What should I add to this savory pie?
February 8, 2023 12:38 PM   Subscribe

I make a savory pie that consists of: pie crust (top and bottom), cheddar cheese, quick-pickled Granny Smith apples, sautéed shallots, and roasted poblano chiles. I love it, but every time I eat it I can't help thinking it needs something more. What would you do to it?

Generic additional details:

1. I'd like for it to remain vegetarian.

2. I've often wondered whether it should have some kind of gravy or liquid along the lines of a more conventional freezer-aisle pot pie.

3. Occasionally I put generic grocery chain "curry powder" in there which I think is heavily turmeric, cumin, and maybe coriander and fenugreek. This is good too.

4. I always love making something spicier than baseline.
posted by kensington314 to Food & Drink (31 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
are you asking re seasoning, texture, or additional ingredients/filler?

from the list you've got, I would think either sweet potatoes or roasted butternut squash cubes would work well as an addition, if you're looking for additional ingredients.

if it tastes dry then yeah I'd add more liquid, and maybe more acid. the curry direction for spicing sounds great, but you can also take it in a Mexican chili spice mix direction, or a mideast shawarma or baharat type direction.
posted by fingersandtoes at 12:48 PM on February 8, 2023 [4 favorites]

Yeah, roasted cauliflower, or potatoes either diced-and-roasted or kind of lightly fried.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:09 PM on February 8, 2023 [3 favorites]

Shredded cabbage, cooked down in a pan first? It goes with the flavors and it’d provide some more chewy bulk.
posted by LizardBreath at 1:12 PM on February 8, 2023 [4 favorites]

I think some kind of gravy/sauce would be good. You could either put it in the pie or serve with the pie (that way if the combination doesn't work well you can just eat the pie by itself). Maybe make a spicy Japanese curry from a packet and see how that works.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:18 PM on February 8, 2023

Seconding any portmanteau above. Those are all ingredients that I might add to a Japanese curry - I would definitely add Japanese curry to these ingredients.
posted by darchildre at 1:25 PM on February 8, 2023

It sounds really delicious. I'll have to try and make it to figure out what it needs.
Before I got below the line, I though cranberries or barberries would be a good addition, for some acidic punch, and I still do. But with your dreams of gravy and spices, I need to think a bit more.
Maybe think along the lines of a Greek hortopita? If so, greens and an egg could provide some more moisture. My daughter's favorite hortopita is with chard and fresh herbs: parsley, not too much mint, fresh oregano, dill, if it is good.
posted by mumimor at 1:29 PM on February 8, 2023

Came to say cabbage.
posted by kevinbelt at 2:15 PM on February 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

I’ve seen apple pie recipes that include a vintage cheddar in the crust itself.
posted by slightlybewildered at 2:42 PM on February 8, 2023 [3 favorites]

When I read this and picture eating it, I know for sure that I want some fresh green onions on it. Perhaps they would do okay IN it if they were put in at the assembly stage, depending on how long it cooked for.
posted by urbanlenny at 3:09 PM on February 8, 2023

I'd probably put a spoonful or two of chutney on top of the pie just before eating it.
posted by alex1965 at 3:28 PM on February 8, 2023 [7 favorites]

Some ricotta or feta or cottage cheese in there, maybe!
posted by slateyness at 3:38 PM on February 8, 2023

Dry fried mushrooms (helps to remove water and concentrate the flavor), with butter and salt added at the end. I'd dice them fairly fine and really get them brown. I was originally thinking to say bacon, but then I saw you wanted it vegetarian, so this is my usual 'this needs bacon' sub for my veggie friends.
posted by ananci at 3:56 PM on February 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

This could read like enchiladas or tamale in a pie crust instead of tortilla or cornmeal. Maybe beans and some Mexican spices? Serve with enchilada sauce or salsa and sour cream, squeeze of lime.
posted by RoadScholar at 4:01 PM on February 8, 2023

Response by poster: These are all interesting and worthy ideas! Keep them coming, really appreciate it, this is turning my single, humble savory pie into like five distinct pies.
posted by kensington314 at 4:07 PM on February 8, 2023

Response by poster: I wonder if some kind of mashed sweet potato/squash could be used to add a nice substrate that has a little more liquid, rather than using a gravy of some kind.
posted by kensington314 at 4:39 PM on February 8, 2023 [4 favorites]

This is somewhat along the lines of a delicious curry at my local Irish pub. Their Chicken Curry and Chips is divine, and the chicken is the least important part of the dish. Their menu says that their sauce is a coconut curry. So maybe if you want it a tad saucier, try mixing up a coconut curry sauce? They serve it all over wide fries / british chips. I bet some frozen crinkle cut fries would be great in your pie. If you want more protein, some tofu or quorn or soy curds would be a nice addition.

Regarding your update - uh yeah, mashed potato pie? sign me up!
posted by hydra77 at 4:56 PM on February 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

I make a similar pie, but rather than the chiles, for the herb/spice dimension it has a good handful of fresh thyme or rosemary. You can also incorporate some thyme or rosemary into the crust. Goes nicely with a fruit chutney.
posted by threecheesetrees at 5:07 PM on February 8, 2023

a splash of soy sauce and maybe some miso will kick the savoriness up a notch, and i wonder if it needs some acid, maybe a bit of apple cider vinegar, to balance out the flavors
posted by dis_integration at 5:50 PM on February 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

I like sweet pies a la mode, or with a little whipped cream.

For a savory pie, maybe a dab of sour cream, greek yogurt, or a raita as a garnish.
posted by Maxwell_Smart at 6:00 PM on February 8, 2023

posted by mmascolino at 6:04 PM on February 8, 2023

Butternut squash. I'd say chorizo, but if you're going vegetarian...faux-rizo?
posted by daisystomper at 6:21 PM on February 8, 2023

Maybe something for a bit more umami, like white miso?
posted by dbmcd at 6:41 PM on February 8, 2023

Walnuts (softened), cranberries, some kind of veggie bacon?
posted by EarnestDeer at 7:10 PM on February 8, 2023

Cheese, apples, and peppers all pair extremely well with tart fruit. So sour cherry preserves, cranberries, lingonberry jam, raspberry jam... I would try anything like this I had handy.
posted by rhiannonstone at 8:19 PM on February 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

I second the idea someone said above, re cabbage. Saute with an acid to match your seasonings, and you'll have added sweetness, texture, bulk and moisture.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:24 PM on February 8, 2023

Thinly sliced onions sautéed in butter.
posted by Enid Lareg at 11:51 PM on February 8, 2023

Thyme, possibly oregano as well.
posted by Lady Li at 12:05 AM on February 9, 2023

This pie is similar to one from Mollie Katzen (Moosewood fame) but has saurkraut added, which I think will give a lot more umph than quick pickeled apples.

If you looking for it to be more filling, I love cubed potatoes added in.
posted by waving at 7:30 AM on February 9, 2023

Red cabbage imparts color and is often cooked with apples. Sweet & sour red cabbage just needs cider vinegar and some sugar. Similarly, beets, on their own or pickled or sweet/sour. Maybe sauerkraut or even kimchi.
posted by theora55 at 9:50 AM on February 9, 2023

Branston pickle on the side
posted by lalochezia at 4:32 PM on February 9, 2023

Everything on the list is soft, so I think you need to add texture - something with a little tooth and crunch. The chutney suggestion is great. Was also thinking chopped walnuts and parsley as a good interior layer.

I think it sounds great as is, though, and if I were serving would just serve it with a side of salad, like an endive/frisee/radicchio salad that has some tooth to it, with a mustard/white wine vinaigrette.
posted by Miko at 7:40 PM on February 9, 2023

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