Sunday, May 16, 2010

Puff Pastry Chicken Pot Pie

Nothing excites a dish more than puff pastry.  I almost always have it in my freezer to use when I'm in the mood.  It can turn the simplist dish into something celebratory.  Tonight we dined on an elegantly presented chicken pot pie.

Recipe (serves 2):

1 boneless chicken breast
Chicken stock to cover

2 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1/3rd of an onion, small dice
1 tablespoon oil
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Parsley, chopped

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tablespoon of sherry (optional)

1/2 sheet of puff pastry
1 egg, beaten

Chives, chive flowers, parsley or other herbs for decorating.

Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Cover chicken breast with stock and bring to a boil.  Lower temperature and simmer for 8-12 minutes.
2.  In a separate pot, saute carrots, celery and onion in oil for 8 minutes or until tender.  (If vegetables get dry, add a little hot chicken stock from the other pot.)  Add garlic and parsley and cook for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and place in a bowl.
3.  In the now empty pot, melt butter and add flour.  Cook on low for 1-2 minutes.  Turn off the heat and whisk in the milk.  Turn on the heat again and cook until it starts to thicken.  Add the nutmeg and vegetables.
4.  Remove the chicken breast and allow to cool until you can cut it safely.  Add to the vegetables and cream sauce.
5.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
6.  Roll out the puff pastry and cut in half (if using two bowls).
7.  Take a small, oven-proof bowls or a larger bowl and brush the beaten egg around the top, outer edge.  Divide the chicken/vegetable mixture in the bowls and cover with the puff pastry.  Brush egg all over the puff pastry, add decorative pieces in a floral or other pattern.  Brush with egg and cut a few holes in the puff pastry.
8.  Place bowls on a foil lined baking sheet.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until browned.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pumpkin Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I must have made a thousand coffee cakes in my life using the same recipe that I know so well I could recite it in my sleep.  This day, however, I added pumpkin puree to the mix.  My DH loves pumpkin and I don't so the pumpkin desserts are kind of scarce around here.  But I think that we will both be pleased with this recipe:

Pumpkin Sour Cream Coffee Cake

2 sticks of butter, softened
2 cups of sugar (you can use 1 3/4)
4 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 cup pumpkin puree
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


1/2 cup sugar (I sometimes use vanilla sugar)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Blend butter and sugar until creamy about 3 minutes on medium mixer speed.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Add sour cream, pumpkin and vanilla to combine.  Slowly add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix for a minute.  Set aside.

Mix topping ingredients together in a separate bowl.

Pour 1/2 of the batter in the baking dish.  Sprinkle half of the topping over the batter.  Add the remaining batter over the topping and finish with the remaining topping, sprinkling it over the entire top.  Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool and enjoy.

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Yesterday I had a hankering for something sweet.  I also had a few boxes in my pantry that needed to go.  One of them was a box of brownie mix.  I forget which brand.  Well, as much as I love brownies, I was not in the mood for them.  I checked around for a recipe for cookies and there are quite a few of them.  Here's my version:

1/2 box of brownie mix
1/3 cup oil
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons water
coconut for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix oil, water and egg together.  Add to dry mix and combine.  Drop by tablespoonsful onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with sweetened coconut.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until done.  Cool on a rack.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Banana Chocolate Souffle

Banana Chocolate Souffles from Taste of Home.  The recipe can be found here:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Pancakes

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Pancakes from the back of the Bisquick box

2 cups Original Bisquick mix

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 eggs

Stir ingredients until blended. Pour by slightly less than 1/4 cupsful onto hot greased griddle. Cook until edges are dry. Turn, cook until golden. 14 pancakes. Prep time 5 minutes, cook time 3 minutes per batch.