by Sofia

Yesterday I wound up being in charge of a dinner party for nine people: Ahmad, Mooli, Sara, Feriel, Jey, JN, Mochka, and Michael were in attendance. It went swimmingly.

On the one hand, this dinner was quite a production and looked like a Thanksgiving feast spread out on the table. It would have been hard to do without everyone helping out, and I was nervous when I got home and realized I only had an hour and a half to clean up the house and get all the separate dishes ready. On the other hand, once the turkey pie was in the oven and people started showing up, everything else was easy to put together and I was able to enjoy the evening. It felt like just a great dinner with lots of people, which is my favourite way of having people over. Instead of something really majestic (and stressful) every once in a while, I’d rather have big dinners like this every few weeks. It’s why I like Shabbat, and why I miss the dinners we had growing up. Here’s to many more of these in the near future.

• • •

marinated mushrooms
cured black olives
olive bread toasts with hummus and goat cheese spread

turkey pot pie
spinach, mushroom, tomato and ricotta pie

endive and chicory salad

rapini in balsamic and browned butter sauce
spicy red cabbage and tomato with raisins
purée of sweet potato, potato, and carrots with garlic

a dozen doughnuts from Léché Desserts

• • •

turkey pot pie

  • 2 10-inch pie crusts
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Roll out bottom pie crust, press into a 10 inch pie pan, and set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onion, celery, carrots, parsley, oregano, and salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the bouillon and water. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir in the potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm. Add more water or skim milk if not liquid enough.

In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in the flour, then add the milk and heat through. Add turkey but stir just to mix, lest turkey fall apart. Stir the turkey mixture into the vegetable mixture, and cook until thickened. At this point the mixture should have the consistency you want for the finished pie. Add more water if too thick or not gooey enough. Pour mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Roll out the top crust, and place on top of filling. Flute edges, and make several pretty slits in the top crust to let out steam. Brush with melted butter to get a more aesthetically pleasing pie.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and continue baking for 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

pie crust

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (can be white as well, or any combination of both)
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water

Knead butter into flour until uniform. Add salt and water, and knead until dough is smooth and rolls out easily. Adjust with water if too brittle or flour if too sticky. Roll out to desired size.

endive and chicory salad

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarse-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium Belgian endives, sliced crosswise about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 head chicory, tough outer leaves discarded and remaining leaves sliced

Mince garlic, then mash to a paste with salt using mortar and pestle. Whisk together garlic paste, mustard, vinegar, pepper, and oil. Whisk until emulsified. Just before serving, toss greens with vinaigrette.