Friday, April 22, 2011

vegetable pot pies with puff pastry

 Chicken pot pies were a big deal when I was a little girl. They were generally only served when my parents were going out for the night and we were left in a babysitters care. My mom would pop them out of their individual cardboard boxes and into the oven before she started to get dressed up for the evening. It was actually pretty genius of her because we were so obsessed with them, it distracted us from the fact that our parents were going some where without us. They were of course the premade, frozen kind. But we could not have cared less. We loved the buttery crumbly crust and savory gravy. 

A couple years ago, I attempted a homemade chicken pot pie and it did not turn out so well. It made me pot pie shy and I have not attempted once since. One of the joys of learning to cook is revisiting a recipe that was a previous failure only to see how my own skills have grown. This recipe was such a success I feel that I have to share it. 

The recipe originally is for chicken pot pies but the ones pictured are all vegetable. I have a good friend who showed up at my doorstep the day before with a sack of fresh gorgeous veggies from her garden, including some lovely little turnips (see below- isn't it pretty?) I quite like turnips and they found a nice home in these pies (along with some diced butternut squash, shallot, and peas.) 

 As we move into spring and summer harvest I like to have recipes around that lend themselves to adapting to whatever produce is loveliest now. I think this is one of those recipes.  The original recipe is from Martha Stewart Living.
vegetable pot pies with puff pastry

1 shallot, finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small turnip, peeled and diced
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 cup butternut squash, peeled and diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 thyme sprigs
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
5 teaspoons cornstarch whisked with 2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 package (14 ounces) puff pastry, cut into four squares
1 large egg, lightly beaten

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cook shallot in oil in a large pot over medium heat until soft, about 4 minutes. Add turnip, potato, and butternut squash. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. 

2) Add wine; simmer until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock; bring to a boil. Add thyme and peas. Season with salt and pepper. Add cornstarch mixture and cream. Bring to a simmer; cook until thick, about 5 minutes.

 3) Divide mixture among four 6-ounce ramekins; top with pastry. Brush with egg. Cut a hole into each to vent. Bake on a baking sheet until golden, 12 to 14 minutes.

4) When finished baking, wallow in their delicious adorableness! 

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