There’s a point where winter seems on the wane, yet endless. Customary complaining doesn’t seem quite right this year, though. It’s been one of the mildest winters on record, a “non-winter” by Prairie standards, that Environment Canada last week admitted never saw coming. Even so, by early February most of us are at that point in the long stretch of winter that makes us all want it over, so we can be back outside working (or playing) a little more comfortably.
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Pot pie for supper
Barbecue Beef Hand Pies
For quick meals when everyone is on the go, these hand pies are handy! Bake them up ahead and then just warm up for a minute in the microwave.
- 1-1/2 c. microwave-thawed Big Batch Ground Beef (recipe follows)1/2 c. Bull’s Eye Bold Original barbecue sauce*1 pkg. (425 g) ready-to-use refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts), softened according to package directions1/2 c. shredded Kraft Tex Mex or Mozza Cheddar cheese
Combine Big Batch Beef and Bull’s Eye barbecue sauce; set aside. Unroll one pie crust and lay out flat; cut into quarters. Spoon 1/4 cup of the meat mixture onto each quarter of crust; sprinkle with 1 tbsp. cheese. Fold each dough piece lengthwise in half; crimp edges with fork to seal. Repeat with remaining crust, meat mixture and cheese. Place pies on parchment or foil-lined rimmed baking sheet; cook in 425 F oven until golden, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Big Batch Ground Beef: Cook 4 lbs. lean or extra-lean ground beef in Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 10 to 15 minutes, breaking into small chunks with back of spoon, until browned. Drain and return to pot. Add 4 EACH onion and cloves of garlic, minced, simmer for 15 minutes until vegetables are softened. Drain and spread in a single layer on several foil or parchment paper-lined baking trays; freeze until meat is firm, about 1 hour. Loosen into chunks, scoop meal-sized portions into freezer bags. Freeze for up to 3 months.
✷Cook’s Note: You can use a combination of 1/4 cup EACH barbecue sauce and 1/4 cup salsa if you like.
Tasty Prairie Pie
This is a delicious pie that you can make with any firm fish. The ice fishers you know should be happy to supply the main ingredient.
- 6 (4-oz.) frozen whitefish fillets, cooked2 tbsp. butter1/2 c. chopped onion1 garlic clove, crushed1 c. diced zucchini2 tbsp. flour1/2 tsp. saltDash of pepper1/2 tsp. thyme1/2 tsp. basil2 c. tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped1 (9-inch) pie crust
Break fillets into chunks. Sauté onion, garlic, and zucchini until vegetables are tender. Blend in flour, seasonings and herbs. Add tomatoes and cook five minutes or until sauce is thick. Add fish and pour into a 9-inch pie plate. Cover with pastry; trim and flute. Bake at 400 F for 25 to 30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Allow pie to stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6.
Recipe source: Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation’s online recipe book From Lake to Plate www.freshwaterfish.com
Double Crust Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken pot pie is surely the queen of all pot pies, not to mention comfort food supreme. This quick pot pie takes less than 15 minutes to pull together.
- 2 frozen deep dish pastry shells2 c. frozen mixed vegetables2 c. cooked diced Manitoba chicken1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup1/4 tsp. ground sage OR poultry seasoning
Preheat oven to 350 F. Thaw pastry shells at room temperature. Use one to line a deep dish pie plate. Thaw the vegetables in the microwave. Combine vegetables, chicken, sage and mushroom soup; mix well. Pour mixture over pastry shell in the pie plate. Place the second piece of pastry over the filling. Press the edges of the pastry together to seal it. Make 3 to 4 cuts in the top to let steam escape. Bake for 30 minutes until filling is hot and the crust is golden brown. Cut into 4 to 6 wedges and serve immediately.
Variation: To make a lattice top crust, cut the second pastry shell into 1/2-inch strips. Lay some of the strips over the filling, leaving about 1/2 to 3/4 inch between strips. Lay the remaining strips in the opposite direction, weaving them over and under the other strips. Press the ends of the strips into the bottom crust to seal them in place.
Prep time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 35 minutes. Serves: 4 to 6. Uses: cut cooked chicken
Recipe source: Manitoba Chicken Producers website chicken.mb.ca/recipes
This recipe was featured on Great Tastes of Manitoba. For the complete season of recipes visit www.foodmanitoba.ca