This is my adaptation of Ann Jackson's "Tofu Pot Pie with Cornmeal Crust" from her fantastic cookbook, Cookin' Southern Vegetarian Style.
I know what you're thinking: Ugh! Tofu! Seriously? Well, I'm a carnivore who is seriously cutting back on her meat consumption and Ann's recipes are out-of-this-world. I made this pie for lunch today and thought it was hearty, rich, satisfying and it definitely expanded my horizons. Do I often cook with tofu or miso? No. But Ann showed me that these ingredients have merit and can produce a soulful meal--with health benefits, to boot!
For the crust:
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (Ann uses whole wheat pastry flour. Your choice.)
1/2 cup cornmeal (I used Bob's Red Mill Medium Grind Yellow Cornmeal.)
Pinch kosher salt
5 tablespoons cold butter
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (My addition, and it's so good in this crust.)
3 tablespoons cold water
For the filling:
1 extra-large baking potato, peeled, cubed and boiled until tender
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup baby carrots, thinly sliced (Slice them thinner than I did here!)
1 pound extra-firm tofu, cubed
1/3 cup butter
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Dash each paprika, salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon Original Spike Seasoning
2 tablespoons miso
3/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 cup vegetable broth (or water)
1 tablespoon tamari
Make the crust first. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until it forms fine crumbs. Combine the water and oil; stir into the flour mixture. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl. If needed, add more water, one teaspoon at a time. Wrap the dough in wax paper and refrigerate until needed.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12 x 8" Pyrex dish with Pam and set aside.
While the potato is boiling, slice up the carrots, onion and tofu. Quickly rinse the mushrooms and add to the cutting board.
Melt the 1/3 cup butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion for five minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Whisk in flour, paprika, salt, pepper and Spike. (Mixture will be very thick). Reduce heat to low. Dissolve miso in hot water. Add to the skillet along with half-and-half, broth and tamari. Stir in the drained potato, carrots, mushrooms and tofu. Remove from heat. Pour mixture into the prepared dish and set aside.
Remove pastry from waxed paper. Place on a lightly floured board and roll to about 1/4" thickness. Cut into strips with a pizza cutter. Place the strips in a criss-cross pattern over the filling in the dish.
Bake for 45 minutes or until crust is brown and the filling is bubbly.
Ann is vegan and used soy margarine in the crust and vegetable oil in the filling instead of butter. The half-and-half and broth were my additions because the sauce, as originally written, was way too thick for me. And I had to throw in Spike. It is just an incredible seasoning. I can find it out here in the boonies at Food Lion! Seek it out.