Friday, November 21, 2008

Vegetable Pot Pie: Wrap up Thanksgiving with Leftovers!

First rule of any party: don't run out of food or drinks. Never seems to be a problem at Thanksgiving though. Despite the fact that people (read: me) stuff themselves silly, there is always, always a ton of food leftover. I see so many creative recipes that deal with leftover Thanksgiving food, but they are usually focused on turkey.

This Vegetable Pot Pie recipe can use whatever veggies you have. Hooray! It's not a picky recipe, and based on the reviews, I almost completely switched up the veggies. It tasted amazing! I don't even think it matters if your veggies are spiced from the Thanksgiving dinner. Just adds more flavor. Or you can adjust/lessen the recipe spices slightly.

Use leftover carrots, potatoes, onions, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus, brussel sprouts, or sweet potatoes. The only thing I might be weary of, are the sweet potatoes if you typically bake them with marshmallows. I don't see marshmallows as a good addition to pot pies, but maybe that's just me. I suppose, if you were really industrious, you could rinse the marshmallow off the sweet potato slices (assuming you don't whip your sweet potatoes), then add them... Hmmm??

But don't only save this for Thanksgiving leftovers. Would be a great 'clean the fridge out' recipe, or just-because you feel like a warm delicious pot pie (because it's so darn good, I tell you!). Or, use it as your Thanksgiving dinner. It's certainly delicious and impressive enough!

p.s. While I can't categorize this recipe as 'easy', it's by NO means difficult. Everything comes together very quickly, and the two part (crust, then filling) process is nothing to be weary of. I promise! Probably one of the easiest homemade pot pie recipes out there and makes you look like Chef du Jour.

Vegetable Pot Pies
adapted from Ina Garten at the Food Network

8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup sliced yellow onions (1 onion)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon white wine
Pinch saffron threads (or substitute marjoram)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/4 cups large-diced potatoes
1 1/2 cups peeled, 3/4-inch-diced sweet potato/yams
1 1/2 cups broccoli, quartered
1 1/2 cups peeled, 3/4-inch-diced carrots (4 carrots)
1 1/2 cups frozen peas

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
Fresh, ground black pepper

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.

After you are done with the pastry, start on the pot pie ingredients.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, approximately 10 minutes. Add the flour, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly add the stock, white wine, 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 and yams in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Lift out with a sieve. Add the brussel sprouts and carrots to the pot and cook in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain well. Add the potatoes and mixed vegetables to the sauce and mix well.

* If you are using already cooked Thanksgiving/dinner leftovers, you will want to skip some of these cooking steps for the vegetables and simply add directly to the sauce. Great time saver!

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls (best to use bowls without a lip, such as a large ramekin).

Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside, top 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 (feel free to be decorative!). Sprinkle with 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.

Guten appetit!

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