OK, so this can be done with Chicken or just Veggies – or, if you’re feeling extravagant – Lobster. We went with crab because it is still fresh and available in the Pacific Northwest. That, coupled with some already defrosted puff pastry from the night before, led to this inspiration – a mashup of a couple of different recipes.
First, pre-heat the oven to 400. Spread out two sheets of pre-made puff pastry (we used Pepperidge Farms) on a large, floured surface. Roll the sheets with a floured rolling pin until they about 1/2 the thickness. Lightly grease a deep ceramic baking dish – about 6-9″ in diameter and 2-3″ deep – with unsalted butter. Place one of the sheets over the greased ceramic dish and gently press into the sides and edges, letting some of the pastry fall over the top edges of the dish. Prick a few small holes into the bottom of the pastry.
Place the ceramic dish and pastry into the pre-heated oven on a baking dish and bake for 25 mins until golden.
For the filling you’ll need – 3 Tbs unsalted butter, 4 medium carrots (peeled and sliced into small pieces), 1 shallot (chopped), 2 cloves garlic (crushed/chopped), 8 oz Shiitake or Portobello mushrooms (chopped), 1/3 cup flour, 1-1 1/2 cup chicken stock, 2 Tbs + 1 cup white wine, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 8 oz of fresh crab meat, 1 cup frozen peas, 1/2 Tbs fresh, chopped thyme and sage, salt and pepper.
Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add shallots and garlic and cook quickly over medium-high heat until fragrant (about 1 min). Reduce heat to medium and add chopped carrots and mushrooms and cook until crisp but just getting tender (about 5 mins), stirring more than occasionally.
Add about 2 Tbs wine and let cook for about 2-3 mins over medium high heat until wine has mostly evaporated.
Add flour (and a little more butter if the pan is too dry) – and stir constantly until the flour is just starting to turn golden.
Stir in the broth and the remaining wine over medium heat and bring to a boil. Allow to thicken. Adjust by adding addition broth or flour to desired thickness (until it clings to the spoon and slowly drips).
[If you are using chicken, chop into 1/2″ chunks and cook in a separate skillet over medium heat with a little olive oil and set aside]
Lower the heat to low and stir in the crab [or chicken or lobster], mustard, frozen peas, fresh herbs and a little salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir for about 1-2 minutes until combined well and turn off the heat.
Remove the ceramic dish from the oven and let it cool slightly.
Pour the crab and veggie mixture into the browned pastry dish and then cover with the second sheet of (uncooked) pastry, crimp all of the edges with a fork, and place the dish back on a baking tray and back into the oven at 400 for a further 25 mins or until golden brown.