Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers: Vegetable Pot Pie

So I liked this pot pie a lot. I changed up several of the ingredients so I don't know if the integrity of the recipe is still there. Ok the integrity might be gone since I added chicken that I stir-fried in a pan before baking. It is now a chicken pot pie. But the husband wanted the chicken. What can you do?
Other changes:
-All butter for the the crust. Shortening is not all-natural and offends my sensibilities. Or something like that.
-Veggie changes galore: I used sweet potato, butternut squash, onion, carrots, and fennel. They are seasonal, asparagus isn't.
-I used some wine instead of Pernod. Although now I wonder what the extra licorice taste would be like. Next time I will try it.
-Finally I halved the recipe.
I liked making the crust in the food processor. Much faster! And it was a great crust. I have made crust with only butter for pies before. I think it turns out well.
I thought the sauce was well seasoned, but maybe it could have been even more. Once you add all the veggies you need the salt.
Here is the original recipe.

Vegetable Pot Pie


  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 2 cups sliced yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 1 fennel bulb, top and core removed, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups good chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Pernod
  • Pinch saffron threads
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups large-diced potatoes (1/2 pound)
  • 1 1/2 cups asparagus tips
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, 3/4-inch-diced carrots (4 carrots)
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, 3/4-inch-diced butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions (1/2 pound)
  • 1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley

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
  • Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper


Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and fennel and saute until translucent, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the flour, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly add the stock, Pernod, 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.

Here is the highly seasoned sauce. Even if it tastes salty don't be shy. The veggies soak it up.

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Lift out with a sieve. Add the asparagus, carrots, and squash to the pot and cook in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain well. Add the potatoes, mixed vegetables, onions, and parsley to the sauce and mix well.

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.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls.

Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside 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. Sprinkle with sea salt and 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. (It did not take one hour for mine to be done.)

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers: Butternut Squash Risotto

I knew I would like this recipe because a) I love to make risotto, b) anything with pancetta is good and c) I really enjoy butternut squash in the fall.
I love seasonal food. It makes everything seem more special. So eating my first dish this year with butternut squash in it was like a little fall celebration.
I am putting up the original amounts, but I cut them in half. It is only my and my hubby.
ALSO I did not peel and cut the squash before roasting it in the oven. I hate trying to peel and cut raw butternut squash. I get cut and annoyed. So I just cut the squash in half, put it in the oven skin down and roasted it for about the same amount of time as in the original recipe.

Butternut Squash Risotto
  • 1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. You should have about 6 cups. Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender. Set aside.

OR:Cut the butternut squash in half, scoop out seeds, and place skin down on a baking sheet. Spread some olive oil on the squash and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Then dice the squash and remove skin.

Back to the regular directions now!

Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.

Here is the pancetta and (ahem) onion. I didn't have shallots :(

In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the pancetta and shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned.

Right before I add the rice.

Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes.

Then, AGAIN they left out this important step. Pour yourself a glass of wine and drink while you cook. Or else the recipe will not be as good.

Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total. Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan. Mix well and serve.

The beautiful finished product!

I liked this risotto, I personally would have preferred the pancetta to be crispier. Maybe if I make it again I will cook that first in the pan so it can cook longer and get crisp.

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