Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sweet potato pot pies with a biscuit topping

This was a great meal, and surprisingly simple. I'll be making it again for sure. I used whole wheat flour for my biscuits, because I like the flavour. You could use white flour, or do as Heidi Swanson suggests and use puff pastry, which admittedly does look very beautiful.

Sweet potato pot pies
Veganized (but not otherwise altered) from Heidi Swanson's recipe on 101 Cookbooks
Serves 4

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 to 3 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
1 tablespoon adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilies (or more to taste)
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
2 cups unsweetened soy milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 box puff pastry dough (allow 20 to 30 minutes to thaw) – Zoa: or one recipe biscuit dough: see below

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the oil, onion, garlic, sweet potato and salt. Saute, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the adobo sauce and corn.

In a small bowl, combine the soy milk and cornstarch, then pour the mixture into the sweet potato pot. Leave the heat at medium-high for a few minutes to bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook until the filling starts to thicken, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and season with more salt to taste. Pour the filling into small ovenproof bowls, each three quarters full.

Cut a piece of puff pastry dough to fit over each bowl, with some overlap. Place the dough on the bowls and fold over the edge of the dish. Brush with water to create a golden crust.

Using a fork, poke a few holes in the top of each pie to allow steam to escape, and bake until the crusts are tall and deeply golden, about 15 minutes. Tip: Bake the potpies on a baking sheet lined with foil in case some of the filling bubbles over.

Zoa: OR, you can drop biscuit dough or cut biscuit shapes into the bowl, as I did. I modified the basic buttermilk biscuit recipe from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone as follows:

Whole-wheat "buttermilk" biscuits

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt (actually, I skipped this, because Earth Balance is so salty)
6 tbsp Earth Balance (or 4 tbsp Earth Balance and 2 tbsp canola oil)
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 tbsp lemon juice

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and cut in the Earth balance with your fingers or two knives until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Stir the soy milk and lemon juice together and pour it into the dry ingredients, mixing until they are evenly moistened.

You can now pat it all into a pancake about ¾ inch thick and cut it into shapes, or just drop teaspoonfuls into the stew, and bake as set out above (or if you are making biscuits separately, you can bake them at 450F for 15-20 minutes).

Big oven, small dishes, the old story: I roasted zucchini coins and cauliflower in the same oven, both tossed with olive oil and lemon pepper, and while that was all happening I made a deconstructed guacamole to serve as a salad.

Mmmmmm…I halved the above recipes, made two individual pot pies, and took one for lunch today. It was still fantastic, but then, I think dumplings and biscuits are fantastic under almost any circumstances. Best eat it all the day you cook it, for maximum enjoyment.

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