Ever since we moved in together, Cari and I have cooked mostly meatless dishes. This started because Cari was a vegetarian for 10 years and has probably continued because we still feel more comfortable with vegetables, grains and beans than we do chicken or beef. People used to ask me “Don’t you get sick of eating vegetarian all the time?” My response was usually that Cari and I mixed it up so much that I don’t really have a chance to get sick of anything.
Long before we discovered Mark Bittman, the Food Network or Epicurious, Cari and I really learned how to cook with the aid of our Moosewood cookbooks. The Moosewood Collective is a collection of food enthusiasts who have written cookbooks. They also have a restaurant in Ithaca, New York.
This recipe for Homespun Pot Pie comes from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics. It’s one of those recipes that hearkens back to classic American cuisine, despite the lack of a need for meat. Although the medley of vegetables and their thick gravy are delicious, the buttermilk biscuit topping is probably our favourite part of this dish.
Homespun Pot Pie (courtesy of Moosewood Restaurant Classics)
Preparation time: 1 hour
Baking time: 25 to 30 minutes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups coarsely chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
4 to 5 cups sliced or halved mushrooms
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes (1/2 inch cubes)
2 cups peeled and chopped potatoes (1/2 inch cubes)
2 cups peeled and chopped parsnips (optional, we usually don’t bother)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups stock
3 tablespoons cornstarch disolved in 1/2 cup cold water
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ingredients (biscuit topping):
2 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon dried dill
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly oil a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish.
2. Warm the oil in a soup pot, add the onions and garlic and cook covered on medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the salt, thyme, marjoram, mushrooms and mustard. Cook until mushrooms start to release their juices, about 5 minutes.
4. Add sweet potatoes, white potatoes, parsnips (if using), black pepper and stock and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until vegetables are just tender.
6. Add dissolved cornstarch mixture into the simmering vegetables, stirring constantly. When liquid starts to thicken (don’t rush it!), mix in the peas, corn, soy sauce and salt. Pour into the casserole dish and set aside.
7. In a mixing bowl, sift together th eflour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a seperate bowl, mix together the melted butter and buttermilk. Combine wet and dry ingredients with as few strokes as possible to make a soft dough. Drop the biscuit batter over the vegetables in the casserole dish in six equal mounds. Sprinkle the dill over the biscuits.
8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of a biscuit comes out clean.