Thursday, October 27, 2011

Overcooked Chicken Pot Pie

This Chicken Pot Pie didn't photograph well. And, it wasn't my best, to be honest. (See the comparison...)

When making my pie, JW wanted to hang artwork... so it got burnt. And, the art is slightly off center. (But don't tell him, he will make me re-hang it.)

Prep 25 minutes, cook 35 minutes
2 T butter
3 chicken breasts (I had frozen, with the bone in breasts, so I boiled them for 10 minutes to poach the meat and ripped it off the bone)
2 T shallots
1/4 c flour
1.5 c broth
1/2 c white wine
1/2 c milk
1 T parsley
16 oz frozen veggies
2 roll-out refrigerated pie crusts (room temp)

1. Preheat oven to 400, and grease a 9" pie plate. Since I used two pie crusts, I laid one in the bottom of the pan, pricked it, and let it bake for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, I diced the chicken and shallots and added them with butter to saute. Let them finish cooking (8 minutes) and added flour to coat. Then poured in wine, broth, milk, parsley, and veggies; allowing the dish to simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Added S&P, and took the pie crust out of the oven. and poured the mixture inside. Lay the second crust out and wet the edge with a little water (it called for egg, but i was out), and flip it on top. Push the crust into the pie dish to seal. Slice the top with a knife and I sprayed with olive oil spray (since i didnt have egg to make a yolk wash).

4. Put the dish on a cookie sheet (or else you will smoke yourself out with burnt drips!) and bake for about 30 minutes.

The funny thing is- I didn't even read my own post fully- as I almost forgot the cookie sheet... one burnt drip and I remembered the hard way.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Baking for the Fall!

With a weekend away at Washington College, I came home craving a warm oven to warm our home. With the CSA apples taking over the kitchen, I knew it was going to be the first apple crsip of the season (and had prepared by stopping at WFoods on the way home to get french vanilla ice cream).

In addition, I wanted lamb. When I had been in Chestertown, I went to Brooks Tavern, owned by the same couple that owned the Kennedyville Inn, where I had worked for almost 10 years. I had been debating between the duck breast and the lamb- and went with the duck as it isnt something I'd make at home.

So, to get my lamb fix, I fixed a leg od lamb, with the apple crisp. Odd, I know.

Roasted Leg of Lamb:
2 lb leg of lamb

Stab the lamb with a knife and insert slivers of garlic. Sprinkle all sides with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Bake at 325 for 2 hours, rotating a few times.

I added about 4 or 5 small potatoes to the pan, and roasted as well.

Apple Crisp:
6 cups of apples, peeled and sliced
1 t cinnamon
1 T water
1 t lemon juice

1/2 c butter, half melted or room temperature
1 c oats
3/4 c flour
3/4 c brown sugar

Layer apples in pie dish and sprinkle with next 3 ingredients. In bowl, mix 4 ingredients until gravel like. Sprinkle topping over apples.

Bake 30 minutes at 375 (or 50 at 325).

If in a hurry, invest in chicken thighs and a broiler.

I am a big fan of quick weeknight meals. My "mother in law" is usually amazed that I make a real dinner almost every night.

The benefit- leftovers.

My co-workers were all jealous today, smelling my meal.

Broiled Chicken Thighs (that I refer to as olive oil delights)
Chicken layered in roasting pan
1/4 c olive oil
3 T garlic

3 T soy sauce
1/4 t black pepper
1 t paprika
Pour over chicken. Broil for 7 minutes on both sides.

Roasted Yams
Sliced, covered with oil and salt and pepper and baked at 350 for 20 minutes.

A crazy veggie that arrived from the CSA- a flavor cross between cauliflower and brocoli. I boil/steamed, and served with butter, salt, and pepper.

Wait, you mash your own potatoes?

I'm probably one of a few people that actually chose food from the UK as a favorite. I am a meat and potatoes kind of girl. I LOVE SHEPHERD'S PIE!!!

I've been on a quest for a simple and delicious version. I typically find simple but tasteless, or delicious but extensive. Finally, for the first time, Rachael Ray came through for me, with a 30 minute Shepherd's Pie:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1 3/4 pounds ground beef or ground lamb
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas, a couple of handfuls

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup beef stock or broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire, eyeball it

2 pounds potatoes, such as russet, peeled and cubed

2 tablespoons sour cream
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup milk (or substitute vegetable or chicken broth)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika


1. Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes.

2. While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with beef or lamb. Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. (If you are using lamb and the pan is fatty, spoon away some of the drippings.)

3. Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat. Cook veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. Add gravy to meat and vegetables.

5. Stir in peas.

6. Drain potatoes and pour them back into the pot. Combine sour cream, egg yolk and cream. Add the cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth. (I also added a sprinkle of cheddar cheese., salt and pepper and some butter...)

7. Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned.

My friend JD came over for dinner (especially since JW was away in Boston) to help eat the pie. She walked in the kitchen to catch me mashing my own potatoes.

"Wait. You mash your own potatoes?"

"Wait. You don't?"

Cook them tasty food...

A small break from cooking to celebrate a few of my favorite things. First off, my penguin sparkling water maker. THIS THING IS AMAZING. A popular wedding gift (for us to give, so if you want one, get married, and don't make me come to the wedding...). But, we love it. And, it is cute. And easy. Insert regular water, out comes sparkling!
And-- this great bunper sticker came from my friends AG and DP- sent in a box full of 30th birthday gifts (wait, who is 30?!).  I have a hard time putting this on my car- but believe that it belongs on my blog!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Colleen's Chocolate Saltine Candy

Layer a pan with a lip with saltines, or a sleeve of club crackers.

In a pan, add 2 sticks of butter with 1 cup of white sugar. Heat until boiling for 3 minutes. Pour over crackers. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 300 degrees.

Melt 16 oz of chocolate chips, and pour over crackers. Refrigerate until solid. Cut and serve!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Grandmom's Pasta and Bobby's Sauteed Kale

To bring in fall, it called for a meal "stewing" on the stove. JW requested pasta, which is not typical.

I wanted to make my grandmom's pasta sauce, because it is so good and easy- but I didn't have "real" tomatoes- just crushed in a can. And to be honest, I think I like it better!

Spaghetti with Grandmom's Pasta Sauce:
2 cloves of garlic
1 diced onion
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 lb of ground beef
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste
5 drops of Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of sugar (I used brown), basil, and oregano
2 bay leaves

Saute the garlic and onion in the oil for about 8 minutes. Add and brown the ground meat. (Drain off some of the fat, and keep it on reserve if you need to add more.)  

Add the tomatoes and spices, and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Sauteed Kale, with bacon:

4 slices of bacon, chopped

1 1/2 pounds young kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1/2 cup stock

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Heat bacon in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft, but not colored. 

Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. 

Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add vinegar.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Columbus Day breakfast

With the day off (yes, I'm bragging), I made myself crepes! And a pot of coffee. Nothing is easier and tastier...
1 c flour
1 c milk
1 egg
Mix, add to pan, turn, flip. Smother in butter and syrup.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday cooking to steave off a cold

After 6 days of a nasty cold, I finally felt better enough to return to the kitchen today. And to do so, in honor of the cool air outside, I decided to bake and make a soup/chili.

For breakfast, I baked a chocolate chip banana bread, but knew it was going to be creative. I didn't have enough butter, milk, or flour... but I was determined!

Resourceful Chocolate Chip Banana Bread:

1/2 c butter (or in my case, a little less than a stick and vegetable oil to complete)
3/4 c sugar (I mixed white and brown sugar)

Mixed together until fluffy. Add 3 ripe bananas (mine were frozen).

Add 2 eggs, 1 t of vanilla and 1/3 cup of milk (I was just short, but since the recipe only really needed 2 bananas, I figured I was good).

Mix in 2 cups flour (I only had one cup, but had coconut flour- so added just under a cup of that since it is drier), 1 t baking soda and 1/2 t salt. Once mixed, add 1 c of chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Chicken Chili Soup:

Ok- I'm a cheater. I used a mix. JW's uncle has given me this Harry and David's sampler for two years in a row- and I managed to have 2 packs of Southwestern Chicke Chili- so I made both!

I first chopped frozen chicken breast and cooked it in its own jucies, and put them off to the side. Boiled beans for an hour, then added chicken broth and spices for 30 minutes, added the chicken, jalepeno peppers, and veggie pack for 30 more minutes!

Chicken was moist! Served with cheddar cheese!