Tag Archives: Recipe

Comfy Cozy Chicken Pot Pies

My friend Michelle is an amazing cook…focusing a lot of attention on healthy, organic ingredients. Even her comfort food is healther.

-Michelle Olson

Serves 4*

1/4 lb. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups chicken stock
1 pint heavy cream
1 bag frozen mixed, diced vegetables (corn, green beans, peas, carrots)
1 cup frozen peas
2 1/2 cups chopped, pre-cooked chicken breast
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg
Parmesan for grating
Individual baking dishes or ramekins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and sauté the onion over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock and whisk well. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add heavy cream, cubed chicken, vegetables and parsley. Mix well. Season with nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Lay puff pastry sheets flat on a cutting board. Invert a ramekin or individual baking dish on the puff pastry and cut a circle slightly larger than the dish. Once you have 4 circles of pastry, place each dish on a baking sheet. Fill each baking dish a little more than 3/4 full and top each dish with the puff pastry, pressing down on sides to form a tight seal. (For added flair, use a cookie cutter and cut the remainder of the puff pastry into small leaf shapes and place on top of each pie.)Whisk egg with 2 Tbsp water and brush the top of each pot pie with the egg wash. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes, until top is golden brown and puffy.

*Cooks note: Depending on the size of your bowls, you may be able to squeeze one or two more pies out of this filling recipe. Just buy an extra sheet of puff pastry for the crust. Alternately, you could freeze any leftover filling and serve some cold, wintry day on top of fresh-baked biscuits. Yum!

The Recipe That Inspired a Book

In The Culinary Mistress – a Love Affair with Food introduction I reference pho made by Chef Asher Miller.  The idea for the book came to me as I was eating the soup.

The soup encompasses all of comfort food as there are foods that comfort you through sorrow and fear – this soup has done both for me.  Part of the reason is the food itself but a bigger part is the care put into it by the person who made it.

Pho Base:

Make chicken stock with chicken stock (by using chicken stock rather than water to make chicken stock – it increases the potency of the stock).

Reduce four quarters of pho base to two quarts.  As it reduces add:

4 dry bay leaves
1/2 piece of star anise
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 Thai chili
fist full of fresh cilantro
2 branches Thai basil
pinch of fried garlic
chuck of pork
couple of Szechuan pepper corns
1 tsp blanched sliced garlic

As the base is reducing poach the chicken dumplings (sub scallop / shrimp or pork dumplings) and set aside.

Strain the base through a fine chinois.  Add vegetables:

chopped bok choy
fresh water chestnuts
cilantro (picked)
fried garlic
salt and pepper
fish sauce
lime wedges
bean sprouts
diced pork chunk

Add dumplings.  Season and salt.

Goats On My Mind

I know this is coming from left field….far left field, but I’ve had goats on my mind lately.

It appears to be the trend to eat goat meat, but to me that is like eating your dog (although where I was born, that is considered a delicacy). Granted, we had cows and pigs on the farm and I don’t have problems eating beef and pork. However, we played with the kid goats from the moment they were born and would feed them with a bottle (as well as show them off at the Fair), so perhaps it’s just too personal.

What I do love is goat cheese and goat’s milk ice cream. I still haven’t grown to love the taste of straight up goat’s milk – it’s still too sharp for me, even though we were raised drinking it.

As a kid, we would make goat’s milk ice cream and serve it with fresh honey (I was responsible for extracting honey from the hives) and fresh raspberries or whatever other wild fruit we had available on the land.

I’m not sure if I know how else to describe it other than refreshing.

So I’ve decided that I want to visit one of the area goat farms and get some fresh milk to make my own ice cream. Interested in going on a field trip?

Poplar Hill Dairy Goat Farm in Scandia
Kalisch Family Farm

I found a recipe from Former Chef that I thought I might try.

3 cups goat’s milk*
1 cup heavy cream
3.5 oz good quality dark chocolate, chopped
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar (split, 1/4 c. and 1/2 c.)
1 tsp. vanilla

*I used pasteurized goat’s milk which is why I think the flavor was so mild.

Put the goat’s milk, heavy cream, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the chopped chocolate into a heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a simmer, whisking the chocolate so that it melts and incorporates into the milk. Turn off the heat.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar. Whisk a cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks and sugar. This will temper the eggs and help prevent them from curdling (turning into scrambled eggs) in the hot milk. Whisk in another cup and then pour that mixture back into the pot with the remainder of the milk mixture.

Turn the heat back on medium-low and cook, stirring, until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and strain though a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Whisk in the vanilla.

Cool thoroughly in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally until cold. This can be done the day before you want to make ice cream to ensure the mixture is ice cold before going into the ice cream machine.

Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s directions. I use a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker which has a freezer bowl.

Recipe Wrap Up

I was pleasantly surprised that my attempt at Curry Chicken actually tasted like curry chicken!

If you are going to attempt the recipe that I blogged about earlier, I will make the following recommendations:

* don’t listen to boyfriend telling you to use less tumeric than the recipe required
* add more coriander leaves (aka cilantro) than recipe calls for
* add a bit more green chilies than recipe calls for
* add more coconut cream than recipe calls for
* although you can use a mortar & pestle (as I had to since I don’t own a blender…okay, quit with the gasping…I’ve never been married so haven’t gotten one through any gift registery), it isn’t probably the ideal way to blend the curry paste

Overall, the dish was pretty good and I’ve been directed to perfect it. Attempt number two will be sometime next week.