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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 July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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