Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pastry Based Dinners

Early this week I made two pastry based dinners and let's just say they worked out.  No leftovers.  Couldn't even get a pic.  One was a pastry wrapped shredded barbecue beef, the other dish was chicken pot pie in individual casseroles. Here's the great thing... they were both deceptively easy to make.

I made the pastry from a Kitchen Aid recipe and once that was done, the rest was easy as pie.

Here is the recipe for the Kitchenaid Pie Pastry:
Makes 2 crusts

2 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening, well chilled
2 TBSP butter or margarine, well chilled
5-6 TBSP cold water

Place flour and salt in mixer bowl.  Attach bowl and flat beater to the mixer.  Turn to stir speed and mix about 15 seconds.  Cut shortening and butter into pieces and add to flour mixture.  Turn to stir speed and mix until shortening pieces are the size of small peas, 30-45 seconds.

Continuing on stir speed, add water 1 TBSP at a time, mixing until ingredients are moistened and dough begins to hold together.   Divide dough in half.  Pat each half into a smooth ball and flatten slightly.  Put in a ziplock or wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

In the recipe, the dough was split for a double crust pie, but for me that meant two dinners.

The first night was ridiculous in it's simplicity, here is the recipe for pastry wrapped barbecued beef.

Preheat the oven to  450° F
Roll one of the flattened dough balls out between two sheets of waxed paper into something like a rectangle, and then pile the pre-made barbecue beef (I used Jack Daniel's Pulled Beef) in the middle and wrap the dough around the meat. Bake for about 30-35 minutes.  That was it.  I served it with homemade mashed potatoes.

The second night was a little more involved, but that was my choice.  The nice thing about pot pie is that you add whatever you happen to have in the house, to the pot.  This recipe was made up on the spot, so the ingredient sizes are estimates.

Here are the ingredients used:

4 fresh Baby Potatoes up into small bites, a handful of fresh Broccoli cut up, 1/2 can of peas and carrots, and 2 chicken breasts.

For the chicken take 2 chicken breasts cover them with onion powder, garlic salt, and pepper.  Cook them through on the stove, then cut into bite sized pieces.  Saute a bit more if not cooked through.

Preheat oven to 450° F

Put the potatoes in a bowl with at least 1/2 TBSP of butter.  Cook the potatoes for a few minutes in the microwave to soften them.  You can add other vegetables to this bowl if they need softening, too.

Mix all the vegetables together in a big bowl, add some salt and pepper.  Add the chicken to the mix.

Add a can of Cream of Chicken Soup to the meat vegetable mix.  Add about a cup of milk.  Add some water if there is not enough liquid.  If you don't mind the calories, add a bit more more butter. Mix it all up.

Split mixture into 4 individual casseroles.  Something like this should work.

Mine look more like vegetables, like this

so go with what you have, exact shape and size is not important.

Split the vegetable, meat, sauce mix into each casserole.

Roll out the pastry dough between two sheets of waxed paper into an oval or rectangle shape.  Take the top piece of waxed paper off and then cut the dough into fourths.  Place each piece of rolled out dough on top of each casserole.  Beat an egg if you have one and brush it on the pastry for shine.

Put the casseroles on a baking sheet and bake at 450° F for 30-35 minutes.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Culinary Cuties on Sharon Catherine Blanks "Love It List"
This looks very cool.  Los Angeles based cooking classes for kids.

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