When Sean suggested that I post this recipe (one of his favorites) on the blog, I ran up against a little problem: I didn’t have a recipe for it. That is, I didn’t have much more than a list of ingredients–no measurements, no instructions. You see, this is one that my mother has made since before I can remember, and she pretty much invented it. She says there was a starting point recipe, but the version I know and love is pretty much nothing like it (to the point where I have never even seen that “starting point” and I’m not sure a printed copy of it exists any more). This is a recipe, then, that is always a little different when I make it because everything in it is approximate :D. Now, of course, the general amounts of tofu and veggies and sauce stay about the same, otherwise it wouldn’t turn out at all and probably wouldn’t always fill the pie shell correctly. In order to get this recipe blog-ready, then, I actually measured things and wrote down what I was doing. You have no idea what kind of a sacrifice this was for me … I NEVER make Tofu Pot Pie that way :-P. So, I hope you enjoy this, and if it isn’t quite right for you, well, feel free to tweak something … after all, this is only one version of this “recipe”!

Tofu Pot Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 TBS paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 ground sage
  • 1 lb firm or extra firm tofu
  • 2 pie crusts
  • 1 12-16 oz. package frozen mixed veggies (the corn, carrots, peas, and green beans mix)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 large celery stalks
  • 2 large carrots (you can omit adding these if you don’t have good ones, since there are some in the mixed veggies already)
  • appx. 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1.5 cups milk

Directions:

1. Slice the tofu into cubes (1/2-1/4 inch). Put the flour, paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a gallon ziplock bag, seal the bag, and toss it all together until well combined. Add the tofu chunks (make sure they’re all broken apart from each other) and toss them all around until the tofu is thoroughly covered (this is a basic method for breading).

2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. You may need to add more as the frying goes along, just watch that the tofu chunks don’t get too dry underneath and have nothing to fry in. Sift the tofu out from the extra flour, add it to the hot oil and fry until rather crispy, turning the tofu over after a bit in order to crisp all the sides. To sift the tofu out of the flour quickly I dump it in a colander over top of a dinner plate and shake.

3. Once the tofu is crispy, turn the heat down to around medium and add the sliced celery, chopped carrots (if you’ve got ‘em) and onion and fry them until the onion starts to get a little translucent and soft (a couple of minutes).

4. Once the veggies and tofu are done remove them from the heat and set aside.

5. In a medium sauce pan heat 3 TBS olive oil. Once it is hot, add 4 TBS flour–use whatever spiced flour is left from the tofu breading, or, if that isn’t enough use additional white flour. Whisk this together, then gradually add the 1.5 cups of milk. Add the sage and thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Cook this over medium-low to medium heat until thickened, 5-10 minutes depending on how cold the milk was (warming it first speeds up the sauce making process).

6. Defrost the frozen mixed veggies once both tofu and sauce are done. Mix the veggies with the tofu mixture in the large skillet, then add enough sauce to make it all stick together. Press the bottom crust into a greased deep-dish pie pan. Pour the filling in and pour the rest of the sauce over the top. Put on the top crust, pinch and seal the edges  and make the little slits in the top. Bake the pie at 425 degrees Fahrenheit until it’s nice and crispy and brown, about 40 minutes (you can smell it nicely when it is done, and the top should be browning).

7. Let cool at least 10-15 minutes before serving or it will be nuclear hot and burn your mouth and the filling will ooze all over when you cut into it and serve up. It’ll stay hot inside quite a while, don’t worry about it getting too cold to be tasty in that much time!