Sunday, January 2, 2011

Prawn & Potato Pie

Happy New Year everyone!

Normally I like to be able to say - "don't be alarmed by the long list of ingredients" or something along those lines but that sentiment does not apply here. This is fussy to make, there's no getting around it. But look! Cubes of potatoes are combined with sweet, chopped prawns, creamy leeks, mellow gruyere and laced through with fresh dill.

If you’re feeling chipper one morning, the radio is on, and you’ve got a mimosa at the ready then making this pie isn’t really a burden at all. Paired with some sparkling and fresh fruit this made for a delicious brunch. I can also see it served for dinner alongside a lettuce salad dressed with mustard vinaigrette. I love brunch, perhaps because brunch often involves morning cocktails, and am eager to encounter the next great strata or coffee cake or quiche recipe. This pie flirts with being a quiche but doesn't contain enough eggs for such a classification in my book.

This dish is based on an old Cooking Light recipe but I’ve changed it so much that it barely resembles the original. I liked the idea though: a prawn (or shrimp) pie filling in an easy pat-in-the-pan crust. I make my crust with half quinoa flour and really enjoy the subtle nutty note it imparts. That, plus the touch of cornmeal, makes for a sturdy crust.

Leftovers reheated nicely the next day.

For the crust:
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup quinoa flour
  • 2 tablespoons coarse cornmeal
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • ½ teaspoon white vinegar
Whisk together the flours, cornmeal, and salt. With a pastry blender, work in the butter until pea-sized crumbs form. Stir in the ice water and vinegar. The dough will be crumbly. 

Spray a pie plate with cooking spray. Pour in the crust and press it evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Bake for 5 minutes at 375f (190c). Set aside on a cooling rack while the filling is being prepared. Leave the oven on.

For the filling:
  • 4 small fingerling or other yellow-fleshed potato
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ounces (50 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 9 ounces (.25 kg) uncooked prawns, tails removed and coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup grated gruyere
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
Cook 4 small yellow potatoes in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain and set aside. When cool enough to handle, cut into cubes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and cream cheese with a mixer until blended. On low speed, beat in the flour, mustard and evaporated milk. Stir in the prawns, gruyere, dill, salt, and reserved potatoes.

In a nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until just soft, about 10 minutes. Stir the leeks into the filling.

Pour the filling onto the crust, evenly distributing the ingredients. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 40 minutes so that the filling is set and the top is golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

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