Leftovers, minus the dullness

Honestly, I am afraid of leftovers.

To wit:

Howie (standing at open refrigerator): "There's nothing to consume."

Izabela: "Look in the refrigerator."

Howie: "I am. There's absolutely nothing in here."

Izabela: "Don't start that again. There's the chicken from the other day, the pasta from Monday. Search in the containers."

Howie: "I do not want to open any containers."

Izabela: "Then, don't consume."

Howie (sigh): "OK.".

That's practically verbatim. I know because I have the conversation with my other half several times a week. You'll be tough pushed to get me to check under the lid if something is being saved in the fridge in a container or enshrouded in crinkly plastic wrap. Who knows what smells or tiny danger waits for?

Yes, I am a little insane about food that was on yesterday's menu. That's why I've never been one of those individuals who excitedly wait for the post-Thanksgiving leftover engorgement. Save the turkey and cranberry sauce sandwiches for somebody else.

There are things you can do with all those leftovers that mask the fact that they have been growing old in your fridge. They're tasty, too, if you do not inform me what they are. My favorite: the pot pie.

I've been consuming pot pie since I was old sufficient to get a Swanson's-- presented in 1951-- from the supermarket freezer. I think it's the combination of the crust and gooey filling. It's become the ultimate comfort food.

There are a range of recipes for casserole online and in well appreciated books: Cooks.com, Fannie Farmer, "The Joy of Cooking," "James Beards American Cookery" and "American Home Cooking," to call a number of worth an appearance.

I wished to attempt a brand-new one, from a reputable source: the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the place where a lot of the best American chefs get their education. Their latest book is "One Dish Meals: Flavorful Single-Dish meals from the World's Premier Culinary College." The recipe is for chicken pot pie, however substituting turkey will be just as great.

Do not be fooled by the "one-dish" name. This is no Rachael Ray 30-minute deal-- it took me and Izabela 2 hours to make ours, not consisting of the crust-- cooking time alone has to do with 45 minutes.

If it's store purchased or it can set you back at least an hour in the refrigerator if it's homemade, the crust can take no time at all. I desired to purchase those easy bake biscuits, and, Izabela, well, let's just state she did not approve.

" What do you suggest? Exactly what do you suggest?" Izabela asked incredulously. "The dough dish I utilize is easy. Why would you ever desire to buy one?".

We made the crust.

Izabela has actually adapted a Julia Child dish for dough that she constantly utilizes and is truly simple. The important thing to understand about making your very own is that it has to be cooled prior to handling-- there is a lot of butter in the dish. Chilling allows the dough to tighten in order to be rolled more quickly.

The goal is a flaky, fragile, crispy crust. If the dough is too soft to work with you'll have to add flour to firm it up. You'll have a difficult and chewy crust. And Izabela will be mad.

When you're all set to start forming the dough, make sure you have the rolling pin all set: Try asking your 18-month-old child what he maded with "the round wood thing" while the ball of dough sits on the counter, getting softer and softer. We used a wine bottle to present our dough. Time is of the essence: Fast equals flaky.

I chose the recipe because it looked simple sufficient and because of the CIA's track record. Izabela, on the other hand, was doubtful. She was won over.

There are two things about the dish to be aware of. We had no idea what that means and Izabela has never seen the word utilized that way. Exactly what you're looking for is the butter to get frothy, white with tiny bubbles.

As a neophyte, the other concern I had with the dish was the stir "up until thick" command. her latest blog At some point in the 15 minutes of stirring you will observe the sauce gets thicker, sort of like comparing water and oil. By the time 15 minutes passed, the mixture wasn't much thicker than that.

The great thing about making this dish is that you're making pie. In managing my food neuroses, pie is a terrific leveler. If it's a mouthwatering pie made from leftovers, even.

Chicken Pot Pie.

From The Culinary Institute of America's "One Dish Meals: Flavorful Single-Dish meals from the World's Premier Culinary College.".

Makes 4 to 6 Servings.

3 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil.

1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion.

2 teaspoons minced garlic.

3 tablespoons flour.

3 cups chicken broth.

salt as needed.

freshly ground black pepper as needed.

1 cup diced carrot.

1 cup diced celery.

2 cups diced red or Yukon gold potato.

4 cups diced prepared chicken meat (or replace turkey).

1 cup green peas, thawed if frozen.

2 tablespoons sliced flat leaf (Italian) parsley.

2 (9-inch prepared pie crusts or puff pastry sheets.

Add the onion and sauté, stirring often up until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Include the flour and cook, stirring constantly, up until pasty and thick, about 2 minutes. Bring to a boil and them right away decrease the heat to low and simmer, stirring regularly, until thick, about 15 minutes.

3. Add the potato, celery, and carrot and simmer till the vegetables hurt, about 20 minutes. Add the chicken and peas and get rid of from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped parsley.

Cut pie crust or puff pastry dough to the approximate size and shape and cover the filling. Cut vents in the crust and press the edges of the dough onto the baking dish or crocks to seal.

5. Bake the casserole until the pie crust or puff pastry is flaky and golden, about 45 minutes for a large pot pie and 25 minutes for specific crocks. Serve immediately.

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