Thursday, November 4, 2010

recipes tested, no. 1

I will better going forward about documenting the things I've been making - especially the things I've made from recipes we've all been wondering about.  

First, a couple weeks ago, I made this vegetable cobbler, as recommended by Sara.  While we were chatting, I told her I wanted to make something warm and autumn-y but healthy.  Nothing with pasta.  Nothing with too much cheese.  Nothing with cream.  Nothing with meat.  So, here we go, from Ezra Pound Cake:

Vegetable Cobbler

Adapted from “Moosewood Restaurant New Classics”
Feel free to substitute the vegetables in the recipe for your favorites – sliced celery, cut-up asparagus spears, diced red bell pepper, diced butternut squash, cut-up green beans, etc.
Serves 6
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or butter)
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onions
  • 1 fennel bulb, core removed, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 to 5 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes (or butternut squash)
  • 2 cups chopped potatoes
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped carrots (or parsnips)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of hot sauce (optional)
Biscuit Topping:
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill (or any herb you have on hand)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9 X 13-inch baking dish.
2. Warm the oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot. Add the onions, fennel and garlic, cover, and cook on medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the salt, thyme, crushed red pepper flakes, mushrooms and mustard. Cook until the mushrooms start to release their juices, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the sweet potato, white potato, carrot, black pepper and water or stock, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender.
5. Stir the dissolved cornstarch mixture into the simmering vegetables, stirring constantly. When the liquid starts to thicken, mix in the peas, corn, soy sauce and salt. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. (You can also add a dash of hot sauce.)
6. Pour the vegetables into the prepared baking dish, and set aside.
7. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix together the melted butter and buttermilk or yogurt. Combine the wet and dry ingredients with as few strokes as possible to make a soft dough.
8. Drop the biscuit batter over the vegetables in the dish in six equal mounds. Sprinkle the dill over the dough.
9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of a biscuit comes out clean. Serve immediately.
I changed the recipe slightly, to reflect what we had - and I didn't want to measure all the vegetables or not use them all in the cobbler, except for the frozen corn and green peas - so I just used two small yellow onions, two fennel bulbs instead of one, 3 or 4 large garlic cloves, an entire butternut squash (but a pretty small one), 2 or 3 parsnips, vegetable stock instead of water, only about 3 or 4 tablespoons of butter for the biscuit topping, and I used fat free plain yogurt for the biscuit topping - not buttermilk.  I followed the rest of the recipe pretty much exactly.  But, since I probably used more vegetables than the recipe instructed, it was good that we had an 11 x 14 baking dish - it wouldn't have all fit in a 9 x 13 dish!  Note to Katie: take better recipe notes next time!  

The baking temperature and time seemed just right.  I was worried about how the biscuit topping would taste - but it was really great!  It was definitely filling like a chicken or turkey pot pie, but I didn't feel so guilty eating it since it wasn't very rich.  Rob and I both loved it and we had a mountain of leftovers that tasted great reheated! 


  1. yay! so glad you liked it! now what about the autumn spice ice cream?...

  2. this looks really good - I'm going to have to try it!