Back to the Kitchen: Savory Pies for a Main Course

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gwen-upper110x110BY GWEN KENNEALLY


Even though the Southern California weather might be pulling for BBQ’s with on-again, off-again warm chicken pot pirweather, my food clock is calling for savory pies! These pies are amazing and great with a salad and travel well for potlucks. They bring me such comfort and joy and kids love them as well as the adults. The caramelized onion tarts can be made as a show stopping large pie made in a 9-inch tart pan or minis as I have them in the recipe, served as an appetizer. Using the pastry recipe for the tart and doubling it for the Chicken Pot Pie. If you want a nice flaky crust don’t skip freezing the butter, using ice water and chilling the dough before rolling. You can even chill it over night. I don’t believe in violence in the kitchen so no need to whack the dough with a rolling pin. Many chefs say this is how to get a workable consistency, but gently rolling it using your body weight works better. Enjoy these pies with friends and family!

Mini Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Tarts

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2-teaspoon salt

1/2-cup butter (Grated and left frozen for 1/2 hour)

Up to 6 Tablespoons ice water

1 Large loaf goat’s cheese

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender cut the butter into the flour until the pieces are the size of rice. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons water over part of the flour mixture and stir very gently with a fork, Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat using 2 tablespoons of water (up to6) until all the dough is moistened. Divide dough in half. Form each into a ball and press into a disk. Wrap in plastic and let stand in the refrigerator for one hour. Roll out on a floured cutting board about 1/4 inch thick. Using a small circular cookie cutter cut the dough and place in sprayed mini muffin tins pushing them up the side. Bake in a pre heated 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes until golden. Let cool. When ready to serve line mini tarts on a cookie sheet. Add about 1-teaspoon onion mixture and 1-teaspoon goats cheese to each tart and bake in a preheated 350 oven until cheese is melted. About 10 minutes.

Caramelized Onion Mixture

1 stick butter

2 tablespoons Sugar

2 Large Onions, thinly sliced

In a large skillet melt the butter. Add the onions and sauté until incorporated with the butter. Sprinkle sugar over them and continue caramelizing until brown and tender about 15 minutes.

Chicken Pot Pie

1 pound chicken breast, coarsely chopped

2 carrots, thinly sliced

1 rib celery, thinly sliced

1-cup peas

1/2-cup butter

1 onion – chopped

1/3-cup flour

2/3-cup milk

2 cups chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Double Recipe of Onion Tart Pie Crust

Place chicken, carrots, and celery in a saucepan. Pour just enough water over to cover all. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until meat is cooked through. Add peas to pot and simmer for 1 minute. Drain water from pan set aside meat and vegetables. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft; stir in flour; slowly whisk in stock and milk, salt, pepper. Bring to a rolling boil and then reduce to simmer until thick; remove from heat; set aside. Center one pie crust in a lightly greased 9″ pie plate; spread cooked chicken and vegetables evenly into crust; pour prepared sauce into crust. Center second piecrust over pie; fold over edges and pinch with a fork to seal; and prick holes in top of crust. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Seafood Pie

6 finely chopped green onions

1 finely chopped red bell pepper

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

3 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1-cup milk

1 pound cooked shrimp

½ pound lump crabmeat

1-cup corn

1 cup cooked Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into chunks

1 pinch of ground cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley

Double Recipe of Onion Tart Pie Crust

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add green onion, bell pepper, garlic and celery. Sauté for approximately 5 minutes until vegetables are tender. With a slotted spoon, remove vegetables to another bowl, leaving as much butter in pan as possible. Add flour to butter in pan, whisking until smooth. Add milk and whisk until smooth. Let simmer until sauce thickens. Add shrimp, crabmeat, potatoes, corn, and seasonings. Simmer until mixture is heated through. Divide mixture among 4 ovenproof baking dishes. Unroll piecrust on a floured surface. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, and roll out to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut dough into 4 pieces and top each baking dish with a piece, trimming off excess. Cut a fish shape in the center to vent steam.

Bake in 400 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Ratatouille Pie


1 teaspoons of active dry yeast

1/4 cup of lukewarm water

1/8 teaspoon of sugar

1/2 of a large egg, at room temperature, beaten

1/8 cup of olive oil

1/2 cup of whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup of unbleached flour (more as needed)

Pinch of salt

For the pie filling:

1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch slices

3 medium zucchinis, sliced into 1/4 inch slices

3 green bell peppers

1 large yellow onion, sliced into 1/4 inch rings

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon of herbs de Provence

1 large egg, beaten

Salt and pepper to taste

Sprinkle salt over eggplant and zucchini slices and allow vegetable to sit for 30 minutes. In the meantime, dissolve yeast in lukewarm water and add the sugar. Beat in the egg and olive oil. Combine mixture with all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour and salt until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it a few times. Place the dough into a bowl and cover the bowl. Allow the dough to rise for an hour. In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Add garlic, tomatoes including juices, herbs de Provence, salt and peppers to taste. Cook the mixture in medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes until it thickens. Remove from heat and allow it to cool. Place the bell peppers into an ovenproof skillet and under the boiler for 5 minutes. When the skin becomes charred, turn the bell pepper. Repeat until all sides are charred. Place the bell peppers in a bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the peppers to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Peel the skin from the bell peppers. Slice the bell peppers to remove the core and the seeds.

Blot eggplant with paper towels to remove excess salt and moisture. Rinse the zucchini slices and drain. Roast eggplant slices, zucchini slices and onion slices in 450-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn out the dough and knead it a couple of times. Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes. Roll the dough out into rounds and line the pie pan. Layer roasted eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and onions, in that order, into the pan. Mix the cooled tomato sauce with one beaten egg and layer the mixture on top. Spread the tomato sauce so that it covers the pie. Bake in 375-degree oven for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for another 20 minutes.

Shepherd’s Pie

1 1/4 pound ground beef

1-tablespoon olive oil

3 carrots, diced

1-cup mushrooms, sliced

3 celery stalks, diced

1-cup peas

1 cup frozen corn

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup red wine

1/2-teaspoon allspice

1-tablespoon cornstarch

1 1/2 pound potatoes peeled and cubed

1/2-cup sour cream

1-cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Salt and pepper to taste

Add potatoes to boiling water. Cook 15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Mash potatoes with sour cream. Add olive oil to a skillet and heat. Cook beef, onions, mushrooms and garlic until no pink remains in beef and vegetables are softened. Add carrots, peas, celery and corn. Cook until vegetables are softened. Mix cornstarch and wine. Add to beef and vegetables. Add Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and allspice. Mix well and cook until gravy has thickened. Put meat and vegetable mixture in a 2-quart casserole. Cover with mashed potatoes. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes. Then sprinkle the cheese over the top and cook for 10 minutes longer.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

  • Nancy Mehagian

    Great recipes, Gwen. Last time I made chicken pot pie, I swore I’d never do it again. but I’d eat yours anytime.

  • Lisa H.

    Oh my gosh! YUM!

  • Jackie Houchin

    Yummy chicken pot pie. Hmmm, do you really need to use 1/2 cup of butter to saute the onions and make the roue? I like lucious… but am trying to cut down on calories.

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