Amanda’s Cinnamon Pie, Inspired by Psych

Merideth and I watched Psych in college together, and now it’s BACK!! Well, for one night only, but we’re still excited. Cinnamon pie, featured in it’s Twin Peaks episode, sounded delicious and, without too many recipes online, mysterious. Here is my version  (Merideth’s is here). I’ve heard it both ways.

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust, thawed
  • 2/3 brown sugar, lightly packes
  • 1/3 sugar
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 2tbs flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine sugars, flour, salt, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add cream and extracts and gently stir until combined.
  4. Pour cream mixture into the crust.
  5. Cook for 40-45 minutes, turning halfway through.
  6. Refrigerate for four hours or overnight. Enjoy!

File Gumbo

Merideth and I share a lot of the same tastes in food including, as we discussed over one of our recent Distance Dishes dinners, food that can be served in bowls! For me, this is mostly for convenience (read: laziness), but combining food in one pot also gives the flavors a chance to blend together.

This dinner happened to fall right before Mardi Gras, so I thought something Creole would be fun! Plus, it gave me an excuse to go spice shopping (I have the Room of Requirement of spices) to get file powder. File powder is ground sassafras root that serves as a thickener stirred in just before serving and adds a sweet flavor. I also used homemade seafood stock with the peeled shells of the shrimp I needed and vegetable scraps (carrot tops, onion skins, celery hearts) that I save in the freezer. Store bought works as well, but homemade has better sodium content and makes me feel good for upcycling kitchen scraps!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups vegetable or seafood stock (homemade recipe here)
  • 2 tbs canola oil
  • 2-3 diced medium onions (about 1 cup)
  • 4 diced celery stalks
  • 2 chopped bell peppers
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp hot sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 tbs creole mix seasoning
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 lb crab meat
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (reserve shells for seafood stock, if making homemade)
  • 1 1/2 tbs file powder

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Instructions

  1. Heat oil in large pot. Add onions, celery, and green pepper and saute until onions brown lightly.
  2. Add garlic, hot pepper sauce, and creole seasoning. Stir frequently and saute for 4 minutes.
  3. Add tomato sauce and simmer for 3 minutes. Add stock and summer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add shrimp and crab meat. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Just before serving, add file powder and stir to combine.

Wine Pairing: Just before I made this recipe, I received my seasonal subscription from my local winery! I signed up for a mixed shipment hoping to broaden my horizons past red wine, and one of the white wines, a Viognier, was just what I needed for the gumbo. It has a little bit of the rich oak taste that makes wines like Chardonnay pair so well with shellfish, but has a fruitness that tones down the spice from the hot sauce. Refreshing!

Moroccan Chicken

Here we go with our first distance dinner! For a new adventure, Merideth and I wanted to try a new cuisine: African dishes. Picking this large and varied continent for our first dish also gave us the chance to be creative with our choices. I chose Moroccan Chicken, with warm spices typical to the region. Something I learned from this dish was to read the recipe fully before starting- I showed up late for our Skype date because I didn’t plan for the hour baking time!

Moroccan Chicken

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Ingredients

  • 6-8 chicken thighs
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 medium sized diced red onion
  • 4 tablespoons Moroccan seasoning blend
  • Dried apricots
  • Raisins
  • salt and pepper to taste

Moroccan Seasoning Mix:

  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cloves

Directions

  1. Heat a large saute pan on high heat with 1 tsp olive oil.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper, add to hot pan, skin side down, and saute for 3-4 minutes or to a deep golden brown color.
  3. Remove and set aside, place in a crock pot or Dutch oven.
  4. Add onions and garlic to saute pan and saute for 2-3 minutes; add chicken stock and coconut milk and stir.
  5. Whisk in Maverick Moroccan spice and flour, bring sauce to a boil. Add sliced apricots and raisins and pour over chicken.
  6. Place in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees and cook for 1 hour.
  7. When serving, make sure you give everyone some apricots and raisins on top!

(adapted from Blue Canyon Moroccan Chicken)

Wine Pairing: In order to complement the chicken and the exotic spices, I had a delicious Marsanne from my local sustainable winery! A new wine for me for a new recipe.

Verdict:

Delicious! I have a confession: this picture is from when I made the dish a second time! The warm spices are perfect for a cool day.