Homemade Pot Pie - A Comfort Food
Everyone loves comfort foods that remind them of their youth and Mom's favorite dish. Pot pie is one of those memorable comfort foods that are still a favorite today. The trick is to make a really good pie crust. Not all pie crusts are equal. The best and tastiest are those that are made with 4 cups flour, 2 tsp. salt, 1 tblspn. sugar, 1 & 3/4 cups solid shortening, a beaten egg, 1/2 cup icy cold water and 1 tblspn. vinegar. A good tip to making this crust is to beat egg, water and vinegar in a separate bowl. Blend dry ingredients with a whisk and slowly add in solid shortening until the consistency is similar to crumbs. Slowly add the egg, water, vinegar mixture until it forms a dough. Do not use a beater to blend these ingredients. It can be done by hand or with a pie blender.
For pot pie, two crusts are needed, although, this is not a hard and fast rule. For a fancy look, use a cookie cutter to make shapes to place atop the pie mixture or create a lattice or twisted crust. Pot pie mixtures can be chicken and vegetables, beef and vegetables, beef and noodles, tuna and vegetables or cottage cheese blended with blanched, chopped Swiss Chard.
Pot Pie Mixtures
To create the chicken pot pie, use 1 package of frozen mixed vegetables that has been thawed and excess water drained away. Boil potatoes in their skins until slightly tender. Cool and remove skins and cut into small bite-sized pieces. Slice skinned chicken breasts into small pieces. In a large bowl, combine thawed vegetables, potatoes and chicken. In a separate bowl, place chicken broth and thicken with cornstarch or flour. Blend the vegetables and chicken with the broth. Pour mixture into bottom crust and cover with top crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until the top crust is browned. This recipe can also be used to make beef pot pie. Replace the chicken with the beef and follow the recipe with beef broth thickened instead of chicken.
For beef and noodles mixture, cook noodles first and drain. Blend with small uncooked beef cubes and sautéed mushrooms. Place in crust, cover with top crust and bake. For a mixture of tuna and vegetables, simply add 1 can of tuna, (oil or water drained) and vegetables. Add evaporated milk thickened with flour. Pour into crust and bake. To make Cottage Cheese and Chopped Chard Pot Pie, blanche chard several minutes until cooked, but crisp. Drain. Chop finely. Blend 16 oz. of cottage cheese, 1 egg, a dash of Parmesan cheese and 1 small chopped onion. Pour into crust, cover with second crust and bake.