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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jack-o-lantern Pot Pies

We've been having fun with Autumn and Halloween things around our house.  As I made dinner for our dinner exchange last night, I was inspired by my friend Tasha and decided to extend the fun into the meal as well with Jack-o-lantern Pot Pies.

 I'll post my filling recipe at the end of the post.  Fill individual pie pans about 3/4 full with meat and vegetable filling.

 Instead of using pie crust or biscuits as I usually do, I experimented with corn bread.  As I was mixing it up, I added some orange gel food color to make it look a little more like a pumpkin.  I added only about half of the liquid called for so that I could roll the dough out and cut it into circles.  I cut my circles just a bit smaller than the pie pan so that the filling could bubble up while cooking without destroying the jack-o-lantern face
 Before baking I painted a face on the circle using an egg yolk mixed together with gel food color.  I was concerned about the filling bubbling up, so I cut out the nose as well.  Next time I'll leave the circle intact and just paint the nose along with the eyes and mouth.

 Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until the filling bubbles.

 After looking at the finished product, my son pointed out that these were no mere jack-o-lanterns:  These were Vampire Pigs.  I must admit I can see the resemblance.  Which is why I will not cut out the noses next time.  : )  And I will probably make a stem on the circles.  Other ideas would be to paint orange stripes down the sides of the pumpkin with egg yolk and orange color to reinforce the pumpkin look and paint the stem green.
 Either way-- jack-o-lanterns or vampire pigs --it was still a fun and yummy Halloween dinner.

 Chicken Pot Pie Filling

In a large pan melt 6 T. butter.  Add 1 C. flour and stir together to make a roux.  Lower heat and add one 14-oz can of chicken broth.  Whisk until smooth.  Add 2 more cans of chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring regularly.  When sauce is boiling, reduce heat to low and let simmer 5-10 minutes until the flour is cooked.  When the sauce no longer tastes like flour, add 1 8-oz pkg lowfat cream cheese, cubed.  Whisk to remove lumps.  Add seasoning:  1/2 t. paprika, 1/2 t. black pepper, 1/2 t. onion powder, 1/2 t. oregano leaves, 1/2 t. thyme, 1/2 t. salt, 1/4 t. dry mustard, 1/4 t. white pepper, 1/4 t. garlic powder.  Stir well to combine and add 1-2 cans of canned chicken breast, drained.  Defrost 2 12-oz pkg frozen vegetables (I use vegetable soup mix) and drain before adding to filling mixture.  Stir well and taste for more seasoning.  Pour into an oven-safe dish and cover with pie crust, biscuits, or cornbread.  Bake at 350 until golden brown and bubbly.

Happy Halloween! And watch out for suspicious-looking pigs...

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