• Tommy Centola

Try savory pie as appetizer, main course

When you think of pie, the first thing that comes to my mind is a dessert pie. While those are wonderful for the end of a meal, there are also savory pies that are great as an appetizer or main course. You may ask, what types of fillings would go into these savory pies? I’m glad you asked.

Today, I want to share with you two savory hand held pies that are South Louisiana staples. The first is the Natchitoches Meat Pie, a combination of ground beef and pork with seasonings. The second is a twist on the cliché Crawfish Pie. Both pies are and excellent way to start a meal. What are we waiting for? Let’s head to the kitchen!

Natchitoches is known for their Christmas Festival. For six weeks, the city is decked out in all its holiday spirit. As much as I love Christmas, I think the Meat Pie is their greatest accomplishment. I know I’m bias when it comes to food related things. With your first bite, I believe that you will agree with me.

Natchitoches Meat Pies

1 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon flour

½ cup onion, minced

¼ cup celery, minced

¼ cup green bell pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Creole seasoning

1 (15oz package) refrigerated pie dough at room temperature

Preheat deep fryer to 375℉. Heat oil in a large skillet over

medium low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until it is a nutty brown

color, 2-3 minutes. Stir in vegetables and cook until soft and onions

are transparent, about 5 minutes. Add meats and brown until no longer

pink, about 10 minutes. Stir in the Creole seasoning and drain the fat.

Cool to room temperature. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the

dough to a thickness of ¼ inch. Use a 5-inch cookie cutter to cut

circles in the dough. Place a heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture

and put it in the center of the dough round. Fold the dough over and

seal the edges using a fork. You may need to reroll the dough scraps to

make 15 meat pies. Deep fry pies in small batches until golden brown,

about 3-4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve while hot.

There are many ways to prepare Crawfish Pie. You can prepare a large pie that feeds many or individual pies. Here is a handheld version. It’s great for any get together. Just be careful, they are very addictive.

Crawfish Pie

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup onions, finely chopped

1/4 cup celery, finely chopped

1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning

1 1/2 pounds crawfish tails, roughly chopped

1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

20 puffed pastry 4 inch squares, cut from large sheets

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Egg Wash, see below

Preheat oven to 375 ℉.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add onions, celery, bell pepper and Creole seasoning. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring a few times. Add crawfish and stir. Cook for 2 minutes. Add green onions, garlic and parsley. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Pour mixture into a medium-sized bowl and let cool for about 3 minutes. Arrange pastry sheet like a diamond. Place 2 tablespoons of crawfish mixture on each sheet. Fold into triangle, sealing with beaten egg. Brush top of each with egg wash. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Egg Wash

2 slightly beaten eggs

1 cup milk

Mix together. Discard after use.

The versatility of pie fillings is endless. Whether it is sweet or savory, pie is great for any part of your meal. Today, it was savory pies. Next time, I will share a few traditional dessert pies with you. Until then, Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!


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