Trying Old Recipes in New Ways

There are some recipes that are classics for different cultures. These foods tend to become the stereotypical food for those cultures, even if the food comes from a smaller portion of the population. Some great examples would be steak and kidney pie or paella or even biriyani. So these foods are pretty well known within a particular culture. One common food in the US that many have at least heard of, if not tried at least once, is chicken pot pie. For those who have never heard of this food, it is a mixture of chicken, multiple veggies (such as corn, peas, and carrots), and a creamy sauce inside of a pie crust. Now there are ways to play with this concept.

One such way would be to play with what veggies you include. For example, your veggies could be mirepoix (onions, celery, and carrots) with some peas. This is one of the adjustments that I made this past weekend for my version of chicken pot pie. I made a couple of changes that turned out pretty okay. These changes weren’t massive, they were small changes based on what is the typical recipe. I feel like that tends to be important. If you are going to play with a recipe, try to keep to similar items or perhaps more importantly, similar flavors. Just because something is similar in type of food/ingredient, doesn’t mean that it is going to turn out the same. Pay attention to the flavors and role that the item has in the recipe. So I played with the veggies. I made some other changes/substitutions as well.

Another change that I made was the sauce. Normally the sauce is created by sauteing veggies in butter and adding flour and milk to make a white sauce. I did not have the patience for that nor did I want to make that many dishes. So instead, I grabbed a couple of cream of mushroom soup containers. They were condensed soups. If you plan on recreating this, you probably only need one if the soup is not condensed, although I don’t know if I would recommend using soup that is not the condensed style. I have a feeling that it won’t turn out right. So I used some condensed cream of mushroom soup and added a couple tablespoons of sour cream. I had a container of sour cream that I needed to empty out, so I decided to use it in the pot pie.

Finally the other change was in regards to the crust. So I made the pot pie in a good sized casserole dish. I also ended up using biscuits, Pillsbury biscuit style. If you have never seen these, it is raw dough in pre-formed pieces in a pressurized can. You open the can, pull the premade biscuits out of the can, and bake them like normal biscuits (I think the best British equivalent that I can give is a dinner roll but denser). So I put a container of biscuits on top. So I didn’t change the classic recipe too far. I stayed with familiar flavors and textures but my changes made it easier for me to make it with fewer dishes. What recipes have you changed up or played with? Would you try a pot pie like the one I made? Please answer below with your comments and thank you for reading.

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