It’s been raining a fair bit here in Sacramento and I’ve been in the mood to cook up some good old fashioned comfort food.  The problem was, I couldn’t find a recipe. I wanted a recipe that would marry salmon chowder with a comforting pot pie. So, folks, this is what I came up with…sadly, I still haven’t replaced my digital camera, so there’s no picture to post.

This recipe is for a 9 x 13 baking dish or six individual pot pies (I used 12 ounce capacity flat-bottomed oven-safe dishes). You can increase/decrease the recipe by simply altering the ingredient ratios. As always, if you make this, let me know what you think. Comments are always welcome!

Filling:

This is a three part process:

1. Salmon: In a pan, placed four fillets (roughly 1.5 lbs) with orange slice ontop, seasoned with tarragon, salt and pepper. Added 2 cups of water to the saucepan and allowed the salmon to cook for about 20 minutes on medium heat. Strain off the juice (save for cooking veggies). Set salmon aside to cool; once cool, shred and reserve for later.

2. Basic Cheese sauce (makes 2 cups): I used 1 cup white cheddar and 1 c. pepper jack but it’s not necessary— just my preference and what I had on hand.

2 TBSP corn starch
2 TBSP flour
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon White Pepper
2 cups shredded cheese
Pinch of Cayenne pepper

Combine corn starch, flour, and milk in a saucepan; stir until smooth. Add salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and cayenne pepper. This makes a delicious sauce for macaroni and cheese, vegetables, chicken or soups. Set aside.

3. Veggies: In a pan, with 1 TBSP. of olive olive, place 2 leeks, ¼ of a large red onion, and 1/4 lb. uncooked bacon (roughly chopped). Allow the bacon and leeks to cook. Pour 1 cup of the salmon stock into the pan to deglaze. To this add 4 large potatoes and 4 large carrots (all of which have been cubed or thinly sliced and boiled until al dente and drained), 1 tsp. smoked paprika, 3/4 c. finely chopped parsley. These are the veggies I had on hand but next time, I’m considering adding some peppers and chilis.

Biscuit topping:

1 cup buttermilk
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter (cold and cubed)
2 tsp. baking powder

Mix flour, salt, and baking powder in food processor. Add 1/2 c. butter and spin until the flour has a coarse, cornmeal-like consistency. Add 1 c. buttermilk and spin until dough clumps. Remove from food processor and place on floured surface. Press out until 1/2″ thick.

Putting it all together:

Add the cheese sauce and salmon to the veggie mixture and reheat (do not allow to boil). If you don’t warm up the mixture, your biscuit topping is going to be gummy. Prepare the dish(es) by buttering the sides and lip of the casserole dish(es). If using individual baking dishes, spoon mixture into each dish, leaving 1/4-1/2″ space from top.

For your biscuit topping, cut circles or squares to cover the top of the dish.

Bake at 400 for 30 minutes (for large pan) and 20-25 minutes for individual pot pies.

For a side dish, you could prepare a salad or in my case, I served with homemade sweet potato fries.



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