Saturday, March 29, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

An easy, make-ahead, all-in-one supper. I use ready-made crusts.
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked chicken (I poach a couple of boneless chicken breasts, then saute with the onions and garlic, but any will do.)
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 2 cups green peas
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • double pastry pie crust, deep dish
Cook peas and carrots until tender. Melt butter in skillet, saute onions and garlic until tender. Stir corn starch into milk until smooth, cook over medium heat until boiling, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat, mix in thyme, salt and pepper In mixing bowl, combine chicken, peas, carrots, onions and milk mixture. Pour into pie crust, top with other crust and seal. Cut four slits in top crust. Bake on cokie sheet for 35 minutes at 375 degrees.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Mimi's Holy Bread

For full effect, go here to see illustrations of how to put this together.  A great loaf for people who don't thing they have time to make bread.  I envision stuffing this full of savory meats and cheeses and taking it the next time I take a meal to a family with a new baby.
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet rapid rise yeast
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 cup warm water
Mix 2 1/4 cups flour and next three ingredients, add butter and warm water and work into soft dough.  Add more flour (enough to keep it from getting sticky) and knead for 4 minutes.  Sprinkle more of flour on surface and roll into 13 by 9 inch rectangle.  Don't worry if you don't use all the flour.

You are now ready to add fillings.  According to Mimi, a wide variety are possible, both sweet and savory.  Some recommendations:
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter plus cinnamon sugar
  • pesto, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomato
  • sausage and provolone
  • pizza sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella cheese
  • pesto and mozzarella
For spreadable fillings (butter, sugar, pesto etc, spread over entire surface of dough. Make cuts across both long edge of dough, 1/3 the way across.  Pile any chunkier fillings (meat, cheese) down the center, uncut strip.  Bring opposite strips together across dough, pressing so that fillings are wrapped in dough and top has a braided appearance.  Look at Mimi's pictures to see how it's done. Brush top with melted butter or olive oil.
Let rise on cookie sheet set above casserole dish of hot water 15-20 minutes.  Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Hoppin' John

I made this on New Years, and liked it so much that I repeated it, en masse, for a recent church supper. Very filling and great for a damp, chilly day.
  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 packets Goya seasoning
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 pound diced ham, or sausage, cooked
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or more, to taste)
  • 3 cups long grain rice
  • Tabasco sauce
Soak beans overnight and rinse, Combine beans with water, bring to a boil. Add spices, onion, pepper, bacon, meat salt and pepper. Cover and simmer several hours, until beans are tender but not mushy. Add more water, as needed, to keep bean mixture soup-like. Prepare rice according to directions. Serve beans in bowl, over rice, adding hot sauce as desired.