I’d been coming up with too many CHEAT! recipes recently… I guess it’s reflective of my current disposition towards examinations – I just want to get it over and done with as quickly as possible! True enough, but an easy way out to cooking doesn’t always mean bad food, or does it?
This is a meal for one, perfect for those rainy, lazy days with no cooking inspiration. Using a myriad of vegetables also makes this healthier (since the puff pastry we’re using is extremely calorific and fattening). Just go easy on the salt!
Ingredients for Mini Veggie Pot Pie: Serves 1
Mini Veggie Pot Pie*
Broccoli stems, diced
Mushrooms, thinly sliced
Sweetcorn kernels, a handful
1/2 can of cream soup, any kind
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Herbs, to taste
Fresh parsley, optional
Ready-made fresh puff pastry sheet, a square big enough to wrap ramekin used
Egg wash – Half an egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
*I didn’t specify the exact proportions of the ingredients because it’s really a matter of personal preference, so long as everything fits into a ramekin neatly. Please note that I used a 300ml ramekin this time – A lot bigger than the usual pudding ramekin! Also, feel free to omit vegetables you hate, and add those that you love. Just make sure they’re all of equal size (approximately) in bite-sized chunks!
Step-By-Step: Mini Veggie Pot Pie
Step 1: Pre-cooking the vegetables
This is my cast for today.
In a saucepan, brown the onions in olive oil at medium heat. Then brown garlic until fragrant. Throw in vegetables in order, according to time required to cook; starting from the carrots which take the longest time, then the broccoli stems, mushrooms and corn.
Turn up to medium-high heat. Add in the water to help soften the vegetables a little.
I know it’s not quite right to use Cream of Chicken for a supposedly Veggie Pot Pie, but pardon me I couldn’t find a Cream of Mushroom! Any kind of creamy soup should work.
Season with herbs, salt and pepper if you desire. Most canned soups tend to be salty, so go easy on the salt!
Pre-cooking the vegetables in the pot pie will then require the pot pie to stay in the oven for a shorter time – Ensuring that the puff pastry rises to perfection without burning or turning soggy!
Step 2: Layer on the puff pastry and bake
Remember to grease your ramekins with butter or oil if it’s not non-stick!
First spread a thin layer of puff pastry dough on the sides of the ramekin. This “seals” the layer of puff pastry on top!
You can cut the puff pastry into any shape you want, really, as long as it covers the entire ramekin fully! Puff pastry rises alot in the oven – To “lock” it down, use a fork and poke little holes on the sides.
A smooth layer of puff pastry is too boring – Why not ornament it? Use a small fruit knife and gently scratch the pastry dough, making sure not to poke any unwanted holes in it. Be creative! Now do an egg-wash with a brush. This helps to crisp up the puff pastry even further, and gives it a deeper shade of brown. If you’d like it in a lighter shade of brown, use milk.
Bake in pre-heated oven at Gas Mark 5 for 15-20 minutes until puff pastry rises…
Into this. Don’t let it stay inside for too long because puff pastry might start to sag from all the moisture beneath.
It looks so much like a hot-air balloon, doesn’t it? :)
Note: You might be wondering why our pot pie only has a layer of puff pastry on top when a pie should be entirely made up of puff pastry enclosing a thick gravy – This is the American-style pot pie, and the traditional English one is really just the same except that the entire ramekin will be lined with puff pastry dough. Try out the traditional English one if you’re a big fan of the puff pastry, if not this should suffice!
Plus, many other recipes require you to poke holes in the puff pastry to allow steam to escape, in order to prevent the puff pastry from turning soggy. It is not necessary here because the pot pie is not spending a long time in the oven, which is also why it is best to pre-cook the vegetables before baking.
Posted by #phangchewfat