Friday, September 23, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie with Cheddar Crust

Chicken Pot Pie with Rustic Cheddar Crust
adapted from Food Network Magazine
For the Crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 5 ounces)
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
For the Filling:
1 3 1/2-to-4-pound roasted or rotisserie chicken
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
5 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
6 stalks celery, chopped
6 carrots, chopped
Kosher salt
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground pepper 

Pulse the flour, fine salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor. Add the cheese, butter and shortening; pulse until the butter is in pea-size bits. Add 1/2 cup ice water and pulse until the dough just starts to come together. Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pat into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Discard the chicken skin and shred the meat; set aside. Put the bones in a pot and add the chicken broth. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Strain the broth and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Melt the butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, thyme, celery, carrots and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt; cook, stirring, until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and cook until soft, about 6 more minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add the wine; cook until almost evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the broth, cream and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until thick, about 3 minutes. Add the parsley, shredded chicken, and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a 3-to-4-quart baking dish.  I used to 8x8 pans, so that I could freeze one for later.

Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper until slightly larger than each baking dish. Drape the dough over the filling, press it against the inside of the dish and trim. Brush with cream, then cut a few slits in the top. Put on a baking sheet; bake until golden, about 35 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

I froze one of my pot pies byt pressing plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cooled pie.  Then, I wrapped the casserole dish with foil and froze it.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Summer Salad

Tomato Salad with Crushed Croutons
adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen
Crushed croutons
4 slices hearty white bread
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press
1/4 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Tomato salad
1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, mixed colors if you can find them
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon mellow red wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon table salt
Pinch of sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
Handful basil leaves, slivered

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tear bread into chunks and whirl them in a food processor until coarsely ground. Spread crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and parmesan until croutons are evenly coated with oil. Bake until golden brown and dry, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Halve each tomato lengthwise and arrange cut side up on a platter. Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, salt, sugar and a few grinds of pepper in a small dish. Drizzle over tomatoes. Sprinkle tomatoes with crushed croutons. Garnish with slivers of basil.

This salad would also be delicious with the addition of white beans, chopped olives or drizzled basalmic vinegar.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Picnic Corn

This recipe may be the best part of summer!  We have eaten it over and over again.  The first time we tried it, my cousin and her family were here.  They went home and made it for her in-laws the very next day.
{Picnic Corn}
originally from here
8 ears corn, shucked
1/4 cup melted butter or olive oil
1 tablespoon cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chile powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 cup grated Romano cheese
Lime wedges, for garnish

Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat (or and indoor grill pan).  Brush the corn with melted butter or olive oil. Grill the corn until hot and lightly charred all over, 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the temperature of the grill.

While the corn is charred, mix the cilantro, garlic, chile powder, salt, mayonnaise, and lime juice.

Spread the mayonnaise mixture evenly over the corn, and sprinkle with Romano cheese. Place corn under the broiler for just a few minutes.

Serve warm with lime wedges.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Dear Friend

I have a dear friend who's name is Becky. She has opened her house to us many times and welcomed us in as if we were part of her family. She is so generous and giving to everyone around her. Recently she did all of the food for not one, but two of my sister's bridal showers. The first was themed "Get in the Moodie for Cookin' with a Foodie." It was such a good time. We had lunch and, then, a Chopped competition. We were divided into 4 teams and given a basket with mystery ingredients. My team got bacon, asparagus, large flake coconut, and dates. Other teams had shrimp, fish, or scallops as their protein.
Overall, the afternoon was delightful but so was the food! Here are two of Becky's recipes for you to enjoy!{Roasted Beet Salad}
Arugula (mostly)
Spring Greens
Red & Yellow Beets, Roasted (recipe follows)
Goat Cheese (really creamy, from Whole Foods)
small amount of Red Onion

To Roast Beets:
Scrub beets really well. Cut in half if they are large, they should easily fit within a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle around 1 onion that was quartered. Drizzle with olive oil and toss. Drizzle with a little maple syrup, salt and pepper, and toss. Turn red beets, flat side up - yellow beets, flat side down. (Each color should be roasted seperately.) Sprinkle each one with brown sugar. Tightly cover with foil and roast at 350 degrees for 1 hour. No peeking. Cool and peel just prior to using.

Fresh Basil Vinaigrette
In a blender, combine:
1 C white basalmice vinegar
1/4 C agave nectar
1/4 C really good honey
1/2 of a cooked yellow beet
a good handful of fresh basil
a good handful of fresh parsley
1/3 C white onion
juice of 2 limes, and a little zest
Blend until really smooth. And, add:
a couple pinches of italian seasoning (roll it around in your fingers first, so that it is very fine)
a couple grinds (1/4 tsp) salt and pepper
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp (to start) pistachios
Blend, again. Slowly drizzle in 1 C of good olive oil while blender is running. Taste and adjust.
{Homemade Rolls or Bread}
Mix together and proof for 10 minutes:
1 package of yeast
1 C warm water
2 tsp sugar
In a large bowl combine:
3 beaten eggs
1/2 C really soft butter
Mix together, and add 1/2 C sugar. Mix again.
Add yeast mixture, mix with a wooden spoon. Stir in:
4 ½ C flour
1 teaspoon salt

Mix together with a wooden spoon for about 7-8 minutes. Becky said, “Mix until you are is really tired.” Cover with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel. Let rise in the bowl until truly doubled.
Punch down and shape into rolls (Becky does crescents). Cover loosely with plastic wrap and rise until “almost double.” Bake at 350 degrees, and begin checking right around 10 minutes.
For bread: Shape loaves and place in well-buttered pan. Place in the fridge, until you are ready to bake them. Take out and let them rise to double. Bake at 350 degrees, and begin checking around 25 minutes – until golden brown.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Quinoa Makes Me Happy

I, recently, had a quinoa salad at a playdate that was so yummy, I decided to give it another go at home. Previously, quinoa didn't fly in our house. Maybe, because the first recipe I tried didn't mention rinsing the quinoa to wash away the bitter taste.
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY: You must wash quinoa before you cook it, or it will be extremely bitter and no one will want to eat it!
My first attempt, was a Southwest Quinoa Salad. Next up, I'm thinking Greek, or really any flavor combination you may like. Quinoa is a very versatile grain that could even be substituted for rice in a lot of dishes.

{Southwest Quinoa Salad}
adapted from this recipe
1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed well and drained
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 can (15 oz.) reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed, or drained canned corn
1/3 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons red onion, finely minced
salt & pepper, to taste
avocado, sliced or diced

Rinse quinoa well. Bring quinoa, 1 C of water and a pinch of salt to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. While quinoa is cooking, mix together lime juice, oil and cumin. Whisk to combine. Add in slightly cooled quinoa and remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve with butter lettuce for wrapping, or in a bowl. Top each serving with fresh avocado.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter a Very Special Meal

You know, sometimes life throws thing at you that you don't expect. The last 4 months have been like that for me. And, consequently, food takes a back seat. I totally have days where dinner consists of finding the freezer meal I've tucked away, or even throw together something based upon what is actually in the house at that moment.

But, holidays tend to be different. They lead to memories shared around a table with family and often friends. People laughing and crying together as their bodies are nourished with food made by hand specially selected for the occasion.

This Easter we will join friends for a non-traditional Easet dinner. But, for breakfast we will have just our little family gathered around a Sunday breakfast table in warm pajamas having just found baskets full of unimaginable treats and suprises. So, here is what I am thinking.
An egg dish: Crispy and Delicious Asparagus and Potato Tart by Jamie Oliver
Sausage and Pepper Frittata by Anne Burrell
Tomato, Green Scallion and Feta Frittata
Spinach and Goat Cheese Frittata
Mini Frittatas with Broccoli and Three Cheeses
A bread:
Challah Bread
Scones - here is a great base recipe that you can alter as you would like, or try Orange Glazed Strawberry Scones
And, a fresh fruit salad. What could be better for a spring brunch?


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