Pastitsio, Pasticcio, Pasticchio

28 Feb
Pastitsio, Pasticcio, Pasticchio

Pastitsio, Pasticcio, Pasticchio

Pistachios, am I nuts? No, this is Pastitsio, also known as Pasticcio, and sometimes spelled Pasticchio. But my tattered Better Homes and Garden cookbook names this Greek dish it the latter. No matter how you spell it, it’s dang good! It also messes up a lot of pots and pans. But don’t let that stop you from making this guest-worthy casserole.

You can shorten the cooking time by preparing some of the steps concurrently, or, if you have a lazy weekend day with lots of time you can just methodically work your way through each step. The end result will be the same. Bites of savory tomato and ground beef pasta topped with a lusciously puffy bechamel/egg crust. Are you drooling yet???

I had not made this in probably 5 or 6 years, so I just followed the recipe again as written (mostly) in the cookbook. Traditionally, this dish is made with a tubular pasta but I think the smaller macaroni works well with this. My family agreed it could use a few tweaks, but even so we all enjoyed this immensely. I’ve added my tweaks to the recipe below, and I think you’d be satisfied with them. So here it goes:

Pasticchio
From Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite Recipes

6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) dry elbow macaroni
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the real stuff!)
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
3/4 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce (I would also add a can of diced tomatoes next time)
3/4 teaspoon salt (I used Mrs. Dash, but we agreed real salt would be better)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I actually used 1/4 teaspoon, and it was the right amount)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper (I ground in liberal amounts)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Paprika, to make it pretty

Pasta Mixture

Pasta Mixture

Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain, and set aside to cool for a bit. When cooled enough not to cook the egg you will be adding, stir in 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of milk, and the beaten egg. Set aside.

Beef and Tomato Sauce Mixture

Beef and Tomato Sauce Mixture

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and chopped onion until the meat is cooked and the onion is tender. Drain off any excess fat. Stir in the tomato sauce (and can of diced tomatoes, if using), and the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper. Set aside.

Bechamel Cream Sauce

Bechamel Cream Sauce

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and a little bit of salt to form a paste. Pour in the 1 1/2 cups of milk all at once, whisking continuously. Cook and stir until the sauce is thickened and bubbly. Add the other beaten egg to a bowl, then pour half the sauce into the bowl with the egg and combine. Then pour that mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of it. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese until combined.

Final Prepping of the Casserole

Final Prepping of the Casserole

Layer half the macaroni mixture to a lightly oil-sprayed 2-quart casserole dish. Spread the meat mixture evenly on top of the pasta, then the remaining macaroni. Spread the cream sauce over all. (Optionally sprinkle ground paprika over it, to make it pretty.) Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy with a side salad or vegetable. Guest-worthy, indeed!

Pastitsio, Pasticcio, Pasticchio

Pastitsio, Pasticcio, Pasticchio

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Steak Fingers with Cream Gravy Dipping Sauce

25 Feb
Steak Fingers with Cream Gravy Dipping Sauce

Steak Fingers with Cream Gravy Dipping Sauce

Who am I kidding? This is just my standard chicken-fried steak recipe, except I cut the tenderized round steak into “fingers” and turned them into dipping food! I was trying to think of something different to make with one of the many packages of tenderized top round in our freezer from the cow quarter we bought last year. It also needed to be something my daughter would eat. My daughter is a huge fan of my Garlicky Parmesan Chicken Tenders, so figured she’d go along with this idea of steak prepared in somewhat the same manner. (Although I bake the chicken tenders, not fry them.)

As expected, these were a hit! She liked them so much she brought leftovers to school the next day for lunch. And yes, my husband liked them too but he also likes my chicken-fried steak when I make it. Instead of serving with the usual mashed potatoes and green beans, I made french fries and a salad to go with this. (Plus then I could dip my fries in the gravy sauce too!)

Here is what I did:

Steak Fingers with Cream Gravy Dipping Sauce

1.5 to 2 pounds tenderized top round steak (or cube steak)
Ground pepper, and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
2 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
More black pepper and Mrs. Dash, to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less if you don’t want too spicy)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon butter
Vegetable oil, for skillet
2 tablespoons reserved cornmeal, flour mixture, or just plain flour
2 cups milk
More ground black pepper, for gravy

Cut the steak into strips across the grain about 1-inch wide and season them with pepper and salt, or Mrs. Dash, to taste. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs and milk together. In yet another shallow bowl or on a large plate, mixed together the flour, cornmeal, and spices with a fork until well blended.

Breaded Steak Fingers Ready to Cook

Breaded Steak Fingers Ready to Cook

Dredge the steak fingers, one at a time, first through the cornmeal/flour mixture, then in the egg, then back into the mixture until well coated. Set in a single layer on a cooking sheet. Your fingers will get clumpy after a while, so you will have to rinse your hands a few times. Dredge until all pieces are coated.

Frying the First Side of Steak

Frying the First Side of Steak

Add the butter and vegetable oil to a large cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet and heat over medium, to medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the steak fingers with tongs one at a time, leaving space between them. Do not overcrowd the pan. You will have to do this in batches. Cook on each side for a few minutes until golden brown and no more red juice is seeping from the steak. Remove to paper-towel lined plate and continue cooking the rest of the steak.

Frying the Second Side of Steak

Frying the Second Side of Steak

Once all the steak fingers are cooked, pour out all but a couple of tablespoons of oil from the pan. Whisk in about 2 tablespoons of the reserved cornmeal/flower mixture, or add in new flour if you ran out or forgot to save some. Continue whisking until a golden brown, then pour in the milk all at once. Continue whisking and stirring until the the cream gravy is the consistency you want. If it gets too thick, you can add more milk or water.

Whisking the Cream Gravy Dipping Sauce

Whisking the Cream Gravy Dipping Sauce

Remove from heat, pour into dipping bowls, and serve with the steak fingers. Finger-licking good!

Steak Fingers with Cream Gravy Dipping Sauce2

Steak Fingers with Cream Gravy Dipping Sauce

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

21 Feb
Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada1

Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

I don’t have any prep photos of this recipe, because I was almost certain we would be ordering pizza after we tasted this. I couldn’t be MORE WRONG! It was simply amazing!! I was so astounded that I did snap a shot of my bowl of it (sans the flour tortilla for dipping, because I was still so non-plussed how great this tasted.) Then for grins I took a shot of my hubby’s interpretation of how this should be eaten.

I was going through the freezer and found a half a tube of Mexican ground chorizo sausage and decided to do something with it.  I also had two gallon bags of frozen tomatoes from our last harvest and I had to use at least SOME of them soon. I had made brined pork chops the night before, which were a total failure, I tell you. Hardly anyone touched the pork, so you won’t get any info on that except for my brining shot of it, sigh. I will not make THAT recipe again. Kitchn website, you failed me this time…

Brining Pork

Here I am brining pork, all fanchy schmancy. Little did I know….

I threw caution to the wind, and stuck the frozen chorizo, peeled frozen tomatoes, and almost a pound of the failed pork (cut up) into the crock pot, thinking if I just cook the hell out of something it might be decent. In went some chicken broth, potatoes, onions, spices and such. Just whatever sounded good. Then covered it up and cooked it all day long, hoping it wouldn’t be a last-minute pizza night.

I almost feel like I painted a masterpiece with this. Almost. This was INCREDIBLY delicious! My daughter and I couldn’t stop warming up more tortillas to slop up every last morsel of goodness. We also stirred in some cheddar cheese into the bowls, for garnish. My husband, on the other hand, made rolled up cheese quesadillas/burrito type things, stuck some of the mixture inside, and then slathered them over with more stew and mounds of sour cream. Mounds, I tell you. A little odd, but I let him do it. It’s his mouth.

Rolled Quesadillas with Chorizo Stew

Rolled Quesadillas with Chorizo Stew ~ or something like that. I really don’t know what to call this.

You may adapt however you like, because it’s not like I followed any semblance of a recipe to start with. (p.s. it is the ground chorizo that makes this recipe and sets it apart from my other Carne Guisada recipe, so at least don’t skip that ingredient!)

Hints: Whenever a recipe calls for a small amount of tomato paste or chipotle chiles, I freeze the rest (labeled) for later use. Just nuke for a tad and take what you need and refreeze. Yes, I got mine out of the freezer for this.

Now on to the (sort of) recipe!

Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

1 pound of pork, cooked or uncooked, cut into small pieces
7 ounces ground Mexican pork chorizo, uncooked
2 cups diced tomatoes, frozen, from a can, fresh, whatever
1 medium potato, any kind, unpeeled, washed and diced
1/2 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium, or water
1/2 cup chopped onion, any kind (I used red)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon of sauce from a can of Adobo Chipotle peppers
Juice from 1/2 small lime (maybe a couple of teaspoons?)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder (or any other kind)
Large pinch of cumin powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish if you want)
Warmed flour tortilla, for slopping up
Grated cheddar cheese, for garnish
Mounds of sour cream, for garnish (or not)

Prep your pork and veggies and such, throw them all in a crock pot, give it a good stir to mix, and cook on low about 8 to 10 hours or high on 4 to 6 hours. Give it another good stir at the end. That’s it! Serve with garnishes. Easy, huh?

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Caldo Verde (Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower)

14 Feb
Caldo Verde - Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower

Caldo Verde – Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower

I think I’ve said the adage “Do as I Say and Not as I Do” many times here. Please listen to this advice. Not once, but TWICE I added the sliced sausage to the mix before blending the soup. I’m a bit daft that way, sometimes. So take my advice, and DO NOT ADD THE SAUSAGE to the soup until after you’ve blended it, OK? Otherwise you have to keep fishing it out of everything and placing it in a bowl. Good, we got that out of the way now.

This creamy soup was absolutely delicious, and nary a potato in sight for it which is the usual method to make it. Instead, cauliflower is first roasted and then blended with the stock to make a rich base for spinach and sausage. The flavors in this are complex and dreamy. I will make this again and not forget my own advice. ;)

p.s. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Caldo Verde (Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower)
Adapted from “Cauldo-Verde” by Bogre on the Food52 website

1 pound of cauliflower florets (from 1 small head)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil (plus extra for roasting the cauliflower)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
7 ounces (1/2 link) of a smoked turkey Kielbasa
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 to 6 cups homemade or low sodium chicken broth
5 ounce bag baby spinach
Large handful Italian parsley, chopped
Large handful of cilantro, chopped
1/8 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 small lemon)

Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin and Smoked Paprika

Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin and Smoked Paprika

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the cauliflower florets with cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper, and some good splashes of olive oil. Spread in a single layer in a roasting pan and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping at the halfway mark. Remove from oven and set aside.

Browning the Kielbasa and Onions

Browning the Kielbasa and Onions

In a soup pot or Dutch over medium-high heat, saute the onion and Kielbasa in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until onions are tender and sausage is browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir for about a minute more. Remove the mixture to a bowl. Now. Do not forget this step.

Add the roasted cauliflower and chicken broth to the pot (not the Kielbasa yet!), bring to a boil, reduce heat then simmer for about a half hour. Remove from the heat and puree in a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender, which I don’t have.)

Wilting the Spinach

Wilting the Spinach

Return the blended soup to the pot over low heat. Add the sausage and onion mixture, the spinach, and the parsley and heat for about another 10 minutes until the spinach is wilted and soft. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped cilantro and lemon juice. Ladle into bowls and serve with thick slices of crusty, buttered bread. Welcome to my mouth, you complex creamy soup!

Caldo Verde - Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower

Caldo Verde – Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

One-Pot Roasted Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes

8 Feb
One-Pot Roasted Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes

One-Pot Roasted Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes

Well it’s about time I have a new recipe for you! I’ve been cooking all week, but cooked some of my regulars in rotation, including a nice big batch of Inside-Out Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup and the family-favorite Garlicky Parmesan Chicken Tenders.

Today I bring you an easy one-pot meal loaded with some delicious roasted vegetables. The original recipe didn’t have any lemon or crushed red pepper flakes in it, but whenever I cook with spinach, those two ingredients sing to me! And lemon and artichoke? Why YES! I got a neutral rating from the family — but in my defense (and theirs) — when I plated dinner, both said they weren’t very hungry. They’ve both been fighting off the crud, it seems. But I found this very tasty!

One-Pot Roasted Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes
Adapted from Baked Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes at Diethood.com

1 pound chicken pieces, cut up if large
Fresh ground pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 large carrots, sliced into thin rounds
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 14-ounce can quartered artichokes, rinsed and drained
1 8-ounce bag spinach
A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 large lemon wedges
3/4 cup chicken broth

Sliced Carrots and Onion

Sliced Carrots and Onion

Preheat oven to 425. Meanwhile prep the chicken and veggies. Season chicken with pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash. The chicken can be boneless and/or skinless or not, but if the pieces are large be sure to cut them smaller.

Heat butter and olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown the chicken in the Dutch oven on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes each side, depending on thickness. Remove from the pot and set aside, leaving the oil in the skillet.

Browning the Chicken

Browning the Chicken

Reduce heat to medium, and add the onions and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with more spices if needed. At this point, add the artichokes and cook about another 5 minutes until the vegetables are almost tender, again stirring occasionally.

Sauteing the Veggies

Sauteing the Veggies

Add the minced garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and half the spinach. Squeeze one lemon wedge over the spinach and stir around until reduced a bit. Add the rest of the spinach and squeeze the other lemon wedge over it. Continue to cook until all the spinach wilts, stirring occasionally.

Spinach Wilted with Veggies

Spinach Wilted with Veggies

Remove from heat, add the broth, and nestle the chicken around the vegetables. Place in the oven uncovered and bake for 18 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. In the last 5 minutes, bump the heat to broil to finish the roasting. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Serve over rice or noodles, if desired.

Chicken Ready to Finish in Oven

Chicken Ready to Finish in Oven

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup is a Community Pick!

2 Feb
Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup

Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup

I was so excited when I checked on the status of a recipe I submitted to a contest late last night on the Food52 website, and was pleasantly surprised to see my recipe was selected for the testing phase of “Your Best Recipe with Potatoes 2.0″!

Even though I don’t have a new recipe for you (we had been busy getting ready to host our first Super Bowl party in the new house), you can find a slew of great recipes on that website, including all the great potato recipes that made it through the first round of the contest!

Click here to view the Community Pick page —–> Your Best Recipe with Potatoes 2.0

You can click on the link to the recipe in the list. Enjoy!

Braised Chicken in Milk

28 Jan
Braised Chicken in Milk

Braised Chicken in Milk

Sometimes you just have to ignore comments on a recipe and just go with it. This is one I followed some suggestions from the original recipe, and they didn’t work out for me. Plus the fact that my husband insisted he didn’t want “split milk” and that the original instructions stated “you can add a few tablespoons of fat to keep the sauce from curdling” but failed to read on that “the split sauce is actually the point.”

Well I came out with a LOT of sauce that wasn’t split, and it was much too watery. Many readers said they did not have enough sauce and wish they kept the pot covered, which I did. SOOOOO, lesson learned? If you are going to make a recipe from someone as famous in the culinary world as Jamie Oliver, just try it exactly as is and then modify as needed on the next go-round.

However, the chicken was exceedingly moist and tender, and the sauce was delicious even if too much and too watery. For the leftovers, I scraped off the fat that solidified to the top (the butter and olive oil) the next day after refrigerating it and reduced the strained sauce over the stove. BINGO! Split milk curdly sauce.  OMG it was delicious!!! Both me and my daughter ate the leftovers right up. Next go-round with this? Original recipe. I will link to that. My variations are in the recipe below, which is probably not the best help for you. Comments are added to NOT do some things I did. ;)

I served this with homemade mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach with some of the lemon juice from the lemon I zested for this.

Braised Chicken in Milk Ingredients

Braised Chicken in Milk Ingredients

Braised Chicken in Milk
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk on the Food52 website

One 3 to 4 pound organic chicken (Mine was 3 1/2 pounds)
Salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons real butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cinnamon stick
3 sprigs fresh sage (use more if you have some, that’s all I had)
Zest of 1 very large lemon, peeled in thick strips with a peeler
10 to 15 garlic cloves, skins left on. (Some of mine were very small)
2 cups whole milk (not half or skim)

Snug Chicken in a Pot

Snug Chicken in a Pot!

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and use a snug-fitting pot for the chicken (My 3 1/2 pound chicken fit snugly in a 3 quart saucepan that had an oven proof lid, however you may not want a lid).

Season the chicken all over with salt or Mrs. Dash and pepper, and fry it in the butter and olive oil. Turn it 1/4 turns until golden-ish all over. This took about 20 minutes.

Browned Chicken

Browned Chicken

Remove from the heat then put the chicken on a plate. Here was my first mistake. I left the butter and olive oil in the pot. Don’t do that. Remove it for another use, such as sauteing some veggies.

Put your chicken back in the pot with the rest of the ingredients, then cook it covered (DON’T) in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours. Baste with the cooking juice when you remember. (I forgot, OY!) However, if you do want more sauce you can partially cover it. I did end up taking the lid off in the last 20 minutes to brown the skin a bit more.

The Rest of the Ingredients Added to Chicken Ready to Finish Cooking

The Rest of the Ingredients Added to Chicken Ready to Finish Cooking

When done, remove from oven, then cut and divide the chicken on to your plates. Spoon over plenty of juice and curds (if you have them!). Serve with wilted spinach or greens and mashed potatoes.

Braised Chicken in Milk Meal

Braised Chicken in Milk Meal

As an aside, here is what the “reduced” gravy after taking out the fat looked like with the chicken in it the next day (I added the chicken after reducing the sauce just to heat the meat back up.) That sauce was WAY better that way. Just remember, curdles aren’t all that bad, even if your spouse disagrees! :)

Split Milk and Lemon Sauce Done Right

Split Milk and Lemon Sauce Done Right

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Kale, Lentil, and Bacon Soup

25 Jan
Kale Lentil and Bacon Soup

Kale Lentil and Bacon Soup

Did I ever mention I love soup? Oh, yes, probably a hundred times by now. I am an avid reader of the Food52 website, and when I saw this soup offered up to test for one of their recipe contests, I immediately signed up to be a tester. Kale, lentils, and bacon? What’s not to love?

Paired with my super-yummy golden homemade chicken broth and a nice big splash of dry sherry makes this such an easy, but VERY tasty and filling soup. Don’t forget some thick slices of crusty bread to sop up every last bit of tastiness in your bowl.

I slightly adapted this by baking the bacon, and then using some of the clear, rendered bacon grease in lieu of olive oil for added flavor. And make sure you use the Puy (French Green) lentils, as they hold up well in a soup and don’t get mushy at all. I found these in the bulk section at Whole Foods Market.

Kale, Lentil, and Bacon Soup
Adapted from Anna May’s Recipe for Kale, Lentil and Bacon Soup @ Food52.com website

4 slices bacon
1 tablespoon rendered bacon grease
3/4 cup chopped
onion
1 large splash dry sherry
4 to 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 bunch Lacinato
kale, woody stems removed and chopped
1
sprig of thyme, leaves picked
3/4 cup Puy (French Green) lentils

Baked Bacon

Baked Bacon

Bake the bacon on a rack in a 400-degree preheated oven for 25 or so minutes until done. (I cooked the entire package and saved the rest for breakfast the next day.) Add 1 tablespoon of the rendered bacon grease to a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.

Rendered Bacon Grease

Rendered Bacon Grease

Saute the onions for several minutes until translucent. Break up the bacon and add it and the lentils to the pot, then pour in a nice glug of the dry sherry.

Cooking the Lentils and Onions

Cooking the Lentils and Onions

Let it sizzle briefly then pour in the chicken or vegetable broth. Bring up to a boil, then turn down and simmer until the lentils are done, about 40 minutes.

Wilting the Kale

Wilting the Kale

Stir in the kale and thyme leaves and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes until the kale is wilted and tender. Serve in bowls with crusty bread.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Copper, the Alchemist, & the Woman in Trousers: Episode-2

24 Jan

anotherfoodieblogger:

This is the second installment of a culinary adventure, where the great author Teagan used my three culinary items and featured one of my recipes at the end of the story! Thank you Teagan!

Originally posted on Teagan's Books:

Rockwell Girl on TrainYou are the best!  Yes, I mean you!  Last weekend I launched the first episode of our latest “interactive” serial. I was doing Snoopy’s happy dance about the positive responses from all of you.  Not only that, but so many of you have been generous with sending three random things and/or food-related things.

Remember, you are also welcome to send Recipes (or links to your recipes if you are a blogger) to share as part of an episode.

As you saw in Episode-1, the things established a setting in the late Victorian era. The things/ingredients also gave us the title characters for this serial: Copper — a young girl, Cornelis Drebbel (borrowed from history) — the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers who narrates the story.  Will her name be revealed?  Only the things/ingredients can say!

Engineer n EngineThis week’s things are from Kathryn (aka K. R. Big Fish) at Another…

View original 2,114 more words

Lighter Chicken and Leek Pot Pie

21 Jan
Lighter Chicken and Leek Pot Pie

Lighter Chicken and Leek Pot Pie

I’m not a big pastry eater, and even when it comes to homemade chicken or beef pot pie, I typically leave a lot of the soggy bottom crust behind. Then lo and behold, I came across this “skinnified” version of the dish! Yes!

Tons of flavor, not too many carbs, and nary a “cream of” can of soup in sight. My kind of meal! This dinner was inhaled by me and my family. I just loved the fact that I had the crispest of pastry set on top for a nice crunch with almost every bite. No soggy here! This recipe can be easily doubled, as you get two pie crust sheets in a box of refrigerated pie crust rolls.

The original recipe came from Cooking Light, and then foodie blogger Wendy Weekend Gourmet adapted it, and then I adapted it from her. Sharing the love!

And I decided to get Fancy-Schmancy with my lead-in photo and added a title to the pic. I just happened to have a lot of space at the top of the photo that I typically crop out, and have seen many bloggers add this, so what the heck. I hope you like both the recipe and the photo!

Lighter Chicken and Leek Pot Pie
Adapted from Cooking Light and Wendy Weekend Gourmet’s Skinny Chicken-Leek Pot Pie

Pot Pie Filling:
3/4 to 1 pound chicken breast meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup diced baby carrots
1 cup diced potatoes, any kind
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth, homemade or low sodium
2 ounces Neufchâtel or low-fat cream cheese

Pie Crust Rounds:
1 packaged refrigerated pie crust sheet
Milk, for brushing pastry
1/2 teaspoon dried whole thyme

Chopped and Seasoned Chicken

Chopped and Seasoned Chicken

Mix the cut chicken with the poultry seasoning, black pepper, and a half tablespoon of oil and set aside.

Sliced Leeks and Baby Carrots

Sliced Leeks and Baby Carrots

Add the trimmed leeks to a bowl of cold water to rinse out any grit or sand, then drain.

Cooking the Carrots and Potatoes

Cooking the Carrots and Potatoes ~ A mushroom snuck in there off the cutting board and jumped right into the middle of my photo!

Add a tablespoon of the oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots and potatoes and stir to evenly coat with the oil. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, then cover and steam the mixture for about 10 more minutes, uncovering and stirring occasionally.

Cooking the Chicken and Veggies

Cooking the Chicken and Veggies

Add the chicken, leeks, and mushrooms and cook for another 10 minutes or so, also stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese and chicken broth in a large measuring cup and microwave for 2 minutes. After, whisk vigorously until the cream cheese is completely combined with the broth and set aside.

Step away for a second and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

When the chicken is fairly cooked through, evenly sprinkle the flour over it all. Stir well to combine and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Reducing the Delicious Cream Cheese Sauce

Reducing the Delicious Cream Cheese Sauce

Pour the hot cream cheese/broth mixture into the pan with the chicken and veggies and stir well to combine with everything else until smooth. Reduce heat to low, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile (again), line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and unroll the refrigerated pie crust onto it. Use a small ramekin (or other) bowl as a guide to cut four pie crusts.

Cutting the Pie Crust Dough

Cutting the Pie Crust Dough

Brush each round with milk, then sprinkle with the thyme.

Pie Crust Circles Ready to Bake

Pie Crust Circles Ready to Bake

Place in oven and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes, then remove. By now your pot pie filling should be done.

To serve, divide the pot pie filling into bowls or ramekins and top with one of the crispy pie crust rounds. Serve and enjoy a bowl of yumminess!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

%d bloggers like this: