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There’s more to savory pies than shepherd’s pie

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/03/18/10/55/1nKRhQ.Em.138.jpeg|316
    Juli Leonard - jleonard@newsobserver.com
    There’s more to savory pies than shepherd’s pie or chicken pot pie. Try these shrimp and andouille pot pies.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/03/18/10/55/TUeGZ.Em.138.jpeg|473
    - COURTESY OF OXMOOR HOUSE STUDIOS
    Pastel de Choclo is adapted from “Cooking Light’s Global Kitchen” by David Joachim.

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  • Meat and Corn Pie

    This Chilean dish is called Pastel de Choclo. It is adapted from “Cooking Light Global Kitchen,” by David Joachim (Oxmoor House, 2014).

    1/2 cup raisins

    1 cup hot water

    6 cups frozen yellow corn

    1/2 cup 2 percent reduced-fat milk

    1/4 cup cornmeal

    1 teaspoon sugar

    1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

    1 tablespoon butter

    1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

    1 tablespoon canola oil

    2 cups finely chopped onion

    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

    1/2 teaspoon paprika

    1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

    2 large garlic cloves, minced

    3/4 pound 93 percent lean ground beef

    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth

    4 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast

    2 hard-cooked large eggs, thinly sliced

    1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped

    HEAT oven to 375 degrees. Combine raisins and hot water in a bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes.

    PLACE corn, milk, cornmeal, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor; process until pureed.

    MELT butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add corn puree, and cook 10 to 12 minutes until thick like oatmeal, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in basil.

    HEAT a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan, swirl to coat. Add onion, saute for 4 minutes. Add oregano, cumin, paprika, red pepper and garlic; saute 1 minute. Add beef; cook 5 to 7 minutes or until browned, sirring to crumble. Sprinkle with flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and broth; cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly.

    DRAIN raisins. Spread beef mixture in an 8-inch square pan coated with cooking spray. Top with shredded chicken, sliced eggs, raisins and olives. Pour corn puree over casserole, spreading to cover filling. Bake for 30 minutes or until corn puree is lightly brown and forms a crust.

    Per serving: 449 calories, 14g fat, 33g protein, 53g carbs, 5g fiber, 136mg cholesterol, 4mg iron, 552mg sodium, 80 mg calcium.

    Yield: 6 servings


  • Kale and Sausage Hand Pies

    From “Six O’Clock Solutions: 30-Minute Meal Plans for Delicious Weeknight Meals,” (Oxmoor House, 2013).

    5 ounces mild or spicy Italian bulk pork sausage

    1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

    1/2 bunch fresh kale, washed, trimmed and cut into strips (about 1 1/3 cups)

    1 cup refrigerated diced potato with onion

    1/4 teaspoon table salt

    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

    1 (14.1-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts

    1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

    1 tablespoon heavy cream

    2 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese

    HEAT oven to 400 degrees. Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, 6 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Remove sausage from skillet using a slotted spoon, reserving drippings in skillet. Saute bell pepper, kale and potato mixture in hot drippings 6 minutes or until tender; add sausage. Remove from heat; stir in salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper.

    UNROLL piecrusts on a lightly floured surface. Cut each piecrust in half. Spoon about 1/2 cup sausage mixture into center of each half of dough; top each with half of mozzarella cheese. Fold dough over filling to form triangles. Brush edges of dough with water. Press edges together with a fork to firmly seal. Place pies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cut small slits in top for steam to escape. Brush tops of pies with cream and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

    BAKE for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Yield: 4 servings.


  • Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

    Adapted from “A Southerly Course,” by Martha Hall Foose (Clarkson Potter, 2011).

    3 cups leftover mashed potatoes

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1 large egg yolk

    2 tablespoons canola oil

    1 cup chopped onion

    1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

    2 carrots, finely chopped

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

    2 teaspoons tomato paste

    1 cup vegetable broth

    2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

    1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

    1 (14-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

    1/2 cup frozen corn kernels

    1/2 cup frozen green peas

    PLACE cooked mashed potatoes in a medium plastic bowl. Warm in the microwave, about 30 seconds to 1 minute, until easier to stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in egg yolk until well combined.

    HEAT oven to 400 degrees.

    HEAT oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and carrots and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with flour, stir and cook another minute. Add tomato paste, broth, rosemary and thyme, and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil. Add kidney beans, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Add corn and peas.

    SPREAD vegetable mixture into an 11-by-7-inch glass baking dish. Use a spatula to top with mashed potatoes, starting at the edges to create a seal and prevent mixture from bubbling up. Bake for about 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

    Yield: 6 servings.


  • Shrimp and Andouille Pot Pies

    Adapted from epicurious.com.

    1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

    1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

    2 tablespoons all purpose flour

    1 tablespoon butter

    3 1/2 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; from 3 large)

    1/2 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

    2 large garlic cloves, minced

    1/3 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine

    2 cups seafood stock or 2 cups bottled clam juice

    1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

    1 8-ounce red-skinned potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

    1 1/2 pounds deveined, peeled, uncooked jumbo shrimp, cut into 1-inch pieces

    HEAT oven to 400 degrees. Roll out pastry on floured surface to 12-inch square. Cut out four 5 1/2-inch rounds. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet; bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool on sheet.

    WHISK cream and flour in small bowl. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add andouille and garlic and saute 4 minutes. Add vermouth; simmer until liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Add seafood stock or clam juice and thyme. Bring to simmer. Add potato and cook uncovered until tender, about 6 minutes.

    ADD cream mixture to skillet; stir. Simmer until sauce thickens and boils, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat. Add shrimp; simmer until just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

    DIVIDE hot filling among four 1 1/4-cup baking dishes. Top each with pastry round. Bake until filling bubbles, about 5 minutes.

    Yield: 4 servings.



With St. Patrick’s Day just behind us, you may have eaten or cooked one of the classic savory pies: shepherd’s pie.

Quick, try to name another savory pie beyond that mashed potato-topped lamb and vegetable pie; you likely will only come up with one other: chicken pot pie. Maybe if you are an Anglophile, you’ll name cottage pie – the beefy cousin of shepherd’s pie.

But there’s more to the world of savory pies.

Cookbook author David Joachim offers up a world tour of savory pies in his latest cookbook, “Cooking Light Global Kitchen.”

Joachim, who has more than 40 cookbooks to his credit as an author, collaborator or editor, is probably best known for the “A Man, A Can, A Plan,” cookbook series. He’s also written books with baking expert Nick Malgieri, “Top Chef” star Kevin Gillepsie and Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri.

While Joachim’s latest cookbook isn’t focused on savory pies, it does offer a quite a few recipes and he learned a bit about the genre.

“In the West, flavors are often melded together in a pie,” Joachim says.

But when pies head to South America, he says, the flavor combinations can get more interesting with mixtures of sweet and savory. In the meat and corn pie from Chile in Joachim’s book, there are olives, raisins and hard-boiled eggs, as well as chicken and beef. Plus, it’s topped with a corn puree, like a sweet cornbread.

“There’s lots of vibrant flavor in this than what you would get in your regular shepherd’s pie,” Joachim explains.

There’s also the entire subgenre of hand pies: empanadas from all over Central and South America, spanakopitas from Greece and even samosas from India.

It’s clear that when starting with a crispy crust and a savory filling, there’s a whole world of recipes to try.

Weigl: 919-829-4848; Twitter: @andreaweigl
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