Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Individual Red Lentil Pot Pies

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There are just some culinary terms that make me extra happy and pot pie is one of them. The image of creamy filling encased in pastry is enough to make me hungry. It's also an incredibly versatile dish since both the crust and the filling can be varied so much.


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I definitely grew up on chicken pot pie, as did most of my friends. But I'm always happy to try a veggie or bean version. As a general rule, I love legumes in all their various forms but, when it comes to lentils, I find the milder flavor of the split red ones go well in a larger variety of dishes. They also cook up much quicker which means no pre-planning and pre-soaking is needed.

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My cupboard usually has a bag of Ziyad brand red lentils since I can add them to so many dishes and my spice cabinet never runs out of za'atar because it's my favorite seasoning. Za'atar is a Middle Eastern blend that typically contains salt, thyme, sumac and sesame seeds. The exact proportions and ingredients vary by brand and by region but I love Ziyad's roasted thyme green za'atar and I've yet to find a savory dish that doesn't taste great with it.

I made my favorite all butter pastry dough and a cheesy bechamel...because most things are better with cheese. While my dough was chilling, I cooked up some pot pie basics like onions, garlic, peas and carrots and the whole thing came together easily. Cold, dreary weather and a hot pie equals foodie goodness. Enjoy!

Individual Red Lentil Pot Pies
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by Hungry Couple
Prep Time: 45 Minutes
Cook Time: 60 Minutes
Ingredients (4 Servings)
    Crust:
    • 2 1/4 Cups all purpose flour
    • 2 Sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1" pieces
    • 1 Teaspoon salt
    • 5 Tablespoons ice water
    Filling:
    • 1 Cup Ziyad red lentils
    • 2 Cups water
    • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 Onion, peeled and diced
    • 3 Cloves garlic, peeled and minced
    • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
    • 1 Cup milk
    • 4 oz. Smoked Gouda cheese, grated
    • 3/4 Cup peas
    • 3/4 Cup carrots, peeled and diced
    • 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
    • 1 Teaspoon Ziyad za'atar
    • Salt and black pepper to taste

    • 2 Tablespoons cream for topping
    • Sea salt for topping
    • 4 Mini (4 - 4 1/2") spring-form pans
    Instructions
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    Make the dough by adding the flour, butter and salt to a food processor. Pulse a few times, just until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Then, with the machine running, pour the ice water in through the feed tube.

    Continue running until the dough comes together. Turn it out onto a floured surface and form into a dough ball. Cut into 4 equal pieces, wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

    Add the lentils and water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, uncover and allow to cool. Season with the za'atar.

    While the lentils are cooking, add the butter and onion to a large pan and saute until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the flour until the onion mixture is thoroughly coated and then stir in the milk.

    Add in the grated cheese and continue cooking on medium heat until melted. Stir in the peas and carrots and cook for another few minutes until the mixture begins to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.

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    Add the cooked lentils to the cheese mixture and remove from the heat. Allow to cool for a few minutes while you pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

    Cut about a third off each dough ball (those will be your pot pie lids) and, on a well floured surface, roll the remainder of each ball out fairly thinly. Drape it over each of the mini spring-form pans and press in.

    Add an equal amount of the lentil filling to each pan. Roll out the "lids" and cover each pie. Roll the edges together to seal and cut a slit in the center. Brush with cream and sprinkle on a little sea salt.
    Place the spring-form pans on a sheet pan to catch any drips and bake in the oven for approximately 50 minutes or until the tops are a light golden brown.

    When cool enough to handle, release the spring form and serve.

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    You can purchase all the Ziyad products at many large grocery chains around the country or through their store on Amazon.

    This recipe is sponsored by Ziyad. Thank you for supporting the products I love and use in my kitchen.

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