Monday, November 30, 2009

Mushroom and Potato Pie

Giant Gallete v.2! The other day Pete called me up and said "Do you want any chanterelles? I traded a set of snow tires for 2 pounds of chanterelles and some money."  Hm. Why, yes, some mushrooms of questionable provenance would be very nice. So here is what I made. Incidentally, this is an easily veganizable recipe, just use an appropriate pastry recipe.

1 recipe of savory pastry, enough for a double crust.

3 medium-small yellow potatoes.
1 medium yellow onion
2 sprigs rosemary, or other woody herbs, like thyme or something
1 lb chanterelles (or other interesting mushrooms)
olive oil, salt and pepper

First, decide if you are going to make this from start to finish, or begin on one day and finish some other time. I did the latter, because I was tired the day I brought the mushrooms home, so that is how my directions will go.

Cut the butter and salt into the flour for the crust and put it in a sealed container in the fridge.

Slice the taters and boil in salted water until they are about 3/4 done, drain and refrigerate.

Clean the mushrooms and slice them into rather big pieces. This is really only to allow them to lay flat in the skillet. Slice the onion quite thinly. Get your skillet pretty hot, add a bit of olive oil and scoot it around with a rosemary sprig. Leave the sprig in the pan and sprinkle a bit of salt in the pan. Put a single sparse layer of shrooms in the pan and let them sear, use tongs to flip them over once and sear the other sides. Repeat until all the mushrooms are done. Set the cooked mushrooms aside and throw out the herb sprigs or you will have a bunch of twigs in your pie...forgot to do that part, myself.

When you get through the whole batch, hopefully the mushroom juices won't have burnt all black and disgusting, and you can just add a good slosh of oil, some salt and the onions. If you have significant blackening rather than a nice brown glaze, rinse the hot pan out first, then put in your oil and onions. Add about 1/2 cup of water to the onions and cover them up. As the water boils out, stir a couple times until the onions are evenly caramelized, then put them with the mushrooms. Dash a bit of water in the pan to get the last bits of yummy out of it, pour that in with the shrooms  and onions, and refrigerate until you want to actually bake and eat your pie.

Let the pastry mix set out for about 20 minutes. If it's too cold, it'll be a pain in the ass. Preheat the oven to 425. I like to heat a large pizza pan in the oven too. A stone would be nice, if you have one, but you don't need anything fancy.

Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a skillet and lay the potato slices in it. Add a half cup of water and a sprinkle of salt if the pots still taste bland. Cover, let the potatoes develop a nice brown crust. Rough 'em up with a spatula so that more potato surface is exposed to the pan and the slices are a bit smashed. Top with the mushroom and onion mix and let it brown again. Remove from heat, stir to combine.

Meanwhile, add the liquid to the pasty ingredients and mix it up. Roll the dough into a circle almost 18 inches across. I like to use a pastry cloth, for reasons I've mentioned before. Flop the crust onto a sheet of tinfoil, dump the filling in the middle and press it down into a nice compact heap and fold up the edges of the pasty.  Brush with egg or milk, bake on the preheated pan or stone for 1/2 hour or until it's a bit brown.

My conclusion:

Cheese. Gruyere, brie, something mild and nutty. Mushrooms and potatoes are subtle, but they would benefit from a little moisture. Especially after a couple days in the fridge.

Don't burn your mouth.

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