Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pie for Dinner!

Do you love complements and enjoy savory pie? I've got the perfect recipe! This is one of those dishes I can remember my mother making. I think I enjoyed it back then (I hope I told her so?), and I know my family and I enjoy it now!

from Recipes for a Small Planet by Ellen Buchman Ewald:
Complementary Pie
  • 3/4 cup raw brown rice (or barley), cooked
  • 1/2 cup dry beans, cooked (use large colorful beans like kidneys or black)
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp crushed dried tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce

While the beans are rice are cooking, saute the sliced onions in the butter until they are very soft and just begin to turn golden. Set them aside. 
Beat the milk into the eggs; stir in the grated cheese, salt, tarragon, and worcestershire sauce. 
Then fold in the sauteed onions, cooked beans, and cooked rice.
Turn the mixture into an oiled 10-inch pie plate. 
Bake at 325 F for 25 to 30 mins, until the custard has set and the edges are browned. Let stand for 10 mins before serving, then slice into wedges.
Variation--Complementary Pie with Crust: Prepare any whole wheat pie crust for a more elegant pie. Use a larger pie pan, press the crust in, pour in the custard, and bake as above.

Of course, much of the Small Planet premise (that ingredients must be combined in carefully-considered amounts so that the dishes contain "complete proteins") has since been largely debunked; it's not nearly so difficult to eat well as a vegetarian. But that in no way means that Ewald's recipes shouldn't be made and enjoyed. Reading through the cookbook is a pleasure (for me); it's interesting, even if its concern for amino acids is unnecessary, and the recipes themselves are well-described, delicious-sounding, and hearty. Plus, I appreciate her suggestions for sides, breads, and salads. Makes planning an entire meal simple. This cookbook is staying on my shelf, and this dish will continue to be a favorite for years to come.

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