Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Fantastic, Food-saving, Left-over Pie


      With the Holiday season in full swing, there are bound to be many feasts to be had and visited in a variety of settings. From a variety of home-cooked Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, to local area "pot-lucks" to New Year's soirees, there is a common denominator that we are left with after the festivities of abundance wind down: food. Now some may say left-overs are never a problem because "care-packages" usually leave with the guests as tokens of good will and cheer...and to make clean-up and wrapping left-overs easier. (C'mon man. You seriously think all those times grandma kept telling you to eat, eat, eat was because she was concerned about the possibility of your starvation? HA!!!) In my house, however, there are permanent and semi-permanent consumers that stay here who look forward for months in advance to the spreads from the kitchen. Left-overs usually wind up in my fridge. Although my beloved consumers have whittled the art-form of snitching and snacking into a skill that would make any Turkey Vulture proud, I have to monitor what gets circulated to the back and bottom of the refrigerator. My family is composed of hard-core carnivores. The side-dishes sometimes get forgotten unless I put together their plates for them. To help combat the chaos of left-over neglect, I use a special recipe to bring the separate stray dishes into one that is brand new and tasty. Bring in: The Left-over Pie. It is also quick and easy. With lots of left-overs, several of these pies can be made at once, sliced and then frozen for meals down the road. So here it is:  how to make Left-over Pie.

                                    "The Fantastic, Food-saving Left-over Pie"


1 cup Left-overs "one"

1 cup Left-overs "two" - Now, "left-overs" in the first two items refers to potatoes of all kinds, stuffings, casseroles, wild rice, vegetables and even meat (if you still have some). What usually does NOT work well here are soups, sauces, Aunt Flo's Jello-mold or Great Gram's Chocolate "Surprise". Generally, if it is still edible mixed with other things on a plate of dinner items and has substance, it is safe.

1/2 cup biscuit mix - There are some really great, organic renditions of this stuff. I am not going to tout one over another. The message is you can do this and still be GMO-free. (wink.)

2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheese - I prefer aged, Wisconsin sharp cheddar, but I am biased.  Let your taste-buds guide you.


Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a shallow 9 inch baking dish, lined with parchment baking paper, layer Left-overs one and two.

Sprinkle the cheese over the layered left-overs.

In a separate bowl, combine biscuit mix, eggs and milk. Stir until well blended. ( A few tiny, residual clumps are fine. They will dissolve when cooking.)

Pour the batter-like mixture over the awaiting, layered left-overs and cheese. (Cheese will float to the top. This is good!)

Place baking dish in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes. (When finished, the top will be a medium, golden brown. If left-overs used had a little more moisture, like with green-bean casserole or asparagus hollandaise, allow a few extra minutes to get that gorgeous, medium brown to show up. It will. )

Once cooking is complete, pull from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before slicing. If freezing, allow pie to completely cool to the touch before wrapping and freezing.

That is pretty much about it. I hope this gives you a means to an end during these busy holidays.

Happy Post-Thanksgiving, Pre-Christmas, Yule, Chanukah, Kwanzaa and any other celebrations in between....i.e. Bright Blessings to all! :)