Sunday, November 11, 2007

Battin' 1000

There are two things in this life that I feel passionate about, art and food. What with my crazy schedule lately I haven't been able to eat a whole lot of home cooked meals so yesterday I took advantage of the holiday weekend and went nuts.

It started with pie dough. I had a bunch of plums going south on the counter so I decided to whip up a pie in order to use them up. In addition to the plums I had some pink lady apples laying around and seeing as how there is no set recipe for apple plum pie I made this one up:

Plum, raisin, and apple pie

I have to admit that I cheated the crust this time and bought some from Trader Joe's, who believe it or not have really good ready made pie crust. Pizza dough too.

6 plums
4 apples
1/2 raisins
1/4 white sugar
1/4 brown sugar
1 1/2 T of flour
Hearty dose of cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
dash of allspice
dash of nutmeg

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl and then fill the crust. After topping the filling with the other crust remember to cut a vent to allow steam to escape. I followed the package directions as far as baking it went but all told I think it was about an hour and fifteen.

After I finished the pie I found that I had a lump of dough left over that was about the size of a tennis ball. I was getting ready to pitch it when I realized all of the wonderful things I could fill a tennis ball sized lump of pie dough with leading me to make a mushroom, onion, and swiss hand pie.

Mushroom hand pie

1 T olive oil
6 or so mushrooms
1/2 an onion
1 clove garlic
pinch of thyme
salt and pepper
1/8 of a cup swiss cheese
Tennis ball sized lump of pie dough

Slice the mushrooms and onions thinly and cook with the garlic and thyme until the onions begin to caramelize. Once cooked let the mixture cool and add the swiss just before you fill the pie. Roll the dough out into a circular shape and place the filling on one half of the dough. Fold the dough over and crimp the edges. Brush the top with cream and sprinkle a little parmesan on top. Pop in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes and wah-lah.

Handpie has since become one of my new favorite words. It's as fun to say as it is to eat,handpie, handpie, handpie.

To top this whole thing off I made a potato and zucchini soup that was so yummy and could have easily been made vegan if I had used veggie instead of chicken stock and left out the butter.

Potato and zucchini soup

2 medium onions diced
1 large zucchini cubed
4 potatoes (skins on) cubed
1 clove garlic minced
1 1/2 T flour
2 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 t thyme
1 t tarragon
Salt and pepper
Chicken stock 4-6 cups

Heat oil and butter in a dutch oven and add the onions, garlic and flour. Cook until the flour begins to brown and add the potatoes, zucchini, and herbs and cook for another minute or two. Then add just enough chicken stock to deglaze the pan (about 1/4 cup). Once the pan is deglazed add more chicken stock until it just barely covers the potatoes and zucchini and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are soft. Using a stick blender or food processor blend the soup and serve.

Surprising, despite the fact that I just sorta winged it on these three things they all turned out delicious. It's rare that I experiment 3 times in one night and have all three turn out good. OMF and I had this wonderful combination of sweets and savories with a green salad and some cheap Merlot and were fat, dumb and happy when all was said and done.

Tonight I'm gonna try this.

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