Random thoughts as I played with more filling combinations for Savory Hand Pies and a Minty Cucumber Sour Cream Sauce.
|Photo: Savory Sausage Hand Pie with a side of Minty Cucumber Sour Cream Sauce|
More Savory Hand Pies? Well, why not? my Asparagus Mushroom Hand Pies were a success (after tweaking the recipe and adding some lemon zest) and I was on a roll with some new filling combinations to try. Once again frozen pie dough made for a quick and easy baking session.
Asparagus starred as a repeat ingredient, of course, since it was local and fresh. This time I severed the tips, halved each thick spear lengthwise and then cut them into short pieces. Tossed with oil and minced garlic, all of the pieces were sauted in a cast iron skillet until softened and lightly browned. Sprinkled with lemon zest they were tempting to nibble on "as is".
Caramelized onions should add a sweet/savory backnote to each of the three filling combinations. The thin slices of white onion cooked low and slow in a dash of oil and butter until lightly caramelized. Some recipes call for a finish of brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, but this batch did not require any flavor boost.
Sweet Italian pork - crumbled, cooked and drained - joined the party as a savory meat option. Yum! a flavor-packed spicy sausage, asparagus and onion mixture would be perfect for a cool-weather Spring treat.
Sausage and kale pair well tastewise in any season, so a bowl of braised kale joined shredded cheeses and toasted pine nuts as the remaining filling choices.
Center column: braised kale, Italian sausage, caramelized onion pies topped with mozzarella.
Right column: all of the above ingredients plus lemon zest and pine nuts.
All three of the fillings rated high marks, though my personal favorite was the everything hand pie. I love my pizza slices loaded with ingredients and evidently prefer hand pies the same way. That said, next time I'll simplify the ingredient mix, experiment with new flavor combos, and make a sweet hand pie or two for RL to enjoy.
The simple asparagus/caramelized onion filling surprised me with its overly sweet flavor punch. A quickly mixed faux tzatziki sauce tamed the sweetness, balancing sweet and savory with some light flavor pops. The same sauce boosted the appeal of the kale/sausage/onion filling.
...and what do you do with leftover spoonfuls of filling? I tossed it all into a ramekin for a delicious baked snack. Once again... Yum!
Minty Cucumber Sour Cream Sauce - faux Tzatziki
1/2 English cucumber, shredded and wrung dry in a tea towel
2 green onions, green and white parts minced
2 Tbs fresh mint leaves, minced
1 tsp dried dill
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbs lemon juice
dashes of green Tabasco, to taste (optional)