Saturday, December 11, 2010

Turkey-Leek Pie (with vegetarian option)

In the winter, I often make this vegetarian leek-artichoke pie with excellent results. Today I was craving it, and I had some leeks, but I didn't have any artichoke hearts. So I dug around in the fridge and improvised, taking the opportunity to use some of the huge gallon bag of turkey I had left over from Thanksgiving weekend (we froze most of it, but I had some I'd thawed this week). The result - even better than the original.

And with this crust, it's unbelieveably simple. You don't even have to roll the crust out or dirty up a bowl! It really is "easy as pie." Make it gluten-free with brown rice flour instead of wheat, if that's your thing.

To make it vegetarian, just leave out the turkey and throw in another cup of veggies - artichoke hearts are great, obviously, but so are potatoes or even beans. You could throw in some chunks of frozen tofu as well, and I was just thinking how good pine nuts would be. If you want to leave the egg out, just increase the milk to a full cup. This is a very flexible dish! And soooo comfort-foody. Just serve it with a salad for a delectable dinner.

Serves 4-6

1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup unbleached white flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp milk
¼ cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

In a glass or metal pie plate, combine dry ingredients and whisk to blend. Add the milk and olive oil, then gently mix until it forms a dough. Use your hands to pat it into place over the bottom and sides of the pie plate. (A few tiny holes or rips are fine, just pinch them together if you can.) Set aside.

1 Tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 large leek (or 2 smaller ones), white and light green parts, sliced & rinsed
1 cup kale (or spinach), rinsed and chopped
1 medium-sized turnip (or potato), diced small
1 cup cooked turkey (or chicken), diced
Salt & pepper to taste
Dash nutmeg
Fresh thyme (optional)
¾ cup milk
1 egg
2 Tbsp flour, any kind
½ cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese, divided

Melt the butter in a big saucepan or wok over medium-high heat, and add the garlic. Saute for a minute or two, then add the leeks, kale, and turnip. Stirring occasionally, cook until the leeks and kale begin to wilt. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and thyme if using. Add turkey and cook another minute or two more.

Whisk the egg into the milk, then add the flour and whisk to blend. Pour into the pot with the veggies and turkey, and stir for a minute until warm throughout. Take it off the heat.

Spread all but 1 Tbsp of the gorgonzola into the bottom of the pie crust. Pour the veggie mixture on top and smooth it out evenly. Sprinkle the remaining 1 Tbsp gorgonzola crumbs on top and bake for 30-40 minutes or until set firm. Let stand at least 5-10 minutes before serving.

Note: If you're pressed for time after work, you can make the filling and crust a day ahead and refrigerate them separately; then just dump in the filling and cheese and throw it in the oven when you're ready.

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