Friday, September 24, 2010

SEPTEMBER 24 - PHILADELPHIA, PA - Vegetable Potpie

I went a little overboard at the farmer's market two weeks ago, so I was trying to figure out a way to use up all of the delicious vegetables before they went south. First I made my minestrone (like this one, but I used the broth recipe below), but I only managed to use half of my bounty. Luckily, buying local produce gives the chef a little more time to procrastinate, and I made this pie last week - the finished product tasted unbelievably fresh and tasty, so i wanted to share my recipe with you:

serves 6-8 (or 4 greedy people)

Please keep in mind I made this recipe up as I went along, so measurements may vary, depending on how creamy/chunky you like your potpie. Also, feel free to substitute whatever veggies you have on hand...


1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp salt
1 stick butter, cubed and chilled
1 tsp baking powder (optional, I found that it produces a biscuit style crust)
1/4 cup - 1/2 cup ice water

Mushroom-Vegetable Broth

6-8 cups water
1 bay leaf
handful dried porcini mushrooms
3 vegetable bouillion cubes

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan.
Reduce to low, partially covered and simmer 30 minutes more.
Fish out mushrooms with a spider or sieve, and rinse under cold water to remove grit.
Discard bay leaf and pour most of the broth into a tupperware or used takeout container or two, leaving back the remaining 1/4 cup or so of liquid (as this tends to be sandy as well).
Refrigerate until ready to use.


2 1/2 cups vegetable broth, chilled
4-5 small to medium red bliss potatoes, diced into 1/2" cubes
4 tbsp butter
2 onions, diced
bunch of swiss chard, stems chopped and leaves torn
4 small (or 2 medium) carrots
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
reserved porcinis, if used in veg broth
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup white wine (I use dry vermouth)
1 1/2 cups green beans, chopped
1 small head broccoli, chopped
2 tsp soy sauce (or more, to taste)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4-1/2 cup half and half, depending on how creamy you want it

Preheat oven to 425°F.
Bring broth and potatoes to a boil on high heat in a large saucepan, covered.
Once at a boil, reduce to low and simmer 10-12 minutes, until the potatoes are al dente.
Meanwhile, heat butter in deep 10" saute pan or large dutch oven oven over medium heat.
Add onions, mushrooms, chard stems, carrots, fennel seeds, thyme, a few cranks of pepper, and about 1 tsp salt.
Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, 10-15 minutes (you may need to lower the heat to medium low to prevent too much burning).
The potatoes should be just about ready by this point, so fish those out with a spider or sieve, and set aside in a large bowl.
Add the broccoli and green beans to the saucepan and cook about a minute.
Fish those out and add them to the bowl with the potatoes.
Add flour to the onion/carrot/chard stem mixture and stir constantly. Cook about 3 minutes.
Add the wine and the broth from the saucepan, stirring constantly.
When the pot comes to a boil, add the reserved vegetables and swiss chard. Cook a minute longer.
Remove from heat, add the nutritional yeast, soy sauce and cream, and taste for additional seasoning.

Roll out the crust to fit over the top of the saute pan (or if you used a dutch oven, transfer filling to a deep pie plate and cover with the crust).
Brush the pie with an egg wash or some cream, place on a baking sheet and slide it in the oven (trust me, you do not want to have to clean up burnt potpie sauce from the bottom of your oven, or worse...)
Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is browned and the filling is bubbly, and pat yourself on the back for placing the baking sheet underneath, as you notice the spillover.
Now, try your hardest to let it rest for 10-15 minutes before diving in - it is MOLTEN HOT and needs time to set up!