Thursday, September 13, 2012

Round pie with square puff pastry

My Quay Lo often said he is a square peg in a round hole living in Malaysia. However, he said he learned a lot about the Asian culture over the years. For example, he loves Chinese, Malay and Indian food. He used to eat our local spicy fare,, sometimes even exceeding my own threshold for the heat,, but now, though he still loves it, his system is not so tolerant as it once was. He has also observed how, in our culture, a hundred conversations can go on at the same time in a gathering, and that we don't mean to be rude or exclude him. Now, when he wants to be  heard, he just speaks the loudest. He observes that it isn't often that he feels the need to be the loudest and still believes that it is far better to simply remain silent and listen. Though he has learned to use some common phrases in Cantonese, like, “Hai Lor” (Right) or “MM goy lay ah” (Thank you), even those he uses only based on the situation.

I remember once we were in a taxi in Singapore and the driver was a Chinese old uncle and spoke very little English. 
Listen to the conversation between my Quay Lo and him:

Old Uncle: “Today, hot ar?”

My Quay Lo : “Hai Lor.” (Right).

Old Uncle was so impressed and asked : You speak Chinese?”

My Quay Lo: “Siu, siu, ngor kay tai tai kow ngor.”  (A little, my wife taught me).

Old uncle was even more impressed and started to speak to him in Cantonese, the whole trip from then on, and my Quay Lo kept saying “Hai Lor, Hai Lor." (Right, Right). When we reached our destination and alighted from the taxi,  he thanked the old uncle in Cantonese, “MM koi lay ar.” (Thank you.) That put a big smile on the old man’s face. As we walked away,  I asked him if he knew what the old uncle was talking about. "Some of it" he replied, "but mostly I had no idea".  So tell me, do you think he is a square peg in a round hole, living here? I don't think so, he fit right in. He is just like my pie, he fits in although not uniformly.  He managed to make the old uncle think that he had a nice conversation with a friendly Quay Lo. Which of course, he had. Maybe it even made the uncle's day.  I guess as long as one accepts their own shape, one will always find a way to fit in. Just don’t let your shape box you in. I did not let the shape of my puff pastry box me in, I went ahead and made the pie anyway.

My Quay Lo said this pie looked like it had been repaired but then I still made a round pie with square puff pastries and, as he testified,  a very delicious one! A little stretch here, and a tuck there, and it seemed to work. Isn't it true that in life we all occasionally have to do that? If we don't have the right shape, no big deal. As my Quay Lo says, humans are the most adaptable creatures on earth. That is a very good principle for the kitchen I think. Quay Lo loves savory pastries. I made this one with a touch of Asian spices and he raved about it. Sometimes the little stretches and tucks we do in life are not as apparent as the patchwork pie pastry, but are more subtle and meaningful like the spices in this pie.

Chicken pot pie
Adapted from allrecipes.com


Ingredients:
300gm skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, diced
1/2  cup carrots, diced
½ cup frozen green peas
1 tbs butter
½ cup water
1/2 cup onion, chopped
¼  tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp mustard seeds (pre toast in a dry hot pan for 2 minutes, tossing frequently)
1 tbs garam masala
1/4 tsp ground red chili
1 can creamy chicken soup

2 (9 inch) unbaked puff pastry (I did not have the round puff pastry so I used 9 inch square ones)

Optional: Use 1/4 cup dry white wine instead of water for more flavor or add one tsp fresh lemon

Method:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C.)
Marinate chicken with a dry rub of the garam masala, ground red chili, salt and pepper for 1 hour or more. In a saucepan, add butter. Sauté onions till translucent and soft. Add mustard seed, chicken, carrots, and peas and stir fry till chicken meat becomes somewhat opaque. Add the creamy chicken soup and water and stir in. Bring back to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside. Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

38 comments:

  1. I think your husband is a great fit, since he has made an effort to pick up another language. Well done to him (and to you for teaching him some of it!). Love this pie, too - it looks creamy and delicious.

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    1. Bel, so good to see you here. Thanks for dropping by.

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  2. I love the look of the pie. Very rustic and homely. We don't have to be perfect, adaptation and improvisation is key to life's challenges.

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  3. Quay Po, why you always find the best topic to relate to your recipe. PERFECT MATCH! I like the philosophy of life that you & your Quay Lo shared with us today & I even love your chicken pie dearly! Quick quick help myself with your pie, ok?

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    1. Thanks Jessie. Can't wait to meet up with you soon. Don't forget to remind me when the time is near. Will try to gather as many blogger friends as possible for the meet. It will be fun. XOXO

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  4. It is very creative of you to add in Malaysia taste into a traditional chicken pie !! Many times we, Malaysian feel the pie is a bit too creamy and rich. With these spices it will not that rich and creamy taste -- lemak !!
    You're a very flexible lady like me !! All my cooking are short cut as long as it turns out good !! Whatever I come across, I will try out, if it works, I will share with my friends and relatives. But a handful of them refused & insisted the old method !!
    Thanks for sharing !!
    I noticed that you have a good & loving husband- Quay Lo. That's what a woman wanted !! You're lucky, Quay Po !!

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    1. Nevermind about those who insist on using old method. What is important is that your generosity in sharing. Yes, I am blessed to have my Quay Lo. He is a good man.

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  5. Oooooo...that must be the best looking pie I have ever set eyes upon. Hmmmm...just like the person making it. Too bad I'm not nearby - would love to invite myself over for one big BITE! Ummm...the pie, I mean, not the person making! Muahahahahahaha!!!!

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    1. Have answered you in FB. I saw what My Quay Lo said about you! muahahaha

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  6. I love savory pie and your picture made me VERY hungry!! I tried to learn Chinese but it was so hard, and my husband gave up on me saying I just focus on learning English!! xD I want to have this on cold night. If someone is waiting for me to come home while this is in the oven... that's a nice home, and I hope I can be the mom who bake this and wait for my family to be home. :)

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    1. Nami, you are a talented cook and I am sure when you want to cook or bake anything, you will do a fine job. You are being very modest. As regards to language, me too, my Quay Lo gave up on me trying to teach me to speak good English, using the right tense, etc, etc. hehe.. After married to him for 16 years, I am still speaking Manglish lah.

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  7. That chicken pie sure looks juicy, Veron!!

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    1. Claire, you back from San Francisco already? So now you must be wearing flowers in your hair. hehe

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  8. Yeah ... I know just how he feels ... and I'm Malaysian, yet as square a peg as can be. Sigh. Adapt, as you say, and will not let some crazy country and its uniqueness get to us. It's what makes each nation unique, otherwise it's pretty boring. And adapt you did, with this scrumptious pie! Well done! I'd do the same. Why trim it round and toss away stuff. I've said it before and I'll say it again .... rustic.

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    1. I know exactly what you are saying and I knew you will not let other's opinion box you down. Look at all your lovely food and pie, it is so untraditional. You dare to be different and that is what I admire about you.

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  9. Great post and fantastic looking pot pie!

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  10. wow that's a GORGEOUS pie! It sounds Quay Lo fits in perfectly.

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    1. Thanks. Quay Lo is like my chicken pie except he is not edible! hahaha

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  11. Actually learning Chinese is not that bad right? I learno my Chinese from my son...hehehe. Quay po, Quay Lou must be a very friendly person and easy to get along with.

    Chicken pot pie or chicken pie....I always like it

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    1. Thanks dear. You have to find out if what you say is true about Quay Lo and Quay Po. Come to KL one day and have a meal with us.

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  12. Yr Quay Lo is really sweet!

    Really beautiful pie there... I used mushroom soup in mine! after seeing this, I gotta make some... hehe.. been craving for 2 weeks for this already.

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    1. Craving for two weeks for chicken pie? You got to make it like yesterday. LOL!

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  13. I smiled when I read about your husband learning to speak the languages of where you are. My husband is from Norway and we travel the world. Between the two of us, we manage to survive in each country we visit. His friends are amazed that I speak (enough to be dangerous) Norwegian - which I spoke before I met him!

    Just LOVE your recipes. :) Thank you so much for continuing to share them.

    Hugs,
    Lois

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    1. You hubby must be very proud of you for speaking his language. XOXO

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  14. Amazing quay lo!

    Not had a homemade pie for some time. Was thinking lasagna for the weekend. Perhaps the pie will also do lah:D

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    1. I think the pie is less work to do compared to lasagna.

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  15. Very rustic looking pie, wouldn't mind a slice please:) I too use chicken soup or mushroom soup for pie fillings, so much faster but my sons said I cheated:P Oh well, as long as they turned delicious!

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    1. Ya, my Quay Lo just told me the other day that I should make my own cream soup for the pie but then if it works with the can soup, why not?

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  16. Veronica, loved reading your post about your Quay Lo. It's not easy picking up a foreign language as long as you know someone is speaking English to you...such a cute story about the 'uncle'...put a smile on my face!

    Your chicken pot-pie, square made into a round looks totally fabulous and very delicious. Reminds me when I made it and did a short-cut, literally cutting the square into a round piece, just to cover the round pyrex dish that the chicken pot pie was in, and finished baking it in the oven. You did 'magic' with your pie. A true American comfort food with an Asian spin on the spice...love it:) xoxo

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    1. Thanks Elisabeth on the compliment of my chicken pie. Yes it is not easy to pick up foreign language and I am very proud that my Quay Lo can get by with the little he knows and make the old uncle so happy. LOL!

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  17. Veron, your pie looks great but what I love most abt this blogpost is your story abt your Quay Lo. Am sure he made the old uncle very happy!

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    1. Yes he did. You must come meet him someday with your hubby and your two kiddies. He will make all of you very happy too.

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  18. Delicious chicken pie, it look very fullest with fillings.

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  19. Chicken pie is my girls' favourite.

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    1. I think lots of kiddies love chicken pie.

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