Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring: Ricotta Vegetable Pot Pies

Ricotta Veg Pot Pie (02) by MeetaK

Cooking, like anything else in life, is a passion. If there is no passion in the dishes prepared (or in life), it's tasteless and drab. And who wants tasteless or drab dishes - or life for that matter.

I am a very passionate person and most of the tasks I do are done with enthusiasm and drive. I have always believed that there is something to be learnt from each task, enriching me with new experience.

So, I never give up a chance to learn something new. Especially where it comes to cooking.

I'm here in wonderful Dubai, where the temperatures are simply perfect. An early spring, leaving Germany in the cold and covered in snow, we have been enjoying the sun, beach, pool and of course, the food at my dad's hotel. We arrived here on early Friday morning. My family are the typical foodies. They live through the day from mealtime to mealtime. In between we discuss what we should eat for the next meal!

So, it was no surprising that one of the first discussions we had on Friday was what we should do for dinner. We decided to go to the new fish restaurant at my dad's hotel. The last time we were here it was being renovated. This time I was craving some grilled lobster.

Meals with my family are fantastic. I love them. We all sit and chat for hours about God and the World! This time it was very special because the entire family, including Tom and my brother, were together.

Over mezzas of humus, baba ghanoush, tabouleh, vegetables salads, vine leaves filled with seafood and other great Arabic starters we caught up on each others stories. I had ordered grilled Omani lobster in garlic sauce served with creamy spinach and rice. It was simply exquisite. However, the orgasmic part part of the dinner was still to come. Yes, I really said orgasmic. There is no other superlative to describe what I indulged in. Creamy, smooth, with a slight crunch in the flavors of pistachio, vanilla and mango. Sound good so far right?

As I said at the beginning of this post - I am passionate and was not satisfied with just tasting this elegant dessert in front of me. I requested my dad to set up a date with the pastry chef so he could not only give me the recipe but show me how to make it. Never give up a chance like this!

This week I have sweet date with the pastry chef. I'll be armed with my camera, notepad and pen to learn how to make the most delicious dessert I have had in a long time. What it was? Well of course I will be sharing it with you - but until then I will tease you a little.

In the meantime, I am sharing a wonderful dish with you. A pot pie made with flaky puff pastry, filled with spring vegetables like green asparagus, carrots and sweet potatoes, scented with ginger and garlic and coated with creamy ricotta. A delight in every way. Making homemade puff pastry makes this dish sensational but you can use any store bought puff pastry too. I like making the puff pastry in large batches and then freeze them in portions to use whenever I want to make something light and flaky.


Reminder!

MM SpringFruitSensations 3 March 2008 250px

 

The Monthly Mingle gets fruity this month! My guest host Abby has chosen a spectacular theme for this month - Spring Fruit Sensations. So get out your colorful fruit creations and send them over to Abby.

 

Deadline: April 7th, 2008  

Note: If you are interested in hosting the Monthly Mingle please drop me an email at blogmeeta@gmail.com. Check the Monthly Mingle Guest Host Calendar for more details.


Ingredients
Printable version of recipe here.

RedPeppercorns (01) by MeetaK

Makes 4 single-serving pies

500 - 700g puff pastry
2-3 green onions,  thinly sliced
6-8 green asparagus, cut on the diagonal in about 2 cm pieces
3-4 carrots, sliced
1 sweet potatoes, cut into small cubes
200g ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon ginger, mashed
2 garlic coves, mashed
1 small onion, finely chopped
15-20 red peppercorns
Salt and pepper
Herbs de Provence, dried
2-4 tablespoons vegetable stock
2 tablespoons olive oil + more for the pie forms
1 egg
1 teaspoon cream


Method

Ricotta Veg Pot Pie (01) by MeetaK

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Brush the ramekin forms with olive oil.

Roll out the puff pastry so that you have enough to line each of the ramekin, plus more to serve as a lid for the pie. Line the forms with the puff pastry and cut out the shape to fit the top of the dishes. Set aside.

To make the filling, steam or blanch the asparagus for 1 minutes. Put in ice cold water to cool. This preserves the lovely bright green color of the asparagus. Steam the sweet potato cubes until slightly soft but still with a little crunch.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pan on medium heat. Sauté the onions, ginger and garlic until they release a wonderful aroma and become translucent. Add the carrots, sweet potatoes and sauté for a further few minutes. Throw in the asparagus, green onion and the red peppercorns. Stir well. Salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat and stir in the ricotta. Season with the herbs de Provence.

Check the consistency of the filling. If you would like to make it more liquid-y add some of the vegetable stock to the filling. Stir wee to incorporate the ingredients with each other.

Divide the mixture into each ramekin form. In a small bowl whisk the egg with the cream. Brush the edges of the form and puff pastry lining with the mixture and cover with pastry lid. Finally brush the lid with the egg-wash and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the pastry has puffed up nicely and is golden.


Verdict

Ricotta Veg Pot Pie (03) by MeetaK

Served with a light green salad this is a fantastic dinner. I love the wonderful fragrance of ginger and vegetables. The red peppercorns gives it a hint of sharpness and the herbs de Provence the air of a lovely warm French vacation. Soeren loves the puff pastry together with the creamy ricotta he scoops up the crunchy vegetables till the last bite. Tom prefers this slightly liquidy, I like it more dry - so as they are served in individual ramekin forms you can serve the pies according to anyone's likings.

You might enjoy these pies and tarts too:

512050481_8ae7331117_o Caramelized Vegetable Tarts
Pumpkin Tart 04 Pumpkin Feta Tart
Tomato Olive Tart01 Tomato Olive Tart

 

This is just perfect for the Mini Pie Revolution, hosted by by Ann of Redacted Recipes. My first time taking part and hope this will be the first of many to come. Thanks Anne for this lovely event.



All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2008 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

25 comments :

  1. I am so making this. Beautiful dish and photos, Meeta.

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  2. Gorgeous spring dish, Meeta! Cannot wait to make this! :)

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  3. I bet everybody love it! It looks wonderful! Glad yo hear you are having a great time with your family!

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  4. Fabulous dish Meeta, can't wait to try this one too..I have so many of your dishes in line to try :D Family moments are the best no doubt, glad you are having fun :)

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  5. Fantastic recipe! I really must try using puff pastry again. Thanks for sharing this.

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  6. What a beautiful pot pie! It's not easy to create a delicious vegetarian pie, so I'll definitely save this recipe to try. Sounds like you are having fun in Dubai.

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  7. I've had you on subscription for a while, but I swear, this post and the post on Hot Cross buns (which incidentally almost reduced me to tears since it brought a flood of memories of home and I don't get them in the US of A!!) has knocked me off of my procrastination! I seriously think i am going to dive into this food blogging world instead of just droooling at everyone's posts.

    BTW, your photos are to die for, half the reason i'm too chicken to start blogging myself =(

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  8. Passion. Enthusiasm. This post is 100% proof.
    I don't know where to start.
    The mezzas you list send me into high orbit! That alone would make me sing!
    Then you tease with the dessert and compound it with a lesson from the pastry chef to come! Oh my heart be still.
    At least you really gave us the pot pie which even tho many would say it's too simple I really consider a good pot pie to be totally an ultimate dish to aim for. This one looks divine.

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  9. We have a holiday house and yesterday the whole family met there for Easter celebrations and it was so just like you described yours - what a privilege it is....

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  10. Looks good! How did you manage the star on the crust?

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  11. God save the chef!!! Meeta is here!

    Glad that you are enjoying your time in Dubai sweetheart - and waiting to get the whole dope on the orgasmic dessert! You know just how to grab the attention of your readers HAHAHAA and then to be teasing enough as not to reveal what the deal was...
    Enjoyed this so much..and the pot pie looks hearty - want to try it out sometime...

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  12. Great photos! That pot pie looks really good. I am looking forward to hearing about the pastries.

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  13. fabulous meeta!! enjoy your holiday with the family...and OMG..yours is just like mine....talking about conversations filled with food....!! initially K was totally taken aback...he once commented "do you realise that you guys are always talking about food??" .... now he willingly joins in!! hugs!!

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  14. Thanks everyone for your comments. I am having a great time here with the family. Eating far too much. This pot pie was delicious and not too heavy. My mum actually asked me to make this here again.
    Hope you let me know how you all liked it too.

    Jyothsna, simply cut out any shape from the leftover puff pastry and using the egg-wash stick it to the top of the puff pastry lid. Then bake as mentioned. Easy!

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  15. I love the stories behind your posts! What a great time you must be having, that's lovely, Meeta!
    I feel really curious about the dessert's recipe, hope you post about it soon :D

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  16. Meeta, I want a big slice of this, please. ;)

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  17. This is a gorgeous recipe idea! :)

    Btw, I'm organising a competition you may be interested in! Check it out! Write a post featuring your favourite recipe, and win Marcus Wareing's new book!

    http://maninas.wordpress.com/2008/03/16/one-perfect-ingredient-the-competition/

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  18. That is a wonderful looking pot pie! I don't typically think of a pot pie as a light food, more being like a hearty, winter kind of thing, but looking at this, it seems like nothing I'm used to and very tempting! Not to mention, pretty darn sexy for a pot pie!

    Hope you enjoy your trip!

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  19. Had never had pot pie before so experimented and came up with a version of my own.
    I like the way yours turned out and shall definitely try this sometime.

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  20. I have some ricotta and feta; i think both would go well with this pot pie! thanks for the idea girl:)

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  21. Quite similar to the recipe in the book "Eat, Live, Love: The Great Tasting, Low Carb, High Fiber, High Protein, Super Healthy Recipes that You've Prayed For"


    I added some flax for health benefits :).

    Link to that the recipes I mentioned:
    http://www.amazon.com/Eat-Live-Love-Tasting-Protein/dp/1434842711/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206638752&sr=8-2

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  22. These pies sound lovely Meeta! I'm growing fonder of ricotta and it is surprisingly low fat compared with other cheeses.

    Isn't it funny how people have their own individual pie eating style!

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  23. this looks so delish! i love the idea about using ricotta.

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  24. This vegetable pot pie looks absolutely delicious -- I've been looking for something to do with my puff pastry :-) Thanks for sharing -- I will definetly stumble this!

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta