Monday, February 28, 2011

Lemony Chicken Pot Pie with Parsley Biscuit Crust

I'm falling behind on the whole blogging thing again. I have been cooking and baking and doing all of that fun stuff quite a lot lately, but can never seem to remember to actually post about it, which is sad because I'm making some good stuff. Like this awesome pot pie casserole. There are two parts that will bother Aaron and Renai respectively. Part one, to bother Aaron, is that I loved chopping the parsley for the biscuits. It smells so good and I think I just like chopping parsley in general.

Part two, to bother Renai, is my removal of the fennel from the original recipe. I am just not a huge licorice fan and though I do like a little bit of fennel in my Italian sausages, that's usually about as far as it goes. Yeah, I don't like star anise either. My palate has grown quite a lot, but I'm just not into it.

Anyway, my version of this recipe is tasty because I'm sure the original was tasty too. I followed the suggestions on the original pages and added in spinach and carrots and, of course, upped the garlic a bit. Either way, this is sure to keep you warm inside.

Oh, I also call BS on the 40 minute time frame. This sucker took a long time because there's a lot of prep involved. I might not be the fastest prep cook in the world, but this would take anyone a bit of time to get together. Plus, the baking time alone is 40 minutes. So there.

Lemony Chicken Pot Pie with Parsley Biscuit Crust modified from Serious Eats:

Serves 6

For the biscuit topping:
1¼ c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ c. fresh flat-leaf parsley, very finely chopped
¼ c. unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
½ c. milk

For the chicken:
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¼ c. all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1½ lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into ½” chunks
2 c. carrots, cut into chunks
3 c. fresh spinach
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 c. dry white wine
2 c. veggie broth
2/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400°F and lightly grease the baking dish with olive oil.

Prepare the biscuit dough. Mix the flour in a medium bowl with the baking powder, salt, and parsley. Cut in the cold butter and work it in with your fingers or a pastry blender until the flour mixture resembles soft bread crumbs. Add the milk, stirring just until the dough comes together. Set aside.

Cut the chicken breasts into large bite-size pieces. Toss the pieces in a bowl with the flour and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat a generous drizzle of olive oil in a large Dutch oven or sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot enough to sizzle when a drop of water is flicked in, add the chicken and brown for about 6 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, carrots, spinach, and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until they start to turn tender and fragrant. Add the potatoes and turn the heat up a little. Sauté the potatoes for a few minutes with the onion, then add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and wine and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the broth and chicken, and season the stew with about 1 teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper.
 Spread the stew in the prepared baking dish. Drop the biscuit dough on top in 6 to 8 evenly spaced mounds and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake, uncovered, for about 40 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked and the biscuit topping is golden. Serve hot.
I really, really loved this. I wasn't sure my Le Creuset could handle the volume, but it worked beautifully. The only other thing I'd change would be to double the biscuit topping to cover the whole stew. They are really awesome biscuits and deserve more attention.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Things I Love Thursday: Feb. 24, 2011

This week Portland has been in a tizzy about impending snow storms. As usual, it's sound and fury signifying nothing. Especially for this Alaska girl. Well, not quite nothing. I listened to three women talk about the weather and transportation for 30 minutes on the bus today. Anyway, on to things I LOVE!
Despite the lack of huge piles of snow, it's still fairly cold out. I like to eat oatmeal, well, all the time, but also when it's cold. Here's how not to do it. This article is hilarious and I'm sure oatmeal lovers will agree. Speaking of oatmeal lovers, The Fantastic Mr. Feedbag(aka my darling friend Patrice who I featured in my last TILT...or two) has an awesome oatmeal recipe up right now.

10 Crazy Food Tattoos: Admittedly, I think most of these are awful, but I get it. Sometimes it's totally taco time and you need everyone to know.

James Beard Award Semifinalists Announced: I haven't been to nearly enough of these places, but it just makes my list of restaurants to eat at longer. Toro Bravo, though, I have been to and it's amazing and I wish I were eating there right now.

Brownie Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies: Sometimes you want a brownie. Sometimes you want a cookie. Sometimes your sugar cravings go nuts and you want both at once. What to do? Stacking them is kind of awkward. Apparently someone else has thought of this and stuffed a brownie inside of a cookie. Yes!

Google Recipe Search: Adding on to the million of new ways Google has made my life easier, they are adding a specific search in Google just for recipes. I didn't see it when I tried just a little bit ago, but I'm looking forward to using it.
Playable Angry Birds Cake: I haven't actually played this game (I know, for shame!), but so many people I know have and would really like this cake. Cake + game = awesome.

7 Best Beer Cities in America: I love that Portland is on this list because duh. We're home to Widmer, Hopworks, BridgePort, Laurelwood (check out a full listing here). What I don't love? We're not number one. I might be (okay I am) biased, but I think Portland is THE destination for beer in America (period). I do also love the shout out to the Widmer Gausthaus because they deserve it. Their spätzle rocks my socks.

I'm also loving: coming home to delicious, hot meals made by Aaron (including ridiculously tasty turkey gravy); snacks at the Youth Services meeting (youth librarians know how to snack!); baking from a library book for the first time and the delicious, delicious results; finding ways to deal with too much frosting other than just eating it; mussels + beer + bacon; fancy ice cream on sale; amazing samples at New Seasons; pizza with friends, even my weird pizza; pizza for breakfast; pizza all the time!; brewer's yeast on popcorn; wanting to move into the culinary reference aisle at Powell's with Kirsten; giving cookbooks as gifts; my garlic sprouting.

What are you loving this week? 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Welsh Rarebit

What do you do when you have a bunch of chicken sausages? Make a dipping sauce. Out of cheese. Because that’s what should be done. This is my first shot at making Welsh rarebit, but it tastes awesome. It works well in the place of fondue and you could even use it for toasts or easy mac and cheese. I did a half size recipe and it worked out really well.

Welsh Rarebit from Serious Eats:

50 g. butter
50 g. all-purpose flour
300 ml. beer
150 g grated cheese
Mustard (brown or Dijon)
Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

In a smallish saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, then stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly to prevent lumps, for about a minute. Add the beer slowly, stirring to make a smooth sauce. Add in the cheese. Once that is fully incorporated, add in mustard, Worcestershire, and salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce is too thick it can be thinned with small additions of beer or water.
Serve hot or warm in order to avoid gumminess. Traditionally, rarebit is spread on toast and broiled until it bubbles, but Fearnley-Whittingstall suggests dipping blanched broccoli raab into it. We did ours with fresh broccoli and it rocked.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Jalapeño Pepper Jack Scones

 If you're not reading Joy the Baker yet, you're missing out. Her irreverent writing style is always entertaining and though I have a zillion of her recipes starred in my reader, this is my first time baking anything of hers. The awesome smoothie from last month was hers though.

I made these for Valentine's Day because I had most of the stuff around the house and I love cheese. So I guess you could the love between Aaron and I is spicy. And cheesy. Also, delicious. This recipe been sitting in my reader for awhile now, but I'm glad I finally got around to making them.

Jalapeño Pepper Jack Scones from Joy the Baker:

Makes 6 large scones

2 c. all-purpose flour
2 Tb. cornmeal
1 Tb. baking powder
1 tsp salt
8 Tb. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
2 large eggs
½ c. heavy cream (plus more for brushing the tops of the scones)
¼ lb. pepper jack cheese, cut into small cubes
2 medium jalapenos, some seeds removed, diced small
2 tsp. olive oil
1 Tb. all-purpose flour

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a small sauté pan and cook diced jalapeños until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Let the diced peppers cool and them mix with the diced cheese. Toss mixture in 1 tablespoon of flour and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Work in the cold butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Some butter pieces will be the size of peas and the flour will be nice and crumbly.

Whisk together 2 eggs and heavy cream. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients, fold together with a fork until almost fully incorporated. Add the jalapeño and cheese mixture to the shaggy dough and work together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 30 seconds. Form into a disk about 8” around and 2” thick. Cut disk into six wedges and refrigerate for 10 minutes before baking.
When ready to bake, place chilled scones onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and delicious.

These are so good! They're much spicier than you might expect which pairs well with the fattiness of the cheese. I think this would work so well with soup, but they're awesome just on their own. Even for breakfast!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Garlic Soup

The name of this blog is Better with Garlic and though I do bake a lot, I still love garlic. A lot. Above is the proper amount of garlic for a recipe. This soup is perfect for a number of reasons. It’s garlic, but not too assertive. I used the full amount possible for the recipe because for some reason, when someone says 12 garlic cloves, I say 15. It’s cheese, which is always good. And it’s soup, which in this wacky, up and down Portland weather is just what I need. I used veggie stock instead of water, but that’s because veggie stock is awesome. Make this soup, you won’t be sorry.

Richard Olney’s Garlic Soup from 101 Cookbooks:

Serves 2

4 c. stock or water
1 bay leaf
2 sage leaves
¾ tsp. fresh thyme
15 medium cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and chopped
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1½ oz. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
Day old crusty bread and more olive oil to drizzle

Bring the stock to a boil in your beautiful Le Creuset (or other heavy bottomed soup pot) and add the bay leaf, sage, thyme, garlic, and salt. Heat to a gentle boil and simmer for 40 minutes. Remove the bay and sage leaves and take the soup off the heat. Taste and add more salt if needed.

 With a fork, whisk the egg, egg yolks, cheese, and pepper together in a bowl until creamy. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, beating all the time, then add very slowly, continuing to whisk, a large ladleful of the broth. Stir the contents of the bowl into the garlic broth and whisk it continuously over low-medium heat until it thickens slightly. Olney states, "just long enough to be no longer watery." The author says they usually let it go a wee-bit beyond that - until it is the consistency of half-and-half or cream. I followed this advice. Place a handful of torn bread chunks into the bottom of each bowl and pour the soup over the bread. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil (I used my awesome Benessere garlic olive oil) and serve immediately.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Go Pack Go Lemon Lime Cheesecake

Think about Wisconsin. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Did you think of cheese? I know I did. So when it became clear that the Green Bay Packers were going to be in the Super Bowl, it was easy to come up with a dessert. Last year I did mini blueberry cheesecakes for the Colts because they’re blue and white. This year, I modified that recipe because cheese? Wisconsin. Adding green and yellow was easy: lemon and lime.

Go Pack Go Lemon Lime Cheesecakes modified from The New Moosewood Cookbook:

Makes 12 tart cheesecakes

Cheesecake recipe minus lemon juice and lemon rind
2 tsp. lemon rind
2 tsp. lime rind
Juice from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lime

Make the cheesecakes (using liners this time!). Chill for at least 12 hours. Eat and cheer for football!
These were awesome and super tart. I’d probably use a little less citrus next time and make sure I used enough butter in the crust (it was very crumbly), but overall these are an awesome modified version of an awesome cheesecake recipe. Playing around with cheesecake is fun and I highly recommend this one.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Things I Love Thursday: Feb. 10, 2011

(this was just too cute to not include. I'm not going to eat it. I promise.)
White House Homebrew: What don't I love about this? Honey ale? Check. Honey ale made from your own honey? Check. Honey ale made from your own honey at the WHITE HOUSE? Super check. The picture accompanying the article is also just awesome. Far better than the ones you see in that awful Budweiser commerical (Does it still taste awful? Yup. Well, ship it out!).

While we're on the subject of beer commericals, you should give this next link a read.Beer Commercials Are Not Stupid: An interesting analysis about why Bud and Coors ads are the way they are. And why the new Pepsi Max commercials are dumb.

And speaking of diet soda, my friend Patrice has an awesome post on The Fantastic Mr. Feedbag about giving up on diet soda and how just stinking awful it is. PS: If you're not following her blog, you should be.

Food Network Comment Trolling: Oh my goodness, read this! And you'll be craving Rachel Ray's late night bacon. Or how to make pineapple wedges. I'll give you a hint: it involves a pineapple.

Three More Interesting Ways to Cook Kale: I have been on a kale kick lately. I can't get enough of the stuff. And though I do love just cooking it with garlic and olive oil, it's fun to change things up. The coconut one sound particularly amazing.

Cheeseburger Dip: When this recipe came up in my reader, I was floored. Not based on the recipe itself, but the name. Every once in awhile (and by that I mean like twice), Aaron and I have made bacon cheeseburger dip, which involves adding beef and bacon (or it could be turkey) to my chile con queso dip. Which, I have just realized, I have never posted. Well, that's going on the docket! Anyway, cheeseburger dip is delicious and a lot more hearty than other dips. It also works well in other forms, like mixed in with rice.

(thanks Kirsten!)
Broccoli Fights Cancer: This is the best news ever! Do you know how much broccoli I eat? It has been my favorite vegetable for years. Sure, I like dark leafy greens and some much else in the produce aisle, but what do I always get every time I buy groceries? Broccoli. Time to eat up everyone!

 Magical Decorated Cakes: I'm a huge fan of Cake Wrecks (thanks Carrina!) and library stuff and this seems like a perfect combination of the two. Will someone please make me that cake?

I'm also loving: extra goodies at my Super Bowl party and also being stuffed from eating various dips and veggies all day (and Green Bay winning); re-purposing food, mostly with rice; how awesome spinach looks when you cook it down with garlic and cumin; Bananas Foster ice cream (it tastes the same! and it's ridiculously good); cookie compliments; a few sips of lemon-lime soda after a hard workout (it's just what I crave); the super supportive and growing blog community around me; convincing other people how wonderful garlic is; spreading the love of microbrews; pita chips with everything; pummelos for life.

What are you loving this week? 

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Things I Love Thursday: Feb. 3, 2011

The Taco Bell Ground Beef Kerfuffle: I'm sure you've all heard about this by now, but it just amazed me how quickly the news spread. At first I saw it in a blog post, and then The Consumerist is on the case and the next thing you know, Stephen Colbert is eating the Frito Burrito (as Aaron calls it) on The Colbert Report. Taco Bell responded, but things have definitely gotten weird. It's Taco Bell, though, and I'm sure my hometown will still be obsessed with it. As a random aside, I didn't eat there once all last year and I can't say that I've been missing it. Even after a long night out.

Are Pies the New Cupcake?: In other all over the place food news, I guess cupcakes are over and now it's on to pie? Honestly, I don't buy it and here's why: they are both delicious and should be eaten. Of course there are cupcakeries everywhere now and I can see how the trend has hit a peak, but do we really need to say cupcake, you're over? Sure, pie is coming up in a big way, but I agree with CakeSpy when she says let's just eat both. They're great! I'm not the only one musing about this. Maybe we should get together a talk about it...over pie...or cupcakes.

In super duper duh news, NPR tells us why bacon is a gateway meat for vegetarians. The answer? It's delicious. I mentioned how bacon broke me way back in 2008. At least there's some science behind it. Delicious, delicious science.

Real Food Flowchart: Awesome. Like most things though, I try not to take it too seriously. If you get too caught up in food politics, you start to lose what's so great about food and eating. The gist of it is spot on, though.

Up Cake by kpoplover1215 (via Girly Bubble) (I love this movie. So much. I want to eat this cake and watch this movie, but only after the first 10 minutes. I don't want to cry and eat cake at the same time.)
Fruit Ninja - Great As A Game, Even Better In Real Life?: I don't have an iphone, but I have a similar game on my phone and it is so much fun. If you want to see someone wildly flailing around at fruit, watch these videos. They are hilarious!

The Pollinator Frock - A Dress That Feeds Bees: Yay for saving bees..with fashion!

Learning to Cook: xkcd nails another thing about my life. Hover over the comic to get the alt text. That's the only reason I didn't embed it here.

Add to the list of things I want to do: root beer taste test! I love root beer. A lot. I loved making it in my 8th grade history class. It had something to do with...something making root beer. Anyway, I would love to do something like this. It's be interesting to see how my tastes compare to that of my root beer lovin' friends. For example, I don't really like licorice (okay, more like totally despise it, but moving on), so I don't like my root beer to be heavy on that flavor. I have crazy friends who do. Who wants to drink a bunch of root beer with me?

I'm also loving: Pressure Cooker - "y'all don't even have good palettes yet"; last Taco Tuesday with Corey for many, many months; Aaron succeeding at his no red meat challenge; super sample day at Costco; garlic in everything, but especially guacamole; happy hour at Bartini (it's kind of amazing); fancy lunches; warm apple cider on cold patios; tea and more tea and even more tea and tea in my Wonder Woman mug; French cooking; free cake; anniversary cupcakes; plum sake.

What are you loving this week? 
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