It’s that time of year when we need to draw deeply upon our super powers. It’s the holidays, there’s no denying it… and all of us are supposed to know how to bake a turkey. I don’t. Also I don’t care to know. I have other super powers. They have to do with multi-tasking, pie baking, patience (usually), understanding (often), and crumble-making.
Let’s draw upon those holiday-necessary super powers and leave the turkey roasting to someone else. Preferably someone we trust. Preferably someone who values a moist turkey.
This savory, comforting, vegetable crumble would be a lovely addition to a Thanksgiving table. Or, you can be like me and eat most of if while watching Season 5 of Grey’s Anatomy in your bed at 10pm on a Tuesday. I mean… equally festive.
This Winter Crumble is from this book: Dinner Pies. Full of satisfying and savory treats that feel extra cozy in these chilly months. My great hope is that the sequel to Dinner Pies is After-Dinner Pies… because that seems only natural.
No need for oats, brown sugar, and toasted pecans.
We’re sticking to savory, which means panko bread crumbs, crushed butter crackers, black pepper and thyme. Butter of course. We can’t be without.
Earthy cremini mushrooms, robust (is that a good adjective…? maybe not) Brussels sprouts, and sweet carrots. I like this blend in our Winter Crumble because they all cook down to soft in a skillet.
The mushrooms will soften, release a lot of their moisture, and then cook down to caramelized brown. The Brussels sprouts and carrots will mellow to a soft bite. It’s a very good situation.
The sautéed vegetables are coated in a bit of flour then chicken stock and heavy cream are added. We’re making a gravy to keep our crumble juicy.
I pressed some of the cracker crumble into the pan and baked it to golden brown. A little savory support for our vegetable filling.
Also gruyere cheese. Because we’re homo sapiens.
The vegetables are cooked through to soft. They just need a little extra loving’ in the oven.
Topped with the last of the cracker crumble, of course.
Warm, crisp, buttery, is this healthy(?), and supremely satisfying. It’s dinner. It’s a side. It’s good news from the oven.
This recipe can be modified to meet you needs.
• Use gluten free crackers, breadcrumbs, and flour if your diet requires. I think Glutino brand has good versions of all of those things.
• Use vegetable stock to keep things more vegetarian.
• Vegan butter can be used if you’re opposed to dairy. Omit the cream and add additional vegetable broth.
- 1 cup crushed Ritz (or any buttery) crackers
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- heaping 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- heaping 2 cups trimmed and quartered Brussels sprouts
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
- heaping 2 cups trimmed and quartered cremini mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon roughly chopped fresh thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup finely shredded gruyere cheese
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9-inch pie dish (a deep one), and set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine crackers, bread crumbs, cheese, pepper, thyme, and butter. Toss to coat everything in butter. Spoon just less than half of the mixture into the bottom of the pie dish and slightly up the sides. Place in the oven and bake for 12 minutes, until just golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool while you make the filling.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until softened and browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute more. Add the brussels sprouts, carrots, mushrooms and thyme. Increase heat to medium-high and let the vegetables saute down until well softened, browned, and caramelized, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper as the vegetables cook down.
- The mushrooms will release a lot of their moisture and then the mixture will brown and cook down.
- When vegetables are cooked down and softened, reduce heat to medium, sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir until the flour disappears. Slowly add the chicken stock and stir, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer to thicken. Finally, stir in the cream and remove from the heat.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Spoon mixture onto the browned crust. Sprinkle with gruyere. Top with the remaining crumble crust. Place in the oven to bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until top crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving warm.