Saturday, February 9, 2013

Recipe for Homemade Southwestern Chicken Pot Pie

Yield: 4-6 servings
Time: about 90 minutes


Homemade Broth

  • 2 large skin on, bone-in chicken breast halves
  • 1 medium white onion, quartered (peeled)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed (peeled)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, rough chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, rough chopped
  • 1 TBSP black peppercorns
  • Generous pinch of kosher salt
  • Cold water 

  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 4 TBSP AP flour
  • 1 onion, rough chopped
  • 3 cups of your homemade chicken broth (or more if you want more liquid)
  • Small can green chilies (mild), drained
  • 1/2 C frozen white corn, defrosted
  • 1/2 C canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 C chopped cooked carrot
  • 2 C shredded chicken breast
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cornbread topping
  • 3/4 C yellow cornmeal
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Slightly less (a pinch less) than 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/2 C milk (more if needed when mixing)
  • 1/2 C shredded jalapeno jack cheese
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TBSP canola oil

  • Place all the broth ingredients in a Dutch oven and cover with cold water (you want to end up with 3-4 cups of broth).  
  • Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
  • Simmer for 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked (you can skim off any foam if you like).
  • Remove chicken and set aside to cool.
  • Drain and reserve broth.  Discard vegetables.
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Wipe out Dutch oven and then heat olive oil and butter over medium heat.
  • Add onion and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
  • When chicken is cool enough, remove skin and bone and shred meat.
  • Stir flour in to onions and keep stirring until well incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in broth and chilies and cook, simmering, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Sauce should thicken up.
  • Add corn, carrots, black beans, and chicken.
  • Cook over medium until all ingredients are heated through.
  • Add salt and pepper if needed.
  • While filling is heating, mix cornbread topping ingredients together.
  • When filling is ready, pour into a casserole dish (or ramekins) and top with cornbread topping, leaving a little room around the edge.
  • Cook for 25 minutes or until cornbread is firm and beginning to brown.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Recipe for Spinach Gnocchi

Time: about 30 minutes, active plus 2 hours rest time
Yield: 4 servings


  • 10 ounce box of frozen spinach, defrosted and wrung out in paper towels until very dry
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup AP flour, divided
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more (coarsely grated) for serving
  • Marinara sauce for serving
  • Salt and pepper


  • Saute the spinach in the oil and butter with the nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Once warmed, add half of the flour and all of the ricotta and stir briskly for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and beat in the Parmesan and eggs.
  • Let cool briefly and then cover and place in fridge for 2 hours.
  • Place a large piece of parchment down on the counter and put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
  • Warm the marinara sauce to a gentle simmer.
  • While the water comes to a boil, flour your hands and the parchment well and take handfuls of the dough and roll out into tube shapes.
  • Snip or cut the tubes into 1 inch pieces (it's sticky, use plenty of flour).
  • Drop the gnocchi into the gently boiling water in batches and set the timer to 4 minutes once they rise to the top.
  • Once each batch is cooked, keep warm in an oiled bowl (I kept mine in the microwave, turned off).
  • When all are ready, serve topped with sauce and the coarsely grated Parmesan.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Recipe for Holiday Biscuits and Ham

Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 24 small biscuits


  • Your choice of ham (I used a Kirkland ham steak)
  • Jalapeno or raspberry jam, yellow mustard for serving
  • Biscuit cutter, small
  • 2 2/3 cups of AP flour (plus more for your hands and the counter)
  • 2 2/3 tsp baking powder
  • 5/8 tsp table salt (not kosher)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Sprinkling salt (kosher or other large particle salt; I used lemon salt)


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Line half-sheet cake pan with parchment or baking mats.
  • Mix together the flour, baking powder, table salt, and sugar and then stir in the cream.
  • Turn out on well floured counter and sprinkle top of dough and your hands well with flour.
  • Knead until well mixed and coming together into a ball, about 1 minute.
  • Reflour counter and pat dough out to 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep circle, flipping dough over frequently as you pat it out so it doesn't stick.
  • Using a biscuit cutter, or a small glass with a sharp edge, press down briskly through the dough to form biscuits.  Don't twist the cutter, just straight down and then pick it up.  The biscuit will either stay put or be in the cutter-you can gently flick it out.  If you twist the cutter or use something not sharp, the biscuits will puff up like rolls instead of rising nicely. If you reshape the dough for additional cutting, try to handle it as little as possible, just push it together gently and continue cutting.  The second pass biscuits are never as "good looking" as the first pass and you may have to cut them rather than pull them apart.
  • Brush the top of the biscuits with milk and sprinkle on your sprinkling salt.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until nicely browned.
  • While biscuits cook, use the cookie cutter to cut out rounds of ham (you can glaze and pan fry the ham if you like).
  • Cool briefly, then pull each biscuits in half and pop a piece of ham inside.
  • Serve, or let cool completely and then cover and keep at room temperature for a few hours until ready to serve.  If longer than that, keep in fridge and take out far enough ahead to allow them to come to room temperature.  Can reheat in 200 degree oven for about 10 minutes if desired.
  • Serve with your choice of jams (we loved it with jalapeno jam, raspberry jam) or simple yellow mustard.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Recipe for Squash, Spinach, and Mushroom Brown Rice Risotto

Yield: 6 servings
Time: 1 1/2 hours


  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 C onions, chopped finely
  • 1 C short grain brown rice
  • 5 C vegetable stock
  • 3 C baby spinach
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 C sliced mushrooms
  • 4 cups roasted, cubed butternut squash
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 3 tsp finely diced basil, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and black pepper to taste 


  • Prepare butternut squash (cut in half, roast for 45 minutes in 400 degree oven, cool, peel and cube;  can be done ahead of time).
  • Heat 1 TBSP olive oil over medium heat in heavy saucepan and add onions when hot.
  • Cook onions for 3-4 minutes then add rice, stirring frequently.
  • Cook onions and rice for 5 minutes.
  • While onions and rice are cooking, heat stock to a simmer and keep on low heat while cooking risotto.
  • Add 1 cup at a time of stock to the rice/onion mixture and stir frequently while mixture simmers/low boil (about 40 minutes to add all stock).
  • Check rice for tenderness and if not tender, add additional liquid and keep stirring.
  • While rice is simmering, heat 1 tsp olive oil in a separate pan and cook mushrooms for about 10 minutes over medium heat.
  • Once rice is cooked, stir in salt and pepper to taste, and add basil.
  • Stir in cheese then spinach.  Stir until spinach is wilted then add mushrooms and squash.
  • Serve garnished with basil leaves.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Recipe for Herbed Pizza Dough

Yield: 2 medium pizza crusts
Time: 65 minutes


  • 2 pkgs dry yeast (each 1/4 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (115 degrees)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour plus more for shaping
  • 1 1/2 cups semolina flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP EVOO (plus more for brushing dough before adding toppings)
  • 2 TBSP mixed Italian dry herbs
  • Cornmeal for sprinkling on pizza peel if using
  • Pizza toppings of your choice


  • Dissolve yeast in warm water in a mixing bowl (I used my stand mixer).
  • Add the sugar and AP flour and beat vigorously for 1 minute (The dough is like cake batter at this point).
  • Heat oven to 150 degrees and place mixing bowl on shelf partially pulled out, with oven door open.  Leave to rise uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, stir the dough down and add semolina flour, salt, EVOO and herbs.
  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees with pizza stone inside.
  • Using dough hook on mixer, knead for 8 minutes, adding more AP flour as needed to prevent sticking and so a dough ball forms (I had to add about 1/3 cup).
  • Turn dough out on floured surface and divide and shape into 2 balls.
  • Wrap one ball in oiled plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag in freezer.
  • Shape other ball into about a 13 inch crust, place on cornmeal dusted peel, brush with EVOO then add sauce and toppings.
  • Cook on pizza stone for 12-15 minutes until crust is nicely browned and toppings are cooked to your liking.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Recipe for Shrimp and Veggie Curry

Yield: 4 servings
Time: 20 minutes (plus rice)

  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes (could use canned)
  • 1 TBSP canola oil
  • 2 TBSP mild curry paste (or 3-4 TBSP curry powder)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 20 medium frozen shrimp, peeled, deveined, (defrosted in room temp water rinse or overnight in fridge)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 TBSP coarsely shredded basil plus handful finely diced for serving
  • Juice from ½ a lime plus wedges for serving
  • Salt and pepper if needed
  • Naan or rice for serving

  • Heat the oil over medium to medium high heat.
  • Add diced pepper, onion, and curry paste (or powder).
  • Cook until veggies are softening, about 5 minutes (turn heat down if browning too much).
  • Add tomatoes, shredded basil, and coconut milk.  Turn heat down to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Turn heat up to medium.  Add shrimp and peas and cook just until shrimp turn from translucent to pink, 5 minutes or less.
  • Stir in lime juice and taste.  Add salt/pepper if needed (I didn't but it depends on your curry paste/powder and your taste buds).
  • Serve over rice or with naan, garnished with lime wedge and diced basil.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Recipe for Butternut Squash and Chicken Apple Sausage Pasta

Servings: 4-6
Time: 55 minutes

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut in to small cubes, about 7 cups
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ½ pound whole grain rotini pasta
  • 2 chicken apple sausages, cut in to small cubes
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup finely diced shallots
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 TBSP cumin (more or less to your taste)

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss squash in enough olive oil to lightly coat, season with salt, pepper, and 1 ½ TBSP cumin; spread on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until browning, stirring 2-3 times.
  • Meanwhile, apply a light coat of olive oil to a sauté pan over med/med-high heat.
  • Add pecans, shallots and sausages and remaining cumin.
  • Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes until browned.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • While pasta cooks, let squash cool briefly then put 2/3 of the squash in a food processor.
  • Process squash until smooth.
  • Mix together the pureed squash, drained pasta, sausage mixture, and remaining cooked squash.
  • Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and fill with mixture.
  • Top with cheese and place under a broiler for 4 minutes until cheese is melting and beginning to brown.