This is one of those recipes that I've been wanting to try for years, but my food stuffs haven't aligned for this recipe until recently. This is in the same section of potpie recipes as the Curried-Chicken Potpie that I've written about before. Finally, I had on hand potatoes, smoked ham and asparagus.
It turned out very nice. The kids loved the top crust and that the potatoes and asparagus were smothered in a cheese sauce. Miriam loved the potatoes (and only the potatoes) and Jamey and I both thought everything about it was delicious.
Potpies can be a little labor intensive, but I've found that if I make the top crust dough in the morning and refrigerate it, it makes dinner-prep much more manageable.
If your food stuffs are in perfect alignment, you better give this one a try.
Other asparagus dishes we love...
Our Favorite Quiche
Pasta with Asparagus, White Beans and Mint
Cheddar-Asparagus Potpie (adapted from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2001)
Make the dough for the top crust in the morning and refrigerate until needed. Serves 6.
1 cup flour, divided
3 tbsp. ice water
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups diced red potatoes
3 cups 1-inch sliced asparagus
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cups diced smoked ham
To make the top crust dough, combine 1/4 cup flour, ice water and vinegar into a small bowl and stir well with a fork to make a slurry. Set this aside. In a larger bowl, combine 3/4 cup flour and salt and cut in shortening with a pastry blender or another fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the slurry to the crumb mixture and combine well to form a soft dough. Form into a ball and place it on a 12x12-inch sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten it slightly and lay another piece of plastic wrap on top (12x12). Fold the sides over and place in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
To make the filling, place the potatoes in a large sauce pan and cover them with water plus an additional inch (of water). Bring them to a boil and cook them for 5-7 minutes or until they begin to get tender. Add the asparagus pieces and continue to boil for another 3 minutes or until the asparagus is tender. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, combine the flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Gradually add the milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium high heat until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add shredded cheddar. Stir until the cheese is melted. Add the diced ham, asparagus and potatoes and blend well. Transfer filling to a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray.
To finish the top crust, remove it from the fridge and unfold the folded flaps of plastic wrap, leaving the flattened ball between the two pieces of wrap. Using your rolling pin, roll out the dough (while in between the wrap) into a large circle slightly larger than the top of the dish (use the lid of your 2-quart dish to measure), adjusting the edges of the wrap as needed. Once you have the right size, peel off the top layer of wrap and make several vent slits in the dough with a knife. Now, while the dough is still attached to the bottom layer of plastic wrap, flip it upside down onto the top of the filling, centering it. Peel off the plastic wrap and tuck the edges of the dough under or crimp them to the edge. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, then turn on your broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown the top crust. Let potpie stand for 15 minutes before serving.