Tag Archives: butternut squash

Vegetable Pot Pie

27 Oct

The casseroles I grew up with were pastelones… so when I listen on TV to recreate a food from your childhood and people mention a pot pie, I can’t really relate.  My mom told me she used to buy some frozen pot pies when we were little kids… I honestly do not recall at all.

But I have been intrigued by pot pies for some time now.  I guess I am drawn to a puff pastry topping… which in my book is always welcome. And when I saw a recipe from Ina Garten for Vegetable Pot Pie, I kind of wondered “why didn’t I think of that one on my own?”  I guess because I was intrigued about it, but without a real reference from before, it’s not something I truly crave or miss.

Now that I have been staying with my sister in Southern Florida, there’s a great abundance of winter squashes and pumpkins…  Autumn and Halloween are nearing, definitely.  And it’s also the perfect excuse to make this recipe for all the “paussy” that’s staying here.  It’s definitely a recipe challenging to make just for one.

 

VEGETABLE POT PIE

1 stick of butter
2 medium onions, diced
1 fennel bulb, top and core removed, thinly sliced
½ cup spelt flour + ¼ cup additional for the puff pastry
2 cups organic vegetable broth
4 tbs of heavy cream
1 large baking Idaho potato
1 medium butternut squash
2 small carrots
About 1 cup of asparagus, sliced small – left over from the asparagus tart I had made earlier in the week
½ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped finely
Sea Salt
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
Olive oil
1 sheet puffed pastry

 

  1. In a medium sauce pan filled with salted boiling water, parboil the potatoes and the butternut squash pieces for about 10 minutes.  Take them out and set them aside.
  2. Bring that same salted water to a boil again and par-cook the asparagus and carrots for about 5 minutes.  Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and fennel and sauté until softened and translucent for about 10 minutes. 
  4. Add the flour and stir it all together and allow the flour and butter to cook thru about 3-5 minutes.  Slowly, add the stock and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer for about 5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.  Add the heavy cream.
  5. Add the cooked potatoes, butternut squash, asparagus and carrots.  Mix well to combine.  Add the parsley and allow to cook for a few additional minutes.  Cover and turn off the stove.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 425F.
  7. Take the thawed puffed pastry and roll it out a bit to fade as much as possible the creases.  Measure the ramekins or the pot where you will bake the pot pie and cut the puff pastry about ½” over the size of the mouth of the ramekin.  
  8. Spread a little of heavy cream over the rim of the ramekin to make the puff pastry to stick to the edge of the ramekin. 
  9. Make a few slits on top of the pastry to allow the steam to escape.  Brush a bit of extra heavy cream over the puff pastry to make it golden brown in the oven.
  10. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper… this is important because the filling will boil and might spill and you do not want that to be on the bottom of the oven.
  11. Bake in oven for about 20-25 minutes, until the pastry on top is golden brown.

 

I served this with a side salad… but you can even enjoy the filling without the pastry.  It’s a delicious stew all its own.   My sister was wary of the fennel and it really adds a nice dimension of texture and flavor to the filling.

A pot pie still does not represent in my mind the epitome of comfort food, but definitely its something I have learned to appreciate and enjoy… hopefully many more times in the future.

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

17 Nov

In the next few posts, I will share with you the Thanksgiving Menu I have chosen for this year.

For the main course, I will prepare a Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese.  This mac and cheese packs a lot of nutritional punch and color from the butternut squash in the cheese sauce.  You can substitute the squash for regular pumpkin.  I works just the same.

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Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Steamed pumpkin or butternut squash – about 1 pound
1 pound whole-wheat elbow macaroni or other tubular pasta
2 cups 1 percent lowfat milk
4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 1/3 cups)
4 ounces Blend of melting cheeses – Mozzarella, Asiago, Fontina, etc.
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Steam the butternut squash or pumpkin in a pot with just an inch of water.  Season with salt.  When it is cooked, puree in a food procesor.
  3. Bring a large pot to a boil for the pasta.
  4. Meanwhile, start building the cheese sauce.  In a pot under medium heat, mix together the milk, blend and melt the cheeses, mix the mustard, and pureed butternut squash.  Season with salt and pepper.  Make sure the pot is big enough to accomodate the sauce and the pasta when it’s cooked.
  5. Add the macaroni to boling water seasoned with salt and cook until tender but firm.
  6. Drain cooked pasta and transfer to the pot with the cheese sauce.  Mix well together.
  7. Transfer to a buttered baking dish.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and some of the leftover Melting Cheese blend all over the top.
  8.  Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned.  Everything is already cooked, you’re just heating everything together and browining the cheese on top.

This recipe is delicious.  The mustard gives it a different and grown-up taste.   You can also roast the butternut squash, which gives it a more robust flavor.

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I did this recipe a few weeks ago at our Yoga Center and my friend Kathleen reviewed it in her blog.

Hope you like it too.  Tell me all about it if you try it.

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