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Pot Pies

Nothing warms the heart quite like a steaming pot pie fresh out of the oven. This month, use your imagination and leftovers to make some comfort food your family will warm up to.

Don’t forget to visit me at Kentucky Crafted: The Market in Louisville, February 21-22, for a signed copy of my new book, Kentucky Cooks: Favorite Recipes from Kentucky Living.

PORTOBELLO POT PIE
2 (9-inch) piecrusts
6 Tablespoons butter, divided
4-5 portobello mushroom caps, sliced
4 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas

In large skillet, melt 2 Tablespoons butter and add mushrooms. Cook over medium heat until mushrooms soften and juices form, about 10 minutes. Add diced potatoes, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook another 10 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through. Transfer mushroom-potato mixture to bowl and set aside. Melt 4 Tablespoons butter in skillet; add onions and celery. Stir and cook until onions are soft. Add flour and stir constantly for 3 minutes. Slowly add chicken broth, stirring with a whisk, until a smooth, thick gravy is formed. Add mushroom-potato mixture and peas. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Pour into piecrust that has been placed in a 9-inch-deep pie pan or casserole dish. Top with second piecrust. Crimp edges and make 3-4 slits in top crust. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Serves 6-8.

SHRIMP POT PIE
1 Tablespoon butter
2-1/2–3 cups raw shrimp, tails removed, peeled and deveined, and roughly chopped
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
3 Tablespoons flour
1/4 cup dry sherry or white wine
1/2 cup clam juice or chicken broth
2 cups half-and-half, whole milk, or light cream
1 cup frozen peas and carrots, cooked and drained
1 sheet puff pastry
Dash paprika
Dash Old Bay seasoning
Dash freshly grated nutmeg
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water)

Cook shrimp by sautéing in Tablespoon of butter in skillet for about 2 minutes until pink (do not overcook), and set aside. In large saucepan, add rest of butter and add mushrooms and onions. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with flour; cook until flour is absorbed into the butter. Add sherry and clam juice or chicken broth; stir over low heat until mixture thickens. Remove mushroom mixture from heat. Stir in shrimp and cream, then hot cooked vegetables. Add paprika, nutmeg, and seasoning to taste. Spoon the shrimp mixture into a buttered 1-1/2-quart shallow baking dish. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.

Take puff pastry out and thaw for 20 minutes. Cut or roll out, if necessary, to fit over top of dish. Cut vents in the pastry, then fit over ramekins or baking dish. Brush with egg wash. Bake at 400° for 20 to 30 minutes or until pastry is puffed and nicely browned. Serves 4.

COUNTRY HAM POT PIE
3 Tablespoons butter
6-8 oz. pkg. chopped country ham bits
3 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon powdered ham base (available in soup aisle)
2-1/2 cups milk
1 small bag frozen California Blend vegetables (broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 sheet puff pastry, cut into strips
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water)

Preheat oven to 400°. Steam vegetables until just tender and drain. Melt butter in iron skillet and add country ham pieces. Sauté a few minutes and stir in flour and ham base. Add milk slowly and whisk until well-mixed. Fold vegetables into ham mixture and stir gently. Add salt and pepper and chopped parsley. Lay strips of puff pastry in lattice pattern on top and brush with egg wash. Bake in preheated oven, approximately 25 minutes, until strips are puffed, golden brown, and mixture is bubbly. Serves 6.

HOMEMADE CHICKEN POT PIE
2 (9-inch) refrigerated piecrusts, unbaked
6 Tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 large stalks celery, chopped
1 large potato, diced
1 (16-oz.) bag frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3-1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced

Allow refrigerated piecrust to come to room temperature. Melt butter in Dutch oven and sauté onion, celery, and potato until tender. Add thawed vegetables and continue sautéing for another 10 minutes. Add flour gradually, stirring constantly for one minute. Combine chicken broth and half-and-half in small bowl. Gradually stir into the vegetable mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in salt and pepper. Fold in diced chicken, stirring well. Add additional salt and pepper to taste if needed. Preheat oven to 400°. Spray deep-dish pie pan or round casserole with nonstick spray. Place piecrust on bottom of the pan to cover. Pour chicken and vegetable mixture over piecrust, then top with remaining piecrust. Cut slits into top crust to vent. Bake for 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Serves 6-8.

Coming Next Month: Fiesta Taco Bar

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