Cooking Chow Mein and Chocolate Pie with "MISS KAY" from Duck Commander Kitchen.

Chocolate Pie
Pork & Chicken Chow Mein
Under the Christmas tree this year I found several books I will share with you in the months ahead. But today, I will tell you of "Miss Kay" and the why of my asking Santa for her book and the two recipes that I have made so far.

Having come up and having roots in the southern half of Indiana from farm people raised in the country during the depression, I am no stranger to the preparation and serving of game of all sorts including but not limited to squirrel!  BUT, when our daughter-in-law and son got us to watch Duck Dynasty I was set back by Miss Kay's references to eating squirrel brains? I had NEVER heard of this one! When she wrote the cookbook I was dying to see her recipe and if she actually did prepare and eat them.  My interest is just curiosity as I do not like brains in any way shape or form on my dinner plate.  A squirrel brain is probably the size of a grain of corn or your thumb nail at best so I just cannot imagine any of this!  Well, I am here to tell you she makes no mention of them in her cookbook so the mystery remains.

The cookbook surprised me a bit as she uses more "prepared" foods to cook than I do.  But,  I was anxious to see how her recipes tasted so I proceeded to the first chapter, Phil's Favorite Recipes.  So I adapted and tried Pork & Chicken Chow Mein which is fast, easy.  She couples sliced and browned pork with the canned two pack of chicken chow mein and adds seasoning.

Ingredients for Kay's Pork and Chicken Chow Mein:

1/4 C. vegetable oil
1 pound boneless pork loin trimmed and thinly sliced
42 ounce bi-pack can of chicken chow mein dinner
28 ounce can chop suey vegetables drained
3-4 T. soy sauce
3-4 T. teriyaki sauce

cooked rice or chow mein noodles for serving

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet and add the pork, browning well.  Stir in the vegetables and seasonings, stirring to combine.  Simmer just long enough to cook the pork through and  heat the vegetables.  Serve over rice or noodles.

Next I decided to adapt the chocolate pie recipe as I had not made one in a while and it just sounded good to me.  Her Pie crust is DELICIOUS, by far the best of the three recipes here today.  I will probably make it again.  It is very close to my old stand by recipe but calls specifically for Butter Flavor Crisco (which I had never used for pie dough) and it is REALLY GOOD.

She says it makes 4, 9" single pie crusts but I only used 1 and froze the other 3 for later.

Flaky, tender, and golden!
Miss Kay's Do-Ahead Piecrusts:

5 C. all purpose flour + more for rolling
2 t. salt
2 1/4 C. butter flavor Crisco
1 large egg
2 T. vinegar
1 C. minus 2 T. ice water  (14 tablespoons)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the flour and salt in a big mixing bowl.  Use a pastry blender and cut in the shortening.  When your mixture is crumbly make a well in the center and add the egg, then most of the water, and the vinegar.  Stir the liquids together with a fork breaking up the egg, then continue mixing until a dough forms adding the last bit of water if needed.  Pat into a rough ball and divide into fourths.  Shape into smooth disks and wrap what you are not using today and refrigerate or freeze for later.

Sprinkle flour on the work surface and roll to about 1/8" thick.  (About a 12" circle.)  The dough is soft so I recommend  moving the empty pie plate close to the circle of dough then rolling the crust onto the rolling pin and unrolling to carefully atop the dish..  Gently fit the crust to the pan without stretching the dough. 

Dock (prick the dough with the tines of a fork all over) the pie crust and place a piece of parchment paper inside to line then place dried beans inside to weigh down the crust to help it from shrinking.  Bake for 15-20 minutes then remove the beans and parchment.  Continue baking 10-15 minutes until browned.  Remove from the oven and cool.

Miss Kay's recipe for Chocolate Pie filling made enough for two 9" pies and I only needed one so I have adapted her recipe.

Ingredients for Chocolate Pie Filling:

1/2 stick butter
2 1/2 squares of unsweetened chocolate (2 1/2 ounces)
1 C. sugar
1/3 C. flour
1/2 t. salt
6 ounces evaporated milk (12 tablespoons)
1/2 C. whole milk
3 large egg yolks (save the 3 whites for the meringue)
1/2 t. vanilla

1 baked 8-9" pie shell

Ingredients for the Meringue:

3 large egg whites
pinch of salt
1/2 C. sugar
3/4 t. vanilla

Miss Kay tells us to make this in the top of a double boiler and I started that way and got way too tired of waiting for it to thicken at which time I dumped the filling into a very heavy bottomed pan, cranked the heat to med-high, stirred and got a filling done lickity split. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Melt the butter and chocolate in the bottom of a heavy bottomed pan over medium low heat stirring constantly.  You need to stay with this!  Quickly beat in the sugar, flour, salt, and both milks.  Do not stop stirring as you turn up the heat to medium or medium-high, whichever you feel more confident with.  As long as you keep stirring either is OK.  Once thickened, reduce the heat to low and temper the eggs by stirring a little of the chocolate into the yolks as you stir them,  add a bit more chocolate and keep stirring.  Next stir the tempered eggs into the chocolate mixture and keep stirring.  Turn the heat back to medium and cook stirring for another one minute.  Remove the thickened filling from the heat and stir in the vanilla. 

Pour the filling into the baked and cooled pie crust.

Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites and salt together for about 3-4 minutes on high speed until soft peeks form.  Gradually beat in the sugar, then add the vanilla.  The whites should be ready when the peeks stand up when you lift out the beaters.  Spread the meringue atop the filling sealing it all the way against the rim of the crust and return the pie to the oven.  Bake until golden peeks form, about 7-10 minutes.  Watch this closely.

Chill thoroughly before serving.  Yield 6-8 slices.

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