Dee’s pies are perfect for a potluck, a beach cook-up, or for an easy family dinner — serve with a green salad.

The Savory Pied Piper

by Samantha Barrow

The Savory Pied Piper

Elizabeth Cecil

Dee's pies are perfect for a potluck, a beach cook-up, or for an easy family dinner serve with a green salad.  

Dee Smith’s distinctive line of Savory Pies asks us to re-imagine the possibilities of dinner in a crust. Her perfected pastry layers operate like an elegant container, a frame, where the discrete character flavors maintain their individual personality traits as they dance together in luscious flavor combos. Take for example, the best-selling Turkey Dinner Pie. Rather than a traditional mush of poultry and carbs, the turkey component—rich with gravy and peas—establishes the landscape foundation. Then the stuffing strata is layered atop as mid-level loam, which is blossomed upon by cranberry sauce before the lattice work top completes the terrain.

Or consider Dee’s personal favorite, the Seafood Pie, which she describes as “much like a lobster Newburg.” The lobster and shrimp are flambéed with sherry, finished with cream, butter, and cheese, then folded into egg yolk with crabmeat before landing in the crust. “It’s nothing but seafood,” she says proudly.

These pies are the newly enhanced offerings of her Phantom Chef catering company, which she founded about a decade ago. Dee, a chef trained at the American Culinary Institute, needed to earn income in a way that was compatible to the time commitments of motherhood. She established this gourmet-catering drop-off service that was born “literally with a quart of marinara in the back of my car.” Her son cooed in the baby seat as she ran inside a client’s house to drop off the special order. These modest beginnings evolved into a full scale food enterprise that today accommodates everything from rehearsal dinners to back yard BBQ’s and is the perfect compliment to her full service Tea Lane Catering Co.

The pies, including Dee’s first invention, the Quahog Pie (“like eating chowder with a fork!”) or the toothsome, not greasy, Eggplant Parmesan Pie, are delivered with complete baking and reheating instructions in a reusable pie tin.

Serve with a salad of your own making or order that too through Phantom Chef, et voila! It’s Dinner. Perfect if you’re not sure what to bring to a pot luck, what your summer guests will eat, or how many new friends may follow your children home from the beach.

The vegetarian line-up of Savory Pies will be available at retail locations this summer (check the site for more up to date info), and all varieties can be ordered 48 hours in advance for delivery. www.tealanecaterers.com