May 5, 2012

Southwestern-Style Chicken and Sausage Pies

Contrary to what this blog may have led you to believe, I do cook. Like real food. Actual food. It's just most of the time when I cook, I make it up as I go along. You've heard this song before, right? With cooking, you don't have to be as precise as with baking. You can do a pinch here, a dollop there, season to taste, that sort of thing. That's why I never have recipes for what I cook. I really never call it cooking, I say I made up food. Or, more recently, I just call it "up food." Why "up food," you ask? Well, one day when I made dinner, I had a conversation with my father that went something like this:

Dad: What's for dinner?
Me: I dunno. I made up food.
Dad: What's up food?

Yeah, he was completely serious, too.

So anyway, I had this craving for meat pies in puff pastry the other day. I decided that it should be chicken and sausage, and have onions and tomatoes, and be a little bit spicy. So I stopped at the grocery store, bought the ingredients, and made up food.

This is the filling, which is great on it's own, served over rice.
In my mind, these are a cross between an empanada and a Cornish pasty. However, having never actually made either, I'm not exactly sure what's similar about them except it's meat wrapped in pastry crust. *Shrugs*

And yes, I used taco seasoning, so I'm shamelessly using that fact to make this my Cinco de Mayo post. I never wanted to be that person, but what are you gonna do, eh? At least I balked at calling it Mexican. I haven't sunk that low. Besides, my brother swears that putting "-Style" in the name has me covered, since the Italian Jersey girl isn't claiming that it's actually Southwestern. Send complaints to him.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
These make great appetizers, or serve them with some rice and veggies for dinner. I used reduced-sodium taco seasoning, tomatoes with cilantro and lime juice, and chili lime hot sauce, but feel free to use your favorites. Customize it to your tastes and make your own up food.

Southwestern-Style Chicken and Sausage Pies {Printable Version}
 Yield: 18 pies

2 packages frozen puff pastry sheets
1 pound sausage meat (without casings)
1 pound chicken breasts, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 (16 oz.) can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, drained
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. taco seasoning
Pinch crushed red pepper
1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water
Dash of hot sauce (optional)

Thaw the puff pastry sheets according to the directions on the package. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat
the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and sauté until fragrant. Add the
onions and cook until they start to turn translucent. Add the sausage meat, chicken, and taco seasoning.
Cook, stirring constantly, until the chicken and sausage are fully cooked. Mix in the tomatoes and hot
sauce, if using, and take off of the heat.

Preheat the oven to 430°. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut each puff pastry sheet into 9 even
squares. Put about 1½-2 tbsp. of the meat mixture on one of the pastry squares. Brush the edges with
water and top with a second square. Use a fork to seal the edges together, and score the top with a
knife. Move to a cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining pastry squares. Using a pastry brush, brush the
tops of the pies with the beaten egg mixture. Bake 13-15 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and golden.
Serve warm.

Recipe by Kim
What's up food? It's the same as up doc..... oh snap!