Innovation in the Kitchen

Some inventions are related to great need while others are inspiration in the middle of the night. This one was brought about by a minor annoyance.

I host a chili cook-off every year and my wife came up with a great idea several years ago to turn our upright freezer into a drink cooler for the party. It is in the area of the party, holds enough cans and bottles to serve the 40 or so attendees and keeps them cold. We just need to occasionally turn it on low and then turn it off after things are ice cold, so the drinks don’t become…uh…ice.

As a result of using the freezer this way, we need to move all frozen items into the freezer that is part of our refrigerator. Leading up to the party I’ll strive to use up as much as I can that is frozen, but there is always quite a bit we have to cram into the freezer compartment. Once everything is moved we defrost the freezer, dry it out and load it up with beverages.

This year I did not do a very good job of using up frozen items and when it came time to move the items, the freezer compartment was completely full. During the following couple of days whenever I would need something from the freezer, it often meant moving 4-5 items to get to what I wanted. After the third or fourth time of moving a frozen pie crust, a bag of meatballs, a box of puff pastry and a little bag of tomato paste (every recipe only needs 1 tablespoon but the smallest can is 6oz, so I’ve started freezing the remainder), I decided to make something so I wouldn’t have to touch them any more.

Photo Jan 17, 5 41 02 PM

Meatball pie! It did not retain the pie shape when put on the plate, but tasted really good.

Photo Jan 17, 9 55 42 AM

I added carrots, onion, green pepper, spaghetti sauce and cheese.

Photo Jan 17, 3 01 19 PM

Dice and saute the veggies.

Photo Jan 17, 3 08 11 PM

Meanwhile heat up the meatballs with some sauce and the paste. I thought the paste would help thicken things and hold the “pie” together a bit better than the sauce alone.

Photo Jan 17, 3 09 09 PM

Add it all together.

Photo Jan 17, 3 56 11 PM

Put it into the pie crust.

Photo Jan 17, 3 57 07 PM

Cover with cheese.

Photo Jan 17, 4 00 24 PM

Lay the puff pastry over it and trim.

Photo Jan 17, 5 38 48 PM

After baking.

Photo Jan 17, 5 41 08 PM

It was very good. My eldest son wants me to make it again. But that means I’d have to touch those items again!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Baking 2, Beef, Cheese2, Lunch2, Pork

Author:The Ranting Chef

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4 Comments on “Innovation in the Kitchen”

  1. May 16, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Chef, I think you forgot to post the recipe. You always have your story, your pictures, the the recipe. No recipe here. But the pictures look pretty good! 🙂 Cheers!


    • May 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

      Yeah, as I made this up as I went along, I didn’t write it down. You can recreate from the pictures and text though…

      It was unique and good.


      • May 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

        Oh, so you didn’t forget to post it, you are leaving us to fend for ourselves? LOL!


  2. May 17, 2013 at 7:15 am #

    I am hungryyyyy 🙂


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