Tag Archives: onion

Steak Hand Pies

4 inch left, 3 inch right 4 inch pies left and 3 inch pies right

This is a second recipe from Baked In Vermont (Gesine Bullock-Prado) from the Food Network channel. I think these are an excellent idea and work well, but I would recommend a few changes.

Steak Hand Pies

Courtesy of Gesine Bullock-Prado
Food Network’s Baked in Vermont series

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces beef tenderloin, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium potato, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 medium sweet yellow onion, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 batch “Part Butter / Part Shortening Easy Pie Dough” chilled, see below
  • 1 large egg whisked with 2 Tablespoons water, for the egg wash

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the beef, flour and paprika. Stir to combine. Add the thyme, garlic, potato, onion and some salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  2. Divide one portion of the chilled pie dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a round about 3 inches in diameter. You may use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut each round and even the edges if you desire. Repeat with the second piece of chilled dough.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Brush each round of dough with the egg wash. Divide the filling among the rounds, piling it in the middle of each round. Bring the sides of the dough up to meet in the middle and gently crimp the edges down in the center. Cut 3 small slits into each hand pie to allow steam to escape. Brush the top of the pies with egg wash.
  5. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Part Butter/Part Shortening Easy Pie Dough Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, cold, plus more for dusting
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces and chilled in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • 4 Tablespoons shortening, chilled in the freezer for 10 minutes
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Part Butter/Part Shortening Easy Pie Dough Directions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse together the flour, sugar, salt, butter and shortening until the mixture resembles cornmeal but there are still pea-sized chunks of fat.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the ice water and lemon juice. Slowly add the liquid to the flour mixture pulsing until the dough just comes together. Squeeze a small piece of dough between you thumb and index finger to make sure it holds its shape
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it ni half. Gently turn over each piece of dough a few times so that any dry bits are incorporated. Form each piece into a loose disk, cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

I felt the making of the pie dough in the food processor was not as good as I would like. Some of the dough stuck to the bottom under the blade and other parts of the dough seemed to stay dry. So I looked for a better recipe, and found a pie dough recipe by Alton Brown. Surprise! It too uses the food processor! However, it is much more detailed and doesn’t just dump the ice water into the processor. I imagine that Gesine used that as a basic recipe but tried to make it simpler. I have yet to try Alton’s recipe myself. Alton’s recipe needs to be doubled in order to provide as much dough as Gesine’s recipe.
I also decided that I liked 4-inch circles for the pies better than the 3-inch circles; I couldn’t get enough filling in the 3-inch circles and still get them to close. If you recheck the recipe, Gesine never says you need to cut a true circle; that is one of the reasons she divides the dough into 8 parts and rolls each out separately. I would just as soon require a circle cookie cutter and roll the whole disk of dough out as a single flat piece to then cut with the cookie cutters.

In the making of the filling, I felt there was a problem getting everything chopped/minced to the same size. I think that next time I might use a food grinder for the meat, potato and onion. A long time ago, Mom made hash about once every couple weeks and I would turn the handle on the manual food grinder for her. Now, my food grinder is connected to the stand mixer.
Another concern about the filling is that the recipe uses medium size potato and onion. Since I always end up with more filling that I can use in the amount of dough in the recipe, I have to assume that the potatoes and onions we get are bigger than those in Vermont. I tried weighing the amount of each of those before mincing / grating, and it appeared to be about 2 ounces each. I could get about a Tablespoon of filling in my 4 inch pies, and with luck, I got a total of 10 4-inch pies from the recipe of dough. I used guides and rolled the dough to 1/4 inch thick before cutting the circles.

Overall, the recipe is a good starting point for hand pies. I now have told you some of the ways I would change it to make it mine. I hope you enjoy the hand pies as much as I and my test group did.

Baked Eggs

In my post about Christmas in Seattle, I mention that we had Baked Eggs for breakfast at Serious Biscuit. I have been experimenting with making them myself, and I think I have a good recipe now.

baked eggs 001

I think one of the interesting things about the baked egg dish is that it has all of the capabilities that you find in an omelet but the eggs are not dried out and hard cooked; the eggs of a baked egg dish are more like poached eggs; the yolk is still separate and is cooked soft. And the flavoring of the dish can be anything you like with your eggs; I will be using a small amount of meat and cheese. At different times, I have used both diced ham, and crumbled bacon as my meat. I have used both scallions and yellow onion at different times. And I have used both straight shredded cheddar cheese, and a mix of cheeses with success. Again, your imagination is the limit to what you can do.

Perhaps the most difficult issue with this recipe is finding the right oven-safe dishes to use. They need to be about 10 ounce capacity for 2 eggs plus toppings. I have some small Corning casserole dishes that I like to use because they have a detachable handle I can use to move them into and out of the oven. I also have another set of Corning dishes with handles that work. Some people have ramekins that are large enough, but my largest ramekin is only 8 ounces.

So here is your base, starting recipe.

Baked Eggs

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 oz. ham, diced
  • 1 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 oz. green onion, diced

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. While the oven is heating, prepare the eggs and topping.

Break the 2 eggs into a small dish ready to use.

Chop and dice the topping meat, cheese and onion into a second small dish; mix the topping so it is ready to use.

When the oven is at heat, place the butter in the cooking dish and let it melt in the oven and warm the cooking dish. When it is melted, empty the eggs into the cooking dish, and then empty the toppings on top of the eggs.

Bake the eggs for 8 minutes.

I find that I need to let my eggs cool for about 5 minutes before I try to eat them; they are hot! But they are so enjoyable with the soft yellow yolks all in one piece, and the white also seems to be fluffier than any fried cooking style.

Pork Chops Evelyn

The other week, I decided I wanted a pork chop for supper. I remembered that Marlys had some good recipes for pork chops, and went looking for them. This recipe comes from her Aunt Evelyn Sheehan. Auntie gave us lots of good recipes; she was very active socially, and when her different groups would have a lunch or dinner, she was certain to pick up a new recipe or two.

pork chop evelyn 013

This recipe is very simple, and yet it has a nice taste. I could taste the lemon, and felt the texture of the onion slice; the onion is not cooked so hard that it is only a taste with no texture.

Pork Chops Evelyn

(Evelyn Sheehan)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  • Pork Chops
  • Onion, sliced about 1/4″ thick
  • Lemon, sliced about 1/8″ thick
  • catsup
  • brown sugar

Place on each chop (laid flat in a baking pan) an onion slice, a lemon slice, a tablespoon of catsup and a tablespoon of brown sugar.
Cover pan with foil and cook for 1 hour.

After cooking the pork chops a couple times, I made a modification to the recipe; it originally called for uncovering the baking pan after an hour and continuing to cook for another half hour. I felt that dried the pork chop out too much; cooking covered captures the moisture and leaves the pork chops more moist.

I also have a couple suggestions for this dish. First, since you need to cover the dish, you need a deep baking pan so the cover doesn’t squish the topping on the pork chop. I would say that the pan should be 2 -3 inches deep. Second, I found that the brown sugar didn’t splatter and burn so much if it is placed under the catsup rather than on top. When I placed the sugar at the top of the stack, I had quite a bit of burned sugar in the baking pan. (I still recommend Bar Keepers Friend for getting the burn out)

Pico De Gallo type Salsa

A few days ago I was thinking about what to have for supper, and felt I wanted something fresh to go with my meat. I knew I had a jalapeno in the refrigerator, and my Juliet tomato plants were starting to produce a handful of fresh tomatoes each day. I also have part of a dry onion in the refrigerator; it is one of those things I try to keep on hand. All those ingredients sound like the start of a fresh Pico De Gallo salsa.

I was wondering what was missing, and looked in Marlys’s recipe book to see what she might have said. Sure enough, she has a recipe called Salsa which sounds a lot like the Pico De Gallo for which I was looking. And as the picture shows, what I made looks like a Pico De Gallo salsa, too.

salsa 001

Salsa

Developed by Marlys Crary, Cinco de Mayo, 2001)

  • 4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 white onion, finely diced
  • 1/8 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley, dried
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • small amount of olive oil to moisten

May add either or both:

1 can black beans, rinsed

1 cup frozen corn kernels, (or 1 can)

I was short on the Bell Pepper, so I left it out. I didn’t exactly measure the ingredients because I was using my Juliet tomatoes instead of the Roma tomatoes she lists; the Juliet is a cherry tomato with a texture like the Roma tomato- very meaty and not a lot of the center pulp.

I used fresh parsley right out of my herb garden, and as I have said in other recipes, once I cut it to bring it into the house, I tend to use all of it unmeasured.

I added a handful of frozen corn kernels; I put them in a sieve and ran water over them to get rid of the frost, and then dried them on paper towels. And, I added a bit of lime juice- not called for in Marlys’s recipe.

I think what is to be taken away from this exercise is that you want to capture the basics of a recipe, but you shouldn’t be a slave to it; you need to improvise with what you have, and have fun cooking. I think my spur-of-the-moment salsa turned out just as I wanted. It was fresh, and gave the meat a different taste that I enjoyed.

Zucchini Hash and Eggs

My neighbor Jill Swain gave me the idea for this recipe; she stopped over the other day and I gave her a zucchini and asked if she had any recipes for it. She first mentioned Zucchini Bread which we already have. Then she suggested zucchini with eggs; she said “Breakfast for supper is also good”.

zucchini hash 005

I talked it over with daughter Mindy and decided that we should keep the eggs separate from the hash until after we have cooked them. That way, you can fix your eggs however you like them. We also started calling the fixings a “hash”; I had to look that word up, and it originally meant any combination of chopped foods The idea of a hash has changed over time. More modernly, the idea of a hash has come to imply an inclusion of chopped meat with the other ingredients. This recipe is right on the edge of those definitions since it allows you to include bacon, or ham- any of the breakfast meats. But to be a zucchini hash, it has to include chopped zucchini.

The reason we decided to separate the eggs from the hash while cooking is so people that like runny eggs can still have those on top of the hash, and let them ooze down through the hash. Also the separation allows you to make an omelet with the hash inside. If you want to stir scrambled eggs into the hash, you can also do that.

That all said, it is difficult to write a recipe for the hash; if you are adding meat into your hash, it has to be sauted first. However if you are not using bacon, you might need to add a Tablespoon of oil in which to saute the ingredients. I will give you ideas, but you must feel free to do everything your own way. Add ingredients, delete ingredients, just have fun.

zucchini hash 002

Zucchini Hash with Eggs

Jill Swain, Mindy Crary

Per Serving:

  • 1 Tablespoon of oil unless you are using bacon or sausage
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped breakfast meat e.g. bacon or ham or sausage
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped green pepper – Japapeno or Bell or …
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 or 2 cooked eggs – cooked as you like them

Saute the meat and vegetable ingredients; combine with the cooked eggs.

I used jalapeno pepper for one ingredient, and I like my eggs with runny yolks. To cook my eggs, I break them into the fry pan, add a little water to make steam, and put a lid on the pan. I have a clear lid, and I let the eggs cook until the glair around the yolk has turned white; at this point, the covering over the yolks has also started to turn white. Perfect eggs for me; the whites are not tough, and the yolks are still runny.