You Decide: Is Mitch McConnell's Pie A Flop?
By day, House members and senators butt heads in their respective bastions of gridlock. By night, (at least it happened one night this week) they butt knives and spatulas in a congressional version of stadium kitchen.
It wasn't exactly Iron Chef, but about 50 members of Congress and their spouses competed in a celebrity chef competition at the March of Dimes Gourmet Gala Tuesday night.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and his wife, Annette, made Alabama Pecan Cheese Bits. Dr. Shelby, as she prefers to be addressed (she holds a Ph.D.), tells us her pecan cheese bits are not a family recipe but "just something I concocted."
Her concoction went over big. She and the senator won "best presentation" award at the gala. And for the record, Sen. Shelby, according to his press secretary, pronounces "pecan" as pi-KAHN, which, according to this North Carolina Web site, is the "truly Southern" pronunciation. (We agree, though we've heard plenty of other Southerners pronounce the word PEE-kan, with the emphasis on the first syllable.)
Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and his wife, Janet, won the "Health and Happiness Award" for their shrimp ceviche; Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and his wife, Barbara, took home the "American Regional Cuisine Award" for their Michigan Navy bean pate; Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and his wife, Debbie, won the "Easiest Preparation Award" for their Michigan cherry BBQ meatballs; and the "Best in Show" award went to Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) and his wife, Dana, for their butt-kicking "Thai Cowboy Steak with Peanut Sauce" recipe.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his wife, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, went out on a limb with a Kentucky bourbon pie recipe but, alas, they won nothing. (Must have been the crust.)
Still, McConnell was proud enough of his pie that he provided the recipe, which follows. (We would recommend adding more bourbon, less sugar.)
This is Beaumont Inn's Pastry Chef, Cathy Nichols', version of a regional classic pie.
Â· Pie Crust:
Â· 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Â· 1 teaspoon sugar
Â· 1 cup butter, cut up
Â· 1/4 cup ice water, more or less
Â· 1/2 cup butter, unsalted, melted
Â· 2 eggs
Â· 1 cup sugar
Â· 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Â· 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Â· 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Â· 2 tablespoons Kentucky Bourbon
Mix all except water in food processor until crumbly.
Slowly add ice water until mixture just holds together.
Wrap in a flat circle in plastic wrap; Chill overnight.
Form into pie pan.
Beat eggs with cooled butter.
Add flour & sugar. Beat until mixed well.
Gently fold in pecans, chocolate & bourbon.
Add mixture to pie shell. Bake at 350Â° for about 30 minutes, or until set.
Serve with fresh whipped cream.
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