Questions about making seafood "pot pie" in advance
I will be making (sort of) seafood pot pie for 20 for Christmas Eve dinner. I am adapting a chicken pot pie recipe, and I plan to use shrimp and perhaps scallops and crab instead of chicken. I will prepare it at my house then transport it to the family homestead where the meal will be. I am wondering if it would be best to cook everything except the seafood, and add that later after I arrive. Does that sound like a good idea? I will probably keep the dish hot in a slow cooker due to stovetop space issues. I'm concerned that the seafood will overcook if I add it too soon, but I do want to make sure it is fully cooked. I will have at least two hours' heating time before dinner is served.
Also, for ease of service and to make a nice presentation I was planning to serve the filling in pastry shells (like Pepperidge Farm). Would they hold up if I baked them earlier in the day? How far in advance can I bake them?
This is just one part of a much larger meal where I will have multiple responsibilities, so whatever I can do in advance is always helpful, but not if the quality will suffer. Any insight is appreciated. Many thanks in advance.
+1 the pastry shells will absolutely be able to be cooked early that day, let them cool before putting into a container and then you can refresh them in a 350 (ish) oven to help re-crisp them a little.
It would be best to hold the seafood until the final reheat, like you suggested. However, if you decide to add the seafood ahead of time, as long as you don't overcook it the first time - and watch the reheating the second time (i.e. don't let it boil, etc by accident when reheating) you could be okay as well. It is just a little riskier. We make several seafood soups/chowders that reheat just fine, so this would be very similar.