As a vegetarian, I sometimes adapt recipes to make them veggie-friendly. They also need to be family friendly and easy because I don’t have patience to spend hours in the kitchen. Tall order.
I found Carla Hall’s cornbread skillet pot pie recipe in the October 2017 issue of Redbook magazine. The original calls for chicken, but I substituted frozen seitan strips with good success. This was a little more work than I usually do for a weekday meal (and I added too much lemon zest) but I would try it again! It’s pretty enough to serve to company.
Cornbread skillet pot pie
For the base mixture:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 carrots, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups vegetable broth
12 sprigs fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried)
3 to 3 1/2 pounds of faux chicken strips or seitan cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, roughly chopped (I used 2 teaspoons dried)
2 tsp lemon zest
For the cornbread:
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tsp dried)
- Heat oven to 400F. Make the base mixture: Heat the oil and butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Once the butter melts, add the onion, season with 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 6 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute.
- Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Gradually stir in the broth. Add the thyme sprigs and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the cornbread batter. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs, butter, and milk and mix to combine. Fold in the thyme leaves and 1/2 tsp coarsely cracked pepper.
- Add the seitan, half-and-half, peas, tarragon, and lemon zest and 1/2 tsp salt to the skillet and mix to combine.
- Remove the thyme sprigs from the mizture and discard. Gently spread the batter over the base mixture, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cornbread comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.