New Castle News

April 6, 2013

Culinary Conversation: This week, we’re rolling in dough

Lugene Hudson
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — I sense a trend going on this week.

Sometimes a theme just seems to fall naturally into place — such as seasonal recipes.

Then there are times when I discover something that sounds so good that I keep looking for variations. This week I came upon the meatloaf in pastry crust. Anything encased in pastry — sweet or savory — wins me over everytime. Of course, I’m the type who enjoys a good pie crust as much, if not more, than the filling itself. Then I found a chicken and pastry duo. Presto. A column is born.

Later, as I was searching for a dessert pie, a clipped, yellowed recipe from years ago fell out from some pages. It was a request to an Associated Press food editor for a main dish that didn’t involve meat. It’s called spinach-cheese pie and has a double cornmeal crust. I haven’t made it for a very long time but recall that it was worth the bit of effort it took. The description said the slightly crunch pastry is hearty rather than rich. But after all, you will be rolling in the dough.

Contribute your favorite recipes to Culinary Conversation — a tasteful place to be.

Meatloaf in Pastry Crust

Brown meat and onion in butter or margarine (or use cooking spray.) Drain excess oil. Remove from heat. Add all ingredients except for half of the cheese and the bread dough. Mix thoroughly.

Preheat oven to 350. Unroll bread dough onto greased cookie sheet. Shape filling into loaf on dough. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Pull dough over meat and seal edges. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Parmesan Chicken Squares

Filling:

Preheat oven to 350.

Blend cream cheese and 1 tbsp. melted butter. Add chicken, salt, pepper, garlic salt, milk and chopped onion. Set mixture aside.

Unroll crescent dinner rolls. Divide into 4 squares, sealing perforations and forming four squares. Place 1/2 cup chicken mixture into center and draw up four corners to seal. Brush tops with 1 tbsp. melted butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown.

Chicken Potpie

Preheat oven to 400. Cut potatoes into small cubes and boil in a medium pot of water for 10 to 12 minutes.

In a large pan, add cream of chicken soup, chunk chicken and mixed vegetables, and bring to a low boil. Once potatoes are done, add to the mixture. They should be firm, not mushy.

Add sour cream to the mixture. Bring mixture to a low boil for 2 to 5 minutes.

Unroll and place first pie crust in the bottom of a pie pan. Spoon in filling and cover with second unrolled pie crust.

Bake for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Spinach-Cheese Pie

Cornmeal pastry:

Stir together flour, cornmeal Parmesan and salt; cut in the butter until particles are pea size. Stir enough water, by tablespoonfuls, into flour mixture to hold dough together. Divide into two balls, making one slightly larger than the other; cover with Saran; chill until firm enough to handle.

Filling:

Make up cornmeal pastry.

Beat together ricotta and two of the eggs until blended; add Parmesan, onion, flour, salt, pepper, mozzarella and spinach; stir well.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out larger ball of cornmeal pastry to form a 13-inch round; fit loosely into a 9-inch pie plate; trim. Add cheese-spinach mixture.

Roll out remaining cornmeal pastry to form a 10-inch round; place over filling. Fold top edge under; with fork tines, press to seal and prick top about a dozen times. If you like, decorate with shapes cut from leftover pastry scraps. Slightly beat remaining egg; brush over top. Bake on the rack below center in a preheated 425 oven for 15 minutes; reduce temperature to 350 and bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.