Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Rudolph Pot Pie

I guess before you can understand why I have created this recipe, I first must give you the back story. (Did I really just say back story? I sound like a Disney villain. I guess I will have to keep a look out for a platypus now.) Several years ago, I had a small altercation with Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (although his nose wasn’t red). While we were living in Alaska, my wife had organized for a Santa to come to her company Christmas party. She also arranged for a sleigh and 3 reindeer. As the guy was hitching up the sleigh, he need some people to help hold the reindeer. I got to hold Rudolph. While I was holding him, I was reminded how much I loved reindeer sausage. Well I had no idea, but apparently, Rudolph can read minds and took offense at my love for the of sausage made from his kin. He proceeded to tried to, and partly succeeded in, goring me with his antlers. I figured he would talk to Santa about the misunderstanding and I could possible end up on the naughty list. So I wrote the big guy letters, explaining my side of the story. I thought everything was ok until a couple of years ago, while putting up my Christmas light, I found a .357 bullet embedding in my roof. From the trajectory, it was clear that it came from above. I guess it was wasn’t so cleared up. I knew Santa had a Good list and a Naughty list but who knew he had a Hit list. It was clear that Rudolph was not over the incident and Santa was totally taking his side on the issue.

Since it is clear that Rudolph is not going to forgive me and Santa has put me on the Hit list, I have decided create some special recipes in honor of the one that put me on that list. This is the first one. Of course you might not want to be on the “Hit” list or not be able to find reindeer sausage. In that case, call this just Sausage Pot Pie and use a good smoky sausage like kielbasa. It will be just as yummy and should keep Rudolph from getting his nose out of joint.

This is a yummy version of a pot pie made with reindeer sausage, but instead of using a cream of soup (like cream of mushroom) as a base, it uses a cheese soup. This turned out to be a great change. It also has dried cranberries (for his nose) and slivered almonds (for his antlers). It might sound like a strange combination but it really works.  Try it and enjoy.


Rudolph Pot Pie (or Sausage Pot Pie)


1/2 lb reindeer (or other type) sausage, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium Yukon gold potato, diced
1 tsp seasoning salt (or to taste)
12 oz bag frozen peas and carrots
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup, 1 can water
1/8 cup dried cranberries
Handful of slivered almonds
1 9 inch pie crust.


Preheat over to 350 degrees.

If the sausage is not fully cooked, then cook it in the skillet first, Remove and proceed cooking the rest.

In a large skillet, heat the oil and cook the onion and potato until the potatoes are almost cooked. (If they a get all cooked, that is ok as Yukon gold potatoes hold their shape well when cooked.) Then add seasoning salt,  peas and carrots, cooked sausage, cranberries and cheese soup with water. Cook until everything is nice and hot.

Prepare a 9 inch pie pan by spraying it with non-stick spray. Pour in ingredients from skillet (it should just fit). Cover with pie crust, pinching around the edge. Now poke in some of the of slivered almonds into the crust. I like to make them stick up to make it look pointy. Also make sure to poke a couple of holes in the top crust so it can vent.

Cook for 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. You might want to put a cookie sheet under the pie as it cooks to catch anything that might spill out. This will help keep your oven a lot cleaner.

Turkey Day 5K

Thru my wife’s company we were able to get a discount on the Turkey Day 5K. This is just like its name implies: it is a 5K on Thanksgiving day (in the morning). The plan was to run this race with my wife (whom is not as fast as I am). We got up early and headed downtown. There was a good turnout with lots of people dressed in Thanksgiving attire. My favorite was still the back of the shirt they give out to all the runners:


The race was a loop around downtown. As we waited for the race to start, they tried to get everyone pumped up and warm but they only had speakers right at the start so we couldn’t hear anything where we were at.


Once the race got start we where finally moving. The race went pretty well and I had a great time not “racing for PR” but rather just enjoying the course with my wife. She did really well and she really pushed herself.


After the race we went home, showered and headed over to a friends for a great Thanksgiving dinner. Overall it was a great day.