Say Hello To My New Little Pans

These are 1/6th sized hotel pans and they are approx. 2-1/2 inches deep x 5-1/2 inches x 6 inches.  Also called steam table pans because they are what you will see food served in when at a buffet.I’m using a sheet of puff pastry cut into quarters for crusts on these individual sized chicken pot pies.  Each sheet was brushed both sides with an egg wash.  Doing the undersides is a trick Alton Brown touts to help keep the pastry crusts from picking up too much liquid and staying doughy.Bake in a 400 degree oven until the crust brown to suit.  I looked at these after 12 minutes, turned them 180, and gave them 8 more minutes or so.The butter trick worked well enough.  Next time I may do these like I did the pan biscuits, cook the crusts by themselves and place them on the filling later.  Speaking of pan biscuit crusts, I had some extra filling so I made a small batch of that and did one more pot pie:The small batch of dough was:  1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/3 cup of buttermilk, and 1 Tbsp of melted butter.  Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl and stir in the buttermilk to just combine and pour the loose dough into a small pan over the melted butter.  Press flat and bake in a 450 oven.  My little biscuit didn’t take long, maybe 20 minutes.

Hamburger Helper

A sheet of puff pastry is what I’m talking about!  One pound of browned ground beef with gravy made from the drippings and beef broth, toss in a bag of frozen mixed veggies, cover with egg washed dough sheet –  20 minutes at 400 and Bob’s Your Uncle!

Tidbits

20161222_174653-1600x1200Moar tacos!  That taco rack is pretty handy, I’ve been brushing oil onto the tortillas and placing them like so and then popping them into a 350 oven with the beans, meat, and cheese.  Warm the tortillas and the fillings in the microwave first because five minutes in the toaster oven is only enough to melt the cheese and give the tortillas a light toasting.  They are easy to dress with the cold toppings while still in the rack before they go to your plate.20161222_171038-1600x1200Top of the world, Ma!  Christmas tree?  Haven’t seen it.  Ginger Boy gets his wildcat on during a walk past the brush pile.ginger-boy-1600x1200Mrs J’s favorite cake is carrot cake.  She mostly begins them with a box mix and is content to add extras like crushed pineapple, fresh grated carrots, nuts, and the like but went with a scratch build this time.  She assembled hers in two 8 inch round pans because that’s what we have.  The canned icing looked so lame she decided to help it out:20161224_101031-1600x1200I think I read somewhere that they’ve fiddled with the icing recipe to eliminate some unhealthy ingredient.  Maybe this particular brand is just not very good.  Dunno.  This one has chopped pecans and toasted coconut to make it more appealing.  The cake tasted great!20161223_163743-1600x1200Took another run at a puff pastry pot pie.  The sheet of dough needed only minor trimming to fit.  Worked well, cooked it in the toaster oven at 375 for about 30 minutes.  Lost track of the total time because I kept adding minutes when it was looking like the top wasn’t brown enough yet.20161223_164248-1600x1200

I gave the dough an egg wash on both sides before covering the dish for baking.  Alton Brown mentioned this in one of his recipes, I think to help keep the gravy from soaking through the dough and not letting it puff.  It worked, I guess.  Sorta.  Maybe not!  Be sure to sprinkle the top with kosher salt before baking.

Easy Apple Turnovers

20161111_1312351600x1200Easy when you use puff pastry sheets.  We had some leftover apple pieces so we added some dried blueberries, cranberries, and a few raisins to them and thawed two sheets of pastry dough.  Each sheet makes 4, just quarter the sheets and fold two opposite corners together over 2 tablespoons of filling and seal the edges with a fork.20161111_1153051600x1200Cut slits to let the steam escape.  You can brush on egg wash, milk, or cream to help the turnovers brown, or just brush on some of the liquids from the apples – the juices were sugar rich and cinnamon flavored.  We sprinkled them with more sugar and baked them in a 350 convection oven for 12 minutes then checked, these needed 8 more minutes.dsc00054-1600x1060Here are a couple more kittehs.  I’ve used this photo before.  I love the wide eyed stare at the camera, not even a hint of fear – just interest.