This Week

Mack's Corner

This Week

Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes - Living Well - Mediterranean Diet:

So far I've done beef pot pies, chicken pot pies. This is the last of the pot pie series with veggie pot pies. All in one skillet.

Winter Vegetable Pot Pies

Ingredients:

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

1.5 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 box defrosted puff pastry

1 egg, lightly beaten

Directions:

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 an iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and leeks 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.

Preheat oven to 375.

Cut the ready-rolled sheet of pastry to fit the top of the skillet, rolling it out a little on a lightly floured countertop with a rolling pin if you need to in order for it to cover your dish. Carefully place the pastry lid on top. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg, put the skillet on a baking sheet ((less mess)) then bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the pastry has risen and is golden. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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Mushroom, Stout and Goat Cheese Pot Pie

Ingredients

2 tbs olive oil (plus additional as needed)

4 large carrots, chopped

2 large leek, chopped (white and very light green potion only)

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ lb assorted mushrooms (i.e. portobello, crimini, shiitake)

1 cup peas

1 cup broth (vegetable or beef)

12 ounces stout or water or stock

¼ cup AP flour

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp black pepper

½ tsp salt

3 ounces goat cheese

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed

2 tbs melted butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the carrots, leeks and celery, sauté until the carrots start to soften.

Add the mushrooms and cook until softened and darkened, about 5 minutes (add additional olive oil if the pan starts to dry).

Add the peas, broth and stout. Bring to a simmer. Sprinkle with flour, stir to combine. Stir in the oregano, pepper and salt. Cook until thickened, about 2 minutes, remove from heat.

Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese.

Cut the ready-rolled sheet of pastry to fit the top of the skillet, rolling it out a little on a lightly floured countertop with a rolling pin if you need to in order for it to cover your dish. Carefully place the pastry lid on top. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg, put the skillet on a baking sheet ((less mess)) then bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the pastry has risen and is golden. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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Can you Smell it?

I listen to a lot of audible books. I got an Ernest Hemingway book, Islands in the Stream (1970), just for a change from the New York Times best sellers, you can only listen to so many mystery novels before they all run together and you can't remember if the bad guy was in this book or the one before. I'm usually reluctant to get old books because everything from the book, to the writer, to the reader is so out dated that they make me tired. But Hemingway is Hemingway, greatness is greatness. He's not the best storyteller ever but he is the best at describing things. After you read one of his stories, it feels like you were really there, you saw the colors and smelled fish. He marks all of his good memories with the aroma or the stench, the beauty or the blood, the noise or the melody. He tells how the color of the ocean changes as it gets deeper. He talks about the taste and the feel in your mouth when eating a pear, the chill of rain on your back or the refreshment of it on your face. I always want to eat an oyster and smell the ocean and lay on the beach after hearing him describe it, just to feel it. He makes me hungry and thirsty, wanting to hear harder and smell deeper. All of that to remember a moment. The musty smell of old books at my grandmother's house, the smell of salmon eggs while fishing with my grandfather, mom's awful canned Asparagus that she loved, my dad's smile, the color of that cheap motel room when we went on a family vacation, the smell of a campfire, Christmas morning..  All of those things are free, you can never lose them or get them back if you're not there when they happen.

God's like that: He gives us all those things, lets us smell and taste and touch so we can remember. Remember the moment and remember he's there with you.. always.. Wasn't he fun!

Close your eyes and take a deep breath... smell him?

Mack


Posted by Mack Oates at 12:00 AM