Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Quick and Easy Meat Pie

My hubby is a mailman. Which means very long days out in the elements.
Last week when it was cold and raining I decided he needed to come home to some comfort food. Nothing better then coming home to the smell of baking in the air.
So I made this meat pie as a little bit of warm comfort for him. It's really very simple and fast to make. You can make it combining ingredients you can keep in stock in your pantry or freezer all the time.

Quick and Easy Meat Pie Recipe
pie dough enough for two crust pie
jar of Alfredo sauce
half a package of goat cheese
1/4 cup of milk
package of country sausage (or whatever meat you'd like)
bag of frozen veggies (pea and carrot type mixes give the best texture)
cheddar cheese cubed
some rosemary salt and pepper to lightly season the sauce

1. You can make your own pie crust but for simplicity sake I bought pre-made Pillsbury dough that comes in a pack with two already rolled out circles of dough. Put one on the bottom of your pie dish making sure it goes up to the edge of the dish on all sides. These are very convenient and only cost a few dollars. You can keep them in your freezer as well until you need them.

2. I mix the Alfredo sauce, milk and goat cheese in a glass container and put in the microwave for a minute or two to melt the cheese. Then stir all together and poor into the prepped pie dish and crust. Sprinkle rosemary salt and pepper over the sauce. Then liberally mix in the meat and vegetables. Then for an additional touch I scattered across the top some cubed tillamook sharp cheddar.

3. Then pull out the second circle of dough. I laid mine out and using a cute little cookie cutter cut two pieces out. These will be air vents for the pie. You can just as easily poke or do a few slashes across the top. I personally like the decorative element. You just take the two pieces you cut out and lay them on the top of the crust. (can you tell it was a carrot shape cutter I turned upside down.)
Then carefully drape this crust over your pie and firmly seal the edges using a fork or your fingers to form a little scallop edge.
4. Lightly brush the top of the prepped pie with some milk (or you can do an egg wash) and put in a 350 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes. (Might be less if you have a hotter running oven)
If your edges start to burn before the pie is done simply put some foil around the edge of the pie.

TADA Meat Pie!!!
Hubby and his brother both had thirds they liked it so much. The goat cheese adds a wonderfully creamy flavor, the meat makes every man happy and the flaky crust ties it all together. This is the perfect winter or rainy day comfort dinner.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

And yes even more bread!!! Christmas present loaves!

My previous post was of the savory herb pupmkin loaf that I made. Well for christmas I thought it would make a delicious and fun gift. I changed the recipe so that it would rise better and get along in a loaf pan for better sandwich making.

Here are the changes I made to the recipe.
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree plain
1/4 cup of milk
2 1/4 tsp of yeast
1 tsp salt
4 cups flour
1/3 cup slightly roasted pumpkin seeds
1 generous tablespoon of rosemary
1 tablespoon of butter melted

1. mix flour yeast salt, pumpkin seeds and herbs in a bowl
2. heat milk and butter in a separate dish (i use my pyrex measuring cup in the microwave)
3. mix the liquid ingredients into the dry until fully incorporated. Then dump out on a well floured surface and knead as with normal bread. It will be a bit stickier then normal but i just add a little more flour as i go to help with it.
4. put in a lightly oiled bowl flip so both sides have oil on them cover and let rise for 3-4 hours until double in size.
5. punch down knead again and cut in half. Form each half into a loaf shape either by forming with your hands or rolling out and rollling into a log. Place in well oiled loaf pans and leave to rise another hour.
6. when loaves have risen to the size you want 425 degrees bake for 45 minutes. I like to put a pan of water in the bottom wrack of the oven.

These are what you get. They had a nice color and definitely were more slice-able for sandwiches.

I like to rub a little bit of butter over the tops when they first come out of the oven and are on the cooling wracks. This just adds a nice golden color to them, and makes them more savory.

3 of these were gifts to family and the fourth we kept for ourselves.
I sewed up some cute little drawstring bags for the loaves to be delivered in.

What kind of baked goods do you like to give as gifts?

More Bread- savory pumpkin herb loaves

This isn't the sweet dessert bread that you are used to. No this savory moist crusty loaf is pumpkin bread to a new tune, and it will make you want to get up and dance!

So this beauty was made from a recipe I found on (never home)maker
You can also find the link for the recipe HERE
The recipe itself was a little hard to follow. It doesn't tell you when to put the herbs and roasted pumpkin seeds in. It's best to mix them in with the flour yeast and salt mixture so that its evenly spread throughout the bread. Other then that the recipe is fabulous!
I also used fresh pumpkin puree from a pumpkin I got from a local farmer and saved the seeds and toasted them myself.
The bread turned out beautiful, fragrant and even more delicious. It has a great texture to it with the seeds. It was gone in one night and made some fantastic sandwhiches!

We put ours with a little mayo mustard, sharp cheddar and some hand shredded turkey.

T0pped that off with a icy cold glass of cocoa cola, and Magnafique!

Later i changed the recipe to make it more traditional timing and better for loaf pans....so keep posted.


Traditional home baked white bread loaves

Sometimes when you are short on money it's the little things you can do yourself that make a difference. To help with our grocery bills i started baking my own bread again. As you can see they turn out a beautiful golden color and I like to use large loaf pans so that the slices are good size for my hubbies sandwiches.
The recipe I use the most is rather basic. You can get it online at Better homes and gardens Here
I have one of there cookbooks and it has some great basic recipes in it.
I'm sure it can be adapted for a bread machine. I still hand knead my bread the way my grandma and mother showed me. Something very stress relieving about punching and roughing up some dough.

Although you may want to quadruple the recipe. I did a double batch and the loaves were gone within two days.

Soft and fluffy slices, doesn't' that just make you hungry?

Chicken Mulligatawny Steam Buns

Have you seen Anna the Reds Bento blog? She is absolutely amazing. I could stare at her creations all day long. One of the recipes of hers that I swear by is her steamed pork buns.
I've tried them before with beef and pork and both times were a slam dunk. This time I decided to take photo's to show you how they are made. You can get the recipe HERE.
I prefer the yeast version dough its more moist and fluffy and has a great texture.

For this set I decided to get creative and make a chicken filling based loosely on the flavors of chicken mulligatawny soup.
Filling ingredients are :
shredded chicken
2 small organic apples very finelly chopped
I put all these into my processor and zapped them so it has a very fine texture
I also did 1 portion of sauce to doubled dough and filling on the recipe.
The last time I made these I felt the sauce was a little to strong and overpowered the flavors of the filling. This portion was perfect for us and had the best flavor.

I made my filling while the dough was rising and then left both with covered talls until the dough was ready.

You cut your dough into portions I roll up a piece in my hand into a ball then lay it on the cutting board or counter and poud it with the lower palm of my hand until you have a flat circle.

Put about a table spoon of filling, or as much as you want in the center of your flattened circle.
You can be somewhat liberal with it because you do stretch the dough over it.

Then gently tug up the outer edge of the circle up and around the filling making a little pocket.

Once all the outer edge is up grab it and pinch the sides together. I do it from two direction so that you is extra secure. This will hold your filling inside.

You then using your hands round it into nice little bun ball shapes. I like to place mine with the pinched edge down. Don't they look fabulous! (don't mind the ugly seventies style plate)

Set up your double boiler for steaming and put a circle of wax or parchment paper on the bottom to help keep the buns from sticking to the pan. Place the buns in the pan close together, cover and steam.
Once they are done steaming take them out and they are ready to be served and devoured. They should have raised in size and become fluffy with a almost chewy like texture to them.

TASTY! Try your own and have fun with the filling. You could pretty much do this with any meat vegi filling you like. I've even done them with just chunks of cheese in the middle (my husband loved) and it tastes great with cheddar!

Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

Okay so we are blessed to live a block from a little nursery owned by a cute old man and his wife that live across the street. He is a farmer and often will sell their fresh produce at the nursery for very cheap. Everything is garden grown and organic and absolutely amazing to taste. A while back they had these jalapeno's there and I had to buy some. I myself am not a huge fan of jalapenos except in one way (jalapeno poppers!) but my husband loves them. So I made them into stuffed jalapeno poppers, and now you can too! It's rather easy just a bit of prep involved.

you will need
Jalapenoes- I did 10 to try it out
cream cheese
rose mary
good dipping glass of milk
bowl with flour
bowl with crumbs of your choice

Aren't these just lovely. The red one turned out to be super spicy and I don't think it was actually an jalapeno, ooops.
Step 1: rinse the jalapenos thoroughly slice up the side and trying not to split it in half scoop out all the innards. I also rinsed the inside to make sure to get out all the seeds.

Step 2: put cream chease in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute to soften it. Mix your chopped up tomato (mine was an orange tomato from the nursery that i put in my kitchen aid and blitzed, I lOVE YOU KITCHEN AID) with some chopped up garlic and herbs. Mix well.
Step 3: Assemble your station, jalapenos, bowl of filling, cup with milk for dipping, bowl with flour, and a seperate bowl with the crumbs.
all nice and lined up
Here is everything laid out and ready for assembly.

Step 4: Take a pepper and scoop the filling into the cavity inside. I was pretty liberal with it because i really liked the filling.
Step 5: Dip the pepper holding it by the step into the glass of milk and then roll it in bowl of flour until it is completely coated.
Step 6: Then again holding it by the stem dip in the milk again and roll in the crumbs until it is liberally coated. Then lay them out in the pan and let them dry. If you like a thicker crust you can do step 5 and 6 2 or 3 times to build up a thicker layer of the coating.
Step 7: Heat up some oil in a pot for frying these babies. Do not set the oil too high. Above you can see my first burnt version. The oil was way too hot. Take them out of the oil put on a plate and serve with your fav meal or eat as a snack. They can also be frozen and heated in the oven or microwave later.
We served ours up with some quesadilla's and man were they tasty!

Put a nice grin on the mans face! As he enjoys home made Jalapeno Poppers!