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March 2010
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BLT Pasta and Veggie Pot Pie

I’ve been watching a lot of Food Network lately, and apparently this is where it gets me….Veggie-versions of Rachael Ray and Chef Anne Burrell recipes.  The BLT pasta recipe was actually veggie to begin with, which I find pretty ridiculous, because frankly I would’ve put bacon in it if it was something I ate, and as it stands, I did add a liberal sprinkling of Bac-uns to the mix.  Even with the Bac-uns the recipe was rather unexciting, but I know from experience that Rachael Ray recipes can be very hit or miss, so I wasn’t shocked.  The original recipe came from the food network website.  I did make a couple changes, namely replacing the mint leaves with a couple tablespoons of a fresh mint chutney from the Indian Grocery, using almonds where you had the choice of pine nuts, and replaced the Parm with Nooch, so it’s all Vegan friendly.

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More exciting however was Anne Burrell’s pot pie, although I veganized her chicken version for my personal enjoyment.  Since I made more changes to her recipe I’ll post it here, but you can also see the original on the food network site.  If you’ve never watched Anne Burrell’s show, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef I highly recommend it.  While she’s not generally veggie friendly she’s got this awesome quirky personality that I can’t get enough of, and she gives out a lot of good tips while she’s cooking.  I made one full sized pie and a couple individuals, one of which is pictured:

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Ingredients
For the crust:

* 1 cup earth balance, in pea-size pieces
* 1 (8-ounce) container vegan cream cheese, cut into pieces
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
* Pinch kosher salt
* 1 egg yolk or EnerG
* 1 to 2 tablespoons cold water

For the filling:

* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
* 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
* 1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
* Kosher salt
* 2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
* 2 cups chopped broccoli
* 4 cups vegetable stock

* 1 cup frozen peas

*1 veggie sausage, chopped
* 2 cups sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
* 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch pieces green beans
* 1 tbs dried sage
* 4 tablespoons EB
* 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* Soymilk for brushing on top

Directions
To make the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the earth balance, cream cheese, flour and salt. Pulse to combine. Pulse, pulse, pulse until the ingredients start to come together and resembles Parmesan. Add the EnerG and 1 tablespoon of water. Pulse a couple of more times until the ingredients start to form a ball. If the mixture is exceedingly wet, add some more flour. Or conversely, if the mix is dry, dry, dry, add in a few more drops of water.

When the mixture has come together into a ball, turn it out onto a floured work surface and knead it a couple of times to help it come together. Dust it with flour, form it into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use. This can be done a day ahead.

To make the filling:

Coat the bottom of a stock pot lightly with olive oil put over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and the carrots and sprinkle with salt, to taste. Saute the vegetables for 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and “sausage* and sweat for another 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt, then add the vegetable stock. Simmer 30 minutes.

While the stock is simmering, add the sweet potatoes to a large bowl, drizzle with some olive oil and add salt, to taste. Toss to coat the potatoes with the oil and transfer to a baking sheet. Roast until cooked but still have some texture, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and reserve.

Remove the vegetables from the stock and put into a large bowl. Reserve the stock. When cool enough to handle, add the roasted squash to the cooked vegetables. Stir to combine and season with salt, if needed. Stir in the green beans , broccoli, peas, and dried sage.

Melt the EB in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and stir to combine with melted butter. Cook stirring frequently until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand and is starting to turn a little beige, about 6 to 7 minutes. Gradually whisk in the reserved stock. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. When the stock is combined into the roux, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until it has a gravy-like consistency, about 20 to 25 minutes. If the gravy reduces too much and becomes too thick, whisk in a little more stock or water.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Add the vegetable mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish or 4 individual (2 cup) crocks. Ladle the “gravy” over the mix until the dish(s) are 3/4 filled.

Dust a clean work surface with flour and roll the dough into the shape of the casserole dish or large enough to cut circles to cover the individual casserole dishes. Whichever dishes are being used the dough needs to have generous overhang of dough on the edges of the dish. Brush the outside edges of the dish with a little of the soymilk to help “glue” the dough to sides of the dish. Fold the edges of the dough under and press it onto the edges of the dish. Brush the top of the dough with the remaining soymilk. Cut a couple of vents in the top of the dough to allow the steam to escape.

Bake in the preheated oven until the dough is golden brown and the inside is hot and bubbly, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

I know these instructions look pretty labor-intensive, but it’s actually not so bad, and the meal you get out of it is totally worthwhile.  You could swap out these veggies for anything you have on hand and I’m sure it would taste awesome…the original called for butternut, but frankly peeling and cubing sweet potatoes is a lot less labor-intensive, which is why I went with them.  The sausage is totally optional as well, I just thought I’d add a bit of sausage since I obviously opted out of the chicken in the original recipe.

Selah.

2 comments to BLT Pasta and Veggie Pot Pie

  • Thanks that was a great read. I can’t believe it myself, but my wife and I will have been married 10 years next week. Our first anniversary was in Italy, and we had some amazing shrimp pasta in this little restaurant in Rome. I’ve been looking all over the internet for a decent sounding recipe to see if I can’t make some myself to surprise her, and I even found a whole shrimp pasta recipes homepage full of them! Thought you might like to know, you can find anything on the net nowadays it seems!

  • Thank you. I’m supposed to be cooking for my new vegetarian girlfriend this weekend and have no idea what to make! I found a loadlots of recipes at this vegetable recipes site but with soo many to choose from I just got confused. Do you have any favorites youself, like .. the tastiest vegetarian recipe, ever, or something?! Thanks in advance! I hope it goes well

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