Week Two People!
I’m posting this a little late, but I am at a conference for work for the next few days and figured that writing a blog post would help keep me busy while I sit at my exhibitor’s booth for hours on end. This week I made a savoury pie again: Veggie Pot Pie. Pot pie is definitely a winter food, and in Toronto we’ve still been experiencing our last blasts of cold weather so it seemed like a good chance to give some warm comfort foods their last hurrah before spring shows up (which will hopefully be soon).
While I dabble in meat-eating, I don’t ever cook meat at home – my partner is vegetarian so there’s rarely much point in me cooking a meat dinner for one. I’ve only made veggie pot pies once before, about a year ago, and I remember it being quite an ordeal – though that time I did make several individual-sized pies. A lot of the veggie pot pie recipes that I found online didn’t exactly meet my standards, so I opted to use Martha Stewart’s Classic Chicken Pot Pie recipe as a guideline.
I used fake chicken in this pot pie. I’m not in the habit of consuming simulated meat – I prefer my sources of protein to be a little more natural than that – chick peas, for example. The fake chicken is made of both soy protein and wheat gluten, I believe, and while it was fine in this recipe, I think in the future I’ll skip this heavily-processed ingredient and make my veggie pot pies with beans instead. Now that I’ve made veggie pot pie again, I totally understand the standard method, and I think I would feel very comfortable making changes in the future – curry pot pie! BBQ pot pie! Actually, I don’t know that BBQ pot pie sounds all that good to me, but curry pot pie does!
Lots of recipes for pot pie don’t ask you to make a bottom crust – instead, you just pile your filling into a casserole dish and cover it with your top crust. I wanted to make a double crust pie, so that’s what I did. I used, of course, my standard pastry dough – and doubled it, for a two-crust pie. One thing to know is that this pie would actually be best made in a larger casserole dish rather than a normal pie plate – you can’t fit all the filling in a regular pie plate (at least not as the recipe is below). If you want to make it with a regular pie plate I recommend reducing the amount of filling by about 1/4, or you can just save the leftover filling to eat on rice! Here’s the rest of the recipe:
Veggie Pot Pie (adapted from Martha Stewart)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped into small chunks
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3.5 cups of chopped veggies of your choice – I used cauliflower, mushrooms, potatoes, and green peas.
- 4 cups of veggie broth
- 1/2 cup flour
- a few tablespoons of olive oil or butter (or a combination of both)
- 1 egg white, for glazing the top crust (optional)
- 2 veggie chicken breasts, cut into chunks OR one small can of your bean of choice (my choice would be chick peas or white navy beans)
Give any veggies that require lots of cooking time a quick boil – I boiled my carrots, potatoes, and cauliflower. Drain and set aside. Roll out your bottom pie crust, put in dish, and chill. In a large pot, sauté your onions until translucent. Add mushrooms and garlic and continue cooking for 4-5 minutes. Add a bit more oil or butter, then sprinkle in your 1/2 cup flour – you are essentially making a roux here. Sauté the flour with the veggies for just a few moments and then whisk in your veggie broth. Add in the rest of your veggies and your protein (chicken, fake chicken, or beans) and stir to combine. Let it cook for a few minutes on medium heat – it will thicken. Turn it down to low to keep warm and roll out your top crust. Take your chilled bottom crust out of the fridge, fill your pie with filling, and top with your second crust. Fold your bottom crust edge over your top crust and pinch to seal. Crimp edges. Cut slits in the top crust for steam to escape. If you want, brush your top crust with an egg white to help it brown nicely – I never want to waste a whole egg just for this, so I use just a bit of the white and put the rest of the egg in a container in the fridge for breakfast the next day. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the dough looks browned well. Your filling is already cooked so you are just baking your crust. If you want your pie to stay together on your plate, let it cool before slicing, but it will be equally as delicious if you are impatient like me and cut it open and fill your plate with a steamy, sloppy mess of pie.
Make Ahead: I mixed my dough and chilled it the day before, and I also chopped most of my veggies ahead of time. This made putting this together for a weeknight dinner a breeze.
Week two of pie: COMPLETE. Better start thinking about what this week’s pie will be. As always, I welcome your pie suggestions in the comments!