Thursday, October 27, 2011

How did the ghost mend his sheet?


Halloween is definitely my favorite holiday. As a child, I remember thinking that things could not get much better than dressing up, trick-or-treating and celebrating with a pillowcase full of mini-candy bars to last through the freezing Montana winter. Eventually, as a teenager, trick-or-treating became all-night horror movie fests and Halloween parties, and as an adult the never-ending supply of mini candy-bars ceased to be the end result of trick-or-treating and became my favorite way to celebrate November 1st. SALE!

One of my all-time favorite seasonal celebrations has got to be pumpkin carving. This year was no exception! We took our annual trip to the pumpkin patch and last weekend carved some of the best pumpkins I've ever seen! Instead of munching on candy all night, I kept to comfort food and served mini pot-pies.

Tonight the seeds will be roasted, and Dollhaus of Horror prep will continue. Halloween is almost here!!

I have been so busy preparing for this Halloween party that blogging has fallen by the wayside--as has taking pictures of things. That being said, I failed to photograph my mini pot pies, but I will include the "recipe" because they turned out wonderfully and everyone knows what a pot pit looks like, now just imagine a cupcake-size version. I use the term recipe loosely because of how simple these were to make. It feels like cheating to call it a recipe.

Mini Pot Pie:

8 oz bag of frozen mixed veggies (mine were carrots, green beans, corn and lima beans)
1 small onion - chopped
1 bag of chik'n strips (I used Gardein brand strips) - chopped
1 dash of liquid smoke
1 cup sliced mushrooms
Garlic (to your liking) (I used 4 cloves)
1 TBS Italian Seasoning (or any combo of rosemary, basil, sage, parsley and thyme)
Salt/Pepper to taste
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup flour
1 tbs canola/vegetable/olive oil
Bragg's (as needed)
1 package of Puff Pastry Sheets

Remove puff pastry and let thaw on your clean counter-top or on a cutting board.

Spray a cupcake tin with canola oil spray. I had enough dough for 18 pies, so I used a 12 cupcake tin and a 6 cupcake tin.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In your skillet (or wok---which is what I used because I love my wok) add your oil and let it heat. Add chik'n and cook until browned. Add a cap-full of liquid smoke and stir to coat.  Toss in your Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.

While your chik'n is cooking, heat your vegetable broth until warm/hot but not boiling. Add flour and whisk briskly to avoid lumps. Add salt/pepper and a little Bragg's (and hot sauce if you want---I always do). Now you have gravy!

Add your onion to your browned chik'n and cook until onion is transparent. (Your onion is so transparent, how can you stand it?!). Add garlic and cook for another minute or two. Add frozen veggies and stir to incorporate. Turn heat down. Add your gravy and mix it all together.

Using a rolling pin, roll out puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface. With a round cookie cutter or cup (I used an 8 oz cup) cut 12-18 circles out of one sheet of puff pastry. The circles should be the same size in diameter as the cupcake tin (1 1/2 inches?). You will need to re-roll the dough after the first 12 circles - add more flour before rolling or the dough will stick. Repeat with the other sheet until you have 24-36 circles.

Place one circle in the bottom of each cupcake cup. Spoon a TBS of filling inside each cup. Top with another dough-round. I sort of tucked the edges into the cup, but didn't press them. Cut a little X into the top of each pie.

Place your tins in the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Check on them after 20 minutes and rotate the tins if needed. Bake for another 5 minutes or until the top is golden! Serve with extra gravy if you have it, but it's not necessary due to the fact that these min pies are super delicious and already full of gravy.

Again, I apologize for the lack of photography---but thank you friends for having fancy phones that document things! Rest assured, after tomorrow night there will be more pictures than you'll know what to do with. Photo stalkers.

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