Saturday, March 05, 2011

Saturday, February 26th - Ultimate in Comfort Lobster Fennel Pot Pie

4lb Lobster for Pot Pie
It snowed all day today. It started off all teasing like it would just be your snow globe sort of snow fall that doesn't even leave a wet trace on the sidewalk and it just kept falling! That is very rare in Vancouver. As it started to pile up on the sidewalk, I regretted not having planned a big day of staying in projects but alas, we had a ton to do.

Planning on fitting in food shopping into the day, D checked out the TnT website for seafood sales. Their seafood counter, as I've said, is awesome. Lobster was on sale but just the monsters. It told D that it would wipe out my seafood in take for the week at that size but I was cool with it. In the end, he decided to may a Pot Pie. He reckoned, we could stretch out the lobster intake that way.

It was D's first Pot Pie so he decided, if he was going to go to all the trouble that he would darn well make his own crust. We had a frozen one in the freezer for occasions such as this but we only had enough for the top anyway. He insisted on a top and bottom, which, according to last night's Top Chef, is a big fave of Pot Pie lovers.  We cross referenced a few recipes based on what we had in the house and my current Potato fedish.

We had half a Fennel Bulb kicking around and a bag of Nugget Potatoes from my penchant nearing obsession for Nugget Potatoes for the last few months. Hmmm, I`ve just realised we`re out now. I`ll have to remedy that on my way past a grocery store.

It is a big job and even a bigger job when one of us, me, is sitting on the couch plotting my sewing project for Sunday. Well, really, I can`t really 'deal' with dispatching a Lobster so D has to do that.  So he has the right to ignore my request to include all the flavourful green stuff in the sternum which he thought hard to even look at.  And the crust is all D.  We have our specialities in the house and Pies and things involving rolling, are his.  I do things that involve leavening. I do make pies but have decided that I'd rather expend my energy on the yummo filling and find a really good crust I trust.  D prefers to make his.  In this case, it was well worth it.  I could have just eaten that crust. MMMMMMM  In the ever waged battle between Lard, Shortening or Butter, we are deeply entrenched with BUTTER!  We probably sacrifice on the Tender but the flavour is unbeatable.

Lobster Fennel Pot Pie

Filling
4 lb Lobster, cooked, shelled, chopped (about 500g/1lb Lobster Meat)
(we used the Tail and Claws. D did not feel like fussing with the legs)
10-12 Nugget Potatoes quartered, 1cm cubes
1/2 Fennel Bulb, chopped, 1cm cubes
1 Med/Large Carrot, chopped, 1cm cubes (~1 cup)
1/2 large Yellow Onion (~1 cup)
1 c Peas
1/2 c Butter (1 stick)
1/2 c Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 T Pernod (or you could sub Vermouth or leave it out)
2 c Clam Juice, (we keep bottles in the pantry. You could use Fish or Lobster Stock too)
3 T Heavy Cream (if I were involved I would have just used Milk)
1/2 - 2/3 c Parsley, chopped, Fresh or 1/4 of this dry
1 1/2 t Salt
1t White Pepper

Crust
1/2 lb (2 sticks or 1 c) Butter
3 cups Flour
1 1/2 t Salt
1 t Baking Powder 
1/2 - 3/4 Ice Water

Egg Wash
1 Egg
1 T Cream
Truffle Oil as garnish (optional)

Lobster:
Fill a giganormous, stock pot, with Water, about 2/3 full.  Add 1 T Bay Seasoning.  Bring to a boil.  Place the Lobster head first into the water and cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.  Shell is bright red.  Yes this might short but the meat will continue to cook in pot pie and according to the Wild Chef, J-L Picard, we all chronically over cook our lobster. Drain and remove meat. Cut into ping pong ball sized pieces and set aside.

Filling:
In a large pot or Dutch Oven, saute the Onions, Carrots, Potatoes and Fennel in the Butter on Medium heat for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over all the vegetable to avoid clumping.  Stir briefly.  Reduce the heat to Low heat for 5 min. Stir occasionally. On the side, in a small sauce pan, heat the Clam Juice, Pernod and Pepper.  Bring to a boil then turn off.  Slowly add the liquid in the saucepan, stirring.  Season with the Salt to taste. Add the Heavy Cream and the Parsley. Turn the heat off or even remove from the burner.  Add the Lobster meat and Peas to the filling just before assembly.  Fold gently.  Actually you could just Lobster on top in the pan to ensure even distribution.

Crust:
In a food processor with cutting blade, full sized, mix the Flour, Salt, and Baking Powder.  Make sure to stop up the feeder tube or get a face full of flour :^D. Add Butter in 1/2 stick pieces and pulse until you have an crumbly mixture of about even sized peas sized bits. Then with the machine running and the feeder tube open, drizzle in the Ice Water.  Add and Mix just enough to moisten the Dough and have it just come together in a ball and away from the sides. Dump the contents on a clean and floured counter and knead only enough to shape into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest for 30 min in the fridge.

Assembling Lobster Pot Pie
Assembly:
Preheat the oven to 375 F with the rack in the bottom third.

Divide the dough in half and roll out each half to fit the baking dish you plan to use. Roll about 1/8 inch thick can be slightly thicker than a pie crust.  We used a Lasagna Pan.  Make sure your dish of choice is ovenproof. Place the first half the of the crust in the dish and shape to fit with it spilling over the edge slightly.  Spoon in the filling.  Cover with the top crust. Press the crusts together.  D let the top crust spill well over the sides. Brush with the Egg wash. Poke a few holes the top crust and bake for 1 hr 20 min.  If the top looks like it is too brown too soon.  Cover loosely with Foil but you'll want to bake another 5 minutes with the foil off to ensure it's crispy.  The top should be nicely tanned and the filling is bubbling through the vents.

Cooked Lobster Fennel Pot Pie
Remove from the oven and let sit for about 15 minutes. 

Serve hot with Pepper or Truffle Oil to taste.  SOOOOOOGOOOOOOD!!

Lobster Fennel Pot Pie Served

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4 Leave a / Read COMMENTs:

Lizzy said...

Wow, what a fabulous pot pie! How could it not be delicious with a homemade butter crust and lobster???? It sounds amazing!

Jill Colonna said...

Looks fabulous. Must be great to make together as a team. Good luck with the snow!

Cheryl and Adam @ pictureperfectmeals.com said...

The fennel and lobster is a great flavor combination! Look forward to making this.

The Mom Chef said...

I've never had lobster in a pot pie but it looks delicious and I can't wait to give it a try. I'm loving the way you did your crust as well.