Sunday, August 23, 2015

Chicken Pot Pie, August 21, 2015

A couple weeks ago, Jeannene suggested that it was about time for me to make my chicken pot pie again. Friday night, it seemed sufficiently cool and pot pie-ish to fulfill her request. I learned to make my chicken pie from my friend, Teresa, in Tennessee. It's good, although I think I used a bit too much chicken this time. Jeannene disagrees. Since I'd just been to the farmer's market and had all kinds of marvelous produce, I added a tomato and cucumber salad and a corn and zucchini sauté to complete the meal. I experimented with putting a little oregano in the tomato and cucumber salad and discovered I didn't like it at all, but add it, by all means, if you like it. I felt it muddied the clarity of the flavors. I also had some parmesan & onion hanky pankys ready to pop out of the oven when Jeannene came home. These little toasts go by all kinds of names, but I like the playfulness of hanky pankys. My favorite version is my aunt Holly's Gloria Hardingtons, which I have written about here before. There is also a version involving sausage and Velveeta, which I have not yet tried. Honestly, I've been reluctant to try any but the Glorias because they are so stunningly good. But this parmesan version was pretty tasty, too. This is the basic recipe for the appetizer, which should be enough for 7 people. You can easily cut the amounts if you're just making it for 2 people, but in my experience, when making these type of appetizers for larger groups, it's actually better to double the recipe, just because people love them so much.

Parmesan & Onion Hanky Pankys
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 c. mayonnaise 
1/4-1/2 c. grated parmesan
Pepper & a little garlic powder
14 slices cocktail rye

Preheat broiler. Mix everything but rye together. Broil rye until lightly toasted. Turn over and spread with topping. Broil until bubbly and nicely browned. 

Chicken Pot Pie
2 pie crusts (I use the pre-made refrigerated kind)
1/2-1 pound chicken breast chunks, cooked (I used about 1 & 1/2 this time, too much for me)
1 can Veg All, drained (You can use other mixed veg)
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (I almost always use low fat, low sodium versions of the soups)
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put one crust in a pie plate. Mix the rest together & pour into crust. Top with second crust, crimping & sealing. Cut slits to vent the top (or use mini cookie cutters for make designs). Bake 1 hour. Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6.

Tomato & Cucumber Salad
1 large tomato, diced (I like to use an heirloom tomato here)
1 cucumber, peeled & sliced thickly
3 or 4 leaves basil, sliced in chiffonade
1/4 red. onion, diced
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. oregano, opt. 
1-2 tbsp. olive oil

Mix everything together and let stand 5 or 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4-6. 

Corn & Zucchini Sauté
2 tbsp. butter or olive oil
1 zucchini, diced
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeño, seeds and membranes removed, minced (or to taste)
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder
Kernels cut from 2-3 ears corn (you can do this with frozen corn, but it's not the same. I only make it in season)

Melt butter in skillet and add everything but the corn. Cook until veggies are tender, then add corn and cook another few minutes, until corn is tender. Serves 4. 

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