Tofurkey Cookbook Mash-Up Pot Pie






Our California Christmas dinners are becoming traditional (i.e. I did this year sort of what I did last year- but with some very important updates). For Christmas Eve, I make a Tofurkey (store bought). As good as the Tempeh Meat Loaf, Salsbury Seitan and other recent homemade discoveries are- we are conditioned as a family from years and years Tofurkeys- to want that for the holidays. So, the 24th was that.

Then the 25th, I make a pot pie with the left overs. Also, this year, on the 24th, I made "Golden Gravy" from pg 69 of the RFD book (I was never a gravy person- but this stuff is AMAZING!). So for the Christmas Day pot pie, we had the following mash-up of recipes and ingredients:

Crust: "Sister's Pie Crust" from the Compassionate Cook

Gravy: RFD's "Golden Gravy" (in lieu of the gravy in the Ellen pot pie recipe (HERE) They're pretty different. The Ellen gravy is just flour, broth, onions, garlic, salt and pepper. The Golden Gravy has all that except the broth and plus spices, tamari and nutritional yeast. So the RFD stuff has a bit more zing.

Protein: Instead of the Gardein that the recipe calls for, I used left over Tofurkey (cubed) and at Davey's suggestion, shoved the stuffing in too

So... in spite of being terribly nervous that I'd ruin Christmas, this was AMAZING! It has so much more flavor than the standard way of making it, which has always been really good- but a hint bland. In fact, the gravy got to be a tad too intense at times, but on the whole, it was really excellent. It was a jazzed up version of the normal pot pie which is really fitting for a holiday meal! Especially when followed by a SUGAR COOKIE or two!

Tamales!






Wow. I thought that Indian food was a time investment. I had always heard how Tamales are a huge ordeal, but really, including cooking time- it was over FOUR hours! Three for cooking and clean up. It's nothing that I would do on a regular basis, but a few times a year- for how good these are- would totally be worth it. These are DELICIOUS! The Masa is a hint greasy, but it's so flavorful. The filling that I made with corn was great because it was so sweet and when balanced with the spice of the peppers... I may have ate 6 of them (I skipped lunch and they were small- don't judge) This is another case of the photos not doing the food justice- Davey had the good camera at work, and by the time I finished, there was pretty much no light left in the day!

This was another Ellen recipe, so the recipe is HERE

I ended up varying from the recipe a tad. Here's what I did:

Filling:
1 pan of Gardein faux chicken cut into strips with some of the chili sauce mixed in
1 pan of; 2 cobs of fresh corn, 1/2 small fresh green chili, 2 green bell peppers- all cooked in a skillet and then mixed with some of the chili sauce.

Husks:
I only used 1 bag and had more than enough (the recipe calls for 2)

Masa:
I made double the masa that the recipe calls for- this is b/c I used up all of the masa and had tons of husks and filling left. It was no biggie to make more, but in the future, I'd double it to start with, so everything goes more smoothly

Chili Sauce:
I goofed on this- I bought 1/3 of the dried Anchos that the recipe calls for and was too lazy to go back to the store. I should've thirded the recipe to keep it all in proportion, but felt chaotic at the start of making everything and didn't. Next time, I'll intentionally 1/3 the whole recipe b/c this makes a LITER of sauce, and after mixing some in "just to coat" the fillings, there was still 750ml left! Way more than you need even if you use it for serving. Also, my lack of peppers made it far less intensely flavored than it should've been, but it was still really good!

I used a small veg basket steamer. Standing them all up was a bit challenging, but worked fine. 31 fit in a sauce pot. Making these is so time consuming that you have to be in to it. You have to relax and be zen and get kinda meditative with it or you'll just be angry that it's taking so long! It's such a great pay off though, totally worth the ordeal.

Vegan Pot Pie!





What's awesome about this is that it not only tastes amazing, but I can divulge the recipe! This one is from Ellen's tv show, so it's right on her site! Not only is she a dancing doll face, but she's vegan, and occasionally has guest chefs as well as her personal chef on with recipes (I'm still looking for an army to make the tamale recipe for).

I first made this for the holidays in fall, and it has become a J-R house staple. It is so tasty and such great comfort food! I have a few switch outs and recommendations:

- Instead of multiple veg bags, I get the 4 veg variety bag from Trader Joe's (with green beans, peas, carrots and corn, I think). It's the perfect amount- and the different veg are excellent in it.

- I can't find the Gardein scallopini to save my life (even though I'm in the same city as Ellen's chef!)- I use the Gardein faux chicken cutlets, cubed.

- Also, I can't find vegan Pillsbury crust, I looked at multiple packages in different stores and they all have lard and spooky things in them. Which is good for me, b/c I use the "Sister's Pie Crust" recipe from The Compassionate Cook (p188) instead which is quite frankly kind of a pain, but is bar none the best crust possible.

- I also make mine in a 8 x 8 pyrex pan vs ramekins only b/c we're in a 2 bedroom apt with a galley kitchen that really doesn't have ramekin storage.

You gotta try it: The Ellen show's Vegan Pot Pie