Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 6: Pai Le Fala aka Veggie Pot Pies

In a lot of the shops here in Amerikan Samoa they have "half moon pies." One day, on one of our excursions one caught my eye and called my name, "Jessica.....Jessica.....Eat me." I picked it up with full intention to obey but as I looked at the wrapper it said, "chicken." At first I thought it was a challenge to provoke me to drastic action but then I realized it was a reference to the content. I put it back and came home with a strong determination to devour a distant cousin.

I looked up the recipe on the web and came up with the heading, "half moon pie/pai fala." Well, being the studious student of the language that I am, I took pai fala to mean half moon pie. Actually fala means pineapple. Once perfected I invited my samoan friends to have what I thought was pai fala. I served up veggie pot pies. I received several disgusted looks as they bit in and realized this was not pineapple filled. Yet another failed leap over the language barrier. So, in an effort to redeem myself, these are called Pai "le" fala. In samoan "le" means "the" but it can also mean "not" (are ya seein my struggles?) So, here are pies that are not filled with pineapple.

Pai le fala/Half Moon Pie/Veggie Pot Pie

Dough (Makes 5 pies)

3 C Flour (your choice)
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 C oil
1 C "milk"


Veggies from Oodle Soup


1-2 tb oil
1-2 spoonfuls of flour

In one big bowl mix all the ingredients for the dough. Get your hands in there. Mix it all together till it makes a big round ball.

In a sauce pan make a rue (put in the oil and flour to make a paste) then add the broth a little at a time to make a gravy. Season it till its the way you want it.

Divide the dough into five balls. Roll out each into flat circles. Spoon the cooked veggies onto half. Its hard to tell how much to put in because to much will make it explode and to little is just not fare! Use your best judgement. Now spoon the gravy over. Once the filling is in place, fold the other half over the top and crimp the edges with a fork till its just like that bad hair year you had back in the 80's. You'll also want to prick the tops to let out steam. bake on a cookie sheet at 350 for 30-45 minutes or till they are golden brown.

Note on dough:

This dough is also AMAZING as a thin crust pizza (recipe to follow) just roll it out, place on a cookie sheet or pizza stone and bake till it starts to turn golden. Then add toppings and bake again. You can make the crusts in advance and put them in your freezer for a quick pizza.

Note on filling:

Don't limit yourself to veggie pot pie, this dough is your oyster, so to speak. Fill it as you will. Try pizza pockets or even a sweet filling like raspberry preserves or blueberry pie. Matthew's favorite was a "Mulberry preserve" filled pie.

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