Last week my hubs took me to one of my favorite local restaurants – Birchwood Cafe. I was particularly hungry for something hot (BTW – what’s up with the total failure of global warming to transform Minnesota into a tropical paradise by now?) and filling, like a juicy steak! This place caters to vegans so no steak, as a matter of fact there was no beef at all on the menu that day. I took a leap of faith and ordered, then cheerfully devoured, a squash hand pie.
That was four days ago and I still have an internal smile. I decided to use this cream cheese pastry crust recipe and this buffalo chicken filling to make a hand pie that would hopefully make my family smile, too.
- First: Prep your crust, roll it out, cut it into squares and pop it into the fridge. It needs to chill for 30 minutes.
- Second: Put all your buffalo chicken ingredients into a Cuisinart Food Processor and pulse until things are pretty much blended but only roughly chopped. I used a rotisserie chicken that I took off the bone and I used some celery for texture since I was putting it into a pie crust.
- Now, TASTE YOUR FILLING! Add more salt, hot sauce, or whatever because if it doesn’t taste good now, you won’t like the finished product.
- Here’s the tricky part, but you can do it. Take your chilled pastry out and put a decent sized scoop of chicken mixture in the middle Flatten it out with your palm – either put your hand inside a baggie or keep your palm wet for this part. Then fold the pastry over like an envelope – pointy parts to the middle. Use a bit of water to seal the edges and crimp the open spots on the sides to seal them. If you want them to look perfect you’ll have to have perfect square. As you can see, I don’t do perfect!
- Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling.
The end result: my kids and hubs devoured them and took them for lunch the next day. It was a recipe that got them to smile and they said it tasted awesome! I used the only flour I had in the house, white whole wheat flour (gasp), so I was less than happy with the pastry crust and didn’t think the filling had enough texture to make it awe inspiring, but it ended up being a gourmet meal with a man friendly twist. If the family is happy about an experimental meal I make, I am always happy.