Feb 1, 2018

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

This is an easy and tasty meal to pull together. It is great for a family, and it looks visually appealing.

1 tablespoons olive oil
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" chunks (I used 4 to 5 cups pre-cooked, shredded rotisserie chicken so I could skip over that initial step below)
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (I used frozen peas and carrots)
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme (I used dried)
3 tablespoons flour
1 large potato, peeled, cubed, and cooked
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
2 cups chicken broth
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 can refrigerated biscuit dough
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned on all sides and remove from skillet. Add onion, carrots, celery, and thyme and cook until vegetables are soft, 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook 2-3 minutes more. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer, cooking 8-10 minutes more, until slightly thickened. Turn off heat and stir in cream, peas, potato, and chicken. Remove biscuits from can and slice in half horizontally. Arrange, overlapping, in a ring on the outer circle of the skillet. Brush with egg wash and bake until golden, 25-30 minutes. Serve.

Jan 27, 2018

Beef Fondue

A few weeks ago, I made cheese fondue for the first time in many years and loved it (see Family Fondue)! But I also have fond memories of eating beef fondue as a child, so I found some recipes and gave it a try. Two thumbs way up! Part of it is just that I like the fondue experience itself--sitting around a table with family or friends and chatting while you cook your food and eat it. But the fondue itself is very tasty. The meal seemed to be a hit with everyone. Two changes I may make the next time I do this. First, I think I may marinate half of the meat and leave the other half unmarinated, so that the flavors of the sauces come out more. Second, I'd like to try cooking the meat in broth rather than vegetable oil. Vegetable oil is the tradition I grew up with, but I presume it is less healthy than broth, and the oil spattered a little every now and then. Anyway, you should give this try. Definitely worth it and fun idea for a family or small group of guests.

3/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 pounds beef tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes (I used 5 sirloin steaks instead of the tenderloin because the tenderloin was so expensive)

Combine soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic. Put the mixture in a large resealable plastic bag, and add the cubed beef. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 4 hours, turning occasionally.

Drain meat and discard marinade. Pat meat dry with paper towels. Using one fondue pot for every six people, heat 2-3 cups oil in each pot to 375°. With fondue forks, cook meat in oil until it reaches desired doneness. Serve with sauces listed below (I also included a small bowl of A-1 steak sauce as a fourth option), though we ended up with way more sauce than we needed. So I'd consider limiting the number of sauces to two or three. Yield: 16 servings.

Horseradish Sauce
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the horseradish sauce ingredients. Cover and refrigerate sauces until serving.

Garlic Butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon chives, chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened

Combine ingredients and chill,

Green Goddess Dip
8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely sliced chives

In a microwave-safe container, microwave cream cheese and milk for 2 to 4 minutes, whisking after each minute, until cream cheese melts and mixture is smooth. Stir in sour cream, onion, parsley and chives. Refrigerate until cold.

Jan 15, 2018

Chocolate Pecan Pie

A recipe from my favorite cooking vlogger--Chef John at Foodwishes.com. His sense of humor is kind of folksy and corny, but the cooking is solid and he making things fun. Anyway, I just tried this recipe for the first time yesterday, and I really like it! It might well be my new favorite pie! There is another chocolate pecan pie recipe on this blog that I posted years ago, and it's still a good one, but I like the texture of this pie even better. It's so simple and so delicious. The video and original recipe are found here.

1 9-inch pie shell (I used a commercial 8-inch deep dish shell instead and that worked well)
2 eggs
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans

For the filling, whisk together two eggs until pale and a little frothy. Then stir in the milk and vanilla until blended. Next add the sugars and the flour and whisk them in. Finally stir in the hot melted butter and then the chopped pecans. The filling is now done. On the bottom of the unbaked pie crust, evenly distribute the chocolate chips, and then gently pour the filling over the top. Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for 10 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, or until the filling is no longer jiggly. Let the pie cool completely before serving.  Serve each peace with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.