Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pot Pie Choose your Own Mystery Party

I am into choice, but when it comes to entertaining, within strict parameters.

I have been thinking pies for about one week, thanks to pi day. Last weekend we made many pies. And, then when I was reading Modern Beet comment in answer to my comment about last weekend’s pot pie, I decided a pot pie party was in order. She asked me what I put in my swiss chard stem pot pie (that was a great one), and then listed a number of ingredients. Pot Pies should and can be individualized. Or as I like to say, you as an eater should be able to choose your own mystery beneath the crust. Which goes back to my original statement—strict parameters. We set up a list of items to fill in your crock—and even made a handout.

I half hoped to do it all vegan for my friend H— and her boyfriend on the occasion of her 29th birthday (again), but they were not available, so instead we had our hungry friend E— over. He is a meat eater who does serious physical activity as part of his occupation—so we went with a variety of meat fillings (sautéed beef, egg, and poached chicken). We also offered a bean trio and chickpeas. We parcooked all the fillings, so that all the pies need is the cooking of the crust. We used crocks with a lip. For one, however, we used a simple lipless bowl. This did not work—the crust severed at the lip (or lack of lip) of the bowl.

We have done this sort of thing before—crepe parties, pizza parties, etc. They take a lot of preprep and mean that you are inevitably doing some labor while the guests are visiting. It is my suggestion that you have a cheese plate or cool appetizers, but bring them out after the guests have chosen their filling. After which, bring out the appetizers, and then return to the kitchen to add a roux spiked stock, the desired crust, and an egg wash (if not vegan.) Place the crocks on a baking sheet and into the oven.

Our friend E— found this a charming sort of party; and it made me say to everyone, please not only do this party, but change it for your needs. If you do so, please leave me a comment about the party and maybe even a link to your post.

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