Learning to Cook from the Edible Dallas & Fort Worth Cookbook, One Dallas Dish at a Time
In the beginning, there were carrots.
I am by no means a great cook. I do not own a lot of the things I should for some of the recipes I undertake, and I tend to get panicked and just start throwing things together and praying it works. Double boiler? Nope. I'm gonna boil some water in a large pot and then sit another pot down inside of it. Boom. It's a double boiler.
I'm not terrible: I have some good knives and one quality skillet that I rely on for everything. I know the basic chemistry behind cooking and I am actually a better than average baker. But I don't cook a lot, and when I do, it's the basics. Anything more time-consuming than a simple pasta dish and I am out. So I figured, just for fun, why not try out some long and complicated recipes from local Dallas chefs and restaurants and see what happens? Totally reasonable, right?
I decided to use the 2012 Edible Dallas & Fort Worth: The Cookbook, edited by Terri Taylor. My first try was Kate Nelson's (formerly of Piecurious, now of Bolsa) "Uncle Pat's Favorite Poblano Pot Pie." It looked easy and homey and she said she didn't care what veggies or pie crust I used. I liked that. Kate didn't judge me when I bought canned corn and frozen Marie Callender's pie crusts. Although I feel like Kate probably did judge me when I obviously messed up how I was supposed to roast the poblano peppers.
Speaking of which, there is a lot of veggie prep work that goes into this recipe that you will want to either do beforehand or allow yourself extra time for. Unless, as Kate implies, you have loads of leftover vegetables sitting around just waiting to go into a pot pie. Because listen, I do not just have "leftover grilled corn, cut from the cob" hanging around in my fridge on a regular basis. So, if you are a lazy person like me, you can just go to the store and buy your canned peas and corn and dump them in the pie mix. I did buy myself some fresh carrots and boil those on my own though, I have some standards. Also I skipped the lima beans. Because gross.
Anyway, everything was going smoothly and the mess was relatively minimal until I realized that the creamy poblano "gravy" I was stirring and stirring was not going to thicken. I also realized that Kate did not even tell me how thick it was supposed to be. What does "well-thickened" mean Kate?? I stirred for probably 10-15 minutes and gave up after seeing no change in the texture, added a bit more cornstarch, and decided to throw it all in the pie anyway. And then in my cream-based panic I forgot to add the salt, pepper, and cayenne.
Here's a tip, buy another set of pie crusts. They usually come in a pair, so just go ahead and purchase four. You will need another pie to fill with all this stuff you have cooked. When it's done though, you will be glad you have two pot pies to devour. They are delicious. The poblano cream gravy will thicken during the baking process and the peppers add just enough extra flavor. I internally cursed myself for forgetting the cayenne, because it would have added a tiny additional kick. But regardless, the recipe was a delicious and messy success and I am still eating leftover pot pie for lunch.