Thursday, 30 August 2012

Talking About Pie with Lee Brazil

I have the incredibly talented Lee Brazil on my blog today and just the title of his blog post makes me hungry, lol. I'm rather fond of pie myself. Read on what my guest blogger has to say on the subject.

Take it away, Lee :-)


Good morning everyone! I'm Lee Brazil, author of mm romance with Breathless Press, The Story Orgy and Silver Publishing. Most of my work is contemporary, but I have at times ventured into the realms of paranormal and historical fiction. *sips coffee* Help yourself to some coffee...and pastry, if you don't mind sweets in the am. What? No, its not  pie, it's cherry cheese Danish. Oh, that. That delicious aroma is lunch baking in the oven. It's a Martha Stewart recipe for chicken pocket pies. *sips coffee again*  It is amazing, isn't it?
I'm all into savory and hand held pies lately. I stumbled on this recipe as part of my research for It's Simple, Simon. One of the main characters in It's Simple, Simon is a baker, and his shops sell not only sweet, dessert pies but also meaty main course pies. Of course, this led me back to the origins of pie, and I found out some very interesting things while I was searching for pie information and pie recipes. *sips coffee* *nibbles cookie* Have one? Let me turn down the David Bowie music and I'll tell you a few of the more interesting things I learned about pie.
  1. Pie originated in 9500BC.
  2. The Greeks, whom we have to thank for so many wonderful things, also are credited with developing the flour/water paste that became modern pie crust.
  3. The Romans did not eat the crust of the pie, but threw it away.
  4. In medieval Europe, a pie crust was inches thick and inedible. The crust was merely the "pan" to cook the filling.
  5. The first use of the word pie in reference to food is referenced by the OED in 1303.

Who knew? There's been pie longer than I would have ever guessed, and in all those years, just about everything has been baked into a pie, form meet, seafood, and poultry to fruits, vegetables and eggs. I used that jumping off point there to allow my pie man to specialize in both savory and sweet pies. Last week I shared a pie filling recipe that works great in the freezer, this week I'll let you have the chicken pocket pie recipe. According to my notes, its based on a Martha Stewart recipe, but I'm pretty sure I don't have an actual link.
Savory Chicken Pies

  • 1 cup of diced or shredded chicken
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery (1 large stalk)
  • 1/3 cup chopped carrot (1 carrot)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (you can season chicken with your favorite spices)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Pastry Dough
  • 1 large egg, for egg wash

  1. To make the filling, melt the butter in a medium-sized hot skillet and add the onion, celery, and carrot. Saute over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the salt and flour and cook for 1 minute more. Add the chicken broth and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in chicken and Parmesan cheese. Cool in the fridge.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter or line a baking sheet.
  3. To form the pocket pies, work with half of a disk of dough at a time, rolling it out on a floured surface. Using an overturned bowl (about 5 inches across), cut out circles about 3 at a time from each piece of dough. After cutting out all your circles, gather all dough scraps, reroll, and cut out a final time. Place 1/4 cup filling on one side of a dough circle. Wet the edges of the dough with the water. Fold the dough over to form a half circle. Pinch the edge of the dough together. Crimp the edge with a fork. Repeat the process until all the filling is used. The pocket pies can be frozen at this point.
  4. Place the pocket pies on the prepared baking sheet and chill for a few minutes. Prick each pie on top twice with a fork. When ready to bake, beat the egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the egg wash over each pocket pie. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. The pies can be cooled and frozen to reheat in the microwave.

Oh, and here's a glimpse of my contemporary take on the Nursery Rhyme, Simple, Simon, in which we meet a very talented baker who specializes in ...what else but pie?

It's Simple, Simon
By Lee Brazil
M/M contemporary romance
Breathless Press's Naughty Nursery Rhymes
Simon Carter has achieved unimaginable success and he owes it all to a man from his past whose scorn set fire to his ambition.

"It's Simple, Simon. You lack ambition."

Chase Garvin's jibe had sent Simon Carter on unexpected paths and brought him unimaginable success. No longer a penniless musician, the highly paid investment banker is going home for the first time in years. He plans to rest, relax, and spend a little time rubbing his ex-lover's nose in his success. A visit to the Renaissance Fair brings this not-quite-so-simple- Simon nose to nose with his past and somehow revenge doesn't seem quite so attractive.

Chase Garvin, Denver, Colorado's very own Pie Man, is still incredibly handsome. What's more, the more mature Chase is very appreciative of Simon's talents.

When the old attraction flares between them, Simon and the Pie Man get caught up in tasting the wares, and neither counts the pennies.

He sniffed the golden pies. Mmm. Chase had always been talented in the kitchen. The aroma was intoxicating. Delicious. As he ate, savoring the flaky crust and rich fillings, he contemplated the man who'd treated him to the pies. Chase was one hot baker. He'd always been sexy, but there was no way that hunk of beef could fit into his old Renaissance garb. Chase had put on muscle. His shoulders had broadened, his biceps bulged, and mmm.... The rest was hidden behind that voluminous apron, but Simon doubted that it had changed much.
Best of all, Chase still seemed to find him attractive. That was just icing on the cake. The sugar on the pie? He chuckled softly. Whatever it was, he liked it. Liked the idea that Chase might still be interested in him sexually. As he licked the sugary filling off his fingers, he contemplated abandoning his plan. After all, Chase hadn't meant to hurt him years ago, and he'd certainly seemed welcoming enough, even though to all appearances Simon hadn't changed over the years. Yeah, there really wasn't any reason to prove to Chase how successful and ambitious he really was. He should just come clean.
On the other hand, he felt like enough of an idiot for hiding his success in the first place. He bit into the next pie, feeling the juice trickle down his chin. He licked at it, chewing and swallowing, scrabbling absently for a napkin to wipe his chin. It would be horribly embarrassing to go back to that booth and offer to pay for the pies, to tell Chase why he hadn't wanted to pay in the first place.
"Here, I'll get that for you." Chase grabbed his napkin. To his surprise, Chase drooped down onto the grass next to him. Instead of dabbing his chin with the white paper napkin, the man leaned forward, his breath a warm buttery scented breeze as he hovered close for a moment before gently licking the juice off Simon's skin.


  1. Reading this has made me hungry. Guess what's for dinner. :)