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Holiday Ham Pot Pies

A Culinary Tapestry of Joy: Crafting Holiday Ham Pot Pies, a Symphony for the Soul

In the embrace of the holiday season, where warmth and joy intertwine, we embark on a culinary journey that transcends mere sustenance. The Holiday Ham Pot Pies are not just a recipe; they are a lyrical dance of flavors that celebrates the spirit of togetherness and festive indulgence. Join me in the kitchen, where ingredients become notes, and each step is a stanza in the culinary sonnet of the holidays.

Ingredients: For the Filling Overture:

  • 2 cups cooked ham, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

For the Crust Crescendo:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  1. Prelude – Create the Crust Crescendo: In the opening notes of this festive melody, prepare the crust. Combine flour and salt in a bowl, then cut in the cold, cubed butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add ice water, mixing until the dough forms. Divide it in half, wrap in plastic, and let it chill in the refrigerator.
  2. Movement I – Sauté the Filling Overture: In a pan, let the unsalted butter melt into a golden symphony. Add diced ham, frozen peas, diced carrots, and potatoes. Sauté until the vegetables become tender and the ham releases its savory aroma, a prelude to the festive flavors.
  3. Crescendo – Craft the Roux: Sprinkle the flour over the sautéed filling, creating a roux that will be the heart of our savory composition. Stir until the flour is well incorporated, letting it dance with the ham and vegetables.
  4. Interlude – Introduce Broth and Milk: Pour in the chicken broth and whole milk, allowing them to join the culinary ballet. Stir until the mixture thickens into a velvety symphony, a crescendo of savory delight. Season with salt, black pepper, dried thyme, and dried rosemary, infusing the filling with the aromatic essence of the holidays.
  5. Finale – Assemble and Bake: Roll out one half of the chilled crust and line your pie dishes. Fill each with the savory filling, creating a comforting tapestry of flavors. Roll out the remaining crust, cover the pies, and crimp the edges, sealing the festive joy within. Make small slits on top to let the flavors breathe. Bake until the crust turns golden, a visual finale to the symphony within.
  6. Garnish and Encore: As the Holiday Ham Pot Pies emerge, garnish with freshly chopped parsley. This encore of freshness adds a final touch, elevating the pies to a crescendo of visual and aromatic delight.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • For an extra layer of richness, consider adding a splash of heavy cream to the filling.
  • Elevate the savory notes with a sprinkle of grated Gruyère or sharp cheddar over the filling before sealing the pies.
  • Experiment with different herbs like sage or tarragon for a unique flavor profile.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions: For Keto:

  • Replace all-purpose flour in the crust with almond flour or a keto-friendly alternative.
  • Substitute potatoes with cauliflower or turnips for a lower-carb option.

For Low-Carb:

  • Opt for low-carb alternatives for the crust, such as almond flour or coconut flour.
  • Adjust the quantity of carrots and peas to align with your low-carb preferences.

As the aroma of freshly baked Holiday Ham Pot Pies fills the air, we find ourselves immersed in the essence of the season. This recipe is not just a culinary endeavor; it’s a celebration of tradition, a lyrical dance of flavors that invites us to savor the joy of the holidays.

In the kitchen, where ingredients become notes and recipes unfold like musical scores, the Holiday Ham Pot Pies emerge as a star. They are a symphony of festive delight, a love letter to the senses, and an affirmation that the act of cooking can be a deeply emotional experience. So, let your taste buds dance, let the aroma of the holidays fill your home, and allow these pot pies to be the soulful crescendo of your holiday gatherings.

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