Saturday, October 27, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

This is a great recipe for chicken pot pie and it comes from Ina Garten of food network. Chicken Pot Pie

I forgot to take the picture until the next day when we had it for left-overs. I warmed it in a 350 degree oven until it was nice and warm.  I think the microwave would have made it too soggy for my taste. I like the pastry to be light and crisp.

Printable Version: Chicken Pot Pie
3 whole chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on (I used rottisserie that I took off the bone)
3 tablespoons olive oil (you don't need this if you use the rotisserie chicken)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chicken stock, preferable homemade. A little trick that I use is have one meal with the breast of the rottisserie chicken, take the rest off the bone to use later. Then I put about 6 cups of water in a stock pot and make chicken stock from the bones, meat left on the bone, an onion, 3 carrots, 3 celery and any other vegetables I might have that I can use to make the stock.  I also scrape the jelly-like stuff that is left in the rottisserie chicken plastic container into the stock pot
2 chicken bouillon cubes
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups yellow onions, chopped
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 4 minutes
1 (10oz) package frozen peas
1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions (I didn't use these)
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves

For the pastry:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 - 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper for the top of the crust

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into a large dice. You will have 4-6 cups of cubed chicken. 
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions, and parsley.  If you want to add pre-cooked diced potatoes, this would be the time to do that as well.
Mix well.
For the pastry: Mix flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Divide the filling equally among  4 ovenproof bowls. I just used one 8" X 8" baking dish. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8" circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circles to 1/2 inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is glden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Boeuf A La Forester

This sounds like a really fancy dish, but it is really just swiss steak. It does have a few additions that swiss steak doesn't have.  The recipe on the right is company green beans.  I really like making these. I usually use canned whole green beans, but I had some fresh green beans, so I used those.
Ingredients for Boeuf A La Forester:
2 pounds round steak
flour, salt, butter
1 cup canned tomatoes
2 cans mushrooms I used 16oz. fresh mushrooms
1 bay leaf
6 whole allspice
1 cup red wine
Slice meat in 1/2 inch strips and dredge in flour. Melt several pats of butter to cover the bottom of the heay skillet and brown the meat. Add tomatoes and mushrooms. Cook a few minutes longer. Transfer to a 1 1/2 quart casserole and add bay leaf, allspice, and wine. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. After pouring the meat into the casserole pan, I deglazed the skillet with the wine. Then I poured that in the casserole baking dish.

Ingredients for Green Beans:
Wrap 6-8 green beens in 1/2 slice of bacon. Secure with a toothpick and place in a baking pan.
Simmer 1/2 stick oleo and 1 clove garlic. Take off the burner and add 1/3 cup brown sugar. Pour this mixture over green beans. Bake uncovered 1 hour. When it is just Jud and me, I usually only make about 6 bundles. If you are making it for more people you will probably need to use a whole stick of butter and bake it for 1 1/2 hours.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chicken Parmesan

This was the best Chicken Parmesan I have ever had.  Stacy gave me The New Best Recipe from the Editors of Cook's Illustrated. It is probably one of those time-consuming recipes that I wouldn't make unless I had time and interest to go above and beyond.  But I would definitely make it again; it was that good.

Printable Version: Chicken Parmesan
Ingredients for the Tomato Sauce:
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon sugar
salt and ground black pepper
Ingredients for the Chicken and Pasta:
1 recipe of Breaded Chicken Cutlets ( recipe follows)
2 teaspoons salt
8 ounces spaghetti or linguine
3 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
12 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Getting Started:
1.  Dissolve 2 teaspoons of table salt in one quart of water and place in a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag.  Add the cutlets and seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Refrigerate until the cutlets are fully seasoned, 30 minutes. Line a baking sheet with a triple layer of paper towels.
2.  Remove the cutlets and lay them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Cover with another triple layer of paper towels and press firmly to absorb the moisture. Allow the cutlets to dry for 10 minutes. Carefully peel the paper towels off the cutlets; sprinkle the cutlets with pepper to taste and set them aside.
3. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle posistion, set a large heatproof plate on the rack, and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the bread crumbs in a shallow dish or pie plate. Spread the flour in a second shallow dish. Beat the eggs with the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a third shallow dish. Place a wire rack over a baking sheet and set aside.
Breading and Cooking Cutlets:
1. Pound the boneless, skinless chicken breast to 1/2" thickness
2. Dredge the cutlet throughly in flour, shaking off the excess
3. Dip both sides of the cutlets in egg mixture, allowing the excess to drip back into the dish. Using tongs helps keep the breading from coating your fingers.
4. Dip both sides of the cutlets in the bread crumbs, pressing the crumbs on with your fingers to form an even coat.
5. Place the breaded cutlets in a single layer on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and allow the coating to dry for about 5 minutes. I think all the drying helps get the cutlets crispy.
6. Meanwhile, heat 6 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-bottomed 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Lay 2 cutlets gently in the skillet and cook until deep golden brown and crisp on the first side, gently pressing down on the cutlets with a wide metal spatula to help ensure even cooking. Reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook until the meat feels firm when pressed gently and the second side is deep golden borwn and crisp, 2 1/2-3 minutes. Line the warmed plate with a double layer of paper towels and set the cutlets on top; return the plate to the oven.
7. Discard the oil in the skillet and wipe the skillet clean using tongs and a large wad of paper towels. Repeat step 6, using the remaining 6 tablespoons oil and the now-clean skillet to cook the remaining cutlets. After draining on paper towels, serve all the cutlets with the lemon wedges.
For the Sauce: 1. Heat the garlic and oil together in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until the garlic starts to sizzle. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, oregano, sugar, a pinch of salt, and 2 grinds of pepper. Bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the sauce thickens a bit and the flavors meld, 10-12 minutes. Taste the sauce, adjusting the salt if necessary. Cover and keep warm.
2. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Adjust an oven rack to the top position and heat the broiler.
3. Meanwhile, bread the chicken cutlets, place them in a single layer on a wire rack set over baking sheet, and allow the coating to dry about 5 mintues.
4. Add the salt and spaghetti to the boiling water and stir to separate the noodles. At the same time, cook the chicken cutlets according to step 6.  When the cutlets are done, transfer them to a clean wire rack set over a clean baking sheet. Top each cutlet with 3 tablespoons mozzarella and 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Place the baking sheet under the broiler and broil until the cheeses melt and are spotty brown, about 3 minutes.
5. Drain the spaghetti. Transfer a chicken cutlet and a portion of spaghetti to each of 4 plates. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons sauce over part of each cutlet, then sauce the spaghetti as desired. Serve immediately, passing more Parmesan separately at the table.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lemon Yogurt Cake

Jud and I love lemon pound cake. The one at Starbucks is awesome.  This is pretty close. It is very lemony. The recipe is for a cake, but I decided to make lemon cupcakes instead. I made some of them tiny and some of them regular size.  We can't possibly, or should I say we shouldn't, eat a whole cake, so I froze the little ones and saved the larger ones.  I will pull them out of the freezer in a couple of weeks.

Printable Version: Lemon Yogurt Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt ( I used Brown Cow- vanilla)  ( I had a hard time finding an 8 oz plain whole milk yogurt.
1 1/3 cup sugar, divided use
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (syrup to pour over baked cake)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 1 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan. I just sprayed the mini-muffin tins with cooking spray. I used paper liners in the larger muffin tins.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean. I baked the larger muffin tins about 20-25 minutes and the mini-muffins about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze:
Combine 1 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice and pour over the cake.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Creamy Pico de Gallo Shrimp

This is served over rice and all that creamy goodness seeps down into the rice to make it amazing.  This sauce would be good on pork tenderloin, chicken or fish.  You get the idea that we really liked the sauce.  You are right. Jud was convinced that we needed a pound, but 1/2 pound would have been plenty for us.  He ate about 1/2 a pound himself so I guess he was right. I got the recipe from Becky Upchurch. We are hiking buddies, and she likes to cook as much as me. She found in the Express News' May 2012 issue.

12 large wild-caught (16-20 count)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup purple onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 fresh jalapenos, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon cilantro, diced
1/2 cup heavy cream
juice of 1 lime, don't leave this out
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
In a hot pan, melt butter and sear shrimp for 30 seconds on each side. Remove shrimp and set aside. In same pan, saute onion, garlic, and jalapeno until onion becomes soft- 4 min.  Deglaze pan with wine. Let wine reduce by 1/2 then add tomato, cilantro, cream, lime juice, salt, pepper, and shrimp. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly. Taste for seasoning. Serve over rice.

Bowtie Pasta in Cream Sauce with Sausage

This is an old recipe book that belong to one of my friends. When she was cleaning out cookbooks, she gave me this one. It was good, but I'm not sure I will be making it again. It is by Lisa Kurek in Fine Fighter Fare.

1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound sweet Italian Sausage, casings removed
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup whipping cream (or substitute half and half)
6 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1 pound bow tie or penne pasta, cooked and drained (I didn't think it needed that much pasta so I only cooked about 1/2 a pound
1 cup grated Paremsan cheese
Melt butter and oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until golden brown and tender. Add sausage and saute until cooked through, breaking up with the back of a spoon. Drain excess drippings from skillet. Add wine to skillet and boil until almost all liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices and simmer 3 minutes. Add cream and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and Parmesan cheese. Remove from heat and combine with the pasta. Transfer to a large serving bowl.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pizza Dough and Pizza Sauce

I read a book a while back called A Slice of Murder by Chris Cavender.  It had these two recipes in the back of the book and I have really enjoyed making it.  Once you have the dough and pizza sauce recipe you can make it your own by adding whatever topping you like. 

Printable Version: Pizza dough and Sauce

For Pizza Dough:
3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 pkg yeast
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
2 cup bread flour (I just used unbleached all purpose flour)
cornmeal for dusting

Combine water, sugar, yeast, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and oregano. Let cure 3 minutes. Add flour and mix with dough hook 3-4 minutes or until it forms a ball.  Knead on counter 3-4 minutes longer.  (I didn't do this) Form into a ball. Spray clean bowl with cooking spray. (I put about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of the bowl instead) Place ball of dough in bowl and turn to coat the top. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise at least 1 hour. Punch down and it is ready to use. I made 1/2 for tonight and will use the other 1/2 one day later this week. You can refrigerate it for a couple of day.  Lightly dust the work surface with cornmeal. Shape dough with hands to size desired. Makes 1-14" pizza or 2-7" pizzas. Bake 425 degrees 10 minutes.

Pizza Sauce:

8 oz tomato sauce
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
1/4 teaspoon diced basil leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
dash of salt and pepper

This sauce does not need to be cooked. Just mix ingredients and add 3-4 tablespoons per pizza.

I topped my crust with Canadian Bacon, sliced tomatoes, mozarella cheese, and 4 cheese blend (cheddar would be fine)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Braised Short Ribs

This was taken from Pioneer Woman's Blog. It is an amazing dish.  Braised Short Ribs  This is the second time I have made this dish.  This time, after browning the short ribs, I put them in a slow cooker with all the ingredients and cooked them for 7 hours on low.
Printable Version: Braised Short Ribs