Spinach has always been one of my favorite foods. Even when I was small, I loved spinach; especially creamed spinach. I remember one trip to Chicago as a child. We were dining at the legendary Berghoff's restaurant. When my mother didn't see creamed spinach on the menu, she asked the waiter if the kitchen could prepare it for me. They did, and I remember enjoying every bite of that special dish.
I am still finding uses for my leftover turkey (Yes, I know, we ate at a friend's for Thanksgiving. But everyone at my house was missing leftovers, so I made a turkey over the weekend). It's "Pot Pie" weather in Minnesota, and instead of mixing up the filling of peas and carrots I normally use, I decided to load my individual ramekins full of a creamy turkey florentine. This recipe makes enough for four individual servings, or a larger one quart casserole. I was hoping for a leftover pot pie today, but no such luck.
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Turkey Florentine PotPies with Cornmeal Crusts
loosely adapted from a recipe in The New York Times Cookbook
• 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 3 tablespoons finely chopped onions
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 1/2 cups turkey stock (or chicken broth)
• 1 cup half-and-half
• 2 cups diced cooked turkey (or chicken)
• 16 ounces frozen chopped spinach, cooked with all of the moisture squeezed from the spinach
• 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
• 1 teaspoon salt
• freshly ground black pepper to taste
• cornmeal pastry, recipe follows
1. Preheat over to 425˚F.
2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and cook the onions and garlic until soft and starting to turn golden. Stir in the flour and off the heat stir in the turkey stock and half-and-half. Cook, stirring until the mixture thickens. Add the chopped turkey, spinach and Parmesan. Stir to combine.
3. Fill 4 individual ramekins or a 1-quart casserole with spinach mixture. Top with the cornmeal pastry. Trim and flute the edges of the crust. Make small holes in the pastry to allow steam to escape. Bake approximately 20 minutes, or until brown.
• Cornmeal Pastry •
• 1/2 cup flour
• 1/2 cup cornmeal
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
• 3 tablespoons ice water
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, and salt. Add shortening and cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the water. Mix lightly to bring the dough together. Turn out onto a lightly floured board. If using pastry to top ramekins, divide dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece separately. Roll the pastry dough 1/8-inch thick and a little larger than the ramekins or casserole.