Reviewed by Jeanne
Most people seem to get frazzled over Christmas shopping. I don’t, but that’s only because I shop all year round. What sends me into stress overdrive is cooking. I don’t claim to be the world’s worst cook, but I will admit I’m probably in the top ten. Also, I am of the generation who was taught that a meal is a meat, three vegetable sides, bread, and dessert—at least. Oh, the pressure!
This year a new book caught my eye: Pie Squared: Irresistibly Easy Sweet and Savory Slab Pies by Cathy Barrow. Hoping that the adjective “irresistibly” modified “easy,” I decided to check it out. The first section is devoted to making the crust and the author explains it in glorious, simple detail, including recommendations for flour brands and the handy tip that “Pie loves cold” and that the dough needs inactive time to chill, relax, and get flakey.
I identify with pie dough.
And oh, my goodness, the recipes! There’s Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with onions, potatoes, zucchini, black beans, tomato paste, and jalapeno pepper; Eggs Florentine Slab Pie with a hash brown potato crust; Fried Green Tomato Slab Pie with a Ritz cracker crust; and (oh, be still my heart!) Loaded Baked Potato Pie with a caramelized onion crust. (Did I mention it has cheese, bacon, and sour cream?)
I wasn’t sure I could take the sweet pies, especially when I opened the book at random and found S’mores Slab Pie. There’s also Banana Pudding Slab Pie and Frosted Strawberry Slab Pie with a cream cheese crust and sprinkles.
I promise I did not lick the picture.
Can I make these pies? Um, probably not. But I’m going to find someone who can.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for a new recipe to use up leftovers or just want to shake up a dinner, here are some grand ideas!