Thursday, October 11, 2012

Southwest Chicken Pot Pie

Last week I was really in the mood for pot pie. Chicken pot pie, to be specific, especially since we had some leftover chicken that needed to be used. I didn't want the usual carrots and potatoes with chicken pot pie, I wanted something more flavorful, southwest-y tasting. I also really wanted a cornmeal crust, instead of a regular pie crust and I wanted the crust to be crust-like, not corn muffin/bread-like. Pretty demanding, huh? I ended up pulling this together and it was really good, even Bob liked it although he didn't want to admit it!

Southwest Chicken Pot Pie
serves 8

for the pot pie:
2-3 c cooked, chopped or shredded chicken 
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 c flour
2 c chicken stock
1 1/2 c whole milk
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 c frozen corn
1 can black beans, rinsed
salt & pepper

for the crust:
1 c flour
1/2 c yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
8 Tbsp butter, chilled & thinly sliced
1/4 c ice water

First, make the creamed chicken. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan, when melted whisk in flour. Cook, whisking constantly for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chicken stock; whisk until smooth. Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture just to a simmer, whisking constantly. When smooth and thick, add the cumin and coriander and season with salt and pepper. Let simmer for 1 minute, then add the chicken.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic, stirring until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the drained black beans and corn, cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the creamed chicken. Stir to combine well. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.

For the crust, mix the flour, cornmeal, and salt in a bowl. Cut in the butter until crumble. Add the water, then toss dough lightly with a fork until it begins to come together. Lightly gather it together, then press into a disk. On a floured surface, roll until it's about 1/4" thick and slightly larger than the casserole dish. Place on top of casserole as you would for a pie, trim the edges, leaving 1/2 " overhang; turn under and crimp. Cut slits to let steam escape.

Bake at 400* for 30-40 minutes. The top should be lightly browned and the inside bubbly warm.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

White Bean Soup

This is one of those dishes that I wanted to make, didn't really read the recipe first and assumed I had what I needed in the pantry. As usual, didn't exactly work out that way but I still made a really good soup. I told Bob last night I probably would have eaten the whole pot if I wasn't full and they didn't need to eat still. The base recipe came from my Joy of Cooking cookbook, Mediterranean White Bean Soup. It calls for large dried white beans, like great Northern or cannelini but I only had Navy beans; they worked fine but large ones would have been better. This was really easy to make, even starting with dried beans.

White Bean Soup

1 c dried white beans
7 c water
3/4 tsp dried rosemary
8 cloves garlic, chopped or sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 c olive oil
4 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Pick over, rinse, and soak the beans.* After the beans are drained, put in a soup pot along with the water, rosemary, and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 to 1.5 hours. Stir in the undrained diced tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients. Serve with crackers or crusty bread.

*I used the quick soak method - cover the beans with water by 2 inches in a pot, bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for an hour or until doubled in size; drain, discarding the soaking water. The other way you can do it is to put them in a pot, cover by 2 inches with water, cover, and let soak overnight. I usually never plan far enough ahead to do this.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes

Still very much in the mood for pumpkin food. I made pumpkin waffles the other morning and had half a can of pumpkin left so decided to make pancakes. I really liked this recipe - it has good flavor, it's low fat and it made the perfect amount for us.

Pumpkin Pancakes
modified from Low Fat Cooking

1 c flour
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp oil
1 c nonfat milk
1/3 c pumpkin

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg, oil, milk, and pumpkin together. Stir pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients; let sit for 5 minutes. Cook pancakes on a greased griddle until bubbles appear (about 2 minutes), flip and cook about 1 1/2 minutes on the second side.