In my opinion pot pie is the epitome of down home comfort food. Although it can be a humble sort that makes use of those darn blankety blank leftovers, it can also morph into an elegant dish worthy of the fanciest of dinners. Take this salmon pot pie for example.
This particular version starts with duxelles which is just a fancy term for minced mushrooms sauteed in butter along with garlic, salt and pepper. Layered on the bottom of a couple of ramekins, the sauteed mushrooms are covered by a rich, flavorful sauce constructed from golden brown onions, white wine, vegetable stock and cream and jazzed up with chopped fresh parsley and dill. Topped with blanched asparagus and chunked up salmon (I used a leftover plank cooked fillet), it gets a puff pastry lid before it hits the oven.
Using the mushrooms and the cream sauce, the pie can really be made from any kind of seafood you wish - shrimp, scallops, cod whatever and if you're not into seafood chicken would work wonderfully well too. You could also change out the dill in the sauce and use fresh tarragon instead and as for the pastry top - keep it simple and use mashed potatoes if you'd rather. Personally I'm a tad partial to pastry in any form, but use your imagination and add whatever turns your crank. You'll be amazed and so will your dinner partner. Mine sure was!
Salmon Pot Pie (inspired by High Plains, Cinda Chavich)
1/4 cup butter, divided
1 cup minced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and coarse ground black pepper
1 medium onion, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
8 ounces pre-cooked salmon
8 asparagus spears, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces and blanched
A sheet of puff pastry, thawed per package directions
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauté pan over medium heat and add minced mushrooms and garlic. Cook, stirring until mushrooms are tender and dry – about 10 minutes. Remove to 2 ramekins that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Spread evenly on the bottom and set aside. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan and add onion. Cook until onion is golden brown and tender. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute, then slowly whisk in wine, vegetable stock and whipping cream. Season with salt and pepper and cook until sauce is thickened – about 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in chopped parsley and dill. Pour sauce on top of mushrooms in ramekins. Top with asparagus and salmon chunks. Preheat oven to 400. Place ramekins on a sheet pan and top with puff pastry. Decorate as you wish, then cut slits in top of pastry to allow steam to escape. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until top is golden brown and pies bubble. Serves 2. (Note, may use uncooked salmon – just cut into one inch cubes, and make sure all bones and skin has been removed. Cook for 30 minutes).
A year ago - Stacked Pizza and Fried Ravioli