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No ducks were harmed in the making of this meal

April 9, 2010

Where gourmet meets playskool

Exhibit A: Rachel’s new pie obsession.

I can’t even remember what I put in this particular pie. I know there was elk meat. I can see chard sneaking around like the masked avenger of scurvy and perhaps some potatoes bobbing like small icebergs. Likely, there were onions and garlic, because, obviously. And I seem to remember shaking in the last glop of pinto beans from the bottom of a jar.

And this is exactly why these pies are my new favorite. You whip up a pie crust (recipe forthcoming and easy) and then you pack in every lost and lonely drifter in your fridge. Even that single carrot rolling around behind the milk is welcome. Even the tarnished cilantro – the few worthy leaves can jump in. And despite the haphazard arrangements, you really can’t fail, especially assuming that whatever is in your fridge is what your family already loves. And especially because you’re eating pie for dinner. And especially if you sprinkle a dutiful layer of cheese on top.

The Best: Chard, potato, cheese pie

This crust, which calls for yogurt, came from the abundance of yogurt we have around the house lately, which came from the abundance of local milk we’ve been buying.

Can you imagine how terrified I am of dropping one of these babies on the tile floor?

And if your family is starting to catch on to the abundance of pies and the sort of pre-compost quality they may take on (especially when you serve one with the warning “this needs to be finished by tomorrow on account of the beans”), presto chango! You can morph your pie dough into:

A gorgeous pizza!

And just because you can smorgasbord most anything into these pies, does not mean that you shouldn‘t scrawl out a special list of stunning ingredients or not toss in your top shelf goodies; you should! I made this pizza for my parents and it had broccoli, the ubiquitous chard, sauteed onions and cheese on top of a roasted garden tomato/basil sauce I canned last fall.

Greenhouse chard AKA why chard is ubiquitous in our house. *Plus, photos of the 800 square foot house usually feature the bathroom in the background. Can you find it?*

Yogurt Dough (makes 2 pie crusts)

(this recipe is adapted from the cookbook Nourishing Traditions):

1 cup plain whole yogurt

1 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

3 1/2 cups flour (I use spelt)

2 tsp sea salt

Cream butter with yogurt. Blend in flour and salt. Cover and leave in a warm place for 12-24 hours. Say what? Did you plan that far in advance? Me neither. I let it sit for 2-3 hours, and it works wonderfully. Roll on a floured surface and press into pie shells. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. At high altitudes increase your heat to 375.

Mix your filling separately, pat into cooked pie shell and bake until warm through and through (approx 30 minutes).

Chard, potato cheese recipe:

I hope this recipe doesn’t read as awful as my geographical directions (go north until you see the house with the big yucca plants in the yard, turn left on the next corner and go over three potholes…).

Steam a bunch of chard (or kale, or spinach) and chop small. Bake four potatoes and chop. Saute half an onion and a couple cloves garlic. Mix together with salt, pepper and 1-2 eggs. Place in pie shell. Sprinkle 1 cup cheese on top. Bake.

Was that okay?

What would you put in your pie?

Happy Friday and may your weekend be full of tasty treats!

24 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2010 7:17 am

    :) I like you!!! You write like I think–and sometimes write!

  2. April 9, 2010 8:20 am

    Love that morphing into a pizza…pie.

  3. April 9, 2010 9:33 am

    Thanks for the dough recipe. I’ve never tried one using yogurt~which really is a magical ingredient I’ve come to find out.

    I, too, love making savory pies. Anything braised in some guinness and then tucked into dough and baked is a favorite of mine.

  4. April 9, 2010 10:14 am

    You made this homemade pizza with no yeast?! This is a recipe of my dreams.

    Thanks for sharing. Everything looks (and I’m sure tastes) fantastic.

  5. Ami permalink
    April 9, 2010 10:39 am

    Lovely, as usual. At my house, “we” don’t eat crust… so my pie is always a frittata! But it works just the same, nevertheless… I love a salmon and dill mix – or chicken sausages with red bell peppers and sundried tomatoes…. those are my standbys… but you WILL usually find some random leftover lentil or quinoa… or some other sorry, sagging veggie in my “pies” too! Isn’t that why the casserole was invented, after all? :) By the way – I am lusting over your milk!

  6. April 9, 2010 11:48 am

    yum! off to make a pie..

  7. Judy permalink
    April 9, 2010 4:41 pm

    Can’t wait to try the pie dough.

    Faux Quiche variation – blend three eggs from those feathered ladies with one cup (or up to one & a half cups) of that creamy milk – seasonings of your choice – and pour it over your ingredients – don’t forget that grated cheese on top. Bake in medium oven for 35-40 min – or until set.

    Note that if you add some sweetening to the egg-milk combo, you could pour this over fruit (fresh/dried/mixed) + nuts – top w some coconut – for a nice dessert.

    Either way it’s good warm, room temp or cold. Pretty versatile pies!

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      April 10, 2010 11:05 am

      Ooh, I like the dessert idea with fruit and coconut! We’ve got a bag of thawing peaches looking for a purpose!

  8. Cory permalink
    April 9, 2010 7:53 pm

    Wow, they look great. I would like to pull up a chair at your table! Love the pie to pizza switch; just the word pizza typically excites our little guy… And thanks for the Quiche variety.

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      April 10, 2010 11:05 am

      Cory – we’d love to have your family over anytime. Maybe Elena could help us get up the gumption to eat our chickens!

  9. Emily permalink
    April 9, 2010 9:29 pm

    drooooool coming out of my mouth compounded by Judy’s dessert coconut yummyness………
    which I won’t put bacon in
    … or will I?

  10. April 9, 2010 10:17 pm

    Can I just come to your house and have pie?? You make it sound so easy. The “toss-it-in-and-go” method never really works out for me, alas. Maybe I’ll try your chard pie recipe to work up my courage to improvise. =>

    Also: “dutiful layer of cheese”? Yes!

  11. April 10, 2010 7:12 am

    I am going to try this! Thank you. Who doesn’t love pie? (And how did you know I had a lonely carrot rolling around in my fridge?)

  12. April 10, 2010 8:31 am

    geez, you have that cookbook too? Every day, I think I want to get rid of it because I just can’t like it. Then someone pops up with a recipe from it. I’m never going to get rid of that damn thing! : )

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      April 10, 2010 11:05 am

      Kyndale – why can’t you like it? Is it the pound of butter in every recipe? Her raw meat constitutionals? I’m curious here.

  13. Melissa permalink
    April 10, 2010 4:05 pm

    while i have wonderful husband, he is not so into pies like these. sigh. because they are totally my thing. but great to bring to potlucks or make when the ladies come calling . . . i also love the feeling of tossing in all the veggie stragglers and odds and ends of leftover cheeses . . .

    and nici over at dig this chick has a link to an “easy” yogurt recipe. so between the two of you and all your handiness-making it look so easy-ness–i am running out of excuses to do these things.

    this weekend, however, my israeli in-laws are in town so you know i won’t be cooking a thing or even feeling a hunger pang what with all the food around. even avi eats more with them! my mother in-law makes a mean spinach/feta borekas (sp? like a phyllo dough puff pastry) that i bet would translate nicely into a pie . . .

    thanks for the inspiration! oh, and i loved the wind post, too. for me, nerdiness was always there . . . the blog just drives it home.

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      April 10, 2010 6:16 pm

      Melissa, my father’s people made spinach/feta borekas! (and potato and cheese). Are your in laws Sephardic?

      The blog *does* drive the nerdiness home; love it!

  14. Jan permalink
    April 11, 2010 7:41 am

    And don’t forget the rice/cheese ones! One of these days I really have to get out the boreka recipe (Actually I have two. One for the dough and one for the fillings!) and make some.

  15. April 11, 2010 5:27 pm

    Kitchen alchemy indeed! Thanks for sharing these yummy recipes and tempting photos. While I am anxious to try out your recipe for a yogurt pie crust, I will say that we made a delicious savory pie yesterday with a shredded potato crust: layer shredded potatoes on the bottom of a pie plate, drizzle butter over them, and bake for about 25 minutes, then add a nice melange of veggies (I used the remnants of an eldery onion and some frozen bell pepper pieces), four eggs, some milk, and, yes, “a dutiful layer of cheese,” and bake for 20-25 minutes more. Yum.

  16. Linda permalink
    April 11, 2010 6:00 pm

    Just finished dinner. Ours had: the obvious, sweet potatoes, spinach, corn, mushrooms, and lots of cheese.
    What a great crust! I will definitely be making it again.
    Thanks for breaking up the culinary monotony, Rachel!

    Happy Spring.

  17. April 12, 2010 9:42 am

    I love the picture of the little one being engulfed in the chard! That’s adorable.

    And yes, I *am* cringing at the thought of dropping one of those enormous jars! Imagine the mess!

  18. Steph permalink
    April 12, 2010 10:11 am

    It’s such a great feeling, to use up kitchen “scraps” and leftovers and turn them into a healthy, delectable dish! I do this at my house too, usually in the form of a crustless pie, with eggs. Aka, a frittata. Or sometimes it’s in the form of a soup, which is equally yummy!

  19. April 12, 2010 4:00 pm

    That combination sounds delicious. Thanks for the great idea!


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