Friday, November 21, 2008

Gimme a big pot o' pie.

Cold weather makes me want to make baked dinners. Things submerged under bubbling cheese. Things wrapped in filo. Things sealed up in pie crusts. Yum. Thing is, while I've got the bubbling cheese and the filo down, the pie crust, well I pretty much suck at them. Can't make a pie crust to save my life. And yet, I manage. For example, on Monday night, I made the tastiest veggie pot pie. Sure I cheated. I used a premade crust, but whatever. It was gooooooood.

Big Pot o' Pie:
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper cut into strips
4 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup cut green beans (feel free to use frozen)
1 large carrot, sliced into thin rounds
1 medium cauliflower cut into chunks
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
1/2 tsp dry thyme
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups veggie broth (I like Better Than Bullion, 1 tsp per cup of water)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 9 inch roll out pie crusts. (not the kind in the pan, the flat kind)

Preheat your oven to 350.
Put one pie crust into a pie plate (N0! I did not use that pie plate!) and set it aside.
In a medium sized sauce pan, melt your butter and saute the onion chunks until they are transparent. Add the bell pepper and cook until slightly soft. Add the flour to the butter onion and bell pepper and cook for about one minute. Add the green beans, carrot, thyme, parsley and cauliflower. Continue to cook until slightly soft. Add the broth and stir until the gravy starts to thicken. Taste it, then add salt and pepper to taste. (If you really want, you can add extra Better than Bullion instead, which I have been known to do.)
Dump this mixture into your pie crust and top with the other flat pie crust. Crimp the edges and slash the top in about 5 places to let the steam out.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until you can't stand to wait any longer.

Next time I make this, I'm going to try the same combo, but top it with puff pastry instead of putting it in a pie crust. Yep, I'm a rebel.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Spaghetti-Oh-my-god-this-is-tasty. (Get it? Like spaghetti-os)

Ok, that probably isn't a great name for a new product. But seriously, I whipped up a little dinner last night by scrounging in the fridge and it got the complete child and husband seal of approval. Big Dog demanded I put it in his lunch for the next day and specified "in the big container" of his Laptop Lunchbox. Mr. Dog had seconds and Little Dog, well, he had eaten about 4 pumpkin muffins by dinner time, so the fact that he ate any of the meal was more or less a ringing endorsement. Want to hear the best part? It was so damn easy.

1 package of Anelli or Anellini pasta (little rings, like spaghetti-0s) I got mine at Trader Joe's, but I'm sure you can find them other places, or substitute other small pasta, like Alphabet or Stelle or something kids will adore.
4 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup of oil preserved sun dried tomatoes, drained. (I used the julienne cut sundried tomatoes from Trader Joe's)
2 Tbsp butter.
1/2 pasta water
flat leaf parsley.

Boil your pasta according to package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, combine the goat cheese, sundried tomatoes and butter. Puree them until they are smooth and they take on a pretty pale pink color. I used a stick blender to do the job, but a food processor or blender would work too. Add the pasta water to thin the sauce. Toss the sauce with your cooked and drained pasta. Top with chopped parsley. Sit back and wait for the praise of your family.