Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Individual winter vegetable pot pies

In case you've just joined me, I'm sharing super comforting and hearty recipes that aren't going to break the bank... or the waistband in your pants.  There was the velvety baked potato soup.  And don't forget the penne with goat cheese and butternut squash.  Today I've got something that will even jive with your busy party schedule.  Hear me out.

We've all done it.  Skipped dinner before a holiday party knowing that we'll indulge in many treats once we see the buffet of choices.  But then, after some grazing, it hits you around 10 o'clock -- intense hunger!?!?!   The kind that hits you like a ton of bricks that you can't ignore.  The kind that reminds you that you haven't had anything substantial in way too many hours. 

Instead of skipping dinner so you can try that totally sinful chocolate pecan pie (ahem, this one) without guilt, why not have something packed full of vegetables that will keep you full for hours on end so you don't overeat at the party and can focus on the delightful jolly makers you only get to see a few times a year (and hey, those slightly-annoying-but-worth-paying-attention-to-for-a story-to-share-with-friends-later guests, too).

In other words, yummy, warm, tender vegetables in a tasty stew with buttery puff pastry on top.  Yes, indeed.

This veggie pot pie is as easy as it is photogenic... and delicious! Seriously, what dish doesn't benefit from a little puff pastry?

Enough talking.  Get to cooking and comforting! :)  And, no worries, you'll still have room for pie.  Or cookies... or both.

Winter Vegetable Pot Pies
(adapted from Eat Live Run)
-serves 6

1 large parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 leek, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup flour
1 quart vegetable broth
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup cream
1 sheet defrosted puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the sweet potato, butternut squash and parsnip cubes and simmer until just tender—about 10-15 minutes. Drain and set veggies aside.

In another large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes until tender. Then, add the carrots and mushrooms and continue to saute for another 10 minutes until carrots are tender. Sprinkle with the flour and mix until combined.

Add the vegetable stock and cream and raise the heat to high. Add salt, pepper and oregano and bring mixture to a boil, stirring continuously until very thick. Add cooked root veggies to the pot and season additionally to taste.

Roll out puff pastry on a floured surface and slice into six large squares (if making individual pies). If making just one pie, leave the puff pastry in one large rectangle.

Divide filling amongst six miniature oven-safe cocettes or bowls, or a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.  Drape pastry over the tops of the bowl's contents (or over the top of the dish) and brush with beaten egg.

Bake pot pies for 10 minutes then lightly cover with tin foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes, until pastry is deep golden brown and puffy.  Serve immediately.

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