I am a BIG FAN of the Annie Somerville’s curries and stews. Admittedly, they’re rather intimidating at first blush. For my favorite recipe – Summer Vegetables with Red Curry – the process starts by making a lemongrass soup stock from scratch. The stock is then used when simmering sweet red peppers, chilies, coconut milk, and spices to create the red curry. After slicing, dicing, and sautéing a host of fresh vegetables with toasted spices, the curry gets added to the mix and does its magic. (FYI – I’ve learned to make the time pass pleasantly by listening to great music while cooking.) The end result is something of which dreams are made.
The Winter Vegetable Pie is another “high maintenance” dish that is well worth the effort. One makes a butter and flour roux on the stovetop to which a reduction of homemade mushroom stock is added gradually. This sauce provides rich flavoring for a collective of vegetables which includes celery root, dried porcini mushrooms, white mushroom, fennel, carrots, onion, garlic, and fresh herbs. This mixture fills a pie dish and is capped with flaky tart dough. While each slice proved a bit runny on the plate, it hardly affected our enjoyment.
A word of advice when baking the Winter Venegatble Pie: Place a cookie sheet under the pie pan. The filling may ooze out the sides and start burning on the bottom of the oven.
For a less labor-intensive meal, I’d recommend the Southern Rio Stew.