I've never seen pot pie in a nine by thirteen and I'm smitten. It looks so delicious and hearty and family friendly. You did such a grand job!

McKenzie said...

Wow, your pot pie looks great! I noticed you're in Illinois - if you're in Western Ill. (or even if you are not) and are ever near Hannibal, Mo., the Main Street Kitchen has saffron - it's really affordable and comes in a cute glass jar too! I didn't think I would be able to find it here, but I got it there and got a great deal on it!

Anonymous said...

Oh it looks delicious! Glad you gave it a try...

n.o.e said...

Laura, that looks like the perfect dish for a crisp autumn day! Good job, you.

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