Monday, December 29, 2008

Is it leftovers or is it recycling???

I am not proud to admit it, but, even though I recycle in my kitchen, I am a tremendous user of paper dishes, paper towels, and paper cups when I prep for my recipes (remember Lazy Girl Cooks), so I'll try to think of using my leftovers as another form of recycling.

If you have been reading my blog, you now know that while my children will eat leftovers, my husband is not big on them.  Personally, I like some things leftover; any type of pasta (although I am still a macaroni girl myself... (the term pasta - it's so she-she, frou-frou) cold pizza for breakfast, leftover soup anytime, but I can't say I love too many meats leftover.  My friend Fran tells me it's because I need to create them into something new.  My Aunt Edith used to do that with a leftover roast beef that was to die for, I never quite mastered the art.

Last month, when my friend Anne gave me the recipe for the Mexican Shredded Pork, she sent along with that recipe, a recipe for Cuban Pie, that would help use up the leftover pork.  When I read the recipe for the Cuban Pie, I said to myself, I'm not to sure about the Mexican Shredded Pork, but the Cuban Pie sounds outstanding.  I figured that in order to get to the Cuban Pie, I would have to make the Shredded pork, which I did.  As you can tell from the earlier postings, it was delicious.  I did have a ton of pork leftover, and even after sending the boys home with some of the pork, there was plenty left to get to the Cuban Pie, which was my ulterior motive in for making the pork in the first place. 

The Cuban Pie was so delicious, in spite of a few little mistakes that I made, it was so tasty, that even after I put it in the refrigerator for the night, I was forced by the "leftover fairy" to go and have just one last taste before bed!

Here's is Anne's Recipe as she sent it and I will tell you where I made my mistakes - and yes, even perfect people like myself, on occasion, do make mistakes, lol.  I'd like to use the excuse that I didn't read through the recipe ahead of time, but, I did, so I will just blame it on middle age senility!

Anne's Cuban Pie
Anne Murch-Gutierrez

2 Deep-Dish frozen Pie Shells
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
Olive Oil
1 medium onion, peeled and slices
1 green pepper, sliced
1 tomato, chopped
2 fresh jalapenos, cut up (I couln't find fresh here, so I used jarred and it was fine)
1/2 pound deli-sliced ham (I used Boar's Head Baby Ham and it was delicious, I may try a Sahlens Ham off the bone the next time for a little more flavor)
1 cup shredded Swiss Cheese 
3 tablespoons mustard
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Heavy Cream (Anne didn't specify and I put too much) it should be about 1/4 cup

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Pre-bake one pie shell for about 5 minutes.  I completely missed this step.  Sauté all the vegetables in olive oil - until translucent.  In the baked pie shell
start layering - 1/2 of the swiss cheese on the bottom, 1/2 of pulled pork, 1/2 sautéed vegetables, 1/2 whole grain mustard, and 1/2 sliced ham, that finishes one layer.

Now, beginning with Swiss cheese, begin layering the rest of the ingredients in the same order.
Finish with shredded parmesan cheese, and pour heavy cream until below the pie crust rim.

Add the second uncooked pie crust - topping the pie.  Bake 375 degrees until top crust is golden brown, about 10 - 15 minutes.

Ingredients you will need for the Cuban Pie:

My mistakes were the following: 

I had some piecrust in the refrigerator that I needed to use, so I used that instead of the ready made pie crusts, therefore I had to shape them, and missed the step to pre-bake the first crust. I think it came out just fine that way as well, so, if all you have are the ready made pie crust that are not pre-shaped, they worked just fine for me.

I had swiss cheese slices left over from the holidays, so instead of shredded swiss, I cut it in thin strips, which accomplished the same thing as shredding it.

In Anne's original recipe, she didn't specify how much cream.  When I filled my pie to the rim, it took almost a cup.  After speaking to her, she said she used about 1/4 cup.  My pie came out a little liquidy because of this step.  I told Anne that if I did this again, I would add 1 egg to the recipe, mix it with the cream, the mustard, and the parmesan cheese, and pour half of the cream mixture over each pork/swiss cheese layer before adding the ham.  I have enough pork left over to make one more pie, and I am going to try that with the next pie (just to satisfy my curiosity.)

Anyway, here is the step by step - mistakes and all (however, there was no mistake in the taste, that pie was scrumptious!!!)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Peel and crush the garlic and set it aside

Peel and slice the onion in half

cut it into thin strips 

and set it aside

Wash the pepper and tomato

Cut the pepper in half and remove all the seeds and membranes

Cut the pepper into thin strips

Cut the tomatoes into 1/4 to 1/2-in slices 

then stack them on top of one another and cut into strips

turn a half turn and dice into cubes

Slice the Jalapeno's

If you have shredded swiss cheese, eliminate this step
If you have a bar of Swiss, grate it, if you have slices of
Swiss cheese, cut them into small strips

Set everything aside, 
 in a few minutes you will begin 
to assemble the pie

If you are using the pre-shaped pie crust 
as the recipe states, bake it now. 
If you need to shape the crust yourself, 
spray a 10-inch pie plate with PAM

Unroll one of the pie crust and place it in the pie plate

Note: These crusts are designed for a 9-inch pie plate, so you may have to 
press them a little - this was the other reason I didn't
pre-bake the first crust, I needed to press the top crust
onto this one to make a nice pie

In a large frying pan, add a few squirts of Olive oil, 
turn the heat on to medium

and sauté the vegetables until they are translucent

when the vegetables are done, remove from the heat
and get ready to start layering the pie

Place 1/2 of  the swiss cheese at the bottom

place 1/2  the pork on top of the cheese

add 1/2 of the sauteed vegetables

and then add half of the mustard

top with half of the ham slices

Now begin all over again, starting with the Swiss cheese
When you get to the ham, sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese

Add your heavy cream to come to the level of the rim of the pie crust

I actually used a fork to help the cream spread throughout the pie

top with the second pie crust

Crimp the top and bottom crusts together and kind of make them rounded

Then, push the crust between your thumb and index finger
to make a v-shape and push in

Continue doing this around the whole crust
this does not have to look absolutely perfect as you
are not a machine and this is homemade :)

I also took one egg yolk, 

and about 1 tablespoon of heavy cream

and beat them together to make an egg wash
(this was not in the recipe, I  just wanted a golden crust)

Brush the egg wash on the top crust if using an egg wash

Make sure you hit all the nooks and crannies

Place the pie in the oven,  I left an oven protector
under it as I had a feeling it might spill over
because it was so full - it didn't, but better to be
safe than sorry - or worse yet - have to clean your oven!

Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown - I had
to bake mine for almost 30 minutes to get the desired color
again, I remind you - not all ovens temperatures are
created equal
Savor the aroma while it's baking!

Remove from the oven and let it 
set for a few minutes,

 and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. you know, this "leftovers problem" of yours can be easily solved with one phone call - I'll gladly help you dispose of any of your delicious undesirable food :))