Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Natchitoches Umami Pies + Yogurt Chimichurri

This is a dish that was a collaboration between me and Kelly; we served these at the collaborative brunch at Restaurant Iris this past June. I make my pies with black beans and pickled peppers. Kelly makes his with ground beef and allspice. Even the sauce splits the difference. I usually serve mine with a chunky chimichurri, and Kelly does a spicy buttermilk dip. Here is a creamy, yogurt-based chimichiurri. We found a happy middle ground and a whole new dish for both of us when we combined the two styles. I just know you'll enjoy it.

Natchitoches Umami Pies
(Makes about 20 small pies) 

1 cup dry black beans
2 cups broth
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup 
finely diced onion (about half of one large)
1/2 cup finely diced celery (about one large rib)
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup 
finely diced carrot (about two medium)
1 cup finely diced sweet potato (about one small)
1/4 cup chopped pickled cherry peppers (about 4-5)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon flour
Pie Crust Dough (recipe follows)
Egg wash (one beaten egg mixed with one tablespoon water)
Yogurt Chimichurri (recipe follows)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (for garnish)

Place the dry black beans, two cups of broth, allspice, thyme, and garlic powder in a medium sauce pan over high heat. 
No need to soak the beans first. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer for an hour or until the beans are tender. In a 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, sauté the onion and celery until translucent and beginning to brown. Deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the carrot, potato, peppers, and soy. Cook for five minutes stirring frequently. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to incorporate. This should tighten up any juices in the pan. Using a potato masher, lightly mash half of the mixture. Set mixture aside to cool. 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out on a floured surface to approximately a 12 x 16 inch rectangle. Using a drinking glass, cut as many circles out of the dough as you can. Pick up a disk of dough and place it into the palm of your hand. Spoon one to one and a half tablespoons of filling into the  center of the round. Fold both ends up so it looks like a little taco. Pinch the open sides together with your fingers until sealed. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all dough has been used. Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Brush the tops with egg wash and return pies to the oven for another fifteen to twenty minutes or until lightly browned.

To serve, place pies on a serving platter alongside the Yogurt Chimichurri sauce. Garnish with smoked paprika.

Pie Crust Dough

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup organic shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
about 1/2 cup cold water

Place the all-purpose flour, shortening, and salt into the food processor. Turn it on and allow it to run for a few seconds so the shortening becomes incorporated into the flour. Add the cold water one teaspoon at a time until the dough comes together by forming itself into a ball and rolling around the inside of the work bowl. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes.

Yogurt Chimichurri

2 cups loosely packed parsley
1-2 cloves garlic
juice from 1 lemon (1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup 2% Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
cracked black pepper to taste

Place parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and sugar into the work bowl of your food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil slowly as the food processor runs. Add the yogurt, salt, and pepper. Blend until very smooth. Place into a small serving dish and place in the fridge until ready to serve.


  1. Last one for now-I want to make this, also :)

  2. Awesome! I'm torn between doubling the crust recipe and maybe having some dough left over or just leaving it as is and having a cup or so of filling left over. The filling is great in a burrito. Let me know what you think.

  3. This was dinner tonight and it was yummy!

    A great blend of flavors, the pies were fantastic. I also loved the pie crust-it was the first time i'd made pie crust in the food processor(I usually use my kitchen aid)

    The sauce was okay. I could take it or leave it. I don't think there's anything wrong with it, I just think it's not to my taste.

    I think, as far as amounts go, maybe put a note on the recipe, that there's usually about a cup of filling left over, so they can either make twice the pie crust and have some of that left over, or have extra filling. That being said, if you have to do it one way or the other, I say leftover filling is the way to go.

    I am trying the filling in a burrito tomorrow. Cause it is awesome. Seriously. my boyfriend hates sweet potatoes and he ate most of these.

  4. We were just talking about the pies. One more thing I think I want to add-they're a perfect dinner. They're filling, but not too heavy, reasonably healthy and terribly delicious and satisfying to boot. Yum.