Chicken Pot Pie – Simple and Delicious

Moved this recipe up the feed.  I made Chicken Pot Pie this evening.  Super simple and very delicious.

Chicken Pot Pie

October 022 October 024

6 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons flour
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 medium potatoes, diced (I parboil my diced potatoes.  If you dice them small enough you wouldn’t have to do that.)
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half and half
1 # chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
2 – 9″ pie crust (I use Pillsbury ready made.  Makes my life easy.) (NOTE:  I prebake the bottom crust at 400 for 20 minutes.  I cover the entire crust with aluminum foil.  I use pie weights when I remember them! 😉 – this makes for a much crisper pot pie.)
Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1.  Melt butter in large saute pan. Add onions and celery and saute for 5 minutes.  Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper
2.  Stir in flour and mix well.
3.  Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
4.  Add half and half and simmer for 3-4 minutes.  Sauce will thicken.
5.  Add the carrots, potatoes, peas and chicken. Mix well together.  Simmer for 10 minutes.
6.  Spray 9″ pie plate with cooking spray or lightly grease with butter.  I used a round, glass pie plate.
7.  Line pie plate with pie crust.   (As noted above, I precook the bottom crust at 400  for  20 minutes.)
8.  Fill pie plate with filling.  
9.  Place pie crust on top and use fork to poke holes on top crust. Fold excess under and form an edge. Crimp the edges and place on baking sheet.
10.  Place in 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, until top crust is golden brown. When you remove from oven let cool for 5 minutes.

You will love this!    Great for leftovers too!!

Beef Stew

It was midnight. I was checking out Pinterest and saw some slow cooker recipes, which reminded me of beef stew.  I remembered I had a 2 1/2 pound chuck roast in my freezer.  That thought got me thinking about what I could make for dinner the next evening.  I decided to take the chuck roast out of the freezer, get up a little earlier the next morning and make beef stew.  It took me 30 minutes to get this ready this morning.  I either use my crock pot or dutch oven for this recipe.  If you decide to make before going to work the crock pot works.  If you have a couple hours on a Sunday then the dutch oven works.  Either way this beef stew is simple and delicious!!

Beef Stew

December 014

2-3 pounds chuck roast, cut into bite size pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
3 Tablespoons flour
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions (2 cups), chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
32 ounces beef broth or stock (If I don’t have beef I use chicken)
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
4 medium potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
4 large carrots, sliced
1 cup frozen peas

Directions
(If slow cooking in dutch oven, preheat your oven to 300 degrees)

1.  Heat 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil in 12 inch skillet or dutch oven over medium heat.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of chuck roast.  Place chuck roast in utensil.  Brown meat, 5 minutes each side.  Take meat out of pan and place on plate.
2.  Add 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil to skillet or dutch oven.  Add onions and saute for 5-8 minutes, until opaque.
3.  While onions are cooking, cut the chuck roast into 1 1/2 inch bite size pieces.
4.  Add garlic to onion and saute 30 seconds.  Add 3 Tablespoons flour and mix well together.
5.  Add 32 ounces of broth and thyme. Mix together, add meat.
6.  If using dutch oven, bring to simmer and then put dutch oven with lid on in 300 degree oven for one hour. After one hour add potatoes and carrots, cover and return to oven.  Simmer until meat is tender, about 1-1 1/2 hours.  Remove stew from oven.
7.  If using crock pot you can add the carrots and potatoes and cook on low 8 hours.  Add the peas last 60 minutes of cooking time.  I do not add the carrots and potatoes until 6 hours after cooking on low.  I then add the veggies and turn up to high for 2 hours.  I add the peas the last 30-45 minutes of cooking in the crock pot. (I don’t like my veggies mushy so that is why I do that.)

That is it.  So, you can use your dutch oven (which I do often) or your crock pot.  Serve with a green salad and biscuits!!

Pasta Primavera – Simple and Delicious

It is almost Summer.  That means veggies!  I wanted to make a nice and easy meal this Sunday with veggies.  No meat I said to myself.  I told the crew I was going to avoid a meat dish this Sunday.  We will have Pasta Primavera, Israeli Salad and rolls – from Costco, I guess I was a little lazy! 🙂  Well, I did make what I wanted but I also grilled some chicken.  Eric loves chicken. I offered chicken and he accepted.  So much for no meat.  I marinated the chicken using some of the mint that I am growing.   I checked a few different recipes for the Pasta Primavera.  I ended up doing my own thing and it turned out quite delicious.  Here goes;

 

Pasta Primavera

June 1 2014 048

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces – As you can tell from the photos my veggies were cut a bit large.  Eric did suggest next time making pieces smaller. Thus, bite sized pieces! He loved it thought!! 🙂
6-8 asparagus spears (depends on the size.  I had some thin ones and used 8), sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 carrots, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup chicken (or veggie) broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half and half
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 Tablespoon basil, chopped (fresh from my herb garden)
Olive Oil
Butter
Salt and Pepper
1 pound pasta.  I used Rigatoni.  Next time I will use a shell or large elbows.  You can use whatever you want.  (get that pot of water boiling for your pasta.  Don’t forget to add salt to the water.  I add 1 Tablespoon to 8 cups water)

Directions

1.  I ended up roasting the broccoli, asparagus and red pepper.  Preheat oven to 425.  Put the cut up veggies in a bowl, add 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Mix together.  Put in oven for 10-15 minutes.  You want them firm not mushy.  10 minutes was my limit.June 1 2014 040
2.  If you haven’t done so, get the water boiling for the pasta.  Cook pasta while you are preparing veggies and cream sauce.
3.  Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil and melt 1 Tablespoon of butter to a frying pan. ( I used my stainless steel frying pan.)
4.  Add the onions to the olive oil and melted butter.  Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the carrots and cook about 5-8 minutes. Throw in garlic last couple of minutes.June 1 2014 041
5.  When onions, garlic and carrots are done set aside in a bowl or plate.
6.  To the same frying pan add 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 Tablespoon butter.  Heat through until butter melted.
7.  Add 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup half and half to chicken broth mix.  Stir together.  Add 1 cup Parmesan cheese.  Stir until heated through.  The sauce thickens as it is heated through.  About 5 minutes. Just before you add the veggies to the cream sauce, add 1 Tablespoon basil. Mix together.June 1 2014 042
8.  Add all veggies to the cream sauce and mix together.
9.  Add above to the pasta.  Mix together and serve!June 1 2014 043

We all loved this dish.  Martin2 and Rachel were working but I sent them a care package.  They both text to let me know this was delicious.  I will definitely make this again soon.  The farmers market will inspire me to use some different veggie combos next time. It did take some time, but I love my kitchen time!  I say cut your veggies and grate your parmesan the night before.  That way you will be good to go the next night to make this simple and delicious meal.  Served with Israeli salad, marinated chicken for those who wanted it, our favorite Costco rolls and for dessert – cheesecake!  Enjoy!!

Sausage Soup, Stew or Chili

I love this time of year.  I enjoy being in my kitchen when it is cooler out.  I really enjoy being there when it is a cloudy, rainy, cool day.  This time of year is “comfort food” time.  I made a sausage soup that you can make and serve in less than an hour.  Serve with a salad, sandwich, fresh loaf of bread or all by itself.  This is super simple and incredibly delicious.  Here goes!

Sausage Soup (or stew or chili…you tell me!)

September 021

1# hot sausage (I bought it out of casing.  If all you have is sausage in the casing, just take it out.  Also, I like a little spice.  If you don’t like that get mild or sweet Italian sausage.  It is your soup after all!)
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained (You could use a 15 oz can.  I like tomatoes.)
1 15 oz can great northern beans, drained (or any beans you have in your pantry, kidney, black, whatever you like)
1 32 oz carton chicken broth
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and Pepper

Directions

1.  Using a saucepan, fry the sausage until no longer pink, about 10 minutes.  I keep breaking apart with a wooden spoon, until crumbly.  Drain off excess fat.
2.  Add carrots and onion, saute with the sausage until onion is opaque, about 5 minutes.
3.  Add rest of ingredients, except basil.  Simmer for 30 minutes. Add basil last 5 minutes of simmering.  All done!

This is so easy.  I just threw it together one evening when I came home from work.  Find stuff in your fridge and pantry and have fun with it.  You never know, you may make something so delicious you will want to share it with others.  ENJOY!!