I made this rather La-Vish/lavish Vegan Ocean Pie over the weekend. D wasn't feel too good, so we didn't venture far at all. I decided to play with some new ingredients and incorporate them into this experimental Pie. This vegan 'Fish' Pie is packed with vegetables, smoked tofu, sea vegetables, spaghetti seaweed and sea flakes to give it that natural taste of the sea.
Unlike the other vegetarian and vegan pies featured on my blog, this one is made with lots of unusual ingredients and has a lot of processes before it reaches the plate, but its all worth it. One of the other things I wanted to do was cut the tofu to resemble little fishies, click here to see my Tofu Fish, but couldn't find my cutter, but I did get round to using my new EZ Tofu Press (see below).
I feel for D, he eats mostly vegetarian meals because of me. The only meat he will eat is fish, but its not often. Its only if we ever go out to eat or on holidays overseas, he will order a fish or seafood meal, but even then its quite rare. He doesn't moan, but I know sometimes he hankers for some Fish Supper Fridays. So I made this with him in mind. I was a little unsure if he would accept this meal, but he has always been gracious and accepted whatever I have put on the table for him to eat. He thought the ingredients mimicked the flavours of a Fish pie well. Lots of textures and flavours from the vegetables, seaweed and liquid smoked tofu.
The cream sauce was delicious enhanced by the nutritional yeast. The only thing that muddied the creamy sauce was the chestnut mushrooms, if I could have found oyster mushrooms locally, I would have thrown them into the pan, but its a small aesthetic thing, it did not impact on the dish as a whole. To finish off it was topped of with mashed potatoes that were doused with Green Nori flakes and then put into the oven to bake.
I used my new EZ Tofu Press to press water out of the tofu, but more about that later.
2 tablespoons oil
3 sticks celery, peeled of stringy outer skin and then thinly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 fat leek, sliced thinly
200g oyster mushrooms or other white mushrooms, sliced thickly
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 bay leaves
200g baby peas
5g Spaghetti Seaweed, reconstituted and drained
400g smoked tofu, sliced through in half, then chopped into small cubes*
Optional: 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
150ml vegetable stock
In a wide pan, heat the oil.
Add the celery and carrots and cook until the vegetables begin to appear that they are softening, then stir in the leeks and saute until they begin to wilt, then the mushrooms and spices.
Cook until the mushrooms are cooked, then stir in the peas and the drained sea vegetables and spaghetti seaweed, smoked tofu, liquid smoke and stock.
Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for a few minutes before turning off the heat and allow to cool.
Remove the bay leaves.
For the 'Creamy Saue'
1 tablespoon vegan margarine
2 tablespoons plain flour
1/2 litre of unflavoured soy milk
40g nutritional yeast
Salt to taste
In a saucepan, melt the margarine gently, then stir in the flour and a tablespoon of the soy milk to make a roux. Then carefully pour int he remaining milk and the nutritional yeast, stirring as you pour. The sauce will magically thicken to a creamy gold lushness. turn off and remove from the heat.
Transfer to a large ovenproof casserole tray.
Ingredients and method for the topping
Stir 1 tablespoon of Nori seaweed flakes and 2 tablespoon butter to 800g mashed potatoes.
Then gently top the sea flavoured vegetables with the Nori Mash.
Bake in oven gas mark 5/200oc for 25 minutes or until the top is beginning to turn golden and the sides are bubbling.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately.