Being from New Zealand, Geoffrey has always had a soft spot for pies. Recently, Sublime teased him by adding a delicious Pot Pie to the menu only to take it out a few months later. We’ve heard rumors that it will make a comeback during the winter, but in the meantime, we’ve been busy trying out different recipes on our own. I found a couple online that were OK, but not quite as good as Sublime’s. Geoffrey made Isa’s own Pot Pie recipe in Veganomicon which was the bomb, but still missing something. Finally, I found a bit of information that helped light my way: Sublime’s recipe uses a marsala sauce base. So, off to the kitchen I went determined to create something I could proudly serve Geoffrey during our belated Thanksgiving celebration.
As you can imagine, my experiment was a grand success, so here it is. I used Isa’s recipe for the crust because she is the Goddess of all things baked and there really is no reason to mess with perfection. I am planning to make this again for our Christmas dinner.
1 Basic Single Pastry Crust (recipe below)
1 potato, peeled and cubed
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
3 tbsp flour
1/2 cup red wine
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth, divided *
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/2 tsp celery salt
salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz seitan, cubed
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup frozen peas
1. Prepare Basic Single Pastry Crust, steps 1-3.
2. Parboil potatoes.
3. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the sauce. Heat olive oil in large saucepan or stockpot. Add onions, garlic, mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are tender. Stir in the flour and cook about 1 minute. Use wine and 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth to deglaze the pan. Keep stirring until mixture thickens.
4. Add bay leaf, spices, salt, pepper and seitan to the sauce and cook for another 5 minutes until flavors are blended.
5. Combine remaining 2 cups vegetable broth with cornstarch. Add to the sauce mixture along with the potatoes and peas. Cook for another few minutes, stirring gently, until mixture thickens.
6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour mixture into baking dish and set aside to cool. Continue with Basic Single Pastry Crust, steps 4 and 6. Using a fork, poke a few holes onto the top of the crust.
7. Bake for 45 minutes, until crust is lightly browned. Allow pie to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
* I used Imagine No-Chicken Broth.
Basic Single Pastry Crust
Excerpted from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Jerry Hope Romero (Marlowe & Company, 2007). Copyright 2007 by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Jerry Hope Romero.
Makes 1 pastry crust
Time: 20 minutes, plus chill time
This recipe produces a flaky, all-purpose, unsweetened pie crust. We used to get incredibly frustrated with pastry crusts because they are so temperamental—but now we know the secret. Make sure all of your ingredients are cold as can be—you should even refrigerate the flour. This way, the pockets of fat will stay pockets of fat and provide you with the flakiness you so desire. Baking powder and a touch of vinegar tenderize the flour for even more flakiness. Finally, a humble piece of baking parchment keeps the pastry from sticking and also makes a handy vehicle for flipping your pastry into the pie plate.
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup cold non-hydrogenated vegan shortening
1/4 cup cold water, plus 2 tablespoons if needed
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add the shortening by the teaspoon, but you don’t need to be precise about this. You just want to add it in small chunks in three batches and then cut it into flour with each addition. Cut the shortening in until the dough is crumbly and pebbly.
2. Combine the vinegar with 1/4 cup of the water. Add the mixture to the dough in three batches, gently mixing it into the dough with a fork, until the dough holds together when pinched. If need be, add up to 2 tablespoons more water.
3. Gather the dough into a ball and knead gently a few times, just until it holds together. Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour, then flatten the ball into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
4. When ready to roll out the crust, place a large piece of baking parchment on your work surface. Unwrap the dough and place it on the parchment. Sprinkle your rolling pin with flour and roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. It may slip around a bit from the parchment, but that’s okay, just work steadily and gently. Your crust is now ready to use.
5. If using as a bottom crust, lift the parchment and flip the crust into the pie plate. Tuck in and trim the edges.
6. If using as a top crust, lift the parchment and flip the crust onto the filling. Trim the edges and press with the tines of a fork to get pretty edges, or pinch the circumference with your thumb and forefinger.
I met my friend Jen for dinner at Sublime this weekend. She ordered the Tuscan Quiche which is one of my all-time menu favorites. Since then, I’ve had a major craving for it. Then, a fellow vegan made Isa’s Classic Broccoli Quiche and blogged about it. All signs were pointing to Quiche, so I had no choice but to whip up Isa’s recipe.
I didn’t have time to make my own crust, but it was delicious nonetheless. You can find the recipe in her blog or in her awesome Vegan Brunch book.
Geoffrey and I went to a bread making class at the Whole Foods Lifestyle Center a few months ago and left with a great recipe for Focaccia. I finally got around to trying it out on my own.
This was my first attempt at making bread from scratch all by myself. I’ve always been intimidated by the bread making process. It seems so elaborate and complicated whereas I’m a fan of meals that are quick, easy and flexible. To my surprise, I loved it. Kneading the bread, a tedious and repetitive task, seemed to squash my stress away. The time flew by and before I knew it, I had a perfectly kneaded ball of dough.
The results weren’t spectacular, but I am looking forward to trying it again and soon. I feel an addiction coming on. But first, I must eat this entire loaf of bread all by myself. It’s a rough life.
We made a vegan version of 28cooks’ Crispy Baked Tofu with a Quick Curry Sauce for dinner. It was yummy !
Today’s adjustment was just cruel. I figured that with 7 months to my "target date" the orthodontist couldn’t pull any new tricks on me. I am a little naive. He changed both wires today. He added some "indentations" to the lower because one rebel tooth is still out of alignment. Then he changed the top wire to one he referred to as an inverted curve wire (or something like that). Sounds fun, huh ? It’s painful ! He also sent me off with new, stronger elastics. Oh what fun. I think it’s going to be a painkiller kind of night. On the plus side, my Spinning class was canceled, so I don’t have to teach. Yay ! And I don’t get to be tortured again until January 4th, two days before we leave for NZ. Fourteen hours in a plane with no food is not the way I want to start my vacation, so I hope he’ll be kind to me next time.