Saturday, June 4, 2016

Chicken Pot Pies

(4 generous servings)

Whenever I bring home a rotisserie chicken, it's the breast meat that's often left over. I usually make roast chicken sandwiches or some form of chicken salad out of this the next day.

This time the leftover chicken found its way into these individual single crust chicken pot pies. For some inexplicable reason I loathe making pie crust. I prefer grabbing a box of ready made which I can easily roll out even thinner.

2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large stalk celery, sliced
2-3 medium carrots, sliced
2 tbsp flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup water
2 tsp Reduced Sodium, Better than Bouillon, Chicken Base
1 1/2 tsp dried summer savory
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
3 cups leftover cooked skinless chicken cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/3 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste

homemade or ready made pie crust, enough for about 1 1/2 layers (9")

In a medium sized pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it becomes transparent.

Stir in the celery and carrots. Cook until the vegetables begin to brown lightly. Reduce the heat, if necessary.

Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir until the flour is evenly combined. Add the wine, water, Better than Bouillon, Chicken Base, summer savory, paprika and black pepper. Simmer gently for about 20-30 minutes.

Stir in the chicken, peas and heavy cream. Cook until everything has warmed through.

Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Divide the chicken stew between four 2 cup ramekins.

Cut four circles of pie crust large enough so that they will extend beyond the edges of the ramekins by at least 1/2 an inch or more. Cut a few slits in each piece for venting and place over each ramekin.

Place the pot pies onto a cookie sheet and bake for about 40-55 minutes or until the pie crusts have browned and the filling is bubbling hot.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Rebecca's Jerk Marinade

(enough to marinate 2 lbs meat, poultry or seafood)

Some of the best recipes I have come across are those that get passed along. Several months ago a friend in Toronto, emailed this terrific recipe to me. She had received it from her friend, Rebecca.

I tried this with chicken and it turned out great!

Although I have a 12 cup food processor, I wasn't able to fit everything in at once. But, I didn't have to do it in batches either. I just rearranged the order of the ingredients. I also added the zest from the lime.

1 small onion, cut up
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 - 2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into several pieces
3 tsp salt
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp allspice
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
zest from one lime
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and cut up
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch parsley
1/4 cup chopped green onion

Place the onion, garlic, ginger, salt, thyme, allspice, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, lime juice, lime zest, soy sauce, olive oil and brown sugar into the bowl of a 12 cup food processor. If you are using something smaller, you might have to do this in batches. Pulse several times until the mixture is fine.

Add the jalapeno peppers, cilantro, parsley and green onion. Pulse until you have a coarse paste.

This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two months if placed in a non reactive container and lid.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Milk Flan

(6 servings)

This creamy flan isn't too sweet. I often make it with 1% milk, but on occasion I'll use whole milk or half and half.

Although I prefer using custard cups, this flan can also be prepared in a souffle dish that's large enough to hold about 4 1/2 cups of liquid. Just remember to increase the baking time by about 10-15 minutes.

3 tbsp sugar
2-3 tbsp water

3 large eggs
3 egg large yolks
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp  vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3 cups milk or a combination of milk, half and half or cream

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Divide the sugar evenly between three two cup ovenproof custard cups or ramekins. Sprinkle about 1 1/2 tsp of water over the sugar in each cup until the sugar is soaked evenly.

Place the cups into a microwave and microwave about 2 minutes to begin and then about 20 seconds at a time on high until the sugar bubbles and becomes a nice medium brown color. Watch carefully so the sugar doesn't burn.

Remove the custard cups and swirl the sugar mixture so it coats the entire bottoms and part of the sides of each cup. Set aside.

 Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract and salt until the mixture is creamy. Set aside.

Gently heat the milk over medium heat until bubbles appear around the edge. If a skin forms, then remove it.

Whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture. Strain through a sieve and divide between the three custard cups.

Place the cups into a larger baking dish and fill with hot water about 1/2 way up the sides of the custard cups. Place into preheated oven and bake for about 45-55 minutes or until the flans have just set in the centers.

Remove from oven and cool completely.  Loosen the edges with a sharp knife, then carefully invert the flans onto one large or three smaller serving plates.