Sunday, October 27, 2013

Savory Pot Pies to Celebrate "Fall"

Around this time of year, both Sara and I get nostalgic for some good old East coast fall weather. Well, perhaps I do more than Sara, the native Californian, but she kindly plays along. So this challenge was especially appealing, and we got excited about making it and enjoying some warm cider. The Bay Area weather even seemed like it would cooperate... cool, crisp...

... until that weekend, when we were supposed to bake. It got very warm and sunny -- ahh, the much-loved San Francisco summer in October -- which was perfect for watching bluegrass in Golden Gate Park on Saturday, but not so perfect for hot cider on Sunday. Undaunted we forged ahead. We are suckers for a good savory challenge.

The recipe we chose* was relatively easy and totally vegetarian. Lots of chopping.

Then everything into a big dutch oven to thicken up.

And then into individual ramekins.

Then we made the feta scallion biscuits, using our handy butter technique from a previous challenge. I think all of my biscuits should have feta and scallions in them from now on. These were that good.

Delicious biscuits onto delicious filling, and into the oven they went.

Sneak peak inside the oven in the middle of cooking. The house smelled so wonderful.

Ahhh... the finished product. We are in the background trying to control ourselves while they cooled a little.

I think a little drool slipped out of my mouth here. 

What a delectable, if unseasonable, challenge. We loved it. I think it is a meal we will both make again!

All photo credit to my husband (!) TJ.

Hannah of Rise and Shine was our October 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she challenged us to bake our own double crusted savory pot pies. Using any from-scratch crust and filling we choose, we were allowed to get completely creative with our recipe, showing off the savory flavors and fillings from our own home or region.

Whoops, not "double crusted," per the challenge, but still worth your while! The biscuits are really, really, really, really good. We also didn't do a very good job of "showing off flavors and fillings from our own home or region." But did I mention that the biscuits are really good? And so is the filling.

Vegetarian Pot Pies with Feta Scallion Biscuits
Annie's Eats

Yield: 4-5 servings


For the filling:
3 tbsp. butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
12 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
¾ cup frozen peas
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups veggie broth
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the biscuit topping:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup chopped scallions
½ cup plus 1-2 tbsp. buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Lightly grease 4-5 ramekins or other small oven-safe serving dishes. (Alternatively, use a pie plate or 2-quart casserole dish). To make the filling, melt the butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and carrots to the pan and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released most of their liquid and softened. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in the flour and stir so that it evenly coats the vegetable mixture. Cook for about 1 minute. A bit at a time, stir in the veggie broth, mixing each addition until it has been fully incorporated. Once all the liquid has been added, let cook, stirring occasionally, until the filling bubbles and thickens. Remove from the heat. Stir in the peas. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the filling mixture between the prepared serving dishes.

To make the biscuit topping, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk to blend. Stir in the pieces of butter and toss to coat in the dry ingredients. Using two forks or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is coarse largest butter chunks are the size of small peas. Stir in the feta and scallions and toss briefly to combine. Pour in ½ cup of the buttermilk and stir gently with a fork until a dough has formed. If necessary, add the remaining 1-2 tablespoons of buttermilk to form a fully cohesive dough. Be careful to avoid overmixing or kneading, otherwise you will end up with a tough dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat to a thickness of about ¾- to 1-inch. Use a biscuit cutter 2½-3 inches in diameter to cut out rounds of the dough and place atop the veggie filling in the serving dishes. If necessary, reroll the dough scraps to make additional biscuits. Lightly brush the tops of the biscuits with additional buttermilk and add a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper. (There may be enough extra dough for 1 or 2 additional biscuits. Feel free to bake them as extra to enjoy with the dish!)

Transfer the baking dish(es) to a rimmed baking sheet, and place in the upper half of the oven. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the biscuits are light golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 20 minutes total. Let cool briefly before serving.


Jeanne said...

This looks fabulous - no matter what the weather! Feta scallion biscuits sound like the perfect crust.

What's for dessert? said...

Looks delicious, great job on the challenge!

Anonymous said...

Oooh, they look so good! And I absolutely love the crust!