Veggie Cream Soup

Veggie Cream Soup

Alright, guys, I think I’m about to throw you for a loop.  After checking recipes, matching BotW photos, and deciding on what I want to make, I’m making a change up to my recipes.  Now, I have a Veggie Cream Soup already made.  But the BotW photo is much more orange, the Cream of Vegetable Soup is more creamy, and I wanted to make cheese soup.  Because, quite frankly, I don’t love Cream of X soup.  I utilize it in other recipes to make other things, but I never actually just eat Cream of X soup.  So I’m renaming my last veggie soup Cream of Vegetable soup, after all, it’s veggies, cream, and soup.  And the new and improved Veggie Cream Soup, is about to follow!

Veggie Cream Soup

time and difficulty

Basically, folks, we are making cheese soup.  And while I have photos one way, I’d really like you all, please, to follow what I say, not what I show!  It’ll make sense when I start describing what’s going on.

Start by chopping all the veggies up into lovely bite-size pieces.  Carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower can go into a bowl together, but keep the onions separate.  When everything is diced heat a heavy-bottom pot (or, I guess, any pot) and add all the butter but 3 tablespoons.  Add the onion and saute for 1 minute.  Then add the other veggies and saute for 2-3 minutes, until shiny and starting to soften.  

shiny veggies

Here’s that part where you get to ignore what I’ve done and pay attention to what I say!  I have you add the extra butter and flour to the sauteed veggies, but the roux really struggled to come together, and without a solid roux, the likelihood that your cheese will break is pretty high.  And, for me, I can handle that, but I don’t want that for you people at all!

So now we’re just going to remove the veggies and put them in a bowl.  Then, add the 3 tablespoons of butter, melt it down, add the flour slowly, and make a nice roux by whisking continuously.  I have photos from the old Veggie Cream Soup…  Pretend like they’re from this recipe.

Add the milk 1 cup at a time and whisk until completely mixed.  This’ll thicken the milk.  Continue with the remaining milk.  Then add the cream and chicken or vegetable stock (your choice to make this vegetarian!) and stir in the veggies, salt, and pepper.  We don’t add a lot of salt because the cheese is salty, so don’t be tempted to add more.  It’ll feel bland at this step.

veggies and liquid

 

Here’s the next step, and it’s an important one for winding up with a nice, smooth soup instead of a cheesy broken mess.  Don’t let the soup boil.  It should simmer, barely bubbling, to cook the veggies, but it shouldn’t boil.  Keep an eye on it.  If it boils you may not get a great soup.

cheese added

Simmer it for 10ish minutes, or until the veggies are tender and delicious!  Then remove from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes until it cools slightly.  This is like adding chocolate to cream – if you do it while it’s too hot the fat will break out and won’t be able to reform properly, so you end up with a mess.  Cheese into hot things is the same.  So once it’s cooled slightly, add the cheese, 1 cup at a time, and stir until smooth and creamy.  And then eat it all while you can – you won’t really feel like stopping!

close up

Link’s Veggie Cream Soup:

    • Fresh Milk
    • Rock Salt
    • Any Carrot or Pumpkin

Veggie Cream Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A creamy cheese soup with broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.

Ingredients

  • 1 large broccoli crown – 1/2 head cauliflower – 3 medium carrots – 1 small onion – 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons butter – 1/3 cup all-purpose flour – 4 cups milk – 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock – 2 tablespoons heavy cream – 1 teaspoon kosher salt – 1/5 teaspoons black pepper – 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Chop the carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Place these into a bowl. Dice the onion and keep separate. 2. Heat a heavy-bottom pot on medium and add all the butter but 3 tablespoons.  3. Add the onion and saute for 1 minute. 4. Add the other veggies and saute for 2-3 minutes, until shiny and starting to soften. 5. Remove the veggies and put them in a bowl. 6. Add the 3 tablespoons of butter, melt it, and add the flour slowly. Make a roux by whisking this constantly until thickened and yellow. 7. Add the milk 1 cup at a time and whisk until completely mixed and thickened. 8. Add the heavy cream and chicken or vegetable stock, stir in the veggies, salt, and pepper, and stir until combined. 9. Simmer the soup, barely bubbling, to cook the veggies, about 10 minutes. 10. Remove from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes until it cools slightly. 11. Add the cheese, 1 cup at a time, and stir until smooth and creamy. Serve hot.

Happy Thanksgiving and Salt-Grilled Gourmet Meat!

Happy Thanksgiving and Salt-Grilled Gourmet Meat!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  Here in the U.S., and especially for me, this holiday is all about food.  Growing up, my mother would get up at an ungodly hour (for a holiday) to make everything from scratch on Thanksgiving day.  We’d tumble out of bed and start to help out when we could.  Now, as an adult, it’s become a tradition to get up as early as mom and stand around the table as she teaches us how to properly make pie crust, make stuffing from scratch, and roast a 30 pound(ish) turkey.  Thanksgiving for my family was about passing on the traditions of cooking, of learning and honoring those who came before you with family recipes and family stories shared over an entire day of cooking and eating together.  It’s the best way I know how to truly observe this holiday – with thankful hearts toward the people in my past who have made this holiday possible.

This year, that also means you guys, the faithful blog readers.  I feel so blessed and honored that so many people follow my blog and comment on my posts.  I feel lucky that I have the opportunity to learn how to better express myself through cooking.  And I feel grateful so many of you are so supportive of me, in spite of my long breaks between posts and ghost status on social media lately.  Thanks for all you do to help me become the best I can be!  And, in honor of the from-scratch people who were up at the crack of dawn (I love you, mom!) to make dinner, here’s a reblog of my Thanksgiving turkey recipe – Salt-Grilled Gourmet Meat.


It’s the second of two Thanksgiving posts and the day is almost here, which means this recipe is just in time!  So open this up, thaw your turkey (properly), and let’s make a turkey.

Raise of hands, how many of you have ever made a turkey before?  Really?  That few?  Well don’t be intimidated.  I promise it’s a lot easier than it sounds or looks.  Quite frankly, it’s just like any other salt-grilled meat recipe we’ve already done, with a few adjustments, of course.  And you’ll love the finished product.  It’ll be picture perfect and deliciously juicy for all your guests/family!

Salt-Grilled Gourmet Meattime and heart meter

Now, you should have started thawing your turkey by now following the instructions provided with your turkey (they almost always come with instructions).  It can take up to 4 days to thaw a turkey (depending on the size) in the fridge.  If you need to speed up the process you can fill a sink with cold water and place the turkey in.  Continue checking the water to make sure it doesn’t get too warm.  Drain the water every 1/2 hour and refill with cold water again.  Do this for roughly 8 hours.  It’s easier to thaw in the fridge but in a pinch, this other way will work.  Just whatever you do, please thaw it correctly!  I don’t want to be responsible for any food poisoning here!

turkey ingredients

We start with what’s called a brine.  Now, there are several ways to brine a turkey but I’ve chosen the easiest of them all.  You have enough to do on Thanksgiving – no reason to make it harder.  The brine with a turkey is the same principle as with pork – it tenderizes the meat and allows the juices to stay inside instead of the bird getting dry and gross.  It also negates, with an extra step, the need for basting!  That’s two time savers here people.  We’re on a roll!

You’re going to need to remove the bird from the packaging and take out any extras they throw in for the really hard-core people a.k.a the giblets and the neck.  Open the bottom of the turkey and they should be in there.  It’ll be a long neck and a packet of weird mushy stuff.  If the packet isn’t in there check where the neck is supposed to be attached.  Sometimes they put it up there to be sneaky.

Once everything gross is out pat the turkey dry with paper towels and coat it with kosher salt and pepper.  Be generous, it’ll help!  Allow the turkey to sit, with the salt and pepper, at room temperature for 1 hour to take off the chill.  The skin will be crispy and delicious if you do it that way.

While the turkey is warming up wash the sage and oregano or thyme, slice a medium onion into quarters, and remove the skin from 6 garlic cloves.  Place these inside your roasting pan, or if you don’t have excess cash floating around to buy a new pan for one meal a year (like me) a normal 11X15 cake pan.  If you want to get extra easy buy one of those disposable cake pans, like my mom does, and just throw it away when you’re done.  Whatever will fit your turkey comfortably will work!  Line the bottom of your pan with these ingredients, putting the onions in the corners.

buttering the turkeyThe next step is almost as important as the brine.  It’s also, for those of you who are a little squeamish, the grossest part of the entire affair.  Rub the room temperature butter all over your hands.  Then rub the entire turkey with those hands, pausing to get more butter if needed.  Make sure the entire bird in covered in the butter to make sure there’s an even crisp to the skin.  A safety note, just because I’m a microbiologist, please don’t reuse any butter you may have touched with raw poultry again.  Just throw it out and save yourself a horrible bought of food poisoning.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.  It’s very important you don’t go much higher than that because most glassware will shatter if you do and that would ruin your entire night.  If you’re using metal feel free to go up to 450°F.  Put your turkey in the pan and put your pan in the oven on the middle shelf.  Close the door and walk away for 45 minutes.  Plenty of time to get started on literally 1 million things to be cooked for dinner.

turkey in the pan

Once the turkey has been roasting for 45 minutes take some tinfoil and cover the breast of the turkey, molding it to keep it in place.  It’ll help trap in the moisture and make for a much more juicy bird!  If you need to make a piece of tinfoil bigger to cover the whole turkey simply fold over the edges of the foil together and press down to seal.  It’ll work.  Trust me.

Lower the temperature of the oven to 350°F and bake for the remainder of the time.  Here’s a handy, dandy chart for approximate times if you need one.  It’s all based on pounds, really, so make sure you know the poundage of your bird beforehand.

9-11 pounds: 2 1/2 hours

12-14 pounds: 3 hours

15-17 pounds: 3 1/2 hours

18-20 pounds: 4 hours

21-23 pounds: 4 1/2 hours

24+ pounds: 5+ hours

turkey thermometerTo check if the turkey is done you’ll need an instant read meat thermometer.  You can buy them in any grocery store this time of year for about $5.00.  It’s worth it.  You’ll use it again (maybe…).  When the time is up stick the thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, making sure you aren’t touching any bones.  Allow the thermometer to read.  Your turkey temperature should be 165°F.  If it isn’t, your turkey needs more time to cook.  Mine took an extra 20 minutes to get up to temperature.  If you need to check again make sure you check in a different spot than the first time!  If you want to be extra careful, check in the breast under the wing, as well.  The temperature is much more important than the color.  Any turkey could have a pink coloring naturally, but if it got up to 165°F or higher, you’ll be just fine!

Remove the turkey from the oven and cover loosely with foil for at least 30 minutes to allow the turkey to rest.  This equalizes the juices inside so you have perfectly moist, delicious meat.

foiled turkey

Remove the turkey from the pan and start slicing!  There are several excellent videos if you google “how to slice a turkey”.  I think you’ll be alright!

While someone is slicing you can make the gravy.  Technically this isn’t part of the recipe but who eats Thanksgiving turkey without gravy?  Remove all the herbs, onions, and garlic, and pour all the drippings into a pot and add all the chicken or turkey stock.  Heat the liquid to a boil and, while you’re waiting, make the cornstarch mixture.  You could use a roux if you feel like it, but that takes longer and we are all about making Thanksgiving easy here!  Mix the cold water and cornstarch together until dissolved.  Once the liquid is boiling slowly add the cornstarch slurry to the drippings.  Stir and continue to heat until thickened.  If you need it thicker, just add more cornstarch liquid.

Serve with all the Thanksgiving trimmings and have an incredible time!

turkey leg

Link’s Salt-Grilled Meat

    • Raw Gourmet Meat or Raw Whole Bird
    • Rock Salt

    Salt-Brined Roast Turkey

    • Servings: dependant on turkey pounds
    • Difficulty: moderate
    • Print

    Turkey

    • 1 Turkey
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt per pound of turkey
    • 1/4 tsp pepper per pound of turkey
    • 1/2-1 cup butter, room temperature, based on turkey size
    • 7 sprigs fresh oregano or thyme
    • 5 sprigs fresh sage leaves
    • 6 garlic cloves
    • 1 medium onion
    • 1 instant read meat thermometer

    Gravy

    • 1 pan turkey drippings
    • 3 cups chicken or turkey stock
    • 1/4 cup cold water
    • 3 heaping spoonfuls cornstarch

    Directions


    1. Thaw your turkey according to the packing instructions, generally refrigerated for a few days. If you need a quicker thaw, fill a sink with cold water and place the turkey in. Drain the water every 1/2 hour and refill with cold water. Continue this process for 8 hours until the turkey is thawed.
    2. Remove the bird from the packaging and take out the neck and giblets. These should be located inside the turkey at either the bottom or the neck holes.
    3. Dry the entire turkey with paper towels
    4. Coat the turkey in the kosher salt and pepper.  Allow the turkey to sit, with the salt and pepper, at room temperature for 1 hour to take off the chill.
    5. Wash the sage and oregano or thyme.
    6. Slice the onion into quarters.
    7. Remove the skin from 6 garlic cloves.
    8. Line the outside edges of a glass or metal cake pan large enough to hold your turkey with the aromatics, putting the onions in the corners.
    9. Rub the room temperature butter all over your hands, coating them completely.
    Then rub the entire turkey with those hands, pausing to get more butter if needed.  Make sure the entire bird in covered in the butter.  A safety note, if you touch any butter with turkey or turkey-covered hands please throw it away to mitigate the risk of food poisoning.
    10. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Put your turkey in the pan and put your pan in the oven on the middle shelf.  Close the door and bake for 45 minutes.
    11. Once the turkey has been roasting for 45 minutes take some tinfoil and cover the breast of the turkey, molding it to keep it in place. If you need to make a piece of tinfoil bigger to cover the whole turkey simply fold over the edges of the foil together and press down to seal.
    12. Lower the temperature of the oven to 350°F and bake for the remainder of the time. Please see the chart in the body of the post for the correct times.
    13. Insert the instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, making sure you aren’t touching any bones.  Allow the thermometer to read.  Your turkey temperature should be 165°F or higher. If the temperature is not quite high enough, roast the turkey until the temperature reads the correct amount.
    14. Remove the turkey from the oven and cover loosely with foil for at least 30 minutes to allow the turkey to rest.
    15. Remove the turkey from the pan.
    16. To make the gravy remove all herbs, onions, and garlic, and pour all the drippings into a pot. Add the chicken or turkey stock and bring to a boil.
    17. Mix the cold water and cornstarch together until dissolved. Once the drippings are boiling slowly add the cornstarch to the drippings, stirring to mix.
    18. Stir the gravy and bring it back to a boil. Add more cornstarch and water if a thicker gravy is desired.

Monster Curry

Monster Curry

Guys, there’s no such thing as Monster Extract.  We all know this.  It’s severely disappointing, but it’s true.  So, after much deliberation, I decided that Monster Extract was simply going to be unusual ingredients thrown into regular meals that either A) dye the food a more purple color or B) add a unique/unexpected purple food to the meal.  The goal is to actually do both.  And while some recipes will require the use of food coloring to achieve the right effect, this one, I am proud to say, does not!  Now, to make that happen, this meal isn’t quite as purple as I wish it could have been.  But we make do…

Monster Currymonster cake meter

We need to start with the chicken and the marinade.  This allows the spices to mix together for long enough that the marinade takes on the flavor of the spices and they don’t taste quite so raw and it also allows the chicken to soak up the flavor of the marinade.  It’s like… giving the chicken the Zora Tunic – all of a sudden Link takes on the characteristics of the Zora and can breathe underwater.  Thank goodness.

So cut up the thigh meat (technically you can use breast, too, but thigh tends to retain moisture better) into 1/2 inch cubes.  Doesn’t have to be perfect, we just want them similar in shape so they cook at the same time.  Then peel and cut the garlic and fresh ginger.

add to the blender

Next we add all the spices, the tomato paste, and the yogurt to a blender (or food processor if you’re cool like that).  Blend until completely combined.  You may have to stop occasionally, even in a high-powered blender like a Vitamix, and shake and scrape everything around to make sure the garlic and ginger get thoroughly chopped.

Add the spice mixture to a bowl with the chicken and stir to completely coat the chicken.  Cover and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, preferably 2.

When the chicken is nearly done marinating let’s take the onion, carrot, and beets, wash them, and dice them.  A word of caution – if you cut the beets into large or thick pieces they will take FOREVER to cook.  Don’t make my mistakes, cut them up nice and skinny.

Start the rice about the time you’re ready to start cooking.  We’ve gone over this – add rice, wash rice, add water, press start.  You guys are experts by this point!

When you’re done dicing and slicing, take the chicken out of the fridge to warm up a bit.  Add half the butter and oil to a pan – I prefer my good, old-fashioned cast iron pans.  I’m kind of obsessed with them…  When the butter is melted add the onion and cook for maybe 1-2 minutes.  Next add the carrots and beets and cook until they’re tender, about 10 minutes.

cook chicken

Remove the veggies from the pan and add the remaining butter and oil.  When the butter is, you got it, melted, add the chicken and all the marinade.  It feels like a lot.  It feels thick and goopy.  It feels weird.  But trust me, it all works out in the end.

add veggies back in

Cook until the chicken is completely cooked through.  Depending on the size of your chicken pieces it should take about 10 minutes.  Just make sure there’s no pink in the middle of a piece if you cut it open, okay?  Add back all the veggies and stir and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until everything is nice and combined.

add the cream

At this point, add your heavy cream.  Stir and mix until it’s completely combined and then simmer for about 15 minutes.  We want to give the flavors time to combine and we want to give the curry time to change colors from yellow to… a more purplish yellow…  It’s all I could do, folks.

close up

Serve with the rice and be happy!

Link’s Monster Curry recipe:

    • Hylian Rice
    • Goron Spice
    • Monster Extract

Monster Curry

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
  • Print

A chicken korma curry with beets and carrots


Recipe adapted from Indian Chicken Korma by Sabrina from Dinner Then Dessert

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken thighs boneless and skinless
  • 5 medium carrots
  • 8-10 beets
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil i.e. canola
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2.5 cups dry rice
  • water to cook rice

Marinade

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1.5 tablespoon-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1.5 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/3 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more for a spicier meal)
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 1/4 cup greek yogurt

Directions

  1. Cut up the chicken thighs into 1/2 inch cubes.
  2. Add all the spices, tomato paste, and yogurt to a blender or food processor.
  3. Blend until completely combined, scraping down and mixing the sauce as needed.
  4. Add the spice mixture to a bowl with the chicken and stir to completely coat the chicken.  Cover and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.
  5. Wash and dice the onion, carrot, and beets. Dice the beets into thin, bite-size pieces in order to shorten cooking times.
  6. Start the rice when you’re ready to start cooking. Rinse the rice several times, add water up to your first knuckle of your finger when it rests on top of the rice, and press start on your rice cooker.
  7. Take the chicken out of the fridge to warm up while you cook the vegetables.
  8. Add half the butter and oil to a pan. When the butter is melted add the onion and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the carrots and beets and cook until they’re tender, about 10 minutes.
  9. Remove the veggies from the pan.
  10. Add the remaining butter and oil. When the butter is melted add the chicken and all the marinade.
  11. Cook until the chicken is completely cooked through, ensuring there is no pink in the center of the chicken – about 10 minutes.
  12. Add back all the veggies and stir and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until everything is combined.
  13. Add the heavy cream.  Stir and mix until it’s completely combined and then simmer for about 15 minutes.
  14. Serve with the rice and be happy!

Monster Cake

Monster Cake

It’s the first Halloween post of the season!  And yes, we are starting with the easiest, but I wanted to make sure A) the post got done and B) you could make these delicious little monsters for your own spooky (or simply fun) Halloween bash!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the polls on Instagram and Twitter this last week!  Even though the results were overwhelmingly in favor of allowing me to use purple coloring as my Monster Extract, I’ve decided on a compromise.  I’ll do half the recipes with naturally occurring purple coloring from the ingredients I use.  And for those recipes that need a little extra help I’ll add actual Monster Extract i.e. purple coloring.  Sound good?  Sound like a nice compromise?  I hope so, because it’s already happening.

Monster Cakemonster cake meter

We are going to start with the tempered chocolate.  Confession: I’ve never tempered chocolate before.  And not only have I never done it before, I just had to start with the most difficult chocolate to temper – white chocolate.  Oh well.  Prep by inserting a piping bag with a medium round tip (#10 Wilton is what I used) into a cup and wrapping the top of the bag around the edges.  It’ll be easier than trying to fill a bag in your hand.  Lay a piece of parchment paper out on the counter, and get ready to melt some chocolate!

We temper chocolate by using a candy thermometer and a water bath to gently melt the chocolate to the perfect temperature.  Start by splitting the white chocolate into two bowls – about 75% into a stainless steel bowl and 25% into any other bowl.  Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in any old pot, place the stainless steel bowl over the top, add the gel food coloring, and attach the candy thermometer.  Now, two things.  First, we MUST use gel food coloring.  If you add any amount of water to the chocolate it’ll seize up and be unusable.  And second, you’ll need to make sure the tip of the thermometer is in the chocolate BUT NOT touching the bottom.  If the tip is touching the bowl it’ll register the temperature of the bowl, NOT the chocolate.  We need to know the temperature of the chocolate.

seed the chocolate

Once it’s inserted correctly gently stir to melt the chocolate evenly until the temperature of the chocolate reads 110°F.  Quickly remove the bowl from the pot and add a few morsels of chocolate.  Stir until completely dissolved, read the temperature, and add more chocolate.  We need to use this “seed” method to bring the temperature of the chocolate down to 84°F.  This is the temperature at which the chocolate will still be shiny and not brittle.  Do it wrong, and you may have to start over.

When the chocolate reaches the correct temperature quickly add it to a piping bag and begin piping the chocolate into horn shapes on the parchment.  You’ll probably want them to be about 2 inches tall at the most – you don’t want them falling off the cakes!  Leave them on the parchment to cool and harden while we make the cake and frosting.  If you want to speed this up, yes, you can put it in the fridge.

Next – the cake!  And trust me when I say, the chocolate was the hardest part of this recipe.  The rest is… a piece of cake…

butter and sugar

Start by putting the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or a bowl with a hand mixer) and beat on medium until soft.  Add the sugar and beat on medium until fluffy and pale in color (about 2 minutes).  Next, add the eggs one at a time, beating on low until each egg is fully incorporated, then bring the speed up to medium for several seconds until homogeneous.

dry ingredients

The next part is the trickiest with the cake.  Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and either sift or, if you’re like me and don’t have a sifter, whisk until they’re fully mixed.  Then, slowly and with the mixer off (trust me on this one) add 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture to the stand mixer.  Mix on low until fully mixed.  Then add 1/2 of the buttermilk to the bowl and mix on low until incorporated.  Add the remaining 1/3 dry, 1/2 buttermilk, 1/3 dry and mix fully between each step.

Butter and lightly flour a sheet cake pan (18 x 26 inches with a 1 inch lip).  Add all the cake batter to the pan and smooth with a spatula.  It looks like a lot, I know, but this cake doesn’t actually rise a lot – it’s a pretty dense version of a blackout cake.  Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick/cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center.  Put aside and cool completely.

While the cake is either baking or cooling, let’s make the buttercream!  Now, for ease, I always make an American buttercream.  It’s much easier, doesn’t require any cooking, but is sweeter than your other versions.  I have found, with cakes, at least, that sweeter isn’t a bad thing.  Particularly because I prefer my cakes less sweet, so the balance works nicely.

Wash and blend or mash with a potato masher or fork all the blackberries.  Add the butter and powdered sugar to a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or, again, a bowl with a hand mixer) and beat on low until the butter and powdered sugar have come slightly together.  Add 3/4 of the blackberry puree to the bowl and beat on low until the mixture comes together and there’s no more dry powdered sugar.  Beat on medium, check the consistency of the buttercream, and add more blackberries as needed to reach the right consistency.  You’ll want the frosting to hug a spoon or spatula and not slip or fall when held upside down (called a medium consistency).  This will ensure the frosting is thick enough to hold your cakes steady.

proper frosting consistency

Once the cakes are completely cooled, cut out each shape with a 3 inch round cutter.  Now, here’s where I’m going to suggest you do something different than I did.  In the pictures the cakes are overwhelmingly tall in comparison with the frosting layer.  Which is fine!  But if I were to make these for myself and my own party, instead of stacking two heavy pieces of cake together, I’d simply cut each round in half, fill the center, and stack them together again.  That way the frosting can actually hold up the top layer properly and no one gets a giant piece of cake there’s no way they could actually eat it.  Besides, by cutting it you’ll double the amount of cakes you’ll get – making this recipe way more feasible (you’ll get about 15 cakes instead of 7-8).

So, slice each cake in half or, if the warning wasn’t enough, place two whole rounds together.   Fill a piping bag fit with a large flower tip (or star tip) with frosting, and pipe rosettes around each of the bottom pieces of cake.  To pipe a rosette simply pipe a fat star about 1/3 inch above the center of the cake then pipe a swirl around the outside of the cake.  Do it in one motion to make a nice rosette or two separate motions because no one will see it, anyway.  For a good video, see the Wilton tutorial here.

Layer the top portion of the cake onto the frosting-covered bottom and pipe another rosette on the top layer, continuing the swirl all around in ever-decreasing circles to get a nice swirl.  Again, a great Wilton tutorial can be found here.

Add your monster horns by gently pressing them into the cupcake swirl and really impress your friends for that Halloween party!  These are best eaten the same day or stored in the fridge for a few days.

Link’s Monster Cake recipe:

    • Tabantha Wheat
    • Cane Sugar
    • Goat Butter
    • Monster Extract

Monster Cake

  • Servings: 15 3 inch cakes
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
  • Print

A chocolate cake layered with blackberry buttercream and topped with white chocolate horns

Recipe adapted from Devil’s Food Layer Cake by Elizabeth Pruitt from Tartine

Cake

  • 1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

White

  • 12 ounces white chocolate (morsels or baking chocolate)
  • 1/8 teaspoon purple GEL food coloring

Blackberry

  • 2 cups butter, at room temperature
  • 7 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup blackberries, washed and pureed

Directions

  1. Prepare a piping bag by inserting a medium round tip (#10 Wilton or similar). Place the bag in a cup, wrapping the top of the bag around the outside of the cup. Lay a piece of parchment paper out on the counter.
  2. Split the white chocolate into two bowls – 75% into a stainless steel bowl and 25% into any other bowl.
  3. Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a pot. When the water is lightly boiling, place the stainless steel bowl over the top, add the gel food coloring, and attach the candy thermometer. Ensure the tip of the thermometer is in the chocolate not touching the bowl.
  4. Gently stir the melting chocolate until even and the temperature reads 110°F.  5. Quickly remove the bowl from the pot and add a few morsels of chocolate.  Stir until completely dissolved, read the temperature, and add more chocolate. Continue adding and melting chocolate until the temperature reads 84°F. This is the temperature at which the chocolate will still be shiny and not brittle.
  5. When the chocolate reaches the correct temperature quickly add it to a piping bag and pipe the chocolate into horn shapes, 2 inches tall, on the parchment. Leave them on the parchment to cool and harden or put it in the fridge.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and butter and flour a sheet cake pan (18 x 26 inches with a 1 inch lip)
  7. Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or a bowl with a hand mixer) and beat on medium until soft.
  8. Add the sugar and beat on medium until fluffy and pale in color (about 2 minutes).
  9. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on low until each egg is fully incorporated, then bring the speed up to medium for several seconds until homogeneous.
  10. Add all the dry ingredients to a new bowl and whisk until they’re fully mixed.
  11. With the mixer off add the flour mixture in 3 equal batches alternately with the buttermilk in 2 equal batches. You should start and end with flour mixture.
  12. Add all the cake batter to the pan and smooth with a spatula. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick/cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center.  Put aside and cool completely.
  13. To make the butter cream first wash and blend or mash with a potato masher or fork all the blackberries.
  14. Add the butter and powdered sugar to a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or, again, a bowl with a hand mixer) and beat on low until the butter and powdered sugar have come slightly together.
  15. Add 3/4 of the blackberry puree to the bowl and beat on low until the mixture comes together and there’s no more dry powdered sugar. Beat on medium, check the consistency of the buttercream, and add more blackberries as needed to reach the right consistency. You’ll want the frosting to hug a spoon or spatula and not slip or fall when held upside down (called a medium consistency).  This will ensure the frosting is thick enough to hold your cakes steady.
  16. Once the cakes are completely cooled, cut out each shape with a 3 inch round cutter.
  17. In order to maximize the amount of cakes you get and to realistically frost and present the cakes cut each round in half lengthwise, dividing each round into 2 equal pieces.
  18. Fill a piping bag fit with a large flower tip (or star tip) with frosting, and pipe rosettes around each of the bottom pieces of cake. Do this by piping a fat star about 1/3 inch above the center of the cake then pipe a swirl around the outside of the cake. Do it in one motion to make a true rosette or two separate motions because no one will see it, anyway.
  19. Layer the top portion of the cake onto the frosting-covered bottom and pipe another rosette on the top layer, continuing the swirl all around in ever-decreasing circles to get a nice swirl.
  20. Add your monster horns by gently pressing them into the cupcake swirl and really impress your friends for that Halloween party! These are best eaten the same day or stored in the fridge for a few days

Prime Meat and Rice Bowl

Prime Meat and Rice Bowl

When I was a kid my cousins lived within a few blocks from us and nearly every Sunday was spent with them at our house or us at theirs for dinner.  And my very favorite thing my cousin made was homemade teriyaki chicken.  Delicious, incredible teriyaki chicken.  It was so good, and so special to her, that we called it Brenda-yaki chicken in honor of her.  Seriously.  It even says Brenda-yaki Chicken on my recipe card.  And I’m thrilled to share it with you because you’re going to love it, too!  You’ll like it.  So much that maybe you’ll call it *pause for dramatic effect* Teri-yaki chicken…

Prime Meat and Rice Bowl
time and difficulty

So lets start with the rice.  Honestly, this takes the longest, so lets get it going!  It’s just like the way we make rice in the Meat and Rice Bowl.  Simply add rice to the rice cooker, rinse several times, and add water until it covers up to the first joint in your pointer finger over the rice.  Turn it on.  And leave.  I really don’t know what I’d do without a rice cooker.

Next we need to cut the green onions into 1 inch-long strips.  Doesn’t have to be pretty, but it does need to come first.  You see, you could cut the chicken first and then cut the green onions, but you’d have to either dirty another knife and cutting board OR wash this one in between.  Let’s get real, folks, dishes are the worst.  So instead of taking all those extra steps (and in the name of food safety and Salmonella-less summers) we cut the onions and then the chicken!

Third, trim the excess fat off the chicken then slice it into strips about 1/2 inch wide and any length long.  That one’s a personal preference.  Now, let’s get real, I’m using boneless chicken thighs not because I prefer them, but because they’re what the recipe calls for.  You want it to be prime?  Gotta be chicken thighs.  So if you’d like to use chicken breasts, be my guest!  Though, now that I’ve used it, I may never go back – they were absolutely juicy and delicious!  I think I understand now why people sing the praises of thigh meat…

Okay – Focus!  Fourth is make the sauce.  Its pretty easy.  Measure out the sugar, soy sauce, and garlic powder into a container.  Stir until combined, taste for garlic adjustments (I like my garlic to be strong!) and allow to sit, stirring occasionally, to dissolve the sugars.

all the ingredients

And now, once the rice is done and on the “warm” setting, of course, we cook.  Why do we wait until the rice is done?  Because this takes about 6-7 minutes to cook and you don’t want to wait for your rice to finish while your chicken is getting cold.

Remember that wok I told you to buy?  Well it would sure come in handy about now!  Let’s pull it out, shall we?… Oh wait… you didn’t buy it?… Fine.  Be that way.  Well you can easily make this recipe in a pan.  Would it be better in a wok?  Of course, don’t be ridiculous.  But you can do it in a pan just fine.  Just follow all the steps like normal, then sit in a corner and think about what you’ve done.

boiling sauceAdd oil to the pan/wok and half the green onions.  Turn the heat on high, as high as it’ll go (for a wok) or medium high (for a pan) and wait until the onions start popping.  Add the chicken, sprinkle on the salt, and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes, or until they’re no longer pink on the outside.  Add the remainder of the green onions and all of the teriyaki sauce (which, if you kept stirring it, should have all the sugar dissolved).  Stir until everything is coated and allow to boil and cook for 3 more minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken.  Be warned, if you cook this in a pan, you’ll want to do it in a tall pan (maybe even a pot).  The sauce foams like crazy when it boils and it’ll grow to about double it’s height.  Don’t believe me?  Check out the photo.

teriyaki chicken detail

When the sauce is thickened turn off the heat, serve over rice, and enjoy!

Link’s Prime Meat and Rice Bowl recipe:

        • Raw Prime Meat or Raw Bird Thigh
        • Hylian Rice
        • Rock Salt

Prime Meat and Rice Bowl

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Chicken Teriyaki with homemade sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs, boneless
  • 1 bunch (5-6) green onions
  • 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sushi (Calrose) rice
  • enough water to cover the rice

Directions

  1. Rinse 2 cups of rice several times and then add to a rice cooker. Add water until the level is up to your first knuckle on your pointer finger when your finger is resting on top of the rice.
  2. Start the rice cooker
  3. Cut the green onions into 1 inch-long strips.
  4. Trim the excess fat from the chicken then it into strips about 1/2 inch wide and any length long. I prefer 2 inches long.
  5. Make the sauce by adding the sugar, soy sauce, and garlic powder in a container.  Stir until combined, taste for garlic adjustments and allow to sit, stirring occasionally, to dissolve the sugars.
  6. When the rice is cooked heat a wok on high or a pan/pot on medium high.
  7. Add oil to the pan/wok and half the green onions.
  8. Add the chicken, sprinkle on the salt, and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes, or until they’re no longer pink on the outside.
  9. Add the remainder of the green onions and all of the teriyaki sauce (which, if you kept stirring it, should have all the sugar dissolved).
  10. Stir until everything is coated and allow to boil and cook for 3 more minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken.  Be warned, if you cook this in a pan, you’ll want to do it in a tall pan or pot as the sauce foams like crazy when it boils and it’ll double it’s height.
  11. When the sauce is thickened turn off the heat, serve over rice, and enjoy!

Prime Poultry Pilaf

Prime Poultry Pilaf

As a working mom I am incredibly fond of easy make, easy clean up meals.  While I wish I could spend 5 hours making dinner every night, with fantastic results, I usually only have about an hour MAX to throw toward my favorite meal of the day.  And this recipe was so easy, and had so little hands-on time, it may become a new mid-week staple at our house.  Hey, if it’s good enough for Link, it’s good enough for me!

Prime Poultry PilafHeader and Meter

Start by taking the chicken out of the fridge about 10 minutes before you cook it.  Frankly, as a microbiologist, I cannot condone taking chicken out any earlier than that.  If you wanna know how I feel about poultry, as a microbiologist, find me on the twitter or the instagram…   But we do want to take the chill off the chicken before we cook it.  So 10 minutes is probably good.

seasoned chicken

Now here’s the normal drill: pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, rub with spices, and get ready for the most chill and delicious meal I’ve posted in a long, llloonnngggg time.

First and foremost, the easiest way to make this recipe is with a pan that can be used both on the stove and in the oven.  Cast iron, enameled cast iron, even some stainless steel pans can be used on the stove and in the oven.  I use an enameled cast iron pan for this and it made both making it and cleaning up a piece of cake.  If you don’t have anything that’ll work for both simply use a pan on the stove for the first part and we will get to the second part later.  But if you can possibly invest in an enameled cast iron braiser or pan, trust me, it’s worth it.

Second and secondmost, you’ll want to use a long grain, non-sticky rice for this recipe.  While I pledge my heart and soul to calrose sushi rice it simply doesn’t work for rice pilaf.  Jasmine rice or even long grain brown rice would work really well in this particular recipe.

Heat the oil in your chosen pan on medium.  When the oil is hot gently add the chicken by laying it away from you to prevent splashes.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the thigh.  Turn the chicken and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Using the side of your pan, lay the thighs up on each side for 1-2 minutes to sear in all the liquid.  You can do this by leaning them against each other and the side of the pan, then switching sides and repeating until all 6 sides (4 edges, 2 big sides) are seared.  Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate.

Add the chopped onion to the oil in the pan and cook until it begins to sweat, about 2-3 minutes.  At that point add the orzo pasta and continue stirring and cooking until the pasta begins to change color to a light brown, about 2 minutes.  Add the rice and cook until the rice is glistening, about 2-3 minutes.  Add about 1/4-1/3 cup of the chicken stock  and scrape hard at the bottom of the pan to deglaze it.  This will ensure all the delicious flavor (called fond) stuck at the bottom will be in your broth.  Add the remaining chicken stock and spices and stir.  Heat until simmering, stirring periodically.

add the chicken to the rice

Once the liquid is simmering gently lay the chicken on top of the rice mixture.  You want the chicken to rest on top of the rice, so gently is the key here.  Place the lid on the pan and put in the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes.  If you’re one of the poor, unfortunate souls (in pain, in need) who doesn’t have a pan that can transition between the stove and the oven oil an oven-safe pan that has a lid and transfer the liquid and rice to the pan.  Lay the chicken on top of the rice, cover, and place in the oven to bake.  This method may take 35-40 minutes to cook, because the pan isn’t hot going into the oven.  But don’t check the rice until 30 minutes.  At that point, if there is still liquid left, simply bake uncovered for 5-10 minutes until the liquid is gone.

check the rice

While the rice is cooking scramble an egg or two.  It’s as easy as heating up a small pan with the butter, adding two eggs, and pushing the eggs around until they’re set but not overcooked.  You got this.

After 30 minutes open the lid and check the rice for done-ness.  There should be no more liquid remaining and the rice should be nice and fluffy.  If you are worried about the chicken being cooked all the way through simply test it using an instant read thermometer.  The thighs should be at 165°F.  Add the eggs to the rice, mix, and fluff.  Serve with a side of veggies and enjoy!

chicken close up

Link’s Prime Poultry Pilaf recipe:

      • Raw Bird Thigh
      • Hylian Rice
      • Bird Egg
      • Goat Butter

Prime Poultry Pilaf

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
  • Print

One-pot chicken thighs with rice pilaf

Chicken

  • 5 chicken thighs, can be with or without bones
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Rice

  • 1 small onion
  • 1/4 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 3/4 cup long grain rice, such as Jasmine rice
  • 3.5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Take the chicken out of the fridge about 10 minutes before you cook it.
  3. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and rub with the spice rub.
  4. Heat the oil in a cast iron pan, or any pan that can be placed in the oven with a lid.
  5. When the oil is hot gently add the chicken by laying it away from you to prevent splashes.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the thigh.  Turn the chicken and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Using the side of your pan, lay the thighs up on each side for 1-2 minutes to sear in all the liquid.  You can do this by leaning them against each other and the side of the pan, then switching sides and repeating until all 6 sides (4 edges, 2 big sides) are seared.  Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate.
  6. Add the chopped onion to the oil in the pan and cook until it begins to sweat, about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add the orzo pasta and continue stirring and cooking until the pasta begins to change color to a light brown, about 2 minutes.
  8. Add the rice and cook until the rice is glistening, about 2-3 minutes.
  9. Add about 1/4-1/3 cup of the chicken stock and scrape hard at the bottom of the pan to deglaze it.  Add the remaining chicken stock and spices and stir.  Heat until simmering, stirring periodically.
  10. Once the liquid is simmering gently lay the chicken on top of the rice mixture. Place the lid on the pan and put in the oven.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes.
  12. While the rice is cooking heat up a small pan with the butter. When the butter begins bubbling add the two eggs and cook, stirring continually until they’re set but not overcooked.
  13. After 30 minutes open the lid and check the rice for done-ness.  There should be no more liquid remaining and the rice should be nice and fluffy.  If you are worried about the chicken being cooked all the way through simply test it using an instant read thermometer.  The thighs should be at 165°F.  Serve with a side of veggies and enjoy!

Meat Pie

Meat Pie

It’s been a while.  I know this.  I have no apology.  But what I do have is this incredible and easy Meat Pie recipe.  Trust me, you’ll accidentally eat every single one the second they cool down enough to shove into your mouth.  And you won’t even feel bad about it.  So in honor of that feeling, let’s get rid of all guilt associated with not posting for a while and just get on with the show!

OH! And as a side note, I finished exploring every. little. section and area of BotW except the final castle.  It’s done!  And tonight I’m totally finishing the castle.  Here’s hoping I find the last few things I’m missing there…

And without further waiting on your end:

Meat Piedifficulty and time

Start by making the pastry dough.  This has to chill for at least an hour so it should always be your first step.  If you want to make the dough far ahead it can be chilled up to overnight in the fridge before use.  So make life, and dinner, a little easier on yourself and make it when you have a spare 10 minutes.

Put some water into a cup and add a cube or two of ice.  The colder the water, the better the pastry will turn out.  Add the flour to a bowl and cut up the cold (it must be cold, just like the pie crust recipe in Apple Pie) butter into 1-2 tablespoon chunks.

Now let’s rub the cold butter into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs with some pea-sized chunks of butter left.  You don’t want it too fine or you won’t get a nice flaky crust!  … maybe next time I’ll make a gif of how to do this.  I’m just now realizing that would probably be nice…

Now add 2/3 cup water to the dough and mix until it completely comes together and forms a ball.  This is a far more forgiving recipe than my pie crust (even though the method is the same) so a little extra handling won’t necessarily hurt it… but I wouldn’t work it too much.  You should still see large chunks of butter in your dough.

Split it in half and press into a square shape about an inch thick.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready for it.

Now, the key to the filling on this meat pie is dicing everything up really small.  Like, say, 1/4 inch cubes.  This goes for the carrots, the onion, and the roast.  Normally with my recipes size doesn’t really matter.  But in this case we want everything to cook properly and be able to squish as much as possible in the little pastry cases, so size becomes very important.

add the bowl

Once they’re all cut up put them together in a bowl and mix with a spoon to combine.  Add all the spices and stir until the spices coat everything.  I’d start with the smallest amount of spices and then, based on look and smell (please don’t taste it!  There’s raw meat in there…) add the rest if you feel like it’s necessary.  I, personally, use all the spices.  I like my food to have some flavor!  Also – yeah, yeah, I know that meat pie doesn’t traditionally have random vegetables thrown in.  But I can’t really make something like this, which feels like a full meal, without adding at least one vegetable to it.  So it’ll be fine.

mix it up

Take the dough from the refrigerator and lightly flour a large surface.  Place the dough on the surface and roll it out into a large rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick.

roll it out

Start by rolling in once direction several times until it makes a large square.  Then rotate it 90°, add more flour under the dough, and roll it out until it forms your triangle.  Repeat with the other piece, making sure both are the same size.

Take the largest round cutter you have (mine happened to be 3.5 inches long) and cut circles into your pastry.  Cut the same amount of circles into each pastry rectangle – these will serve as your bottom and your top.  If you’re really feeling ambitious you can gather the scraps and roll them out once more for even more pies.  I didn’t really feel like doing that so I simply threw the scraps away.  If you’re feeling lazy and the idea of wasted scraps horrifies you, simply cut the pastry into an equal amount (and equal sizes) of squares on both pastries and call it good.  It’s all about presentation and how much you’re willing to give to it.

rounds of pastry

Transfer half of the square/circle pastries to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.  Fill each square/circle with your meat filling.  Now, we want to fill to within 1/2 inch of the sides of the pastry case and we want it to be no more than stacked double in the center.  That’s very specific, I know, but if you fill it too much the case will either split mid-bake or you’ll be unable to get the top on in the first place!

add the filling

Next, dip your fingers into water and brush the empty edges of the pastries.  Lay the last half of the pastries on top of the first half to make enclosed pies.  Gently press the pastries halves together with your fingers and then seal with a fork by pressing into the edges.  This will crimp the pastries together and (fingers crossed) hopefully prevent them from leaking.  After your pastries are crimped poke 3-4 holes in the top.  It helps release the steam to prevent mini explosions in your oven

Whisk an egg with a fork and brush the top of the pastries with the beaten egg.  This will give you a nice, beautiful, crispy, shiny crust!  The best kind, in my opinion!  Place in the oven and bake for about 45-60 minutes, or until the pastries are nice and browned and/or and internal temperature has been reached of about 165ish.  We can be less specific because we’re using roast and beef instead of poultry.

Remove from the oven and serve warm!

not header

Link’s Meat Pie recipe:

      • Any Meat
      • Goat Butter
      • Rock Salt
      • Tabantha Wheat

Meat Pie

  • Servings: 13 3 inch pies
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Meat pies with carrots and onion

Pastry

  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (455g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 5 tablespoons (300g) cold butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (150ml) ice cold water

Filling

  • 1 pound beef roast
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/4 medium onion
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt
  • 2-3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons black pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F and add some ice to a small cup of water.
  2. Add the flour and salt to a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces. Add the butter to the flour and begin rubbing it between your fingers while adding flour. This will create a breadcrumb-like texture. Make sure you leave some butter pieces as large as peas.
  3. Add 2/3 cup of your ice water and mix until combined. There should still be chunks of butter visible in the dough.
  4. Split the dough into two equal pieces, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour but up to overnight.
  5. Dice the roast, carrots, and onion into small 1/4 inch cubes. Place them in a bowl and mix with a spoon until combined.
  6. Add the smaller amount of spices and then, based on look and smell add the rest if you feel it’s necessary.  I, personally, use all the spices. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
  7. Take the dough from the refrigerator and lightly flour a large surface.  Place the dough on the surface and roll it out into a large rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick.
  8. Roll the dough by rolling in once direction several times until it makes a large square.  Then rotate it 90°, add more flour under the dough, and roll it out until it forms your triangle.
  9. Repeat with the other piece, making sure both are the same size.
  10. Using a large round cutter cut circles into your pastry. Repeat on the other half of the pastry dough, ensuring you have the same amount of circles on each side. You may gather the scraps and re-roll the dough to cut more circles if you wish, but only re-roll once to prevent a tough pastry. Or, alternatively, cut your pastry into even squares, ensuring there’s an even number on each half.
  11. Transfer half of the square/circle pastries to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.  Fill each square/circle with your meat filling to within 1/2 inch of the sides of the pastry case and no more than stacked double in the center.
  12. Dip your fingers into water and brush the empty edges of the pastries.
  13. Lay the last half of the pastries on top of the first half to make enclosed pies.  Gently press the pastries halves together with your fingers and then seal with a fork by pressing into the edges.  Poke 3-4 holes in the top.
  14. Whisk an egg with a fork and brush the top of the pastries with the beaten egg. Place in the oven and bake for about 45-60 minutes, or until the pastries are nice and browned and/or and internal temperature has been reached of about 165ish. Serve warm.