It's Barefoot Thursdays, so kick off your shoes, tie on an apron and sprint to the kitchen. We're cooking some of Ina Garten's recipes at home, so join and eat like a contessa on the cheap.At our farmer's market this week, a bus full of tourists stopped across the street and filed out of a bright red tourbus. We were just a few feet away when I saw them cross the street, hourdes of them, like clowns emptying out of a VWbug at a circus. Since the market is only about 1/4 mile from my home, my two little charges and I will often walk there midday to buy a juicy apple, or a perfect peach, or a comely vegetable for dinner. It makes a lovely little homeschool recess sojourn. But, darn it, this was too much company, and I have an issue (i.e. impatience) with long lines. Had we arrived just a few minutes sooner we would have had the market to ourselves, and now it was swarming with peach pinchers, oohing and ahhing whilst stealing the only ripe avocadoes. (Well, not exactly stealing, since they paid, but by golly, I had my name on one of those avocadoes.) So instead of marching straight to the cash register with my market bounty, I was stuck waiting in a long line of single item purchases when we should have been back home studying James Watt and the Industrial Revolution. But there, in the back of the snake-line, pressed up against the refrigator, I spotted them: a black and blistered bag of freshly roasted green chiles. And I knew then that whatever was playing for dinner, that these smoky green chiles would get a leading role. So instead of making Ina's exact recipe for pot pie, I chopped some green chiles, kept the squash, but added some corn, southwest spices and mexican style tomatoes, and topped it off with a cornmeal and cheddar coated crust and a fresh pico de gallo. It was so delicious, smoky, sweet and just the right amount of spicy (thanks to those green chilies) that I'm almost sort of glad that I had to wait in that long line. Sort of. Almost. I'm reprinting my southwest version of the recipe below. Dear Ina, bless her heart, had 34 tablespoons of fat in her four serving recipe. So you can bet your blistered green chile that I had to make some changes. Ay, mamacita!
Money Saving Tips: Use your microwave to cook your squash to save time and money. Roast your own green chiles (if you can't find them at your farmer's market), chop them and freeze them in zip top baggies. If you're short on time, you can use the canned, but always buy the biggest one available and freeze any extras. Use vegetables that are in season for maximum flavor and lowest cost. Always make at least two pie crusts at a time, one to use now and one to freeze.