Savory Pies~ Warm Out of the Oven

For this blog post today, I wanted to share a few of my favorite savory pie recipes. Pot pies, deep dish pie, shepards pie….How can you be born and raised in New York state and not know what the term “Hot Pie” refers to?? Exactly what happened to my husband Richard. We were out at one of our favorite Italian restaurants a few years back and they are popular for there “Hot Pie” or at least that what the sign outside said, ha ha! After a tasty meal there one night, he asked the waitress, “So, what kind of hot pie do you have?” The waitress looked at him with this confused look on her face, not understanding his question…. I quietly whispered in his ear…”It’s pizza sweetie…pizza”. True story. To this day he dreams of that hot pie, lol! Ok, ok…so I owe you the Shepard’s Pie recipe and pictures. It’s MIA for now…#toomanyrecipes #foodbloggerproblems

 

 

Loaded Veggie Pot Pie with Cornmeal Crust ~

Loaded Veggie Pot Pie
Loaded Veggie Pot Pie

For Cornmeal Crust
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup fine cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick, plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced into small cubes
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons cold water

Cornmeal Crust Veggie Pot Pie
Cornmeal Crust Veggie Pot Pie

For Roasted Vegetable Filling
2 chayotes squash
4 carrots
4 stalks celery
2 medium russett potatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 more for saute
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water

Loaded Veggie Pot Pie Filling
Loaded Veggie Pot Pie Filling

You will need 1 more egg, plus 1 tablespoon water to make the eggwash to brush the tops of the crust.

Directions

1. To the food processor, add the flour and cornmeal and salt, pulse a few times. Add the butter, pulse a few more times to mix in the butter. Beat the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of cold water and add to the crust mixture. Pulse a few more times, but do not over process. Pour crust mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and work with hands until dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. For the filling, you want to dice all of the fresh vegetables into uniform size. Add them to a large bowl, toss them with the thyme, marjoram, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and olive oil. Transfer to the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time.

3. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add the broth and red wine vinegar ,bring to a boil, taste for salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and water until smooth. Whisk it into the simmering broth until it thickens. Add in all of the roasted veggies, frozen peas and corn. Cook for 5 minutes.

4. You will need 6 large ramekins that can hold at least 2 cups of filling. Divide the filling into the ramekins. Using a knife, divide the pie crust into 6 equal portions. Roll out on a lightly floured surface, just big enough to fit over the filled ramekin. Before adding the crust, using a little water, wet the edges of the ramekin. Beat the egg with tablespoon of water, brush the tops of crust and use a fork to pierce the tops. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. ields 6 servings.

Loaded Veggie Pot Pie with a Cornmeal Crust
Loaded Veggie Pot Pie with a Cornmeal Crust

Notes: This recipe was adapted from food network. You could add some cooked chicken for a heartier pot pie if you like. I just used whatever I had available in my pantry. It needed something spicy, lol! next time.

 

Chipotle Deep Dish Pie

Chipotle Deep Dish Pie
Chipotle Deep Dish Pie, click onto picture to see the recipe
Chipotle Deep Dish Pie
Chipotle Deep Dish Pie, click onto the picture to see recipe

 

Veggie Poblano Pizza

Veggie Poblano Pizza
Veggie Poblano Pizza, click onto picture to see recipe

 

Salsa Verde Carnitas Tamale Pie

Salsa Verde Carnitas Tamale Pie
Salsa Verde Carnitas Tamale Pie

 

Kickin’ Sloppy Joe and Cheddar Pie

Kickin' Sloppy Joe and Cheddar Pie
Kickin’ Sloppy Joe and Cheddar Pie

 

Smoky Shrimp Flatbread with Spanish Chorizo

Smoky Shrimp Flatbread with Spanish Chorizo
Smoky Shrimp Flatbread with Spanish Chorizo

Easy Enchilada Sauce~ Spices in the Cupboard

Street Style Enchiladas are a variation to a traditional rolled plate of enchiladas. Often sold in puestos from street vendors in the mercados or road stands in various parts of Mexico. The stand out flavors come from the flavorful enchilada sauces which are typical prepared using dried chile peppers.I found myself with only a few dried peppers, so decided to make good use of the spices in my pantry. For this version in todays blog post, I gathered my best spices out of the  cupboard and prepared a Tex Mex version of enchilada sauce. I often explain to friends that my family’s version of enchiladas was all about the garnishes. Lightly garnishes with fresh ingredients, such as crisp lettuce, tomatoes, salsa and just a sprinkle of crumbled queso fresco. At the end of the blog post you will find a recipe for Enchilada Casserole. Great for a big crowd or large family.

Street Style Enchiladas with shredded pork and topped with salsa verde
Street Style Enchiladas with shredded pork and topped with salsa verde

For the Sauce
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons chile ancho powder (dark, mild)
2 tablespoons red chile powder (bright red, mild)
* I use Gebhardt brand, if you cannot find a mild red chile powder, just add 2 more tablespoon of chile ancho powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
1 teaspoon granulated onion powder
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, crushed
1/2 tablespoon dry onion flakes, optional
4 cups  chicken stock or broth (In a pinch I will use chicken soup base to make a broth) 

You will also need

1 envelope Knorr brand Sazon with annatto
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste

Tips~ I like to prepare a double batch of this sauce. It freezes well and makes for a quick night meal with a  few tortillas and a store bought roasted chicken.

I have a big selection of spices in my cupboard and try to use them in as many recipes as possible. Spice it up!
I have a big selection of spices in my cupboard and try to use them in as many recipes as possible. Spice it up!
A silky and easy enchilada sauce using spices in your pantry.
A silky and easy enchilada sauce using spices in your pantry.

 

You will also need
12 corn tortillas
canola or olive oil
3 cups cooked (finely shredded) chicken, beef or pork
Lettuce or cabbage, finely shredded
Tomato slices or wedges
1 avocado sliced
Queso fresco crumbled
Mexican crema
Salsa or hot sauce of your choice
Cilantro, chopped
Lime wedges

Dip corn tortillas in the sauce, then lightly fry them for 30 seconds per side. Fill with your favorite shredded meat, cheese or roasted vegetables.

Directions

1. In a large skillet, heat the 4 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for a few minutes. Whisk in the flour until smooth and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.

2. Add in all of the remaining ingredients for the sauce in the order listed, making sure you whisk now and then. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and taste for salt. Cook at a simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until it thickens. Turn to low heat.

3. Transfer the shredded meat to a medium pan and mix in 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce, just enought to moisten the meat. Cover and keep warm on low.

4. In a separate skillet, preheat 1/4 cup of oil to medium heat for a few minutes. One at a time, dip a corn tortilla into the enchilada sauce, then fry it in the oil for 30 seconds per side. Transfer to baking pan, fill with a couple tablespoons of meat and fold over like a taco. Continue dipping and cooking tortillas until all done. Serve right away or keep warm in a low temperature oven. Ladle any extra sauce over enchiladas right before serving. Garnish with your favorite toppings listed. Yields 4 servings.

Street Style Enchiladas prepared with an easy enchilada sauce made from  spices in your pantry
Street Style Enchiladas prepared with an easy enchilada sauce made from spices in your pantry
This enchilada sauce was prepared in the same way as recipe above, with the added 1 cup of roasted pureed tomatoes. Filled with thinly sliced steak.
This enchilada sauce was prepared in the same way as recipe above, with the added 1 cup of roasted pureed tomatoes. Filled with thinly sliced steak.
Street Style Enchiladas with a Roasted tomato Enchilada Sauce, filled with Thinly Sliced Steak
Street Style Enchiladas with a Roasted tomato Enchilada Sauce, filled with Thinly Sliced Steak

 

Enchilada Casserole for a Crowd

When cooking for a large family gathering, I like to prepare a big pan of layered enchiladas.
When cooking for a large family gathering, I like to prepare a big pan of layered enchiladas.
Layered Enchilada Casserole
Layered Enchilada Casserole
Layered Enchilada Casserole
Layered Enchilada Casserole

You will need

A double batch of Easy Enchilada Sauce, see recipe above

4 cups cooked and seasoned ground beef

2 cup diced, fried potatoes

3 to 4 cups shredded jack or chihuahua cheese

18 corn tortillas

Smoked Paprika and Mexican Oregano

In a deep dish lasagna pan, cover the bottom with enchilada sauce. Layer 6 corn tortillas to cover the bottom. Add 1/3 of beef and 1/3 of potatoes. Cover with sauce and 1 cup of cheese over top. Repeat 2 more layers, ending with sauce and cheese on top. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and crushed mexican oregano. Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 40 minutes. Under the broiler the last few minutes to brown the cheese. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Yields up to 10 servings.

Chile Dry Rub Grilled Chicken w/ Spicy Pickled Onions

In the midst of smoking a 10 pound pork butt last weekend, my husband and I were hungry! It was then that I remembered that I had some chicken that had been marinating in a spice rub or seasoning mix for my homemade chorizo recipe. The purpose of developing this recipe using all dried spices was to make it easier for people to prepare a quick version of homemade mexican chorizo at home. I did not want people to avoid preparing the chorizo recipe because they were not sure about using dried chiles for the first time, or maybe they were not available. I have to say, that I was extemely happy with the results of the chorizo. So, it never fails that whenever I mix a new season mix for one recipe, I always end up having some leftover. I literally seasoned the chicken 2 days before and forgot all about it. I pulled the chicken from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. The grill was already preheating for the 10 pound pork butt that was about to go on for 12 hours. A quick 8 to 10 minutes per side on the chicken and we were ready to eat. Instead of serving it with salsa, I threw together a spicy quick pickled red onion with a few hot peppers I had grilled. Both my husband and I agreed, that those chicken tacos with spicy pickled onions were the best tacos we have had in a long time! Must serve with corn tortillas. Just goes to show that sometimes the spontaneous creations can end up being as good, if not better, than the well planned meal.

Chile Dry Rub Grilled Chicken with Spicy Pickled Red Onions
Chile Dry Rub Grilled Chicken with Spicy Pickled Red Onions

I really wanted to think of a fun and clever name for my spice rub, but nothing came to mind….still working on it!
For Chile Dry Rub
3 tablespoons chile ancho powder
3 tablespoons guajillo powder or another red, mild chile powder, such as Gebhardt brand
2 tablespoons vinegar powder or 2 teaspoons citric acid
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon annatto powder
1/2 tablespoon coriander
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoons Mexican oregano, crushed
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon chipotle or cayenne pepper powder
2 teaspoons salt or to taste
*Tips~ if you can’t find a mild red chile powder, you could purchase a mild (low salt) pre-mixed chili seasoning from the store. If it has salt, taste before adding more

Chile Spice Rub Grilled Chicken
Chile Spice Rub Grilled Chicken with Spicy Pickled Onions
Homemade Chile Dry Rub Seasoning
Homemade Chile Dry Rub Seasoning

Tips~ If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where dried chile peppers are available, you must try preparing your own chile powders. Remove stems and seeds from peppers. Toast the peppers on a preheated griddle or comal for a few minutes or just until they become aromatic. Never leave them unattended or they can burn and become bitter in flavor.  Along side of the peppers, I like to toast my own whole spices and grind them as well. Grind them in a spice grinder, commercial blender or coffee grider. Needless to say, I only use my coffee grinder for spices…It’s a must try! You will not regret it! The best peppers to use are chile ancho, guajillo, pasilla or New Mexico.

 

*1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs (4 to 5 pieces)
*Oil for grill pan or outdoor grill

For Onions
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
2 hot peppers of your choice, roasted or grilled
Juice of 5 key limes or 2 regular limes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste

1. Season the chicken generously with dry rub on both sides. Cover and marinate for 24 hours or up to 2 days in refrigerator.

2. Remove chicken from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking time so it comes to room temperature.

3. About an hour before cooking chicken, combine all of the ingredients for the pickled onions. Stir well to combine, taste for salt. Cover and set aside.

4. Preheat a stove top grill pan or outdoor grill to medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Drizzle or brush with oil. Cook the chicken for 8 to10 minutes per side (with lid closed) or until internal temperature read 165 degrees F. Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes before serving. Slice and garnish with pickled red onions. Serve with warm corn tortillas and your favorite salsa. Yields 4 servings.

Chile Dry Rub Grilled Chicken
Chile Dry Rub Grilled Chicken
Chile Dry Rub Grilled Chicken
Chile Dry Rub Grilled Chicken