Thursday, October 23, 2008

Barefoot Blogger..Veggie Pot Pie and an Apology

I'm reversing the order on my post today. You see, it's time for the Barefoot Bloggers again and this week's recipe was chosen by Deb at Kahakai Kitchen. I'm sure this recipe, as written, is fabulous.

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.
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 or 1 large baker. 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, lined with foil, and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

Mine, not so much. I apologize to Ina and the Barefoot Bloggers; I've been having a really blond week and it definitely showed in this dish.

First...fennel. After three trips to the market with a list I still managed to forget the fennel.

Second...asparagus. I like it, don't love it. I refused to buy a huge bundle for the little bit of it I would use.

Third...flour. I don't know how it happened, but I picked up whole wheat flour instead of unbleached flour. And then I had another brain fart and didn't even think about using the self-rising flour and not using the baking powder. (Really big blond day!)

Fourth...Pernod. Ina, really? I am a non-drinker with a cabinet full of liquor as it is. I'm not buying Pernod. Especially since I forgot the fennel.

So. I made the white sauce with sliced cremini mushrooms. Not a lot of flavor, but I love my 'shrooms. And I used brandy


So far, so good.

I used green beans instead of asparagus. Bland, but who doesn't love green beans?

I made half the recipe, so I used an 8 x 8 dish.


I've said it before and I'll say it again...I just can't make pretty food! This is an embarrassment. I'm airing all of my flaws so that you won't make the same mistakes, dear reader.


The colors are great, aren't they? Unfortunately, the flavor was bland and the crust was dry and flavorless.

So what have we learned from this? Fennel and asparagus are important in veggie pot pie and whole wheat flour makes a sucky topping.

To see how well the other Barefoot Bloggers did, click here...I'm sure you will be impressed. Please don't judge by me and my feeble attempts.


Suzie said...

You poor dear - mine was a lot less than perfect too. Good to know that I am not the only one who can't follow a shoppin list!

Debinhawaii said...

I am sorry it didn't turn out as you would have liked! It looks good though. The big thing is you tried it--big points for that!

Robby said...

You know, I could have never sold the fennel, especially enhanced by Pernod to hubby anyway. You tried a new thing, and learned along the way. Pretty much life's story, no? Extra points for showing it to the world anyway!

Veronica said...

Like you the many times I was at the supermarket before making this recipe I would forget the fennel and I really wanted to use the fennel. Yours doesn't look as bad as you think!

Peggy said...

I think it looks fabulous! I bet it tasted just as delicious as it looks.

PhantomMinuet said...

Fennel and pernod? I'm not altogether sure I'd like that.

chocolatechic said...

I am so sorry that you didn't like it.

I think it looks great.

Cathy said...

You know, when I first bit into mine, I thought it was a little bland too, so I just salted that baby right up there at the table, and presto! I loved it! I think your pot pie looks perfect! Maybe not pretty, but I don't want pretty in my pot pie, I want rustic, homey and comforting, and yours have got all that in spades!

Esi said...

The colors look great. Sorry it didn't work out so well for you.

Matt said...

I made the recipe exactly as stated, and I think I'd rather have yours. The mushrooms and brandy sound much more appealing that the fennel and Pernod were.

It is becoming an increasingly rare occurrence for me to remember everything on my list, which when I'm not forgetting it at home or leaving it in the car, I'm failing to notice something on it while at the store...

Anonymous said...

Hey Brenda! Where'd you go?

Suzie said...

Hope everything is OK?