Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Chicken Pot Pie

Let's see how many times I do a Chicken Pot Pie post now until next April.

This is a family favorite. I have been making this recipe since Feb. 2010. I found it on RealSimple.com. Over the years the only thing I have changed is the amount of milk I use to make the sauce. Be forwarned. This will boil over in the oven.

Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients -
1 pound meat from roasted chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 carrots, diced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups 1 percent milk
1 10-ounce package frozen mixed vegetables
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 9-inch pie crust

Method -

Heat oven to 400° F.
Remove the chicken meat from the chicken carcass. Save those bones for stock!
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. 
Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, 6 to 8 minutes (do not let them darken). 
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the wine and cook until evaporated, about 5 minutes. 
Add the milk and simmer until the sauce thickens 2 to 3 minutes. 
Stir in the chicken, peas, thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Transfer to a shallow 1 1/2- to 2-quart baking dish.
Lay the crust on top, pressing to seal. 
Cut several vents in the crust. 
Place the pot pie on a baking sheet and bake until bubbling and the crust is golden, 30 to 35 minutes.

The crust is the Pate Brisse recipe from The Silver Palate cookbook, which I got as a shower gift for my wedding. This is the only crust recipe I use.  

Pate Brisee -

1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch granulated sugar

5-1/2 Tbsp (2/3 stick) sweet butter, chilled

3 Tbsp vegetable shortening, chilled
1/4 cup ice water

Sift the flour, salt, and sugar together into a bowl; add butter and shortening and cut them into dry ingredients with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture is like coarse meal.
Sprinkle on and blend in enough of the ice water to make a workable dough, mixing water in lightly with a fork.
Turn dough out onto your work surface and, using the heel of your hand, smear the dough away from you, about 1/4 cup at a time. Scrape up the smeared dough into a ball, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
I love this crust!

The crust was decorated with leaf cutouts and a squirrel. 
An autumn theme!

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Cobb Salad

That Slow Cooker Chicken and Potatoes and even the leftover steak were part of tonight's dinner. I added some hard-boiled eggs and bacon, olives, and tomatoes. No wasted food here. And I have leftovers of this salad for lunch tomorrow.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Slow Cooker Chicken and Potatoes

A bit of nip in the air today. A perfect night for a roasted chicken. Not that I did not want to do much in the way of dinner prep for tonight but the slow cooker makes like so much easier.

I pinned this recipe a little while ago on the Pure Wow site. The only edit I made was to add celery and carrots to the bottom of the slow cooker. And with the drippings, I made a rather nice gravy if I do say so myself! Some steamed green beans from my sister's garden rounded this out to be a lovely Sunday supper. And we have leftover chicken which we will use in maybe a salad later this week.

Click here for the recipe on Pure Wow.

My No-Fail Gravy Recipe-

2 tbsp butter
2 1/2 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken broth, homemade or canned
salt and pepper
1 1/2 tbsp chicken drippings

Melt butter in a saucepan on medium-high heat.
Add the flour until it turns brown.
Slowly mix the chicken broth with a whisk.
Whisk constantly until it thickens.
Next, add the chicken drippings and serve hot.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Bolognese Sauce and Home Made Pappardelle

This was the first sauce for the freezer for this fall season. Yes we have reached the time of year where I start stocking up the freezer with dinners, casseroles, soups and of course, sauce. I usually make my Mom's Sauce, but this Bolognese Sauce is so darn good. The recipe is Lidia's but I followed a tip I picked up from watching Michael Symon during the lock down. You add the meat first and let it brown before breaking it up. Those brown bits of meat are worth doing this step.

I ended up with 5 zip-lock bags of sauce for the freezer. Money in the bank!
For the pasta I made hand cut Pappardelle using the only pasta recipe I have ever used, the Tide and Thyme Recipe. This pasta and this sauce were meant to be together.

Click here for Lidia's Bolognese Sauce Recipe.

While the sauce was simmering for a few hours some of us caught up on our cat naps!


Saturday, September 12, 2020

My Favorite Saturday Night Dinner

Yes, I love pork chops. I love breaded pork chops that are browned on the stove top and finished in the oven.  I dredged the bone in chops first in beaten eggs and then in a mixture of plain and panko bread crumbs seasoned with fresh chopped rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. About 2 tablespoons or less of olive oil in a oven proof saute pan. Brown on both sides. When you flip to the second side add about a 1/4 of white wine. I added some sliced apples and let them camelize a bit.
Once both sides of the chops are slightly browned put the pan in a preheated 375 oven until the interior them of the chops is 145˚.

Side dishes were Arborio Rice and steamed green beans. The beans were from my sister's garden.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Friday Night With Zuppardi's Pizza!!

I have to say that I do like being able to pull a Zuppardi's Sausage Pie out of the freezer for a Friday night dinner. When you heat the pie up in the oven it is crazy because the aroma brings you back to West Haven and you are opening the door and walking in to Zuppardi's. That rush of pizza aroma hits you in the face and you are suddenly happy. And did I mention it is an easy clean up dinner? Click here to order yours today!

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Yes, We Had Fritos For Dinner

A delicious dinner. Fritos, meat, and cheese. How could you go wrong?

AKA Taco Casserole. The original recipe was from Martha Stewart but her recipe uses too many dishes for a mid-week meal.

1 pound ground beef
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1/2 medium white onion, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1/2 can (15 ounces) whatever type of beans you have, drained and rinsed
2 cups yellow corn tortilla chips (Fritos!!)
1 cup freshly shredded Monterey jack cheese (3 ounces)
1 cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese (3 ounces)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to break up meat, until meat is browned, 10 minutes. 

Add bell pepper and onion. Cook, stirring, until tender and browning, 7 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chili powder, oregano and cumin, tomatoes (with liquid), pinto beans, and 2 tablespoons water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Top casserole with chips and cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and golden in spots, about 3 minutes. Serve with sour cream.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Double Cheese Chicken Roll Ups and Stuffed Tomatoes

I don't even know where to begin. Everything, even the green beans received rave reviews.

Let's start the protein. The Double Cheese Chicken Roll-Ups. I found this recipe on An Italian In My Kitchen. I made one little alteration to the original recipe. I added sliced provolone to the roll along with shredded Swiss Cheese. This was perfect! The meat was cooked perfectly and the flavors were just perfect. No complaints at all for this dish. Click here for the original recipe!

I served steamed green beans as a side dish. The beans were from my sister's garden.

I also made rice-stuffed tomatoes, a Lidia recipe, as another side. The tomatoes were from my sister's garden.

Rice Stuffed Tomatoes-

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 bay leaves
½ cup Arborio rice
4 medium tomatoes (about 2 ½ pounds), ripe but firm
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup Parmesan
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a 1-quart saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups salted water, 2 tablespoons of the oil and the bay leave to a boil. Stir in the rice and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to a lively simmer and cook the rice, uncovered, until al dente, tender but firm, about 12 minutes. Most of the liquid should be absorbed and the texture of the rice is creamy. Drain any excess liquid from the rice and transfer the rice to a mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut a 1/2-inch slice from the top of each tomato and set aside. Scoop out the pulp and seeds with a teaspoon and drop into a strainer set over a bowl. Press on the pulp in the strainer to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Reserve the liquid and discard the pulp in the strainer.

Toss the rice, mozzarella, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, and the basil together in a small bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Gently stuff the tomatoes with the rice mixture, dividing it evenly. Top each tomato with the reserved slices. Using some of the remaining oil, brush a baking dish into which the tomatoes fit comfortably. Set the stuffed tomatoes in the dish. Add the strained liquid from tomatoes and, if necessary, pour in enough water to come about ¼ inch up the sides of the tomatoes. Drizzle the remaining oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle them with the remaining 1 tablespoon grated cheese. Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil and bake 15 minutes.

Uncover the dish and bake until the tomatoes are very tender and the tops are lightly browned about 10 minutes. Remove tomatoes from the oven and let rest for a few minutes. Carefully transfer the tomatoes to a serving platter or individual plates. Swirl the juices in the pan to incorporate the oil into the juices and spoon the pan juices over and around the tomatoes. The tomatoes are best when served warm, with some of the pan juices drizzled over each serving.


Saturday, September 5, 2020

Sheet Pan Steak, Green Beans and Potatoes

 Kentucky Derby Day? 

First Saturday of September. 
2020. Nothing is normal. 
It was an exciting race.

For dinner we had Sheet Pan Steak, Beans and Potatoes. I love skirt steak and this one is marinated in Olive oil and Rosemary the baked in the oven with potatoes and green beans. Easy clean up!

The green beans were from my sister's garden. We will be seeing more of them this week!

The steak was cooked perfectly. Pat my self on the back!

The green beans and potatoes were perfectly roasted. No complaints about the vegetable in this one.

The recipe is from EatingWell.com.

Sheet Pan Steak, Green Beans and Potatoes

3/4 pound potatoes, cut into ½-inch wedges
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
¾ teaspoon salt, divided
¾ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
2 cups Green Beans
1 pounds skirt steak, trimmed
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

Marinate the Skirt Steak in Olive Oil, salt, pepper, and fresh Rosemary.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.

Toss Green Beans with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in the bowl. Stir into the potatoes on the baking sheet.

Place the steak on top of the vegetables. Roast until the steak is cooked and the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes more. Transfer the steak to a serving platter. Stir blue cheese into the vegetables and serve with the steak.


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Pasta with Slow Cooker Meatballs

Dinner was just delicious. Slow Cooker Meatballs! Amazing!

I made the meatballs on Sunday. I had other things I needed to get done and did not have the time to spend in the kitchen. So I googled slow cooker meatballs and it was quite easy.

I opened a can of crushed tomatoes and a jar of Rao's Marinara Sauce and put that in the slow cooker, heating it up. Yes I used jarred sauce. 
I made my usual meatball recipe.

THE MEATBALL RECIPE - I tear up a couple pieces of bread, either a roll or Italian bread and add that with small amount of milk to a bowl and let it sit. You want the bread to get mushy. Squeeze out as much milk as you can from the bread.

Add the meat, I use beef and pork and veal, or just beef and pork. One egg, Parmesan Cheese, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix it gently with your hands and shape into what ever size meatball you like. Yes I use a kitchen scale so they are all the same size.

After the sauce was heated I put the meatballs into the slow cooker covered it and walked away for about 4 hours. The slow cooker was set on high.

Tonight made the pasta and enjoyed the meatballs.