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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Roasted Carrot, Leek, and Goat Cheese Hand Pies

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I was never a big Hot Pocket eater, mostly because processed foods have never been all that appealing to me, even as a kid or teenager. Sure, I have had a soft spot for Pop-Tarts and a period in 8th grade where I couldn’t get enough of Ho-Ho’s, but that was pretty much the extent of it. I definitely understand the appeal of Hot Pockets though. Besides their convenience, who doesn’t want to eat something heavy on the ‘crust’ and full of warm cheesy goodness?! It’s the same reason I love calzones, preferably made on the grill!
 When the DahliaBakery Cookbook was sent to me a few weeks ago, I was giddy with excitement. I’ve long been obsessed with everything Tom Douglas-related in Seattle, as you saw when I recreated his pizza at Serious Pie and drooled over the breakfast biscuits at SeriousBiscuit. I’ve tried several other of his restaurants and fell in love with the famous Coconut Cream Pie at Dahlia Bakery. Surprisingly, though, it was the savory hand pies that I first honed in on, although the coconut pie recipe is in the cookbook and I will be making it!
 Something about roasted carrots and goat cheese wrapped up in a whole-wheat crust sounded like the perfect fall food. These were certainly more complicated than sticking a Hot Pocket in the microwave, but I split the steps up and it was much more manageable. On day 1, I made the filling and the crust, refrigerating both overnight. I’ll be honest, I was ready to throw the recipe aside and just eat the filling by itself. Why don’t I roast carrots more often? Divine! Day 2 was spent rolling out the dough and adding the filling before sealing and baking the hand pies. Next time I’ll double the recipe and freeze extras to pull out for a quick dinner.
I’ve yet to be disappointed by anything from Tom Douglas and these hand pies proved this once again. The filling was a tad salty for me, especially with the addition of kalamata olives so I adjusted the recipe accordingly (if you skip the olives, add some salt to the filling). This dough managed to be both hearty and flaky. It didn’t tear, making it easy to work with.

The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook is as delightful as I anticipated and while I can’t wait to try some of the sweeter recipes, the hand pies were an excellent introduction to the book!  Served with a salad or some soup, these are sophisticated enough to serve to company and yet homey enough to conjure up memories of Hot Pockets!

Want your own copy of the Dahlia Bakery Cookbook? Leave a comment telling me, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, one thing you're thankful right now! I'll accept comments until Sunday at 8 pm Central...winner will be randomly picked and announced on Monday!

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Roasted Carrot, Leek, and Goat Cheese Hand Pies
from The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook

for the dough-
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
-1 tbsp sugar
-1 tsp kosher salt
-1/2 cup unsalted butter, very cold (place in the freezer for 30 min before using)
-1/4 cup sour cream
-3/4 cup + 1-2 tbsp ice cold water

for the filling-
-1 medium-large leek, white and light green parts only, root end trimmed
-2 tsp unsalted butter
-1/4 cup plus 2 tsp olive oil
-1/2 cup water
-2 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch dice
-1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
-1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
-2 tsp finely chopped garlic
-1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
-4 1/2 oz soft fresh goat cheese

for the egg wash-
-1 large egg yolk
-1 tbsp cold water

1. To make the dough, put the flours, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse several times, until the butter is in crumbs slightly smaller than pea size.
2. Add the sour cream and pulse a few times, then add 3/4 cup of ice-cold water and pulse a few times. Make sure you can clump the dough together with your fingers. If the dough seems too dry, add more cold water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing a few times to incorporate the water.
3. Place the dough onto a work surface and gather it together with your hands, pressing into a flattened rectangle, about 5 x 6 inches. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour before using.
4. To make the filling, preheat the oven to 425F. Slice the leek in half lengthwise and wash it before slicing and chopping the leek crosswise.
5. Heat the butter and 2 tsp of the olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped leek and saute until limp, stirring as needed, for about 3 minutes. Add the water to the pan, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the leeks are soft, stirring occasionally (10-15 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and set aside, uncovered.
6. To roast the carrots, put them in a bowl, add the remaining 1/4 cup of oil and the pepper. Sprinkle with salt and mix all together to toss evenly. Roast for about 30 minutes until the carrots are soft, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle the carrots with the thyme and garlic and roast for an additional 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the garlic and herbs are fragrant.
7. Place half of the carrots into the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer the carrot puree to a bowl and add the remaining carrots, leeks, and olives, mixing together with a spatula. Season with additional salt and pepper.
8. To form the hand pies, unwrap the dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Use a rolling pin to roll out each portion of dough into an 8 1/2 by 6 inch rectangle.
9. Preheat the oven to 375F. To shape the hand pies, put a rectangle on the work surface with the short edge of the dough facing you. To make the egg wash, beat the egg yolk with the tablespoon of water. Use a pastry brush to brush a 1-inch border of egg wash all the way around the rectangle.
10. Place about 1/2 cup of the carrot-leek filling on the rectangle of dough, off-center, placing it closer to one of the shorter edges of the dough, but not covering the egg washed border. Slightly flatten the filling and sprinkle with some of the goat cheese.
11. Bring up the other short edge of the dough and fold it over the filling, covering the filling completely. Crimp the edges of the dough with a fork and seal them well. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough and filling. Place the filled hand pies on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, 3 on each baking sheet. Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash, then use a small sharp knife to cut a few slits in each one.
12. Bake the hand pies for 30-35 minutes, until the filling is hot and the dough is golden brown, rotating the pans and switching them between the racks halfway through the baking time. Remove the pans from the oven and allow to cool on wire racks. Serve warm.