Thursday, July 28, 2016

Put a Lid on It: Savory Pies for Many Occassions

... including just lunch.

It started with a chicken pot pie, delivered to our doorstep on a cold winter's night while we snuggled our newborn and delighted in our toddler. One was baked that day for dinner, the other tucked away in our already over-filled freezer, a sign that while we hoped for an easy baby, we prepared for the worst.

(As an easy baby was, in fact, had, many, many scones were made on those days that dinner was provided by pre-baby labor, keeping cooking and baking in the routine.)

It continued in March, during my husband's last spring break ever, for his feast day celebration (also the most-oft celebrated saint day in the United States), with the appropriate beer featured in the inner portion of the pie- and, of course, drunk with dinner. The crust was scored in a cross-fashion, as instructed by my Irish-loving uncle to ensure authenticity, with three marks on either side for each member of the holy family.

A series of quiches followed, all using Martha's double crust recipe, filled with fresh spinach, leftover roasted broccoli or cauliflower, shredded cheese (cheddar or Aldi gouda for a decadent treat!), and whatever else I had on hand, like cubes of Easter ham and roast chicken. Very vegetable quiche: paired with salad, the perfect delicious yet nutrient-dense lunch for a nursing mama.

Then there was what would have been my crowning glory, had I known how to properly prepare an artichoke: Marcella Hazan's Artichoke Ricotta Torte, from The Essentials of Italian Cooking, for a decadent yet meatless Friday night dinner. Instead, we were left with a deliciously flaky crust, paired with tough artichoke leaves, leaving promise for the future.

Finally, last night a Ham, Cheese, and Spinach pie! Delicious (and well worth making a ham just for the leftovers it yields).

What is it that makes a flaky crust elevate any old meal?

(In case you missed it, I linked to a few of my latest columns:Living in the Present, On Routine and God's Presence, and on meatless Fridays)