How a Pot Pie Saved the Day

On Friday, or was it Thursday… no matter, I found myself with a hankering for a pot pie, and as usual, I set my sights on finding the perfect recipe and cooking it this weekend.

When Saturday rolled around I had a recipe of my own in mind. A vegetable pot pie, with peas, mushrooms, carrots, corn and celery, in a white wine cream sauce with fresh thyme and garlic folded in a light, flaky, buttery crust. Didn’t happen.

When I looked in the fridge I had six red skin potatoes, a red and green bell pepper and some onions. Not half bad if I was making a hash. But a no-go for my pot pie. I had some frozen corn, and peas…but no wine, ‘shrooms or carrots, celery, thyme. Nada.

Then it dawned on me. I’d roasted some root vegetables a while back that had many of the missing ingredients. I also had some balsamic mushrooms left over, not enough to make a side dish, just enough to provide a filler in my pot pie.

First I made what I like to call the most delicious pie crust ever. 1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour, 1 stick of butter cut into tiny pieces, 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of pepper. Mix dry ingredients and add butter. Use a fork to break butter into tiny pieces, slowly pour 3-4 tbs of cold water. Mix until dough starts to form. Knead into a flat disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour or overnight.

I reheated my roasted vegetables (red skin potatoes, celery, onion, carrots, sweet potatoes) in the oven at 300 degrees. I threw the balsamic mushrooms in for good measure.

In a sauce pan, I melted 1 tbs of butter, added a half of a sliced onion and one clove of garlic. I let it soften, then added 1tbs of flour and 1/4 of cream to make a roux. I didn’t have any white wine, so I used 1 cup of vegetable broth. I also poured the juices from my roasted veggies in for flavor. I dumped in 1/4 cup of frozen peas, 1/4 frozen corn, then chopped up the red skin potatoes, celery, mushrooms and carrots from my roasted dish. Turned the heat low and added salt and pepper to taste. Then added two dollops of sour cream. This is my filling.

I pulled my dough out and cut it in half. Rolled one side and lined my Pirex dish, then poured in the filling. Rolled out the other half and laid it on top. I even got fancy and put fork marks along the side and cut out leaf shapes to make a star on top. Egg washed it and popped it in the oven at 450 degrees for 45 minutes. The result was amazing.

Seriously, I know it sounds like a lot, but because my roasted vegetables were already done, it cut my prep time in half. It only took about 20 minutes to prepare.

I like recycling food. Doesn’t make sense to be wasteful when you can potentially make a better dish.

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Top 10 Reasons Why I Love Brunch

You sleep late, you have brunch. Got a hangover, here, have some brunch. Tired of burgers and fries, help yourself to some brunch. Want eggs and booze, call it brunch.

Brunch is genius.

Since I’m an early riser, I’ve usually already eaten before most people even realize its not the night before any longer. But every once in a while, I’ll lay in. This morning, that wasn’t the case, and I’m realizing that I’m probably going to complete this blog before any of you awaken.

Nevertheless, I got up early and wanted to cook. I ran out, got some eggs, hurried home and prepared a salmon bake with eggs, red skin potatoes, and biscuits. It got me to thinking about brunch. Had it been 11:00a, I would have just prepared a perfect feast. Today, it made a damn good 8:00a breakfast.

Brunch is a dance between two of my favorite meals. Typically combining foods and ingredients that are served after noon with foods considered to be breakfast staples and incorporating alcohol if you choose.

Here’s why you should indulge:

1) Brunch is often a time when my friends and I get together to gossip and talk about shit that happened the night before.

2) Brunch is a great reward to a good workout. Nothing like working up a good sweat and then downing a short stack.

3) Brunch is a good way to start your day drinking without judgement. No one is gonna say anything when you have four mimosas or three bloody Marys. Those things are like liquid breakfast.

4) Brunch offers and array of hearty options for the morning after the night you should have said “no” to that last drink. Most notably, pancakes, french toast and waffles. There’s no better way to protect your esophagus from the boiling cauldron of stomach acid waiting to erupt than bread. Try a fried chicken and waffle combo. Thank me later.

5) After brunch you can do whatever floats your boat. Take a walk, ride a bike, go back to sleep until 3:30p which is usually around the time that you get hungry again. Brunch is the best prelude to the mid morning/early afternoon nap.

6) Brunch allows you to serve dinner sized portions of meat with eggs. Try steak and eggs, or salmon croquettes.

7) There’s always some clever/ inventive casserole-type dish at brunch. Like this Strata.

8) Brunch is what happens to your Thanksgiving leftovers before they turn into ham and turkey sandwiches.

9) I watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother once that featured Jason Segel’s character, Marshall not wanting to go to brunch alone after a break up. I dig that. Brunch is better when you’re with someone. Or a bunch of people. It’s a little more social than just breakfast, because on the weekends, brunch is served at a socially acceptable hour.

10) Brunch allows you to lull around in bed for hours after waking and still get all your favorite breakfast foods.

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This was brunch this morning. And in case you’re wondering what that heap to the bottom right of this photo is its a salmon bake,and it’s incredible.

You’ll need a can of salmon, remove the bones. Mustard powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, bread crumbs, green onion, red bell pepper, white onion, crushed red pepper, sour cream, an egg and sharp cheddar.

Mix ingredients, spread in casserole dish and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for 30 mins at 400 degrees and viola! You can also crack eggs on top of the cheese, sprinkle with dill and let eggs bake on top. Best if served with a croissant or biscuit.