Sunday, March 22, 2015

Stargazy Pie: How I Don't Gain Weight by Cooking the Stars' Recipes!

I love trying new recipes, and often try 4 or 5 new recipes a week.  While I don't watch Food TV, which was central to the Science Daily story that viewers who do and cook from scratch weigh more than those who don't. . . I flag recipes in current magazines and sometimes social media to try.  The magazines I love don't necessarily focus on healthy ingredients.  Here are my tips for converting a recipe:

1)  Use lots of vegetables.  The recipe I used tonight called for just onions.  I added potatoes, carrots and mushrooms.

2)  Cut back on the meat portions.  Use leaner cuts of meat.  Tonight's recipe called for 2-2 1/2 # rabbits and 12 oz crawfish meat. & 7 whole crawfish.  I used 4 skinless chicken thighs.  While I would have loved to find a crawfish, I substituted 9 tail on shrimp.

3)  Use 1/2 whole wheat for the flour.  For this pastry I used 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 all purpose flour.

4)  Use good fats and monitor the amount so that it averages 1 fat per serving.  Tonight's recipe called for beef suet, olive oil and butter.  The only suet I've seen is bird suet.  I used 5 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Spread and 1 teaspoon of olive oil.  The recipe called for heavy cream.  I used evaporated skim milk.

5)  Control the portions.  The recipe I used stated that it serves 4-6.  Ours served 8.

I also monitor the sugar per serving.  This recipe had no added sugar.  I did cut back on the salt by 1/2 and used low sodium chicken stock.

The delightful recipe is from Saveur Magazine from restaurateur Mark Hix.   Be sure and click the link to see the picture of his finished product.  It is simply fantastic!  I was tickled that I got to use my bunny cookie cutter for the center of my pastry!   Here's my adaptation:

Stargazy Pie

(Serves 8)


In food processor, mix dry ingredients:
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cut in buttery spread.
1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread

Add egg.
1 egg

Add cold water.
3 tablespoon plus 1 teapoon

Wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until ready to use.


In a large saucepan, brown chicken in olive oil on stovetop.
4 skinless chicken thighs, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 teaspoon olive oil

Season with Mrs. Dash and cook until browned.

Add onion and buttery spread.  Cook for 4-6 minutes.
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread

Sprinkle in flour;  cook 2 minutes.
1/4 cup flour

Whisk in stock and cider.  Bring to a boil.
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup hard cider

Add cooked vegetables.
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 small yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced

Add mushrooms.
4 cremini mushrooms, sliced 

Lower heat.  Stir in evaporated milk.
2 tablespoons evaporated skim milk
Cook until liquid is thick.

Place filling in deep dish pie pan sprayed with Pam.

Remove pastry from refrigerator.  On a floured surface, roll dough to a circle larger than the  pie pan.  Reserve a piece for center garnish.  Cover top of pie with pastry and crimp the edges.  Add decorative dough garnish.

With a knife, cut slots in pastry for shrimp.  Insert the shrimp, tail up and out.
9 raw shrimp, peeled with tail on

Brush pastry top and edges with beaten egg.
1 egg, beaten

Bake at 400 F. for 30 minutes. 



1 comment:

  1. I'm very impressed with your blog and do appreciate the substitution suggestions you listed for the Stargazy Pie. Have you used coconut oil in any recipes? It has gained popularity as a healthy option and I bought some a couple of months ago to incorporate into my West Indian dishes, like curry. I will let you know how I manage with the recipes I try. Fran