Now that we are a healthy way into September, there is an audible, collective murmur of Fall. Sweaters are rediscovered, thoughts meander to butternut squash, and a certain crispness can be felt in the air. Elsewhere at least. Here in jolly old Texas, the slow transition to Fall can thus far only be detected in 70 degree mornings and freak thunderstorms. While this doesn’t send me running for my sweaters, it does not stop me from somewhat instinctive culinary reactions to the changing season.
This vegetarian pot pie was a favorite of ours growing up, and is perfectly suited to cool Autumn evenings. The richness of the crust and gravy, the hearty yet healthy filling are equally enjoyed by vegetarians and carnivores.
Wishing a lovely and enjoyable (nearly) Fall weekend to you all, my darlings!
Vegetarian Pot Pie
Ingredients for the crust:
2 batches pâte brisée
Ingredients for the gravy:
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 3-4 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2-3 tsp. garlic powder
- Pepper to taste
- 1 cup water, plus more as needed
Ingredients for the filling:
- Olive oil for sautéing
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 3 heaping Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 3-4 tsp. garlic powder
- 14 oz tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup carrots, chopped into 1/4 inch thick rounds
- 1 cup shelled peas (frozen is fine)
- 1 ½ cup chopped mushrooms
- 1 medium bunch of parsley, chopped fine
- Salt and pepper to taste
Method for the crust:
Make two batches of pâte brisée and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and butter a 9” round pie pan. Roll out one batch of the pâte until it is about 1/8 inch thick and arrange in your pie pan. Don’t worry too much about the edges as the will be covered by the top crust, but do be sure they come to the top of the pan. Puncture the crust a few times with a fork to avoid bubbles, cover with tin foil and bake for about 10-15 minutes. Roll out the top crust and reserve in the fridge.
Method for the gravy:
Using a small sauce pan, melt 1/3 cup butter and stir in ¼ cup flour, creating a simple roux. Add 1/2 cup nutritional yeast and slowing whisk in 3 Tbsp. soy sauce, and about 1 cup water. Season with garlic powder, pepper, and a dash more soy sauce if needed. Simmer over low heat until the gravy begins to thicken. Set aside. Note: the gravy will likely continue to thicken a bit while you prepare the filling; thin with more water if necessary.
Method for the filling:
Drain the tofu, press between paper towels to remove excess water, and cut into 1/2 cubes. Combine 1/2 cup flour, 3 Tbsp. yeast, 1 tsp. garlic powder, a pinch each of salt and pepper in a small, clean paper bag. Add the cubed tofu and shake vigorously to coat well on all sides. Fry the tofu over medium heat, flipping regularly, until golden brown. Set aside.
Sauté the onion in a large skillet over medium heat until very tender and beginning to caramelize. Add the rest of the veggies, along with a healthy dash of salt, pepper and 2 tsp. garlic powder. Continue to sauté until the vegetables are just soft. Remove from heat, toss in the tofu and parsley and stir well to combine.
Spoon the filling into the par-baked pie crust and slowly drizzle and stir in the gravy, adding as much as you can without spilling over the edges. Gently secure the top crust, pinching down the edges to contain the gravy and adding small vents to the top with either a fork or thin knife. Bake at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes or until golden brown. Let rest for 5-10 minutes and enjoy!