Wednesday, November 14, 2012
White bean and kale pot pie
Did I ever tell you about the time Summer and I went to Politics and Prose to see Deb Perelman? She of Smitten Kitchen fame? It was a fateful evening just a few days ago. Monday, to be exact.
I've been reading the blog for 4 years (since moving to DC!), and waiting with bated breath for Deb's beautiful cookbook to be released. Summer is a fellow fan, and we trekked up to Van Ness to get our books and dash of literary/foodie/blogger celebrity.
We were not the only people excited to see Deb. There was a crowd of over 450 (mostly female, a few patient, sweet husbands and boyfriends), and the bookstore sold out of their 850 copies of her cookbook. In one night. Let us not underestimate the popularity of a woman who has created a cookie with popcorn in it.
She was sweet. She went to school in DC, and her mom was in the crowd. She seemed genuinely humbled by the number of fellow foodies who showed up just for her book release, and was taking iPhone photos throughout her introduction to document the evening. The event went quickly downhill when the signing started (you haven't seen a more respectful but excited mob of people at a bookstore), but we were glad to have gone to see one of our favorite Internet voices.
When last night rolled around, it only seemed appropriate to make a Smitten Kitchen recipe. The temperatures have honestly plunged in the last 24 hours (Monday night involved only a tee and jeans, while Tuesday was more of a heavy canvas jacket with liner and wool scarf), and her White Bean, Pancetta, and Swiss Chard Pot Pies seemed just the ticket. (I also made them during Hurricane Sandy, so this recipe is a repeat offender.) I swapped out the pancetta and chard for bacon and kale, although we first made it without meat and it was glorious.
It's a wonderful mix of autumnal tastes: bitter, earthy kale in a vegetable-laden roux, enrobed in a flaky, thick crust. JP always insists upon double-crusts on our pot pies, so this was made in a 9-inch pie plate with crusts above and below. He may be onto something- it's divine with extra butter and flour.
I'd love to add some butternut squash next time around with this recipe, but am almost afraid to mess with such greatness. Enjoy it while the temps are low and comfort food is in order!