All posts filed under: Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

In the past, my experiences with Chicken Pot Pie have been nothing to sing about … they’ve been those frozen, gooey,  little individual things with the grainy crust, an over-abundance of English peas, and chicken – like substance.   I knew I could do better than those things. And, I did. Rich, thick, chicken-y sauce…   the perfect blend of seasonings….  a carefully balanced ratio of meat – to – veg – to – peas… … and a flaky crust to kill for…. really, “kill ’em done dead.” So, dig out you favorite big-ass casserole pan and let’s get at it.   Plate Fodder’s – Chicken Pot Chicken Pot Chicken Pot Pie! Serves 6 For the Crust: 2 Cups AP Flour 1 Teaspoon Salt 1/2 Cup Cold Butter 1/2 Cup Cold Lard 1/2 Cup Ice Water (more or less) The tools of the Trade: Food Processor Zipper Bag Freezer Flour for Rolling the dough Rolling Pin For the Filling: 3 (6 to 8 ounce) Boneless / Skinless Chicken Breasts 1/2 Cup Water 1/3 Cup EACH …

Peering down the Pie Hole ~ Summer Peach Pie

For a period of time, I lived in the attic loft of a building we operated as a rental house. It was a great space – peaceful – quiet – meditative – that is, until early summer. Because that’s when my next door neighbor’s peach tree produced fruit. And, along with everyone else on the block that helped themselves to the low hanging fruit, the residents of the mechanical chase just above my ceiling squirreled away as many of the fruit and pits that they could stuff through the narrow attic vent. For the next three months, without fail, they would roll the pits from one end of the chase, down the entire length of the loft, and back again. And late into the night they would run and scatter their booty, then spend hours rounding them all up again. I swear they had a rodent bowling alley up there. __________________________________________________   Peach pie is just one of those things you have to get just right for it to be good. Too much thickener, and you have …

Peering Down the Pie Hole – Chocolate Cherry Pie

There is one food item you should never give anyone to eat… as a gift. Chocolate Covered Cherries. Because, regardless of how thoughtful you thought you were being, you’re going to have to sit there and watch them try managing to eat one without either: a.) squirting the encased syrup all over themselves (and, of course, you)… and b.) They’re going to smile and say thank-you… with all that wax laden, cherry bit, melty chocolate residue adhered to their teeth. ____________________________________________________ A couple of weeks ago, the local farm stand had huge bins of bing cherries. We both like cherries here, so I grabbed a big ol’ bag of them. Here’s the thing with produce like cherries. While ALL cherries may look the delicious and sweet, sometimes what you get is all show and no-go. Do yourself a favor, grab a couple of random cherries out of the bin and eat them. The “big ol’ bag” I grabbed was full of mushy, sour cherries and not very good for sitting and eating as a snack. Like a …

Peering Down the Pie Hole – The Box Edition

I like an apple pie. I make a lot of them – be it dutch or cream, puree or traditional. I can usually judge how good a particular cookbook is by the quality of the pie. So, it’s probably the first thing I thumb the index for when I pick one up. I’ll even make one on some box top – if it looks interesting. Hell, I’ve even made that Mock Apple Pie on the back of a box of Ritz Crackers… which, by the way, isn’t even apple. And, if you can get past the knowing that what you’re eating is just a big pie-shaped wedge of cooked cracker, then it kinda works in a pinch… when you don’t have any apples… and want a pie… and don’t think about it too much. But I was sorting out the pantry the other day and came across the box of tapioca that had gotten shuffled down onto the pasta shelf. Picking it up, I noticed a recipe for Apple Pie on the back flap. I …

Pie Envy – building a better pie – Take That!

It all started with this recipe: Granny Butterworth’s Peanut Butter Pie 3 oz Cream Cheese (softened)3/4 c. Sifted XXX Sugar1/2 cup Peanut Butter2 Tbsp Milk1 Smaller Container of Cool Whip1 8 in Graham Cracker Crust Pie Shell Beat Cream Cheese & Sugar together til fluffy. Add PB & Milk til smooth. Fold Cool Whip into mixture. Pour into Crust. Chill 5-6 hours. Top with Chopped Peanuts. You can store in freezer to help it set more … and some relatively small minded bitchiness on my part. I wont go into it again… but you can follow it back >> here << and get the Chocolate Chess part of the recipe. The thing was to elevate that pie to something better, something Gluten and Dairy Free, and really… something to blow that old pie out of the pie plate. The crust is really the trickiest part of the recipe as most gluten free pie crusts are either scads long in the ingredients, a small fortune in materials, or actually just don’t work very well at all. Even when you have …

Curb Market Crawl – Gold Rush Apples

A curb market find in late January?… I know! Granted, it’s not some heirloom, organic, micro farmed obscure tuber from Madagascar… But it’s actual real fresh stuff from a local curb market thingy…. in January! Making my weekly prowl through the mountains this past week, I really only intended to stop in at R & A Orchards in Ellijay to pick up a fried dried apple pie. (Yeah Yeah – they’re fattening…  But, it’s a pie you can hold in your hands… and it’s fried..) But they were out.. However, lining the main sales floor were basket after basket of these. Gold Rush Apples – beautifully bronze, crisp and sweet…. I just had to pick up more than I could conceivably eat in a month. Gold Rush is a relatively new apple to the party. Originally bred in the early 70’s as a multi-cross based on the Golden Delicious. In the early 90’s the Purdue Apple Program perfected the strain and released it for limited production. It is just now beginning to come into it’s own. What’s so special about them? Well – for …

Curb Market Crawl – Dried Apples

I stopped in to Mack ~Aaron’s Apple Barn yesterday to pick up a bag of preservative-free dried apples. They dry their own apples and these taste just like the ones my grandmothers had quietly wrinkling on sheets in the back pantry. Slow air-drying apples creates a wonderful deep, rich flavor as the drying fruit concentrates all the residual juices into tart, slightly chewy, little bits of apple leather. As kids, I remember sneaking into the back pantry, dizzy with the aroma of drying fruit and stealing a handful of my grandmother’s carefully prepared apples. I have to say, dried apples make the perfect apple pie. Don’t get me wrong, I love fresh apples as much as anybody, and a fresh apple pie with those crisp, juicy slices of apple suspended in that thick, syrupy filling is all but impossible to beat. But…   Dried apple slices, lightly spiced, cooked into a near apple sauce consistency and packed into a fresh flaky crust, just produces a much denser, immeasurably more intense flavored pie. Especially as a fried …

Right Then… Once more, with Tapioca!

As if you haven’t had enough of the pearly goodness. In all honesty, this was intended to be part of the previous post, but the damned pie wouldn’t get done. The recipe I began with referred to this as a “French Apple Pie”…   huh… I’ve never known the French to be particularly enamored with tapioca pearls. The french tapioca I’m accustomed to is granulated, and looks a bit more like bleached fine white grits. Be that as it may, I also had some berries left over, so I tossed everything except the apples and tapioca out the window and started new. So this is a French “snicker” Apple~Berry Pie.I do have to tell you, I wasn’t expecting much, but the raspberries combined with the apples and encased in that gelatin with the pearls, it’s just short of brilliant! French Apple ~ Berry Pie Serves 6 Ingredients 6 Apples – Peeled, Cored, and Rough Chopped (I used 3 Granny Smith and 3 Braeburn to balance the sweet / tart) 1 Cup Raspberries 1/2 Cup Blueberries …

Simple Dinner Sunday – Shepherd’s Pie

There’s just something about slow cooked stews…and mashed potatoes. Rich, heady flavors all commingling under cover in the pot… getting to know each other… getting all cozy… trading secrets… At least that’s how I like to think of it. It’s the regular covert operations of food. Digging around in the freezer this morning I came across a forgotten package of Lamb Merguez sausages from Marx Foods. Actually, they weren’t forgotten… they were buried. While I adore lamb, and nothing beats a good sausage… I couldn’t get the idea out of my head of those cheap hot dogs they used to sell when I was a kid that were 50% mutton . It was like eating a wet sheep…. in a bun. So I wedged them at the bottom of the freezer basket hoping they would evaporate… funny, they didn’t. I decided to use them in this week’s Simple Dinner Sunday – Shepherd’s Pie. First and foremost, this can’t exactly be called a true shepherd’s pie. Traditional pies are made from fresh lamb, not sausage, and …

All That Lemony Goodness – “Number 4”

One of the last big vacations we took as a family hurtled us up the eastern edge of the Southern States. We spent some time in Charleston, soaking up the southern coastal vibe. We then headed to North Carolina, spending some time in the Outer Banks at Kittykawk and being petrified in the car – island jumping on huge, ancient arched bridges.  (My brother and I would cling to the floorboards in terror as the car arched higher and higher, praying that the wind gusts wouldn’t blow us off into the sea.) As a side note – The bridges were replaced some years later with sensible, well constructed structures. We ended the trip in Kentucky, at the Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill. If you’ve never been, it’s worth the trip. Pleasant Hill is a restored Shaker Village, painstakingly preserved to capture a slice of Shaker life in the early 1800’s. Simple living and a stoic lifestyle are dutifully depicted in the architecture, craftsmanship and in their food. We had the opportunity to dine at the …