Curried Veggie Pot Pies

Curried Veggie Pot Pies 

From Martha Stewart via Food for Thought 

Knowing how much we cook, people often ask us what grocery store we prefer to shop at.  It seems like a simple question, but of course there’s no simple answer.  It’s not uncommon for a meal in the HMK to have ingredients from 5 or more stores.  We have a nice, new Jewel, a closer crappier Jewel and a Mariano’s that we use for big trips.  We have an underused CostCo membership and an undeniable addiction to Whole Foods.  We hit up Trader Joe’s for specific things such as cheese and nuts.  There’s an Aldi around the corner that we buy from when we can because it is seriously DIRT CHEAP.  And then when we inevitably forget a key ingredient we walk the dogs down the street to an overpriced but adorable organic market where we blow all the money we saved at Aldi.  And that doesn’t even include occasional trips to specialty butchers, bakeries, fish markets and the local farmers market.  So naturally, we’ve decided that our goal for 2012 is to try one new, unique food purveyor every month.

Our January experiment was a CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  In an attempt to support small farmers CSAs have developed as a way to bring local, seasonal produce directly to consumers.  We used Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks on the recommendation of a coworker.  I’d been thinking of trying a CSA for a while, and Irv and Shelly’s sold me because they don’t require a commitment.  You decide if you want a box of veggies on a weekly basis.  We opted for the “single box,” and $25 later we had a cooler stuffed with sweet potatoes, rainbow chard, lettuce, parsnips, carrots, mini bell peppers and cauliflower sitting on our porch.  The verdict?  The produce was definitely fresh and it was all organic, although we’re not big sticklers for organic.  $25 seemed pretty steep for what we got, but I have to admit it made us eat a lot more veggies.  At that price tag I felt like I couldn’t let a single item go to waste, so we cooked our butts off that week.  A couple of great dishes resulted, including the stuffed peppers I posted a while back, the salmon with cauliflower that will be up later this week, and of course these delightful pot pies.  So, while we’re certainly not going to be signing up every week, I do think we’ll check the website periodically (they list the predicted veggie mix for each week) and order whenever it sounds especially tasty.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 leek, white and pale green parts cut into 1/2-inch half-moons
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 4 cups milk, plus more for brushing
  • 1 russet potato (about 8 oz), peeled and cut into 2-inch by 1/4-inch matchsticks
  • 4 tsp Madras curry powder
  • 1 cup frozen peas, unthawed

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook leeks, parsnips, and carrots with 1 teaspoon salt, stirring frequently until slightly soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Stir in milk, potato, and curry, whisking constantly until mixture comes to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer gently until potato is tender, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Stir in peas and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Flip baking dishes upside down to cut pie crust to fit each dish, with enough room to hang a little crust over the edge.  We used 8 6-oz ramekins, but any size would work, you’ll just end up with a different number of final dishes.
  7. Divided filling evenly among baking dishes, topping each dish with a pie crust cap.
  8. Brush a little milk over each pie top.  Cut two small slits in each cap.
  9. Place ramekins on a baking sheet.  Bake 20-25 minutes.

Serves 4-8 dishes, depending on ramekin size.

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