The Firelands Kitchen

The Firelands Kitchen by Erin Howarth

Pot Pie Goodness

There’s just something about winter to me that says ‘pot pie.’ A flaky crust made of pastry or biscuit dough and the creamy goodness inside. But... they’re not for the faint of heart for sure. I once checked the nutritional information on a single serve portion of a frozen store-bought chicken pot pie. I do believe my eyes bulged out of my head. That’s what so great about home cooked meals – you, the chef, can control the amounts of fat, sugar, sodium, etc. in so much of what you make.

Thank you to Dorothy Newswanger and Marissa Leinbach for providing us with this week’s reader recipes. Following their contributions are several pot pie recipes. Be forewarned, however, the Beef Pot Pie recipe is a time consuming one. Perfect perhaps for the wintery days up ahead - which is what I’ve heard we’re in for from groundhogs and farmers.

Beef-N-Cheese Casserole

Submitted by Dorothy Newswanger, Shiloh, Ohio

1 lb. hamburger

1 onion

2 Tbsp. butter

3 Tbsp. flour

2 cups milk

Salt and pepper (to taste)

1 1/2 cups spaghetti or macaroni (uncooked)

3/4 cup Velveeta cheese

1 cup tomato juice

Brown hamburger and onion in butter. Add flour, salt, pepper and milk. Cook till thick. Cook pasta and drain. Mix cheese, tomato juice and pasta with meat. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Fiber Balls

Submitted by Marissa Leinbach, Greenwich, Ohio

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup honey

1 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup wheat bran

3 cups oatmeal

1 cup Rice Krispies

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup coconut

1 cup raisins (optional)

Stir together and from firm balls. Refrigerate. A yummy after school snack.

Amish Hats

Submitted by Marissa Leinbach, Greenwich, Ohio

3-4 Tbsp. peanut butter

20 round crackers

1 large chocolate Hershey bar or chocolate chips

20 large marshmallows

Spread peanut butter on each cracker. Add chocolate next. Place cracker on a cookie sheet. Top each with a marshmallow. Put under broiler until marshmallows are lightly toasted (watch carefully!). To make it easier for children to eat, top with another cracker. Variation: Use vanilla wafers instead of crackers – children love making these!

Chicken Pot Pie

This casserole can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated to be baked later in the day or evening. This crust is heavenly and so simple.

1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

1 can (5 oz.) evaporated milk (I add a little more for extra creamy texture)

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes

1/2 tsp dried thyme

3 cups cubed cooked chicken

1 package (10 oz.) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper


3/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup ice water

Half-and-half cream

In a bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Stir in chicken, vegetable, salt and pepper. Spoon into a greased 7x11x2” baking dish. For crust, combine potato flakes, flour and Parmesan in a bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Add water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, tossing lightly with a fork until the dough forms a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to fit baking dish. Cut vents in crust, using a small shaped cookie cutter if desired. Place over filling; flute edges. Brush pastry with cream. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown. If necessary, cover edges of crust with foil to prevent over browning. Yield: 6 servings.

Chicken Pot Pie Puffs

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

1 cup diced cooked chicken

1 can (10 3/4 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup

1 can (16.3 oz.) flaky refrigerated biscuits

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried minced onions

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In medium bowl, combine vegetables, chicken, soup, cheese, garlic powder and onions, mix well. Take each biscuit and press into a 5 1/2- inch round. Place each biscuit into a greased muffin cup. Press in bottom and up the side with some of the biscuit hanging over the edge of the tin. Spoon 1/8 of the chicken mixture into each biscuit. Pull edges of dough over filling toward center? pleat and pinch dough gently to hold in place. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 22 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. 5. Cool 1 minute? remove from pan.

Chicken Pot Pie Rice Bake

2 cups instant white rice

2 cups water

2 cup cooked, chopped chicken

1 can (10.75oz) cream of chicken soup

1 cup sour cream

1 cup cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a glass 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add instant rice, cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 to 7 minutes, until water has been absorbed. In a large bowl stir together chicken, soup, sour cream, cheese, frozen vegetables, 1/4 cup milk, and cooked rice. Pour rice mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve with buttermilk biscuits. Makes 6-8 servings.

Beef Pot Pie

1 (2 pound) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

Salt and pepper

3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

4 oz. mushrooms, trimmed and quartered

1 onion, finely chopped

3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup dry red wine, or 1/2 cup water

3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

2 cups beef broth

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 bay leaf

1 cup frozen peas

1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, divided

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 (9-inch) store-bought pie dough round (enough for a double crust) or your own made-from-scratch pie crust

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Pat beef cubes dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Heat 11/2 tablespoons of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half the beef and cook until well browned all over, about 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer the beef to bowl or plate with the remaining uncooked beef. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 11/2 tablespoons oil to now-empty pot. Add mushrooms, onion, and carrots and cook until vegetables are lightly browned, about 5 minutes, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine (or water) and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour until the vegetables are well coated and cook for 1 minute. Add broth, soy sauce, Worcestershire, and bay leaf, stirring until combined. Scrape any bits that have stuck to bottom of pan to incorporate into liquids. Add beef and bring to a simmer. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook until beef is tender, about 11/4 hours. Remove filling from oven and taste the beef to make sure it’s tender to your liking. If it tastes chewy, add 1/4 cup water, stir and return to oven for another 20-30 minutes. Once meat is tender, remove and then increase oven temperature to 400F degrees. If the meat mixture looks to need more “juice”, then remove mixture from pot to a plate and add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water back to the Dutch oven and kind of tilt the pan to scrape off some of the crusty fond that’s accumulated in the pot. This should create a thick meaty sauce to add into the meat mixture and thin it out a bit, plus it only adds to the flavor of the beef. Discard the bay leaf and stir in the fresh thyme and add the peas. Taste the filling and add salt and pepper to taste at this time (up to 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper). Spray the bottom of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate and add meat mixture to the dish. Brush the rim and interior lip of the pie plate with egg (this will prevent the shell from sticking to the dish and cracking or breaking). Top the filling with pie dough so dough overhangs edges of pie plate only slightly. Fold overhanging pie down inward so folded edge is flush with inner edge of pie plate. Crimp dough evenly around edge of pie using your fingers.

Using a paring knife, cut a 1/2-inch hole in center of pie. Cut six 1/2-inch slits around the hole, halfway between center and edge of pie. Brush dough with remaining egg. Season the top of the dough with salt, pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme. Transfer pie to rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown, 20-30 minutes. Transfer pie to cooling rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Serves 6.

Nacho Pot Pie

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 cup onion, diced

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix, divided

1/3 cup water

1/2 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup flour

3 cups beef broth

1/4 cup milk

12 oz. frozen corn, thawed

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

3 cups tortilla chips

1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese

Optional toppings: sour cream, green onions, tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot or Dutch oven, brown the beef and onions. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Drain. Add 2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning and 1/3 cup water and cook until liquid has reduced. Remove from pan and set aside. In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning, salt, and pepper. Add the flour and cook for a couple of minutes until thick. Slowly whisk in the beef broth and milk until combined and cook for 3-5 minutes or until mixture is thick. Stir in the reserved meat mixture, corn, and beans. Pour into an 11X17 inch baking dish. Top with crushed tortillas. Bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for 2-4 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with sour cream, green onions, and tomatoes. For a nice presentation, place the sour cream in a re-sealable plastic bag. Snip off the corner of the bag and pipe it on top.

Chicken Squares

1 can crescent rolls

1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded

1 Tbsp. chopped herbs (such as chives & rosemary)

2 Tbsp. milk

1 Tbsp. butter, melted

3/4 cup crushed croutons or bread crumbs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In bowl, combine, cheese, creamed cheese, chicken, herbs and milk well. Roll out crescents. Seal 2 into rectangles to make 4 rectangles. Put 1/4 mixture in the middle of each rectangle. Pull up the corners of each rectangle and seal. Brush with butter & top with crushed croutons. Bake on greased baking sheet for 25-30 minutes, or until warm & brown.

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