Since approximately seventy-five percent of American households enjoy the traditional side dish of frozen green bean and mushroom soup casserole topped with a toss of those bits of funky canned, frizzled onions, I will refrain from singing to the choir and not present the recipe for it here. I can guarantee that a Google search will pull up hundreds, if not thousands, of results.
Yet there is another American culinary institution, the pot pie, that is an ideal vehicle to rid yourself of those lingering festive-feast leftovers without resorting to surreptitiously scraping the mass of vegetable-spiked creamy mayhem into the dustbin. Waste not, want not. After all, it's not that it's beyond redemption, but it could do with a makeover. Concealed beneath a leavened layer of pastry embedded with those cult-favorite onions, last week's wickedly rich recipe returns as this week's luxurious, little lunch.
The scratch crust, from one of my favorite cookbooks, is a dream of ease and pliability. You cannot miss for the making of it, although given the largesse of the recipe, you will find yourself with yet more leftovers. So roll, cut, and bake yourself some tender home-style biscuits with the dough, splitting the difference with a patch of melted butter.
Green Bean Mushroom Casserole Leftover Pot Pie - Crust adapted from Betty Groff's Pennyslvania Dutch Cookbook
3 cups green bean mushroom casserole leftovers (or any stew or vegetable dish that has a good gravy or sauce that would be improved by reheating)
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
3 tablespoons dried parsley
1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, room temperature
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup flour for rolling dough
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup canned fried onions
Preheat oven to 350 °F. In a large saucepan, gently reheat the leftovers. Turn off heat; reserve.
In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together. Working quickly with your hands, rub and toss fats into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles evenly coarse meal. Make sure you work out any obvious lumps. With a large spoon or rubber spatula, beat in milk 1/4 cup at a time, making sure that you mix well after the last addition to ensure that dry ingredients are all incorporated. Let rest for 5 minutes. With floured hands, gather dough into a soft ball; it will gather easily and hold its shape well. Place dough on well-floured surface and roll it to 3/4-inch thick. Invert 3-4 cup oven-proof baking dish over rolled down, pressing down and turning to cut a perfect circle or square. Wipe dough off edges of dish. Fill dish with reheated leftovers. Carefully lift cut dough and place on filling.
Cut dough in several places with knife tip for steam escape. Brush tablespoon of milk on dough surface. Lightly press fried onions on dough. Place baking dish on cookie sheet and position on center rack of oven. Tent a small piece of foil over top to prevent onions from browning before the crust. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil tent. Bake an additional 20 minutes or until crust itself is brown. Serve immediately. --
See you very soon!