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Pot Pies: Comfort Food Under Cover Hardcover – January 18, 2000
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Diane Phillips lures you into her cookbook with a picture of the perfect pot pie, topped with a lid of golden-brown, flaky crust. Inside this cookbook, though, you'll find that what Phillips offers is not your grandmother's labor-intensive pot pie. Indeed, most of the 75 recipes are suited to the limited time and dietary desires of today's cooks. Her easy-to-assemble fillings emphasize chicken breast, lean meat, and other healthful ingredients, while the toppings can be put together in a snap. About the only old-fashioned thing Phillips keeps in her pot pies is lots of full, intense flavor.
The first recipe, Chicken Bouillabaisse with Rouille Crust, tells it all. The filling consists of boneless thighs simmered with white wine, saffron, tomatoes, and rice. For a crust, you spread toasted slices of French bread with a garlicky red pepper and olive oil purée, set them over the casserole-like filling, and bake until everything is bubbling hot. Reading on, you realize that Phillips sees a pot pie simply as something covered by a layer of something. Ryan's Pie, chicken chunks in thyme-perfumed cream sauce under a puff pastry lid, is as close to classic as she gets. From there, you find such combinations as turkey meatloaf baked under a layer of mashed potatoes enriched with bacon and sour cream, and lean pork, stewed Tuscan-style with red wine and vegetables, served under a polenta crust.
Phillips is so creative in working her idea that you are fascinated even by the delicious-looking results from her most fanciful flights, in which everything from tortillas and risotto to slices of sautéed eggplant, mashed beans, ratatouille, and a blue-cheese custard serve as toppings. Among the least-expected choices are a stir-fry topped with a pancake of pan-crisped noodles, and sautéed fish covered with mango salsa and passed under the broiler. Phillips tells when you can make a dish in steps, and how long each one keeps in the refrigerator and in the freezer. For those concerned about fat, she tells how to substitute leaner choices in place of cheese, cream, and butter. If you like casserole cooking, want to get stimulating variety for basics like boneless chicken, and appreciate the value of one-dish meals, Pot Pies will be a pleasing kitchen companion. --Dana Jacobi
From Publishers Weekly
Convinced that pot pies are the quintessential comfort food, Phillips (The Perfect Mix) has collected 85 recipes that take a new look at an old favorite. While she praises the kind of cooking most baby boomers grew up with, her sophisticated dishes have nothing in common with the frozen pot pies of yesteryear and rely on ingredients from many regional and international cuisines. Phillips offers an abundance of the kind of satisfaction that comes from good eating; however, many of the recipes here are missing the crucial pot-pie ingredient--pie crust. There are biscuits, probably the most traditional option, as well as mashed potatoes, borrowed from the humble shepherd's pie. There are roasted vegetable toppings, cheese and breadcrumbs, mashed beans, tortillas, crispy fried noodles, the ubiquitous polenta and even foccacia. New takes on American regional favorites--from Lobster Pie, which is bathed in a sherry bisque and topped with buttery breadcrumbs, to a Southwestern-inspired chicken pot pie with a tortilla and corn crust--are included, along with French, Mediterranean and Asian selections. It's hard to resist Beef Burgundy with Boursin Potato Cake Crust, Down East Clam Pie with Bacon Biscuit Crust or Snapper Veracruz with Jalape?o Jack Cheese Crust. Phillips offers a flexible outlook and suggests many ways to use leftovers. (Jan.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
I am a visual learner and glean lots of information from presentation photos and process photos in cookbooks. Unfortunately, this cookbook has neither. The only picture you get is the dust jacket. The rest of the book is only text. I'm sure it's quite suitable for many, but I don't prefer it for teaching me how to cook these various pot pies.
I will gladly recommend this book without hesitation!
Other than the photo on the dust jacket, there are no illustrations of the pot pies in the book. It might have helped.
Chapters include: The Pot Pie Pantry; Chicken and Turkey Pot Pies; Meat Pot Pies; Seafood Pot Pies; Vegetable Pot Pies; and a Source Guide.
I prefer Elinor Klivans' pot pie cookbook-although her definition of pot pie is also a bit loose, as well. I have not yet tried any of Diane Phillips' recipes, with or without a traditional crust, which may be a bit unfair, but I have tried a ham pot pie of Elinors' and I liked it a lot and so did my company.