Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hot Potato Pie

Today was a beautiful fall day in Wisconsin. The kind of crisp weather that makes you crave a warm stew...As I sat in my math lecture day dreaming about dinner, inspiration came to me.

One of the foods that is conspicuously lacking in commonplace American cuisine is the savory pie. Sure we have quiche, and chicken pot pie...But nothing like the rich comfort of an English steak and kidney pie. But with my limited pantry, how was I to create such a dish? That's when I realized that the beauty of a pie is that the ingredients don't need to be complex, they just need to match each other well.

The following is a recipe for what I have now dubbed Hot Potato Pie:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) of butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup (or so) water
1 tbsp grated cheese

6-7 medium yukon gold potatoes
2 cups mushrooms
1 medium red onion
2 tbsp butter
2 gloves garlic
3 tbsp (or so) milk
1 cup (or so) cheese

For the pie crust, in a bowl mix the flour with the butter until it has the consistency of wet sand. Then add cold water until it becomes malleable enough to roll flat. Place flattened pie crust in tin, and prebake at 375ºF (with pie weights if you have them) until crust is slightly browned and firm to the touch.

While the pie shell is cooking you can begin to make your filling.

First take your potatoes and halve them before putting them into salted boiling water. Cook until soft enough to mash. Add butter, 1 clove of garlic, 3/4 cup (or more) of cheese (I used local goat cheddar and feta, but I think any flavorful cheese will work) and milk. Combine until smooth.

Then place onions and garlic in a pan with a pat of butter. Cook until somewhat droopy, then add mushrooms. For this pie I used button and oyster mushrooms. Cook until at least 1/4 cup of liquid has been released. The reason for cooking these ingredients prior to adding them to the potato mixture is to ensure the pie will not become too liquidy.

I couldn't resist posting these pictures of the exotic oyster mushrooms I cooked. Too pretty!

Combine sauteed mushrooms and onions with mashed potatoes. Add enough excess mushroom juice until the potatoes become smooth. Then transfer the mixture to the pie shell. Finish off by grating the rest of the cheese on top. Place in oven and bake at 375ºF until the cheese topping melts and begins to brown.

Remove, and serve!

Judging by my accomplice's reaction: "This is like quiche, only orgasmic." I would say this experiment was a success! It is a nice simple savory meal for a blustery fall day. Creamy and flavorful, and altogether comforting.
Just to spice it up, I ate mine with kimchi on the side, but broccoli or spinach would also go well with (or in!) this dish.

1 comment:

  1. Wow that is certainly an interesing pie... I have such a weakness for pies especially the savoury ones. Lovely clicks.