Month: November 2011

Turkey Pot Pie or Last Ditch and Best Effort for Thanksgiving Leftovers

Turkey Pot Pie or Last Ditch and Best Effort for Thanksgiving Leftovers

Turkey Pot Pie

You might have lived when pot pies were a regular feature of your mom’s menus.  Maybe you had them instead of TV Dinners.  I have a sketchy memory of frozen pies from the grocery @10 for $1. This undoubtedly dates me in an unkind way.  I did not have a mother who refused to cook; she cooked a lot.   That didn’t mean we never had a frozen pot pie.  I remember liking them, though I maybe haven’t tasted one in fifty years.

If you go out to eat at any number of restaurants these days, you’ll find homemade pot pies are on lots of menus and people order them over and over.  Definitely comfort food.  Certainly fattening.  But oh so filling and often luscious.  They’re full of all kinds of things–poultry, vegetables, roast beef, sea food, etc.

Before Thanksgiving, I set out to make the best turkey pot pie (using leftovers) I could.   No more expensive restaurant versions and certainly no more frozen pies.   I invited a group of people for a turkey and roasted root vegetable dinner and then had my way with what was left.  I discovered it was a. simple and b. better than the 10 for $1 ones from Garofalo’s on Crawford Avenue.  I served it up with a side of lemoned broccolini and a scoop of my red hot cranberry sauce, as well as a handsome glass of Oregon Chardonnay or maybe a French Côtes du Rhône–a lovely, medium-bodied and inexpensive wine that flatters oven-roasted vegetables, as well as pork or poultry.  (And lots else)
Dave and I both liked the pie better than the meal from which it came.  Go figure.

Feel free to take this filling and top it with biscuits–even Bisquick biscuits– in a 2 qt greased rectangular glass casserole dish.  (I made chicken pot pie often for my kids growing up…usually with biscuit topping.)   Or buy the Pillsbury pie dough from the refrigerator section.  But do make it.  You’ll be glad you did.  I promise. *If you’d like to make my crust, use the recipe I made for Kathy’s Apple Pie; that’s a good all-purpose crust.
Here’s how:

Alyce’s Turkey Pot Pie

There are three parts to this recipe:  1.  Crust  2.  Filling  3.  Sauce

2 9″ pie crusts* (Plus 1T melted butter -or 1 egg white beaten with a bit of water- brushed on top crust before baking.)  Made or bought.

Filling:

1 Tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery with leaves, diced
4 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon each fresh thyme and tarragon (or 1/2 t each dried)
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage (or 1/4 t dried, powdered sage)
2 cups chopped roasted root vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, potatoes, winter squash, etc)
2 c chopped cooked turkey, white or dark meat


Sauce:  (Basically a velouté with added cream or milk)

2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon each ground sea salt and ground white pepper
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup (8 ounces) chicken stock
1 cup milk, cream or half and half

1.  If you have made or bought pie crusts, put one in the pie pan (trim and pinch) and place the other between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap.  Refrigerate the pan and the wrapped dough while you make the filling and the sauce.
2.  In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat and add onion, celery, and mushrooms.  Cook until vegetables are softened, 5-7 minutes.  Add garlic during last minute of cooking and stir in herbs.
3.  Take out pie pan with bottom crust and spoon onion mixture evenly over the bottom of the dough.  Top with chopped vegetables and turkey.

Spoon onion mixture into pie pan.

 

Top with roasted vegetables and turkey.  Pour on sauce.

 

Add the top crust and brush with butter or egg whites.  Make slits for steam.

4.  Make sauce (see below) and pour over the turkey and vegetable mixture.  The turkey and vegetables should be just about covered.  If not, drizzle in just a little more chicken stock, milk, or cream.
5.  Take the top crust out of the refrigerator and place on top of the filled pie.  Trim edges and pinch together edges of the two crusts.
6.  Brush entire top crust with butter or an eggwhite beaten with a bit of water.  Make several slits in the top crust (for steam to escape) and bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake until browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
7.  Place pie on rack and cool 15 minutes or so.  Slice and serve hot with broccolini (squeeze lemon on top) and cranberry sauce.

Making the sauce:  In a 2qt saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.   Add salt, pepper, and flour.  Stir for 2-3 minutes for flour to cook a little bit and slowly whisk in chicken stock and milk or cream. Simmer, stirring often, until just barely thickened.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  A quick sprinkle of nutmeg is a possible addition, as is a drop or two of hot sauce.

Two-Dog Kitchen or Around the ‘Hood
                  A few really random pics from our Thanksgiving Trip to Illinois

Turkey Soup… of course…Yesterday!

Read my recipe for the above soup on examiner.com

 

Visiting with sister and niece on way home.

 

Grandpa and Grandma’s Dining Room

 

Turkey ready for its sauna.  4 cups turkey stock with lots of veggies at bottom of roaster makes for great gravy.

 

Dave’s Tomatoes with Smoked Oysters, Capers, and Horseradish

 

Making Turkey stock.  Yes, use the giblets and the neck., though our turkey had NO NECK!

 

Cranberry Bread

 

Pumpkin Bread with Candied Ginger and Pecan Topping

 

Cauliflower Gratinee from SILVER PALATE

 

Making a wine cork wreath in the garage.

 

Needs a bow.

 

Grandpa–a last mow of the yard.

 

Me–making homemade rolls.

 

 

Leftover pumpkin pie filling–in the microwave for a quick dessert.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Sing a new song on the First Day of Advent, friends….  
Prepare Him Room!
Alyce

 

Pie 101 —  Apple Pie              (Kathy’s Apple Pie)

Pie 101 — Apple Pie (Kathy’s Apple Pie)

Kathy’s pie

Why my Pie 101 — Apple Pie is called “Kathy’s Apple Pie”

My hairdresser works about a half-a-block from my house.  Her name is Kathy.  I chose her because… she works about a half-a-block from my house.  When we moved here, I cried at leaving Jen, my hairdresser of 13 years in Colorado.  So I didn’t even look for anyone special; I just chose the closest “girl” and tried her.  I mean, you’ve seen my hair.  What could go wrong?  And, if it did, how much time would it take to grow a bit?  Luckily, everything has worked out fine.  My hair’s just right.
When Kathy did it the first time, I sent Jen a pic on my cell phone.  “She’s got the color spot-on, but it’s a wee bit short,” said Jen.

My hair’s been the same for…let’s say for a while.  (With Britta last March.)

Outside Kathy’s shop is a sign that says, “Curl Up and Dye.”  Underneath:  “For Hair.”

Kathy and I hit it off right away.  We’re both “of an age,” though she still has a couple of kids running around sometimes at home.   She also has lots of dogs–more than I do.   There’s tons of great stuff about her, but I like her because you can just talk about anything when you’re in her chair:  houses, food, kids, husbands, church, jobs, horses, dogs, clothes, shopping, shoes, ETC.   She’s given me the info on great places to find and do all kinds of things, but mostly helped solidify my forever dedication to the lovely institution of the St. Paul Farmer’s Market where her family has a bagel breakfast sandwich and coffee stall.  (Dave and I frequent that hot spot.)  Sometimes we talk about whether or not it’s worth it for them to start baking their own bagels.  Having watched Dave make bagels (I don’t make them!), I lean toward buying them from the great bagel maker down the street–just like they have been.  Why mess with a good thing if you’re still making a tidy profit?

One time, in a whimsical voice, Kathy said, “Ah, gee.  In fall, I really miss apple pie.  My Mom always made great apple pie.”  She was sad.  I don’t think Kathy bakes apple pies, but I think she was missing her mom as much as anything.  So I figured next time I went to get my hair cut, I’d bring her a pie.  I make a lot of pies, though I rarely eat them.  In fact, pie makes people so happy that I don’t know why I don’t eat them. (Naturally, I eat the great coconut cream pie in the cafe on the square in Santa Fe… or my own cherry pie from our Colorado cherries.  I’m more of a chocolate woman overall.)

Late this morning, I started Kathy’s pie.  I had no idea how her mother made pie, but my pie wouldn’t be like Kathy’s mom’s no matter what, so I just baked the pie.  Pretty much like I always do, but with a little bit of a twist all around.  Lots of butter, great Honeycrisp apples, Penzey’s cinnamon right on top of the unbaked bottom crust.  Cream brushed top crust.   A recipe I’ll share.  You might like it for Thanksgiving.  If you make it now and don’t bake it, you can wrap it tightly in foil, freeze it, and bake it frozen (on a foiled sheet pan) early Thanksgiving morning.  It’ll take longer to get done, but done ahead is done ahead.

Kathy’s Apple Pie  makes 1 9″ pie; serves 6-8

2 9-10″ pie crusts (recipe below)

5-7 medium Honeycrisp apples, cored, peeled, and sliced thinly+
2t fresh lemon juice
3/4 t Chinese cinnamon, divided (some for crust and some for the apples)
1/4 t grated fresh nutmeg
1/8 t salt

3T flour
2/3 – 3/4 c granulated white sugar  plus 2 tsp for bottom crust and top crust (use 2/3 for sweeter
apples and 3/4 for tarter ones like Honeycrisp or Granny Smith)
2T cold butter, diced
1t heavy cream, half and half or milk

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place one pie crust in the 9″ glass pie pan, trim, and crimp (pinch) edges.
3.  Use about 1 tsp of the sugar and mix with 1/8 tsp cinnamon.  Dust the entire bottom crust with the cinnamon-sugar  mixture.
4.  In a large bowl, mix apples and lemon juice.  Add flour,  3/4 cup of sugar, the rest of the cinnamon, the nutmeg and the salt.  Toss gently, but well.  Carefully pour or spoon apple mixture into the crust.
5.  Drop the diced butter evenly over the apple mixture.
6.  Place top crust over the pie and trim so that there’s about an inch overhanging the pie.
7.  Pinch together the crust and either press edge of crust into the pie plate with the tines of a fork or crimp.
8.  Using pastry brush, brush top crust with cream or milk and dust evenly with the last teaspoon of sugar.
9.  Make several small slits (evenly spread) through top crust for venting the filling as it cooks. You can make a design; I made a “K” for Kathy and a few “arrows.”
10.  Bake 15-20 minutes on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, and lower oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Bake another hour or so until pie is golden brown and juices are bubbling out of the slits. *  Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

+Honeycrisp apples, developed at “The U” here in Minnesota, hold their shape well.  Because of that, I slice them thinly.  They won’t get terribly soft and break down.  If you’re using a softer apple, cut them in larger slices.  Also, some folks like the skin left on their apples for pie.  Do as you like.

*If it’s getting too brown, carefully lay a piece of aluminum foil loosely on top of the pie.

Prep note:  I usually prep the apple mixture and put  that aside.  Then I tackle making the crust.  I roll out the bottom crust and place it in the pie pan.  In goes the apple mixture and I set the whole thing aside while I take the second crust out of the frig and roll it.  I next roll the second crust loosely around the rolling pin (or you can carefully fold it in half and then in half again) and gently lay it on top of the buttered apples. Trim, crimp, and it’s ready for the oven.

Here’s the pie before baking.
I had enough for a coffee cup pie for Dave.

Double Pie Crust Recipe — Pâte Brisée*

2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup salted butter, cut into 1″ pieces
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup iced water  (Use a 1 cup measuring cup and pour in 1/2 water; add ice and use quickly.)

*In food processor, place flour, butter and salt. (This may also be done with a pastry cutter or two knives.)  Pulsing, cut butter into the flour until there are 1/2″ sizes pieces (and some smaller and some larger) of buttered crumbs.
*With machine running, pour in water slowly.  When the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the machine, stop the machine, and turn dough out onto a well-floured board or counter.
*Gently and quickly pat dough into a ball and divide ball evenly in half.
*Wrap one half and refrigerate it.  Take the other half and press it into a flat disc.  Dust the dough with flour, and, with a floured rolling pin, roll from the center out to the edges moving clockwise around the dough until the dough is about 10″ in diameter.  Move the dough every few rolls of the pin so it doesn’t stick.  You may need to keep putting a bit of flour sprinkled underneath.
*Remove dough from frig and repeat for top crust.

All baked up with somewhere to go.

*The recipe for this dough is from an old CUISINART cookbook–one of those thin, small books that came with my first CUISINART in the early ’80s maybe… This was the first Pâte Brisée I ever used and I’ve been using it ever since. Thanks, Cuisinart!

Two-Dog Kitchen and Around the Hood…..

Next Monday, November 21, I direct a pick-up choir at St. Frances Cabrini Church,  1500 Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, MN,  for an Ecumenical Thanksgiving.  Want to sing?  Show up at 6pm for rehearsal of easy anthem,”Simple Gifts” for worship service that begins at 7pm.  Hope to hear you!

This is up on the blog next–a braised leg of lamb with vegetables.  Perfect alternative Thankgiving.
The start of a neighborhood birthday/wine-tasting dinner….I did the lamb above.  It was potluck.
Friend Mac at the table Friday night.
Long night, eh, buddy?
We have a monthly concert series at Prospect Park–Here’s SHOUT! from Lake Harriet U Methodist
Today’s cardinal + flowering geraniums still living in neighbor’s window boxes!
Floor’s done and I’ve been painting.  The color, appropriate to the season, is “Pumpkin Pie.”
Gorgeous trees still golden ’til just a few days ago.
Last roses of summer….

We haven’t had any really cold weather yet and that’s unusual.  Several days ago, I finally cut the last of the roses and brought them in for a vase.  I rarely cut my flowers, thinking they look best where God placed them.  But when it’s going to be 22 degrees F, I cut them all!

Still blooming the second week of November

A foil packet salmon done in 20 minutes I wrote for Examiner.com.

Dave said, “This is the best salmon I’ve ever tasted.” I couldn’t believe how tender it was.

Sing a new song,
Alyce

Take your Toys to Dunn Brothers and Shop OXFAM

Take your Toys to Dunn Brothers and Shop OXFAM

Take your toys to Alyce’s favorite coffee store:  Dunn Brothers.
  Beginning November 1st and ending December 15th Dunn Bros Coffee shops nation-wide will be drop-off destinations for new and unwrapped toys for the Toys for Tots program.Help us reach our goal of collecting 16,000 toys this Holiday Season!

Bring new, unwrapped toys or books to your neighborhood Dunn Brothers and leave them in the Toys for Tots drop-off box.

Toys for Tots Mission
The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.
Note: Some toy drive end dates will vary based on shop location
 
Go Dunn Brothers!

OR….WANT TO SHOP THE EASY WAY?  TRY OXFAM:

 

Choose from over 70 unique gifts that help fight hunger, poverty and social injustice.

Think seeds, manure, art supplies for kids, books, a healthy herd, a school meal program for one kid…and so on.

 Oxfam America Unwrapped is part of Oxfam America, a non-profit organization committed to creating lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. We rely on like-minded people like you to help us give poor people the support they need to change their lives. By purchasing our charitable gifts, you are making a difference. Give gifts that do good…and…

 

Do it all with joy and sing a new song,             
Alyce
Timpano II and Other Journeys There and Back Home

Timpano II and Other Journeys There and Back Home

I have some really good friends in Colorado. That puts it lightly.  We never need a reason to get together, but…

Last year, we had a party we called “The Big Night” after the movie “The Big Night”  starring Stanley Tucci, Tony Shaloub, Isabella Rosselini, Marc Anthony, Minnie Driver, et al.  In this cult film-lover’s movie, two Italian brothers try to save their New World restaurant (and their lives) by throwing a huge party to which Louis Prima is supposedly invited.  I won’t spoil the story, but while Prima is the no-show star, a dish called “Timpano” (Italian for timpani) does make an appearance and steals the dinner scene. (See my post on our first Big Night, October 29, 2010.)

The Timpano (Italian for timpani) is a monumentally-large dish that feeds 20+.  Baked in a washtub, it features a sort of pizza crust filled with a multitude of layers that can include pasta, sauce, meatballs, Italian Sausage, Proscuitto, salami, Pecorino Romano, boiled eggs, beaten raw eggs, and so on.  Allowed to cool for nearly an hour after a long bake, the drum is then turned over and carved carefully, served with a great salad and lots of Chianti.

Doing this thing ourselves–having a party and making the timpano “just like in the movie”– was next-door neighbor Sara’s idea, I think, but it took a long time to make it happen.  For a while, we searched stores and Good Wills for a big, huge washtub pan…I promised to order one and didn’t.  We found dates and canceled them.  Went on vacations and forgot about the whole deal.  In fact, there were a lot of places our own first Big Night almost didn’t happen.  Except Sara kept envisioning it and never let us give up the dream.  She gave up on me briefly, however, and ordered the pan herself.  She planned the night in 2010, and while I did finally search out the recipe, Sara was the mastermind behind the entire enterprise. (Here’s the website with the newest crust.) In the end, we made it together, we did, Mary Pat, Sara and I.  Invited the ‘hood and various friends and ate most of the night, watching the movie for the rest.  We then talked about it the rest of the year.  And…

The night was so wonderful that we made a pact to do it again and set the date for October 29, 2011.  Despite moving to St. Paul, we made it back to Colorado Springs just in time for what turned out to be an even better and improved (delicious, in fact) timpano.  Here’s a photo album from


THE BIG NIGHT 2011

First things first.  Wash the wine glasses, said Chef Sara.

Megan:  Timpano Dog Extraordinaire

 

Chopping, chopping–Mary Pat
This new dough chilled for only an hour before rolling out.

Sara’s Sauce–Yum.

Dough-We took turns rolling this mother.

 

In pan with only a few places to patch.

 

First: Sauced Pasta topped with salami and eggs.

Thatsa meatball!  (And pepperoni)

Layer, layer, sauce.  More sauce is MP’s idea this year and it’s tastier.
Get it all in there.  Waste not.

A bit of crust piecing that worked.  Years of pie baking paying off.
In the oven.  Time for a glass of wine.

TA-DA!

Just out of the oven and resting for 30 minutes.

  

Turned over, pan removed and another 20 minutes rest.

A slice for you.

Inside the Timpano

Another slice for your friend

Waiting for its closeup

Sharing it all:

How shall we carve this?
We follow Dave’s plan and it’s a good thing.  As Alyce has always known.

 

Slideshow of last year’s Big Night

Ipad has more pics

Let’s get started.

 Two-Dog Kitchen (Three this week) or Around the ‘Hood


More on the week’s travels:

 

Back in Princeton and loving it.  Got a great version of Ps 147 for worship.

Dave and Emi up ahead

Looking back at the well-worn steps on the way towards chapel.

Talking with her hands–our Emi

On to Colorado….  Gotta Love It

Grandpa and Rhyan out for pizza again in Colorado!

Back home:  work on our kitchen while we’re away.

Back in St. Paul puppy sitting.

 

Newman..It’s a 3-Dog Kitchen, but in a borrowed house!

Writing recipes on ipad now. A new world.

Read the DinnerPlace post on Chicken-Pumpkin Chili?  Yummy and easy for fall.

Listening to Cantus, “There is a Meeting Here Tonight”  Want to feel good? Watch and listen.

Reading THE PASTOR by Eugene Peterson.  A great read.  Also listening to the choir’s cantata on nearly a loop.  Come hear our performance of “Canticle of Joy” by Joseph and Patricia Martin, on Sunday, December 11 at 9:30 am during worship.  Love to have you.

Do it all with joy and sing a new song,
Alyce