Friends! Here’s recipe number 2 in the VeganMoFo 2011 series. Adhering to my “Autumn in New England” theme, here’s a recipe that reminds me all about the coziness and heartiness of Fall and comfort. It goes without saying, but there is no other comforting food quite like pie. Even just the word “pie” evokes a sense of satisfaction, bliss, and belly-fullness. And pot pies are no strangers to those feelings! I remember the first time I ever had a pot pie. It was a frozen Amy’s dinner, some sort of sodium and fat laden vegetarian tofu pot pie. Never again, friends. Never again.
It’s not so surprising that I’d never had a homemade pot pie before — chicken or otherwise — they’re not really common in the Caribbean cuisine I grew up on. Nonetheless, I’ve been harboring a curiosity and obsession for them for quite some time. Like with lasagnas, it seems I just can’t keep my mouth from eating them. Mostly, I’ve been making them in my slow cooker because it just seems a lot easier to let things cook slowly while I do something else, but I decided to try the drop biscuit technique I use in the slow cooker version on the stovetop and in the oven.
There isn’t much I can say for this recipe except that it’s typical of pot pie flavor and thus, totally delicious. There are no potatoes in this recipe, but it’s ok — you’ll get full, trust me. I recently had a surplus of dill and had to come up with a million and one ways to use it up. Bread seemed fitting. The biscuits in this recipe are savory and perfect for wiping up the last of the filling at the end! Cheers to a belly full of comfort food!
Serves 6 to 8
4 tbsp Earth Balance Butter (any vegan butter brand)
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 and 1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 and 1/2 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk
1 cup carrots, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup frozen green beans, thawed
8 oz extra firm or firm tofu, pressed and diced into small cubes
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp ground sage
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp organic/vegan sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
4 tbsp Earth Balance Butter, cut into 1/4 inch squares
3/4 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk
Melt the Earth Balance butter in an oven safe saute pan with high sides, on medium heat. Add the celery and onions and stir. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1o minutes. Next, add the flour and stir for about 1 minute. Then add the vegetable broth and stir. When it starts to thicken, add the almond milk. Now add the sage, thyme, carrots, peas, green beans, and tofu. Cook until heated through, about 8 minutes. Remove from stove top and set aside while you make the biscuits. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 F.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and dill until well incorporated. Add the butter and use your fingers to rub it into the flour mixture. Now add the almond milk and stir just until the dough comes together.
Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead it two or three times. Do not overwork the dough or it will come out “tough” to chew. With a rolling pin, flatten it out to about 1/2 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or a small rimmed drinking glass, cut the dough into biscuits and place as many as will fit, barely touching, on top of the filling. (Any remaining biscuits can be placed on a lightly greased pan and baked in a 375 F degree oven for 15 minutes.) Place the pot pie in the oven and bake for about 25 – 30 minutes. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. I recommend serving in wide bowls.