It's lunchtime and I've just spent the morning on my hands and knees (on tile, mind you) painting the baseboards in the living and dining rooms. It looks so fresh and clean that I am encouraged to keep going, but I'm starving and the last thing I want to do is cook something for lunch. Pasties to the rescue! I make these warm, flaky delights ahead of time and keep them in the freezer. A well-balanced, warm lunch is ready in 30 minutes (spent in a 350F oven, so I don't have to do a thing).
Pasties can be filled with anything from fruit pie filling for a sweet dessert or with any combination of meat, veggies and cheese. First, choose and cook your meat. I prefer ground beef, turkey, buffalo or elk.
Then I quickly cook whatever greens I have on hand (a great way to use them up) in a hot pan with a little bit of olive oil and freshly minced garlic. I have found spinach, bok choi, tat soi, beet greens, chard, or mustard greens all work well. I also like to add in potatoes, onions and cheese. I basically use whatever I have on hand, especially when I notice our greens to be getting away from us quicker than we can devour them.
Next, comes your choice of seasoning. Your basic Italian Seasoning goes well with anything and crushed red peppers add a little kick.
Lastly, I recommend pie dough for your wrapping material. I have tried all kinds of dough ranging from flaky to buttery and everything in between. Pie dough is easiest to work with (pinches together well) and is the tastiest. Simply divide your 9" pie dough into 4 sections. Add a small amount of your filling mixture to the center of each quadrant. Fold one corner over the filling and pinch to the opposite corner. Use your fingers to pinch along both open sides. Space each assembled pastie onto a cookie sheet and place in the freezer.
After a couple hours, you can transfer them to a freezer-safe baggie (I use the gallon size). Freezing them this way prevents them from sticking together and then falling apart when you want to take a few out.
To prepare from the freezer, simply take out however many you need and leave the rest in the freezer. Place the pasties on a baking sheet (I use a stone) and place in a cold oven. Set the oven to 350F and the timer to 30min. Walk away and when the timer chimes your return, let them cool slightly before you dive into the golden-brown goodness.
Speaking of which, it's my turn!