Pie Crust : Part 2

September 27, 2008

Since I blogged about pie crusts it got me to thinking. How about sharing other great freezer recipes using pie crusts? Oh yeah.

Wanna know a great one? Chicken Pot Pies.

You can make these and throw them in the freezer. Pot Pie is a recipe I usually "wing" so I am including a recipe that is not of my own making. This recipe is taken from the Pillsbury Website. I am going to try it this week. Feel free to leave comments if you give it a try.

Chicken Pot Pie
makes 2, 9" pies

2 c. diced cooked chicken (I use a cooked rotisserie chicken. Easy and it's cheap!)
2 c. diced potatoes
1 c. diced onion
2 c. frozen pea and carrot medley
2 small celery ribs sliced 1/4" thick
1/2 c. sour cream
1 jar (12 oz) turkey gravy
1/4 tsp. dried sage leaves
2 tsp. dried parsley
2 refrigerated pie crusts for tops only or 4 crusts if you want a bottom crust as well.

2 disposable aluminum pie plates

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 3-quart casserole with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix all ingredients; spoon mixture into casserole.

2. Unroll pie crust on work surface. Fit bottom into pie plate if making a two crust pie. For a top crust only pie spray bottom of pie plate with cooking spray before filling. Fill with filling and cover with top crust. Cut 4 slit into top of crust.

3. Cover twice tightly with plastic wrap, label and store in freezer.

To Bake
Unwrap plastic. Place pie onto foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 375* on very bottom rack of oven.
Thawed: 40-50 min.
Frozen: 1 hr 15 min-1 hr 45 min.


Quiche Your Way

September 25, 2008

Did you know you can freeze pie crust? It's true and it's a very helpful time saver. You can make your own recipe for pie crust and simply wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and seal into a ziplock bag. Defrost for 24 hours before using.

If you're not a pastry master, you can buy refrigerated pie crust and throw it straight into the freezer. When you're ready to use one thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours or simply take out of freezer and leave on counter top at room temperature until thawed. 1-2 hours.

So what can you make with a simple pie crust?
Lots of things.
But my favorite is quiche.

Emilie's Quiche

1 unbaked pie crust

wet ingredients
5 eggs
2 c. whole milk
1 T flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. Worcester sauce (omit for vegetarian version)
1 clove minced garlic
1 T dried parsley flakes

other ingredients
(this is the part where you can really add anything you want. cooked broccoli, cooked bacon, any kind of cheese, green peppers, diced tomatoes...anything!)

½ c. chopped green onion
½ c. mushrooms
1 c. frozen spinach
3 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 c. ham (or omit for a vegetarian quiche)

-Roll out pie crust into pie plate (if you have a quiche pan...even better).
-Prick shell with fork and bake @ 400 for 15 minutes.
-Put ½ cheese in bottom of crust.
-Add remaining ingredients in layers in the bottom of the crust.
-Combine wet ingredients and pour gently into crust.
-Top with remaining cheese.

-Bake @ 350* for 50 min. Allow to cool for around 15-20 minutes so it sets up.


Factoid: Butter vs. Shortening

September 22, 2008

The most frequently asked question on this blog is why I use a mixture of half shortening (butter flavored shortening to be exact) and half butter in my cookies. And can people choose which one they want to use and exclude the other. You butter lovers, you!

Here's the answer:

Butter and Shortening both add different chemical properties to baked goods. This mostly has to do with their evaporation level and how they react to heat. Butter increases browning and adds a crisps texture to baked goods. It also evaporates more quickly, but then lends less stability to the finished product. Butter also has the best flavor. Shortening does not brown food nearly as much. It takes longer to evaporate and adds a more elastic texture to baked goods.

So when I bake cookies I use a mixture of half butter and half shortening. Why? Because I get the best of both worlds. The butter helps to crisp the outside and the shortening helps your cookie retain moisture.

So if you choose to use all butter, your cookie will turn out a bit more browned and more crisp, but may also stale or dry out more quickly. If you use only shortening you will get a softer cookie with less texture and less flavor.

I hope that helps.

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About This Blog

A new recipe will be posted each Monday and, of course, you can always search the archives by category.

The Goal of this blog is not just to give you my recipes, but to teach you which ingredients freeze well, which don't, methods and tips to help you freeze your own recipes...because who knows better what your family likes than you?

Do you only cook organic? Great! Are you a vegetarian? No problem! Make what works for you and save time, money and (let's be honest...stress) while doing it.

The Freeze Happy philosophy has made my life better and I'm pretty sure it can improve yours too.

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