Not Martha

Tentacle Pot Pie, the outtakes

spider pot pie

I had some trouble when I came to creating the Tentacle Pot Pies, all my own fault of course. Learn from these mistakes.

spider pot pie, with uncooked dough

Originally I had intended to makes spider pot pies and use black peppercorns for the eyes. My first try, which I didn’t get photos of, had the legs dangling over the edges of a bowl. While they cooked most fell off. It was pretty sad.

Then I draped the legs down to a plate to keep them in place, only to discover that the dough I had rolled up to create a spider body (I wrapped it round a piece of hot carrot) didn’t cook on the inside, leaving a wad of uncooked dough on top of the pot pie. Effective to give the creeps but not really edible.

spider pot pie, the head has tilted down during cooking

And I found that one of my spider heads tilted down while cooking. Poor guy.

tentacle pot pie, puff pastry detail

Originally I had intended to make the pot pies from puff pastry and mention the use of crescent roll dough as an option but I had some trouble while photographing. First I lost my light by the time I got to the puff pastry batch, I struggle enough to produce good photos so when the clouds gathered I was rushing and it probably led to the next problem.

tentacle pot pie made with puff pastry shown above, the dough is sort of pale

I forgot to brush the puff pastry with an egg wash, meaning that even though it was yummy it looked sort of pale.

tentacle pot pie made with puff pastry, another view of the tentacles

And so, the crescent dough photos were the ones I used. I had run out of time to redo everything (I would have had to make another batch of pot pie filling). But for the record I like the flavor of the puff pastry far more. It also cooks slower so your pot pie had more time to get nice and hot.

The following weekend Scott and I made a batch of pot pie filling from the chicken pot pie recipe at Simply Recipes and divided it into zip top bags that we flattened out and froze. We can buy frozen puff pastry and the next dark night when we need some comfort food we’ll have pot pie components that we just need to thaw and assemble. I’m excited. Seattle winters aren’t snowy but they are long and dark. So dark. We take excitement where we can find it. One additional note: These should be baked at about 325 instead of the usual high heat that puff pastry asks for, if not the tentacles cook far earlier than the body. If the tips of the tentacles start to brown too much tent them with foil.

Why freezing flat in plastic bags? They are easy to store in the freezer, and when you want to thaw them you can run the still sealed bags under hot water and it thaws far faster than something frozen into a block. I first heard this tip on The Splendid Table, though I forget which guest it came from. I use this for bolognese and thai curry as well, all good to have squirreled away for winter nights when you’re too zonked out for chopping stuff.

· comments [33] · 10-25-2010 · categories:food · halloween ·

33 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Petalbelles // Oct 25, 2010 at 3:54 am

    I loved the outtakes, especially the depressed little spider. Poor thing looks like he needs a pillow. Or a drink. Thanks, Megan!

  • 2 Jen // Oct 25, 2010 at 5:57 am

    Freezing in ziplocks is totally the way to go. My freezer is filled with stacks of meticulously labeled quart bags of chili, spaghetti sauce, stocks, fesenjoon (an Iranian dish), (soon!) pumpkin filling, prepped eggplants for another dish we eat a lot, quick bread dough…the list goes on and on.

    They’re so colorful! haha

  • 3 Seanna Lea // Oct 25, 2010 at 6:39 am

    I tend to do the freeze flat in bags too. I am busy stocking the freezer for quick meals (mostly reheats) for NaNoWriMo, because 30 minutes or more to make dinner is 30 minutes or more I could be writing.

  • 4 Amani // Oct 25, 2010 at 8:14 am

    I love these little pot pies! Did you put foil over the legs’ tips, so they didn’t burn? Thanks for showing us the blooper reel, I appreciate that.

    As for freezing flat- I have a Very Organized Friend who freezes things flat and puts the bags like books on a shelf in the freezer, and even LABELS THE SPINE. I am sure that she has fantasized about alphabetizing them, but I can’t bear to ask.

  • 5 Ebony // Oct 25, 2010 at 9:00 am

    L.O.V.E. this.

  • 6 Micah // Oct 25, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Amani, your friend needs help! I’m kidding. Megan, I like the octopie. I think my kids would love it. BTW, anyone who wants can submit their pumpkin carving this week to http://craftbattles.com for a chance to win an amazon gift card.

  • 7 April // Oct 25, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Yes! Just be sure to cool the contents in the fridge before freezing flat. Hot food in plastic bags is neither healthy or delicious.

  • 8 herschel // Oct 25, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I also like to freeze flat in bags. One additional thing that works for some recipes — I score the partially frozen bags. That way, I can just break off a piece if I want instead of having to thaw the whole bag. This work especially well for ground beef or giant servings when I only want a bit.

  • 9 Cinnamon // Oct 25, 2010 at 10:16 am

    We made chicken pot pie-ders on Saturday for dinner. All the adults loved it, and the one kid was all “COOOL”, but didn’t like the filling. Oh well. More for us! Thanks for the great idea, Megan. And I have enough filling left for another large or 4 small pies that is in the freezer. Take that January!

  • 10 Lindsay // Oct 25, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Hershel – Care to elaborate? I’m intrigued. Are you cutting through the bag when you score it? I don’t get it, and as someone desperately in need of freezer advice, I could use all the tips I can get!

  • 11 megan // Oct 25, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Lindsay – I think you should envision more of a dent line than a cut line, does that help? Hershel, that is a great idea!

  • 12 Lindsay // Oct 25, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Oooh! I get it. That IS a great idea (and makes a LOT more sense than what I was picturing). Thanks!

  • 13 The Emerald Closet // Oct 25, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Megan, these little creatures are awesome! We commend you for your patience, we probably would have just looked at the recipe and thrown our hands up in frustration. It definitely makes us hungry though…and excited for this weekends Halloween festivities!

  • 14 Diana // Oct 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Total genius. These look delicious!

  • 15 scrapper al // Oct 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing your outtakes. It was a fun follow-up to your previous post.

  • 16 megan // Oct 25, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Emerald Closet – The recipe looks very long since it starts from making stock. We just did the filling, we substituted a rotisery chicken and premade stock and it was much quicker than you might suspect.

  • 17 Erin // Oct 25, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    what a great idea! I want to make this for a dinner that has a variable number of guests + I don’t own oven safe plates, so I am going to make this in a large-ish souffle dish with a pyrex pie dish underneath instead of individual servings. Will have to play around with pieces of paper to get the tentacle measurements right. Any advice/warnings about making this one large dish? I’m thinking about what to do about the eyes so they are the appropriate scale.

  • 18 Brooke // Oct 26, 2010 at 6:03 am

    I remember you telling the behind the scenes story of last years meat hand, and I was totally impressed with how patient you were to wait for the perfect, final product. While I lurve the spider idea, the tentacles, with those little olive eyes in place are pure brilliance. Thanks, again, Megan, for conjuring something so clever, then sharing it with our Babble readers!

  • 19 jonahliza // Oct 26, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    i LOVE this!

  • 20 ShyViolet // Oct 27, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Bwahaha! I just found your blog and the tentacle pot pies are so adorable! They are awesome.

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    This is positively priceless! I adore it! Now I just need an excuse to have a tentacle themed dinner party!

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    LOVE LOVE this idea. I’m hosting a dinner party this year and I think this will be one of the courses.

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