Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Trick on the Traditional Pot Pie - It's all about MOOSE!

Some of my favorite childhood memories are about silly chicken or turkey pot pies mom let us have when we would have a babysitter come watch us. We thought tv dinners were takeout and a special opportunity to pick whatever we wanted and enjoy it as if we were ordering off a menu. I think the Banquet pot pies were about .25 cents in the late 60's or early 70's...But we thought it was a treat! No microwaves then had to put them in the oven and WAIT...20 minutes or so later...there was nothing better than hearing that crunch as your spoon plunged into that crispy crust. Maybe everyone has their special way of eating things, like Oreos, my personal favorite way to eat this pot pie was to eat the inside and save the crust for desert. 40 years later, it still is. :)

Many years later I learned that the special taste to those pot pies was in the celery flavor crust. Anyone can turn a leftover soup or stew into a wonderful pot pie with ready-made pie crust dough (no.....I cannot make a pie crust to save my soul so don't ask me for a recipe). The results are the same....a delicious, crispy crunchy crust full of flavor you want to save for the end.

Steps are simple:

1) Thaw out your dough and have a cutting board dusted with flour ready to roll out the crinkles.
2) Sprinkle a dash of celery seed onto your crust and gently roll the crust just a smidge bigger (maybe 1/4").
3) Spray your dish with a little non-stick seasoning, it will make your life easier in the end.
4) Place the crust on the bottom of the dish as evenly as possible and remember to leave about 1/2" overhang to nip-n-tuck....dang sounds like plastic surgery eh?
5) Assuming the soup/stew has already been heated, gravied with cornstarch and Kitchen Bouquet or a gravy mix to make it slightly thicker than soup or stew, only put on your bottom crust about 1/2" up the way of your dough so you have room to seal top and bottom crusts.
6) Shake some of the celery seed onto your crust and gently roll in. Place this top crust on top of your mixture.
7) Slide the edge of the top crust under the bottom crust and pinch just a little to seal.
8) Cut slits in the top crust to vent steam.
9) Bake at 400 for 50 minutes. Allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing.

* If you want to freeze to save for later....Bake completely and reheat in a 350 oven for 35 minutes (thawed). Do not store pastry crust that has been thawed and re-frozen again.

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