Monday, July 09, 2007

Summer Dinner Pie

I called this a Summer Dinner Pie, but it was really just a summer version of leftover pie. Here’s what I had:
2 or 3 cups of brown rice (cooked)
2 eggs
a few celery sticks
a couple of scallions
4 tomatoes
Fresh parsley
A couple of handfuls frozen peas
About 1.5 or 2 cups diced ham
About a cup of cheese (I used cheddar)

To make this I used a spring form cake tin so it would be nice and big, and I used the basic pie pastry recipe here.

When you are done making the pastry, break it in two like it says, then put both pieces into the fridge for about 20 min.

While it’s resting, mix the rice with one of the eggs and the scallions and celery (or whatever other vegetables you have lying around at the bottom of your fridge about to go bad. I almost put a green pepper in, but decided I had enough stuff). Mixing the egg in helps it to hold it’s shape really nicely once it’s baked, and it also gives the rice a little extra moisture so it doesn’t dry out.

Chop the tomatoes and the parsley and mix together.

Grease the cake tin. I like to put baking paper on the bottom of mine too, it just makes everything so much easier. They sell special circle shaped sheets of baking paper, and if you have too much money and don’t know what to do with, you could get stuff like that, but I find that value baking paper and a pair of scissors works just fine.

Roll out the larger piece of dough, and line the cake tin with it, letting the excess hang over the edges.

Pour in the rice mixture and gently make it flat-ish. Add the tomato/parsley layer, then sprinkle over the peas, then the ham, then the cheese.

Roll out the smaller piece of dough and cover the pie with it. Pinch the edges together to seal them. Poke some holes in the top with a fork, then beat the last egg to brush the top. Bake at 200c for 10 min, then reduce to 180c for 45 min.

This looks kind of complicated, but it’s really just something that you can modify to fit whatever you have left in the fridge at the end of the week. I recommend that you keep a rice layer, it holds the shape nicely, and it will help soak up any extra moisture from the wetter ingredients, like tomatoes. A green veg in there is nice too, it makes it a balanced meal in itself. I was thinking broccoli at first, but I had waited to long, and it had gone off completely.

All in all this achieved what I wanted it to. I wanted to know if I could make a dinner pie that was summer-y. Something that would work for an indoor meal or a picnic, and mostly, I wanted to use up a bunch of stuff. This ticked all the boxes.

Here’s a list of some other things that would have been good:
Any leftover meat, diced
Green pepper
Chopped hard boiled eggs
Anything really.

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