Saturday, November 29, 2008

Biscuits

Biscuits w/ self-rising flour

2 C. white lily unbleached self-rising flour
1/4 cup butter (plus two tablespoons for brushing on
top of biscuits)
2/3 to 3/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Spoon flour into measuring cup and level with a knife. Measure flour into bowl. Cut in butter until mixtures resembles coarse crumbs. Blend in enough buttermilk until dough leaves sides of bowl. Knead gently 2 or 3 times on lightly floured surface. Cut with large biscuit cutter. Place on pan with biscuits touching. Brush tops with melted butter. Bake at 500 for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for a few minutes on wire rack.

Biscuits w/ White Lily flour

2 C. White lily flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/4 C. butter, cut into small chunks or Crisco
3/4 C. buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees

2. Prepare ingredients: Cut butter into small chunks, place in a bowl and return to fridge. Measure out buttermilk and set aside. Sprinkle flour on a work surface and have extra flour nearby for your hands and biscuit cutter. Have biscuit cutter and an ungreased baking sheet handy

3. Mix dough: In a medium-large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until very well blended. Add butter or Crisco and cut into flour using a pastry blender, two knives or your fingertips, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in buttermilk and stir lightly until dough comes together in a ball.

4. Knead dough and cut biscuits: Dump dough mixture out onto floured work surface. With floured hands, lightly knead dough a few times until it is fairly well blended. Pat out into a circle, 3/4 - 1 inch thick. Dip cutter into flour and cut biscuits without twisting the cutter. Form the dough scraps into an extra biscuit-like shape instead of re-rolling the dough. Place cut biscuits together on the baking sheet so that the sides are touching. Brush tops with melted butter, if desired.

5. Bake biscuits: place baking sheet in the middle of a preheated 500 degree oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove biscuits to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

There's nothing I like better than chicken pot pie. It's a delicious, comfort food meal; however, it is somewhat time-consuming. You could easily use a rotisserie chicken & save at least one step. On the other hand, if you are trying to save money, start with a whole chicken instead of chicken breasts. You will need to add more liquid to cook it, and it will take longer to cook. Instead of 10 minutes, simmer for 40 minutes. You could do this a day or 2 ahead. I like this with biscuits on top, but it's really good with a pie crust topping as well. You could use the frozen pie crusts and save another step, but drop biscuits are super easy to do.

To cook chicken:
2 whole chicken breasts (4 1/2 breasts),preferably with skin and on the bone
1 stalk of celery, broken in two
1/4 large onion
1 bay leaf
2 cans chicken stock
Place all in a pot and bring to a bare simmer. Let cook for about 10 minutes. Turn off and let chicken cool in broth. Remove chicken from broth. Remove skin & take off bone. Dice chicken and reserve covered. Strain stock and return to pan.

Vegetables:
1-2 peeled potatoes, cubed
handful of baby carrots
green beans

Add potatoes to stock and bring to a boil, add carrots & green beans. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 5 minutes. Remove vegetables & reserve.

To make sauce:
4 tbl butter
5 tbl flour
1 stalk of celery,chopped finely
1/4 large onion, chopped finely
sieved chicken stock from cooking the chicken
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup milk
Salt & pepper to taste

Melt butter & add onion & celery. Cook until onions are translucent. Add flour and cook 3 minutes without browning. Whisk in cooled chicken stock, white wine, and milk. Bring back to a boil, continue whisking for about 3 more minutes.


Drop Biscuits
2 cups all purpose flour (I like White Lily)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1/4 cup Crisco
1-1 1/2 Cups buttermilk

Stir together dry ingredients. (You can just use self-rising flour if you want to simplify your life.) Cut Crisco into flour mixture. Add 1 1/4 cup buttermilk and mix together. If too dry to drop from a spoon, add a little more buttermilk.

Assembly & baking: Preheat oven to 500.
Frozen green peas (optional)

Add chicken and vegetables to sauce. Bring to a boil & add optional peas. Taste & correct seasonings. Pour into greased casserole dish. Drop biscuits by large spoonfuls onto mixture. Place dish on cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil to catch spills. Place into preheated oven & bake 12-15 minutes or until biscuits are browned & mixture is bubbly.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chicken Paprika from Wolfgang Puck

I haven't tried this, but I will, and I'll let you know how it is.

Ingredients

* 4 (12-ounce) chicken breasts or 4 half-chickens
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 3 tablespoons sweet paprika
* 2 tablespoons flour
* 1/4 cup peanut oil
* 4 cups onions, thinly sliced
* 2 tablespoons minced garlic
* 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
* 2 tablespoons tomato paste
* 1 cup tomato, concasse
* 2 tablespoons minced marjoram leaves
* 1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves
* 1 bay leaf
* 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
* 1 cup dry white wine
* 2 cups chicken stock
* 1/4 cup heavy cream
* 2 red bell peppers, both roasted, peeled, cored, seeded, and 1 cut into 1 inch by 1/4-inch strips
* 2 tablespoons minced parsley leaves
* 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
* Napkin Dumplings, recipe follows

Directions

Cut each chicken breast into 3 pieces. Season with salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of paprika. Lightly coat with flour. In a braising pan, heat peanut oil. Sear chicken pieces until brown on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and place in a tray.

Add onions to the pan and saute for 5 minutes until golden brown. Add the garlic and cumin seeds. Cook 1 more minute. Add the tomato paste, tomato, and remaining 2 tablespoons of paprika. Stir until well blended. Add the marjoram, thyme and bay leaf. Deglaze with the vinegar and wine. Add chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add the reserved chicken pieces and cover with a piece of vented parchment paper. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add cream and continue to simmer another 10 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

Transfer chicken to a saute pan. Pour sauce and 1 roasted pepper in a blender. Process to a puree. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour sauce over chicken. Reheat until warm. Garnish with pepper strips, minced parsley and creme fraiche.
Servietten Knudel (Napkin Dumpling):

* 2 ounces butter
* 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
* 1 small onion, minced
* 1 loaf white bread, crust trimmed
* 2 teaspoons minced thyme
* 2 teaspoons minced chives
* 1 teaspoon minced parsley
* 1/4 cup flour
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* 1/4 cup milk
* Salt and pepper
* Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

In a saute pan, over medium high heat, melt the butter. Cook the garlic and onions until translucent. Do not allow to develop color.

Cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Place in a baking sheet and bake in the oven to dry, about 20 minutes. Do not allow to develop color. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Pour the onion mixture all over the bread. Add the thyme, chives, parsley and flour. Toss to evenly distribute the herbs with the bread and flour.

Leftover pot roast or beef stew

If you have left-over traditional pot roast dice the meat & veg & place in a greased casserole dish. Add some frozen peas & pearl onions, if you like. Add all the leftover gravy and top with pie crust or biscuits, and bake in the oven at 375 about 45 minutes, or until brown & bubbly. You can also top with mashed potatoes, instead of pie crust or biscuits.

If you make the Mexican pot roast or ropa vieja, chop the meat and add frozen corn and diced zucchini. Then make cornbread according to package directions (omitting any sugar). Heat the stew mixture in the microwave, then pour the cornbread mixture on top of the stew and bake for 20 minutes at 375 or until cornbread is browned.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sweet & Sour Zucchini

1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
3-4 Zucchini, quartered lengthwise & sliced into large dice
1/2 onion, chopped
1 fat garlic clove, chopped fine
1 fresh tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp oregano
salt & pepper
2 tbl white wine vinegar
1 tbl sugar

Saute onion in oil with a springkling of salt, add zucchini and garlic, and continue to saute. Add tomato, oregano, salt & pepper. Saute until zucchini is almost tender. Add vinegar & sugar & cook til pan juices reduce. Correct seasonings.

Pan Sauteed Chicken Cutlets w/ Vermouth

This recipe came from Biba's Italian cookbook. I made it for dinner tonight and thought that it was very good and quick. Bread the chicken breasts at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Nonstick skillet

4 boneless,skinless, chicken breasts
1 Cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 Cup grated parmignano reggiano
salt & pepper
1 egg, beaten

2 tbl olive oil
1 tbl butter
3/4 Cup sweet vermouth

Pound the breasts until they are of uniform thickness. In a bowl or pan large enough to hold 1 chicken breast, beat the egg w/ salt & pepper. Mix bread crumbs and parmignano in another bowl. Put chicken in egg and then in bread crumbs, coating well. Place on plate, cover, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Heat oil & butter over medium high heat in non-stick skillet. When foam subsides, add chicken breasts. Saute 2-3 minutes per side. Add vermouth, cover, reduce heat, and cook 10 minutes more. Serve immediately.