Monday, January 3, 2011

Who Needs Meat...

The Curvy Carrot is a blog that I follow.  A while back there was a post for Vegetarian Pot Pies, and since I am a self proclaimed online recipe junkie, I printed it out and stuck it in my binder with my other recpies that I use or don't use depending on my mood.

I pulled it out a few weeks ago and whipped it up and it was awesome.  I had so much filling left that I put some of it in the freezer to use later.  Yesterday after icing sugar cookies and not thinking I would want to cook later I pulled out the extra filling and a pie crust and made it for dinner last night.  It is so good.  I have never cooked with lentils before and wasn't sure what to expect, but they are really good and they add that little something extra almost meatiness to the pie.

The original recipe called for a topping, but I am a firm believer that a pot pie should look like a pie, so I opted for the pre-made pie crust for the top and the bottom.  I aspire to make my own pie crusts, it's on my ever growing list of things to conquer in the kitchen, I just haven't gotten around to conquering it yet.

I especially love how soaking the dried mushrooms creates such a dark liquid to be added to the filling.  Really, it looks like it has meat in it.  Not that I want it to have meat in it.

Vegetarian Pot Pies
For the filling:

1/2 cup lentils
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 refridgerated pie crust (top and bottom)

Instructions for the filling:
  1. Combine 3 cups cold water, lentils, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; bring to boil.
  2. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In the meantime, pour 3 cups boiling water over the porcini in a medium bowl; soak 25 minutes.

  4. Remove the porcini from the soaking liquid, squeeze dry, and chop coarsely. Make sure you save the soaking liquid.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Add fresh mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes.
  7. Add 1 tablespoon oil, onion, carrot, sage, and thyme. Sauté for 4 minutes.
  8. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
  9. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  10. Mix the flour into the vegetables and cook for 1 minute.
  11. Add the porcini soaking liquid.
  12. Mix in porcini, potatoes, soy sauce, and tomato paste.
  13. Cover; simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, 13 to 15 minutes.
  14. Add the lentils; season with salt and pepper.
  15. Place in pie crust and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
So a new recipe for a brand new year.  I would highly recommend it for a Meatless Monday, or any other day of the week.

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