Remember this summer?
Remember when I went on that cruise to Canada for five days and four nights? (Cruise. To. Canada. Oxymoron.)
Remember when I forced cajoled pleaded coerced politely asked my brother to set up the prorated international internet on my phone. So that I could “email my parents”. “Daily”. To let them know I was still alive.
But really because I was sure that the only thing that would get me through each thoroughly hungover morning would be to check up on all of you lovely individuals and see how your days were going.
It’s true. You made each hungover morning way better. I swear.
Remember how my phone spent the whole trip trying to convince me that we were actually in the middle of the Indian ocean? No, I guess you wouldn’t remember that. But I do.
When we arrived at St. John in New Brunswick it tried to tell me that we were actually in New Delhi.
I wish. Is what I told it before I powered it off in the hopes of teaching it not to toy with my emotions like that. Even though I secretly hoped that it was right and that the captain had somehow gone entirely off course. And that I would disembark to find a large plate of palak paneer waiting for me.
Instead I found a Farmer’s Market rife with maple syrup, maple sugar, maple fudge, and maple lollipops. Yup. We were definitely in Canada.
Remember when I came back and told you all about how terrible the food was? Remember how surprised you were?
Yeah. That was too bad. But there’s always a silver lining.
You see, the way dinner worked on the cruise was that every night between the hours of 6 and 7 we would trek over to our designated dining room. Sit at one of our designated tables. And be handed a menu. The menu would have a slew of items that would be available every night for the duration of the cruise, but it also had a set of specials that would change every day.
On the first night, the vegetarian special was a cinnamon pumpkin, squash, yam and cheddar pot pie. Which, if you know me at all, you know that I instantly closed the menu, didn’t even look at any of the rest of the day’s options and ordered.
(And for the record, no I have no idea why they were serving a pot pie in the middle of August. That really should have triggered some kind of skepticism in my brain. But I was too distracted by the word “pumpkin”. Preceded by the word “cinnamon”. In short. I was brainwashed.)
To make a long story short, it was good. Not great. But good. But I knew it could be better. So I made a mental note to try to recreate it once I got home.
This is not that pot pie. (Although if you do want that pot pie, the good folks over at The Novice Chef Blog have done a bang up job of recreating it.)
No, no. This is, instead, what happens when I end up trying to brainstorm what I should make for this week’s edition of the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash. Decide to make the infamous Carnival pot pie. And then walk to Sarabeth’s to meet Dana of Dana Treat who was in town from Seattle for the weekend for coffee and cocktails. (She was awesome in every meaning of the word. We talked for over two hours without a single moment of awkward silence. And I realized on my walk home that I want to be her when I grow up. True story.)
Anyways, it was on that fateful walk through Central Park when I really should have been thinking about the vestibular/auditory system that the idea for a Thai curry-infused pot pie popped into my head.
I like to think it was a moment of divine inspiration. Mostly because it ended up being absolutely delicious in every way. But also because Sarabeth’s is actually really close to Whole Foods and so I went grocery shopping immediately after our coffee/cocktail date (what, you mean you don’t combine your stimulants with your depressants? Weird.) while the idea was still fresh in my head. Before I had any chance to doubt myself.
Isn’t it great when serendipity exerts itself in the form of really good food? I think. Yes.
Thai Sweet Potato and Winter Squash Pot Pie with Pumpkin Biscuit Crust
Serves 4-5, an Eats Well With Others Original
1 2-3 pound winter squash, I used an orange kabocha, cut into chunks
1 large white sweet potato, cut into chunks
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 package tempeh, chopped
1 can light coconut milk
1 cup water
4 tsp red curry paste
2.5 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp brown sugar, depending on taste
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas
2 tbsp flour
For the biscuits (adapted from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen)
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 450. Toss squash and sweet potato chunks with 1 tbsp oil and some salt. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes or until fork tender.
2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large-ish pot. Add in the onion. Saute for 3 minutes or until translucent. Add in one clove garlic. Saute 30 seconds. Add in red curry paste. Saute 30 seconds. Add in tempeh. Saute 1-2 minutes.
3. Pour the roasted squash and sweet potato into the pot. Stir. Mix in the coconut milk, water, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Stir until well combined. Bring to a simmer. Pour in the peas. Cook until heated through. Add salt, sugar, and curry paste to taste. Add in 2 tbsp flour and stir until mixed in. Remove from heat while you prepare the biscuits.
4. Lower oven to 400. In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin, almond milk and lemon juice. Feel free to use regular milk, soy milk, etc. if not vegan. Next time I might add coconut milk to keep with the thai theme.
5. Pour the pot pie filling into a large dutch oven or oven-safe casserole dish. Drop handfuls of the biscuit dough onto the top of the pot pie. Bake for 20 minutes or until biscuits start to brown.