Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, the big dinner

It didn't all go exactly as I planned, and it was on the table later than I thought, but for a meal I'd never prepared before and have only eaten once or twice, it worked out well. I ran out of flour while making the pasties, due mainly to changing recipes after I'd already done the shopping. The dough was a simple business of flour, shortening, and salt all cut together, then mixed with water and rolled into a ball. I didn't have any waxed paper to wrap it in, so I improvised with a stylish paper plate hat so it could sit in the fridge for an hour. 

While that was sitting, I made the apple crisp. That was an easy recipe, though after trying the finished product, I think I would add more cinammon and less nutmeg. I was using fresh-grated nutmeg (nutmeg is not cheap, but I got a tube of nutmegs two years ago and they've lasted very well,) and it's quite a bit stronger than what you shake out of the canister. No cream or ice cream to go with it, since the stuff I got yesterday at the store has Oreo bits, but it held up fine on its own.

When that was cooking, I started cutting up the veggies for the pasty and defrosting my ground turkey. If you have anyone who buys you kitchen presents, ask them to get you a mandolin slicer. I got one for Christmas this year, and it has saved me hours of work and made cooking veggies much more enjoyable. I cut up potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, and onion, then mixed it all together with the raw meat like a very lumpy meatloaf. 

Not having flour for my hands, the board, or my nonexistent rolling pin made the pasty dough a sticky situation. I wound up greasing a cutting board and spreading the dough more like pizza dough, then dumping a lump of the filling on top, folding it over, and trying to get it onto a cookie sheet without the whole thing falling apart. For reasons I am not certain of, after I had my four pasties on the sheet and in the oven, I still had a little dough and about half the filling left. That was meat and veggies, and I wasn't about to just waste it. 

By this time M was home and hungry, but the pasties needed to cook 70 minutes. In a fit of inspiration, I mixed the dough and filling together, added a handful of rolled oats, some garlic salt and some pepper, then formed it into balls and fried them in veggie oil. They turned out quite tasty, and made a great first course. I skipped the cheesy biscuits at this point, realizing we were going to be pretty full as it was. We had a romantic first course of apple crisp and meatballs, then finally the pasties were done. M was very happy. I was almost full already, but I ate half of mine. Pasties are a great idea, but I think I'm going to find a new recipe for next time. 

The best part, though, is that with all the food we had for supper, there are plenty of leftovers. We ate two of the four pasties, so instead of turkey sandwiches tomorrow, we'll get to have these again. Nice! 

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