Friday, December 7, 2012

pot pie

On Christmas Eve, our family goes to Brett's sisters for dinner and gifts. I want to bring something for Brielle and me for dinner, and decided a pot pie would be perfect. She loves it, I love it. Plus, it's a comforting, delicious, one pot dish. I thought I'd make a trial run so I'll have a recipe to work with in a couple of weeks. I want it to be really good, just in case some of the other guests want to try it. 

For the crust:
2 c flour
1 c earth balance
3/4 tsp salt
5 TB water, or more

The butter should be frozen. Put some water and ice cubes in the freezer while you get the flour and salt put into the cuisinart. Then, dice the butter into small pieces quickly, and add to the cuisinart bowl. Pulse about ten times, then slowly add the water, a tablespoon at a time, and pulse to combine. As soon as the dough begins to gather, it's ready. You'll probably need 5-6 or so tablespoons. Dump the dough out onto a board and gather together, without a lot of handling, and, wrap in plastic and keep refrigerated for at least 40 minutes.

For the pie:
1 container firm tofu
1 large russet potato (about 3 cups), peeled and chopped
3 carrots, chopped medium
2 celery, chopped medium
1 onion, chopped medium
1/2 c flour
1 c frozen peas
1 tsp fresh sage, minced 
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 better than chicken broth, or vegetable broth
3 T soy sauce
1 TB nutritional yeast (optional)

Boil the potatoes until al dente, maybe not even quite done. Press the tofu until much of the water is out, then chop into small cubes. Set these aside.
In a large pan, saute the onion, celery and carrot in a bit of water for about five minutes. You can use oil of course, but I figured there was enough butter in the dough. (You'd never know the vegetables weren't cooked in oil.) Add the tofu and continue to cook a couple of minutes, then add the potatoes, and cook five minutes more. Add the flour and stir to coat everything. Add the broth, peas, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to thicken up. This will take just a couple of minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme and sage, and salt and pepper if needed.
Pour into an 8 X 11 baking pan. If you're going to bake right away, then get out the dough, and quickly roll it out until it's in a rectangularish shape. I am all about the rustic, for ease and, appearance, so don't worry if it's not perfect. Crimp the edges a bit and, with a knife, poke it with a few holes.
I made all this in the morning so I didn't want to assemble it because I was afraid it would get soggy. Maybe it wouldn't, but I waited until I was ready to bake it before rolling out the dough.

I baked the pie at 375 for 40 minutes. It might need less time if it were assembled when still warm.
Whenever you put this together, don't let it sit around at room temperature. The dough will lose its crispiness if the butter gets warm.
I'd serve this with a salad. So darn good.

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