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Bayou country, spring vegetables inspire shrimp pot pie

Recipe: Shrimp pot pie with fresh peas, carrots and spring onions

What's below the crust? Shrimp and a delicious collection of fresh vegetables.

What's below the crust? Shrimp and a delicious collection of fresh vegetables. Debbie Arrington

The first time I had shrimp pie was at an antebellum plantation mansion-turned-B&B on Louisiana’s River Road. The place also served dinner because it was too far away from any restaurants in the middle of nowhere next to the mighty Mississippi. (It was possibly haunted, too.)

There were no menu choices; just a Creole-inspired prix fixe dinner. Before that meal, I had never considered the possibility of a shrimp pie. I couldn’t wait until I got home to California to make one myself.

Shrimp filling for pot pie
The creamy sauce, shrimp and vegetables are
ready to go into the pie.

That was almost 40 years ago, and I have been “playing” with the recipe ever since.

Pot pie is best with spring vegetables such as fresh peas and carrots and mild spring onions. Try not to overcook the shrimp; they can turn tough.

The rich sauce is just enough to keep everything moist underneath that single crust. Use a prepared crust or, if you prefer, one from scratch.

Shrimp pot pie

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

Butter or cooking spray for baking dish

¾ pound large shrimp, cleaned and tails removed

1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Juice of ½ lemon

2 tablespoons butter or more as needed

1 spring onion, chopped

6 button or cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 carrot, sliced into thin coins

1 cup fresh peas, shelled

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ cup dry white wine

¼ cup heavy cream

¼ cup milk

1 prepared 9-inch pie crust

Flour

Instructions:

Butter or spray a deep 8-inch casserole dish. Set aside.

In a bowl, sprinkle shrimp with seasoning and lemon juice; stir.

Finished pot pie
The filling bubbled up over the crust
while the pot pie was baking.

In a large heavy pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add shrimp and sauté briefly on both sides until the shrimp just turns pink, about 2 minutes a side. With a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.

Add more butter to the pan if needed. Add onion and sauté until soft. Add mushrooms and sauté to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add carrots to the mix and sauté another 2 minutes. Add peas and sauté until bright green, about 2 minutes more.

Add thyme and white wine to the pan and simmer until the wine is reduced by half, about 5 minutes (or less). Stir in the heavy cream and milk. Cook until sauce thickens slightly. Stir in shrimp and let cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Transfer the shrimp filling into the prepared casserole dish. (Use a deep dish; the filling will bubble.) With floured hands, top the filling with the pie crust. The crust can sit on top of the filling or stretch across the top of the dish. Make several slits in the crust.

Bake in a 400-degree oven until the crust is golden and the filling bubbles around the edges, 30 to 40 minutes. Bake the pie on top of a baking sheet to catch any overflow.

Remove from oven. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes, then serve.

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RECIPE

A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.

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Garden Checklist for week of June 23

Get to work in the mornings while it’s still cool.

* Irrigate early in the day; your plants will appreciate it.

* Generally, tomatoes need deep watering two to three times a week, but don't let them dry out completely. That can encourage blossom-end rot.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the early hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Avoid pot “hot feet.” Place a 1-inch-thick board under container plants sitting on pavement. This little cushion helps insulate them from radiated heat.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants. Mulch to conserve moisture and reduce heat stress.

* Cut back Shasta daisies after flowering to encourage a second bloom in the fall.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes. 

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

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