Confession: I’ve never made an actual pot pie. Like with the flaky crust and roux (butter and flour mixture) thickened meat and vegetable filling. It just wasn’t something that was a regular on our dinner table. And given my zabihah-halal dietary restriction, ordering chicken pot pie at any ol’ restaurant just wouldn’t do. But, one day last summer (or was it two summers ago?) I was taking my New York-obsessed-child-prodigy of a niece around the city. After an eventful day of Top of the Rock, TKOs at Bouchon Bakery, and bumping into Naomi Watts in Soho, we were making our way through Chelsea Market and (I) decided we would have a well deserved sit down lunch at the green table.
Everything was so good. I couldn’t eat my salad fast enough. That’s right. The salad. But when my entree came out, it knocked me out of my seat it was so good. A mushroom pot pie. It was so earthy, so filling, so delicious. Not at all bland as I’d envisioned pot pies to be (I’m sorry! It’s just all the times I’ve watched it being made, there were few flavorings beyond chicken stock, salt, pepper and parsley.) This one, I could tell was made with the broth from reconstituting porcini mushrooms. That’s what gave it that special umami note.
I took a shortcut with these little guys since I had some puff pastry sheets in the freezer and 0.0000018394 minutes these days for anything. I didn’t even make a proper roux for the filling. I simply sauteed the awesome Honest Chops ground turkey with onions, carrots and garlic. Added some dried thyme, salt and pepper. Then vegetable stock for moisture and half a package of cream cheese for creaminess. At the end, some frozen peas and chopped parsley for color and pizazz.
I’ve been dying to showcase this beautiful muffin pan from Anthropologie that my dear friend Jaf had gotten me for my birthday ages ago. Oh, Anthropologie, why can’t you have more stuff on sale?
You can pretty much en robe anything in puff pastry and it will be delectable. It’s just the magical combination of butter, flour and salt. But you wouldn’t be surprised if I told you that at our house, these were topped with Sriracha, right? Don’t worry – you have my permission to do the same.
- 3 tbsp olive oil (not extra virgin)
- 1 small yellow onion, diced small
- 2 thin carrots (or 1 large), diced small
- 1 lb ground turkey (white meat)
- 2 large, fresh cloves of garlic, minced (garlic is fresh when the bulbs are held together quite tightly)
- 3/4 tsp dried thyme
- 3/4 tsp salt (more or less depending on your stock)
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock (can use water if needed – just check the seasoning at the end)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 puff pastry sheets, defrosted (leave it out on the counter for 2 hrs to defrost)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray muffin pans with non stick cooking spray.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over pretty high heat. Add onions, carrots and meat, breaking up the chunks of meat. Cook until meat is no longer pink, 5-7 minutes. Next add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add stock and lower the heat to medium. Let cook 2-3 minutes until liquid reduces a bit. Add peas and cook for 1 more minutes. Turn off the heat and add the cream cheese and parsley. Stir until cream cheese has blended in and parsley is incorporated. Set aside.
- On a floured surface, roll out one sheet of the puff pastry until it’s slightly larger than the area of the muffin pan. Using a sharp knife, cut out 6 or 12 rectangles, according to the size of your muffin pan. You should get 12 pot pies out of a regular muffin pan, or 24 mini pot pies from a mini muffin pan. Fill each gap with a rectangle of puff pastry, with the corners hanging extending beyond the borders a bit. Add 1 to 2 tbsp of the meat mixture and fold over the corners to cover as much as possible. Do this for all the rectangles. Brush each one with the egg and bake in the preheated oven for about 18-22 minutes. Tops should be golden when done.