Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Leftover Pie

I don’t mean pie that’s been left over, I mean leftovers baked INTO PIE. Well, pie crust. How could anyone say no to that? Not my children. Mad wandered into the kitchen, scanned what I was making for dinner and actually said, “That looks good.” And Em managed to eat almost half before declaring she was full. Well, in my mind, those ringing endorsements certainly meant this was a blog-worthy dinner.

I stole got the idea from Cooks Illustrated who made speedy beef empanadas by using Pillsbury Pie crust - which I like a lot and believe is the closest you can come to fresh pie crust without cutting all that butter into flour.

This exciting leftover meal originated last Sunday. Sunday was the final day of Winter Break, and almost Epiphany, which is, apparently, the 12th day of Christmas (did you know that annoying song is about the 12 days AFTER Christmas? I did not until I heard it on NPR, which is where I get most of my education these days) -- and I’m a big believer in drawing special occasions out as long as possible. (For instance, I firmly celebrate the birthday week). (Apparently, I’m also a big believer in the parenthetical.)

So, in an effort to draw Christmas out to its absolute last day, I made a big dinner of everyone’s favorite comfort food: Turkey Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes. We had candles, and wine glasses filled with orange cream soda - ok, Smith and I had a nice red Zinfandel - I fired up the Christmas music one more time, and after dinner we lit candles in the fireplace and opened one last present each. It was really nice. Our girls sat with us for a full ten minutes after the present opening before dashing off to their respective electronic devices, and then Smith and I drank a bit of 12 year old Scotch and watched the candle flames flicker until the dog managed to swipe an un-rinsed dinner plate off the counter, and we had to rush into the kitchen and pull bits of china from her jaw. Good times.

I'd made a huge meatloaf thinking people would eat it for lunches -- nothing better than a cold meatloaf sandwich with extra ketchup -- then somehow, no one did eat if for lunch, and I realized that if I didn’t do something else with those leftovers soon it would go bad and there is nothing I hate more than throwing out something that could have been made into something else (hence, my packed attic, but that’s an entirely different story.)

But after seeing the empanadas, I suddenly thought, I could chop up the meatloaf and reheat it with the mashed potatoes then wrap it up in pie dough. I just threw the meatloaf, potatoes, as well as several 1/4 bags of vegetables I had lying around the freezer, along with a tablespoon or so of Ketchup and a 1/4 cup or so of chicken broth, into my cast iron skillet and stirred everything around until it was hot. Then I cut the 2 pie crusts in half, placed them on a parchment lined cookie sheets, and plonked a spoonful of my turkey mixture in the center of each and sprinkled it with some shredded cheddar. I closed up the pies by folding them over into little triangles, dampening and smooshing the edges together to make a pocket. Then I baked them at 400 degrees for about 24 minutes. (See pictures below - it will all become clear)

One little pie for each member of the family, like a little present left to open. See? I can make Christmas stretch as long as I want to, baby.


  1. Kath - GREAT thinking! Sounds delicious. I bet you could put a lot of things into those pockets and have it come out tasting good. Thanks for the tips.

  2. You are so clever! The pies look delicious, the table looks adorable and I love the way you stretched out the holiday season instead of giving into Janaury melancholy! (and I'm in complete agreement about birthday weeks)


What are you having for dinner tonight?