Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mushroom Appetizer Pies & A Totally Devoured in one sitting Dinner Pie

In honor of the fourth day of Christmas I made Mushroom Appetizer pies. I couldn't find a recipe I really liked, so I combined ideas from a recipe for Mushroom Turnovers on with a copycat "Mushroom Pies from Trader Joes" recipe to create my own. The result: delicious!

Chop one onion and 8 oz of mushrooms. I used mini portobellos.

Saute the onion until soft and tender in 3 Tbls of butter. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook, stirring, until tender.
Stir in 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8-1/4 tsp Thyme (depending on how much you like Thyme, I used 1/4), and 1/3 c sour cream (I think it'd work well to use more if you prefer it creamier).
Cook until thickened and remove from heat.

Roll dough 1/8" thick and divide into small, appetizer-sized circles using a very small biscuit cutter. Arrange on baking sheet. Fill with a tablespoon of the filling and top this with grated parmesan cheese. Brush the edges with some egg/milk mixture (1 egg beaten with a tsp of cream) and press another circle of dough over the top. Press the edges together to seal.

Brush the tops of the pies with some of the egg/milk mixture so it bakes to a lovely golden. Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

I served the mushroom appetizer pies with potato cheese soup.

Potato Cheese Soup by Connie
6-8 potatoes
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, chopped
1 med onion, diced
chicken broth, enough to cover
1 cube butter
1 block cream cheese
1-2 c cheddar
salt and pepper to taste

Add vegetables to stock pot with enough chicken broth to cover. Bring to a boil and cover, cook until vegetables are soft. Mash well. Add dairy products a bit at a time, stirring until incorporated into the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste

Day Five: Cheesy Burrito Pie
Now this was a huge hit. There was hardly anything left. The recipe is found on Burrito Pie. It was easy to make the filling ahead of time and refrigerate it until it was time for supper. Then I assembled the layers and baked.

My son loved it

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pies for a Merry Christmastide

Brie, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, tore apart the new toy Dad and Jenica gave her for Christmas, mere seconds after Jenica pulled it out of the bag. Now the stuffingless faux-lambswool "doll" is her favorite rag to toss around. Merry Christmas, Brie!

This Christmas I'm having fun baking a pie a day- or so the plan goes. Day 2 is a success. Here's what I've made so far.

Day 1- Natchitoches Meat Pies.

I narrowed the recipes down to two. Recipe one was by Emeril. Turning away from his due to his more Cajun influence, I chose to use the recipe from the Natchitoches, LA town website. After all, I reasoned, a town would put the best recipe they knew online to represent their town.

I made a dough and rolled it "thin" as the recipe directed. Apparently it wasn't thin enough. But I didn't know this until much later!

Using a saucer I made circles which were cut out to form individual meat pies.

These pies were filled with a little over a tablespoonful of meat mixture. It had ground beef, ground sausage, a large onion, full head of garlic, and bell peppers. MMMMM!

Folded over.

Frying the pies. I also tried to bake them. Healthier. You know. Quickly I discovered that baking just didn't cut it. There's a reason the meat pies are supposed to be fried. My compromise was to use vegetable oil instead of shortening.

Leftover meat pies. They were *very* tasty. What would I do differently next time? Well, I think I would use 1/2 or 2/3 of the required meat. I think there was a little too much meat compared to the vegetables. I *tasted meat*. Yes, they are meat pies. I know that! But I believe a little more balance is required to the flavors. Perhaps that's why Emeril added so many extra seasonings to his recipe. Overall they were quite flavorful and yes, I believe I would make them again in the future.

Day 2. Pizza Pie!

Tonight, Sunday, Day 2 of Christmas. (You DO realize that whatever the retail industry says the 12 days of Christmas are Christmas Day and the 11 following days that lead up to Epiphany on January 6, which is the celebration of the Magi arriving to worship the Christ Child, right?)

We made pizza! Oh, was it ever tasty. Made the pizza crust, my mom's traditional recipe which comes from Julia Child's The Way to Cook. Basically, take 1 package yeast (room temp), proof with 1/2 c lukewarm water and a splash of sugar, then add some milk (about 1/2 c or a little more if necessary). Meanwhile mix the dry ingredients: 3 c flour, 1 tsp salt. Mix together, add a couple tbls olive oil, let rise for an hour or so.

As Mom was out of sauce I had to make some. Mixed a tiny can of tomato paste, 15 oz can of tomato sauce, some oregano, pepper, garlic powder, paprika. Rolled out the dough, spread the sauce across through to the edge, then a layer of cheeses in the center. A thin layer of colby/jack followed by a thick layer of mozzarella, pepperoni, olives, green onions, some pepper.Roll the crust with a little mozzarella inside and  brush the edge of the crust with melted butter. Sprinkle a little Parmesan on the top, all over the pizza allowing a little to land on the buttered crust. Here's the result!

Merry Second Day of Christmas!