I will never miss a meal, but food is more than filling up. Food is a tangible connection to our past, to other cultures, and if done right food will always be surrounded by fun times and memories.
I still remember the special treats my Grandma Crye made – what she called pasties – the original pot pie. Her pioneer style and Welsh ancestry have always influenced her cooking which is why her pot pies were so special. Besides being a seasonal treat that we only enjoyed after pheasant hunting season was over; it also developed my palate for loving poultry. What I remember the most was a delicious buttery pastry that I had to break open before discovering pheasant meat, potatoes, and various vegetables.
Since the Tudor world and King Henry VIII, pasties have been traditionally filled with some kind of poultry, potatoes and vegetables. They were hearty for soldiers and farmers, empire food after all. From such humble origins, the Cornish Pasty has become the staple food of Cornwall county, U.K.
Across the Atlantic, New York Chef, and true renaissance man Jonathan Wu has a delicious pot-pie that you can enjoy at 22 Orchard St. Chef Wu’s Vegetarian Curry Pot Pie contains a mash-up of Japanese and Thai curry styles – flavors inspired by curry puff snacks called Gali Jiao. Chef Wu fell in love with these small treats while living next door to Fa Da Bakery on Centre St. in Manhattan’s Chinatown. At Fung Tu, Chef Wu fills the puff pastry based Vegetarian Curry Pot Pie with coconut milk stew of celeriac, cauliflower, broccoli and potatoes. Chef Wu does add a bit of heat with Thai curry paste and green curry powder.
Vegetarian Curry Pot Pie
Fung Tu, 22 Orchard St.
Yields 2 quarts, 6-8 servings
– 1 Tbsp. butter
– 2 Tbsp. trinity (2 parts ginger, 1 part garlic and 1 part scallion whites, all minced)
– 0.5 Tbsp. green curry paste
– 3 Tbsp. Thai curry powder
– 1.5 Tbsp. brown sugar
– 1 Tbsp. flour
– 3 cans coconut milk
– 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
– 2 Tbsp. black vinegar
– 1 lb celeriac, peeled, diced into 1/2″ cubes, steamed
– 0.5 head cauliflower florets, roasted
– 0.5 lb red pearl onions, peeled and glazed
– 0.5 lb Chinese broccoli, sliced and blanched and shocked
– 1.25 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
– 1.5 lb puff pastry
- Foam the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the trinity and sweat the ingredients for 2 minutes until the ingredients have softened and the green onion whites are translucent.
- Add the green curry paste, Thai powder, brown sugar and flour to the pan. Toast these ingredients over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Take care not to scorch the ingredients and move to lower heat as needed.
- Whisk in the coconut milk. Cook over medium-high heat to activate the roux and thicken the stew for 30 minutes.
- Add the potatoes to the pan and cook over low heat until they are tender — about 20 – 30 minutes. Allow to cool before adding the rest of the vegetables off of heat.
- Cut circles of puff pastry about 6″ in diameter and dock (use the tines of a fork and evenly prick the surface of the puff pastry). Brush with egg wash. Bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes at 400F.
- Heat the curry stew with the vegetables (celeriac, cauliflower, onions, broccoli, and potatoes). Place the puff pastry lids on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and re-heat for 5 minutes. Once the stew is hot, add the blanched Chinese Broccoli. Heat the broccoli through for about 2 minutes. Divide among 6 – 8 bowls. Place the hot puff pastry lids on top of the stew in the bowls.
The featured image photo was taken by Paul Wagtouicz. You can follow him: @wagtouicz