Posted in Recipes, Soup

The Big Game Day 🏈🏀

Super Bowl Sunday is easily one of my favorite days of the year. It used to be for the commercials and the halftime show, but now I crave the final day of the NFL season from August through February. This year, though, it’s a bigger game day than usual. This year Paul Pierce will play his final game in the Boston Garden—as a Clipper, but nonetheless. I spent the afternoon reminiscing about Celtics moments that involved Pierce and the history of my favorite player in franchise history. If you’re feeling nostalgic and/or if you are a fan of basketball in any capacity, I suggest you check out this clip.

I am always nostalgic when it comes to mentions of Paul Pierce. The first game he played in Boston wearing a color other than green—during his time with the Nets—brought tears to my eyes. The welcoming from the fans after mere months away from the team and the montage of moments played on the Jumbotron were awesome. I remember standing on the corner of Dartmouth and Boylston in 2008 when they won the finals. The crowd went totally insane when he came by on the duck boat, carrying the MVP trophy and puffing a cigar that had been gifted to him by Red Auerbach. I cried then, too. And I’m not even a little bit embarrassed. The Celtics are my team and Paul Pierce was my favorite Celtic to root for. I’m finally starting to feel all the feels again with Isaiah Thomas embodying the spirit of Boston, but he’s not even close to having an edge on The Truth. If there is a chance to attend his retirement ceremony—which I pray will be at the Garden, in Celtic green—I will be there. And I will try like hell to get to Springfield when he is inevitably inducted into the HOF—again, hopefully in that lucky green. Tomorrow, even though it is not the last game of his career, tomorrow I will have to say my fan farewell.

For the past few years I’ve been making spinach and artichoke dip from scratch for Super Bowl Sunday, but this year I felt like having chili and cornbread. I’ve made a couple of different types of chili in the past, but this one is an RI Food Snob (RIFS) Original. It will be the first of, hopefully, many recipes that will bear the RIFS tag as I mess around and/or ‘riff’ on different things going forward and make them my own.

So, without further nostalgia or sadness, I give you the Game Day Chili.

RIFS Game Day Chili

Game Day Chili featuring corn, ground beef and fire-roasted tomatoes.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. ground beef (1 lb. 80% lean/20% fat, 1 lb. 90% lean/10% fat)

½ yellow onion, diced

1 orange bell pepper or 3 baby bell peppers, diced

1 red bell pepper or 3 baby bell peppers, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2-14.5 oz. cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes

1-15.2 oz. can sweet corn

1-32 oz. container low-sodium chicken broth

1-6 oz. can tomato paste

1 bottle of beer (lager or ale)

2 tbsp. cumin

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. ground (red) cayenne pepper

¼ tsp. chili pepper flakes

½ tsp. dried thyme

Salt + pepper

Shredded cheddar cheese

½ c. scallions, chopped

Methodology & Instructions:

1. In a medium sauce pot or Dutch oven, cook ground beef over medium-high heat with chili pepper flakes and ½ tsp. each of salt and pepper, making sure to break beef into smaller bits. (Not listed as an ingredient, I used about 1 teaspoon of olive oil to flavor the beef without creating extra grease. This addition is optional.)

2. Once the beef is cooked through, remove it from the pan using a slotted spoon to drain most of the grease from the meat and set aside.

3. Add garlic, onion and peppers to the same pan and cook until soft and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.

4. Stir in thyme, paprika, cayenne and cumin. Add an additional 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Most of the fat/grease should be absorbed at this point, be sure to stir continuously so nothing burns.

5. Scrape any bits sticking to the bottom of the pan with wooden spoon and add beer, stirring continuously to deglaze the pan. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until most of the beer is absorbed.

6. Stir in both cans of tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes, allowing the juices to thicken. Add the beef back into the mixture as well.

7. Drain the can of sweet corn and add it to the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

8. Add the chicken broth and and tomato paste, stir well and bring the chili to a simmer.

9. Simmer 25-30 minutes or until the chili becomes desired thickness.

10. Serve topped with cheddar cheese and scallions, or whatever toppings you may like!

Until next time,

❤️ Food Snob

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Posted in Uncategorized

My Favorite Cut

Christmas is almost here. Like, this is the last weekend before it is upon us and I have something I’d really like to return to Nordstrom Rack and I am afraid to go anywhere near the mall. I’ve been keeping myself in spirit this holiday season, though, so it’s not so bad. I also have an update to provide: I defrosted the soup.

Now, I have a small confession to make. I’m really not a fan (at all) of white beans. I like them in chili because, well, they taste like the chili at that point and they help to make it creamy. Although my soup recipe included white beans, I am now regretting adding their pasty-ness to my otherwise delicious soup, but it is not a total bust. It was worth the experiment, which is important in the kitchen. And many of my readers seem to be bean fans, which I will keep in mind. For future, this girl here will make this soup again but exclude beans and maybe also try a version without the barely but adding some spicy sausage or mini meatballs. So anyway, the important part is that I defrosted the soup this week and I promised I would share the outcome. Due to the absorbency of the beans and barley, once defrosted the soup had very little broth left—and seemed as if it might be watery. What I did was add some broth—I used chicken, you could certainly use more vegetable broth—to put some life back into the soup. I also let this new addition marry in the refrigerator overnight before enjoying it for lunch the next day.

And now to get down to the meat of this post. This week I was in the mood for a nice piece of delicious red meat. In order to tell you the glorious story of my Wednesday night post-workout meal, I must first share some details regarding my red meat habits. For red meat, I really only eat a nice piece of steak once a month (at most) and/or a burger once or twice a month (at most). I usually have a craving for red meat when my body is naturally depleting itself of some iron, which is probably a positive. My household are not big eaters of red meat—my parents and I enjoy a good burger or steak but mostly stick to chicken and pork in our normal routine.

Something many people who are even moderately acquainted with me know is that I am a huge fan of duck. Duck is one of my favorite foods in the entire world, prepared in almost any manner—although I’m not really a foie gras eater. What those same people do not know is that if I had the chance to eat a last meal, I would ask for a massive rib-eye steak prepared medium rare by the likes of Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, Michael Simon or my very own celebrity chef dad, accompanied by a plump baked potato—loaded, of course—and some seasonal greens. The reason I share this is because, even though my dad is a chef and a restaurant owner, I only discovered which cut of steak was my favorite within the last couple of years. And I’ve tried every cut there is in some shape or form in a variety of preparations. I always thought I liked prime rib, until I realized that was the roast beef stuff we eat on Christmas—which is delicious in its own right, but not my first choice. Or filet mignon, which is a common favorite because of the luxury—my brother is a filet fiend. As can be expected, I discovered that rib-eye was my favorite cut of meat because my mom and I went to Texas Roadhouse one night for an easy dinner and I told her I had no idea what kind of steak I liked. She explained her choice and I followed suit. Given the choice, I have eaten rib-eye ever since. The fatty parts that lead to literally the tastiest meat money can buy make this cut my absolute #1 choice every time.

This week I was craving a nice piece of steak and intended to treat myself for having a healthy, productive day. I did all of my errands, spent over an hour at the gym, and then went home to whip together the delicious meal pictured below. Brussels are certainly a regular member of my dinner plate club at this point, perhaps I’ll do a future post on how to cook vegetables so they’re actually enjoyable without being unhealthy…

Please recognize this long, informative confessional as a small anecdote aimed toward my meat-eating followers: if you are a steak lover, knowing which cut is your favorite just makes that small difference from a really good meal, to the best meal ever each time you have it. I know I enjoyed this plate more than I would have enjoyed any other cut of beef.

Happy Holidays! And until next time,

Food Snob

Posted in Uncategorized

My Latest Obsession

Being that it’s the winter and it’s getting chillier and chillier outside, I’ve been trying new methods for staying warm. Last week I shared a recipe for some soup with a kick. This week I shared some information regarding my exercise habits, which is another way to keep warm (trust me).

Another thing I’ve been doing is adding some daily spice to some of my favorite things. And they are associated with breakfast, which is my favorite meal of the day.

 

The Perfect Over-Medium Egg

 

What you’ll need: 1 large egg, red pepper flakes (a pinch), butter to melt before dropping.

Methodology:

Melt butter (a sliver, make sure it covers the bottom of the pan enough that the egg can slide around in it) in a skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle a pinch of red pepper flakes into the butter.

Crack and break egg into the pan, be sure the yolk stays in tact, be gentle!

Cook the egg until the whites are almost cooked through (about 2-3 minutes at most), then flip using some wrist action, or a spatula if you’re not on that level, and turn off heat, let the whites finish cooking without fully cooking the yolk (about 1-2 minutes).

Slide the deliciousness onto a plate. BOOM! Spicy egg.

For an added level of awesome: toast a piece of bread, spread a tiny amount of butter on it, then sprinkle some of your favorite shredded cheese. Slide the egg on top of the cheese and give it a few seconds to get nice and melty. Cut the piece of toast down the middle, fold into a sandwich and sop up any yolk that falls on the plate in the meantime. YUM!

 

The Perfect Cup of Christmas Season Coffee

I very much enjoy the amount of alliteration I just used in that title. So, I enjoy flavored coffee as much as the next basic white girl. Especially in my home state and town. We Rhody girls are big on our flavored coffee, though some of us drink what to most would be considered coffee milk and not actual coffee. For me, the best cup of coffee tastes like coffee and is smooth, nutty, medium-brown, warming and round.

Instead of drinking pumpkin spice first thing in the morning during this fall and holiday season, I have been adding the tiniest bit (probably 1/4 teaspoon) of cinnamon to my coffee in the morning. And it is magical.

The important thing to note: the best results come from putting cinnamon in the cup before adding the coffee. Especially if, like me, you have Keruig. The reason for this is simply that the cinnamon can stay in one giant clump if you add a little spoon of it to a cup o’ joe. However, if you have a shaker of cinnamon instead of a plastic container from your dad’s restaurant, like most normal people?, you can shake a little bit at a time and stir it in with ease.

 

Enjoy all, and Happy Holidays!

Until next time,

Food Snob

Posted in Uncategorized

True Life: I have bad exercise habits.

As I typically provide some notes regarding my health and lifestyle amidst my food indulgences and tastes, I would like to clear the air on one of my biggest battles. I do not have an exercise routine. Nor have I developed any habits over the years which would help to boost my lifestyle towards a ‘picture of health’ like the one featured here—that’s not me, by the way. But I liked the colors.

In a last effort to defeat the seasonal depression aforementioned (in my last post), however, I have decided to finally join the other side and create routines and habits which will result in more physical activity. Physical activities—as we all know—tend to release endorphins, which make us happy and promote a healthier lifestyle. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion and all those good things to say with unidentified speakers and such. In the past, I have worked in the service industry and was so physical at work, especially around the holidays, that I did not take any steps toward being active outside of work. This year, however, I am not working in retail or a restaurant and I am seeking some movement in my daily life.

I’ve been practicing yoga semi-regularly for the last three years and have become addicted to not only the feeling of being stretched out, but the complete quiet in my mind when I go into final meditation. Unfortunately, I’m not addicted enough to go every week but, fortunately, there’s a studio less than ten minutes away from my house that offers yoga twice a week for $5/class which is amazing and unheard of. The young yogini who teaches the classes is wonderful, insightful and ultimately mindful of her students. I tend to get myself to go to a class at least once a month, so I’m not completely melted into a chair, the couch or my bed. Yoga is sort of a commitment, as I have found that when I take too much time away from the mat, I am almost back to square one when I return and I have to rebuild much of the flexibility, balance and strength I had built up. When I’m going to yoga regularly, I’m happy and I’m calm, I feel a sense of peace between my body and mind, and I’m more observant and receptive of the environment around me. So, as a part of this attempt to build a healthy exercise routine, I am going to be including a yoga class at least once a week.

In the meanwhile, I’m going to let Mike convince me to join a gym near us. Mostly it’s because he gets a free month of membership if I sign up and because this month they were offering $0 down and $0 until January. How could I object? Plus, he’ll usually be able to convince me to go and spend some time exercising with him and won’t let me give up early because I’m tired or don’t feel like it. When I’ve gone through brief stints of exercising regularly, it’s always been because I felt good, but I’ve never had a gym membership and I’ve never stuck to a routine. The gym membership will force me to use the opportunity for exercise and provide an excuse to spend time doing something productive with my boyfriend, rather than drinking or watching endless hours of movies and sports—not that there’s anything wrong with that.

In the cold it is important to stay warm and to stay active. I’m getting a little too old to be so careless about my health and well-being. Taking some steps toward a better lifestyle overall during a more difficult time for activity seems like the right move. Exercising in the summer is usually easier because it’s appealing to be outside and the idea of being active is more welcoming in warm sunlight. Challenging myself to be more active when it’s cold and dark outside should (hopefully) encourage the habits to stick. And for good measure, to keep myself honest, I’ll be tracking my exercise using my FitBit—which I own because of my issues with developing healthy habits—and I’ll have to give a report in about a month regarding how often I’ve gone to the gym or taken a yoga class. This tiny pink clip-on device will be my witness and I will only be able to prove what she has tracked of my activity. Including, but not limited, my calorie intake vs. my calories being burned off by physical activity.

And so, with this promise I have made with myself, I will offer you to try and do the same this holiday season. I have learned that our gym, Retro Fitness, has a mobile app by which I can create and track goals, enter challenges and earn rewards points. The contest they’re running for December is geared towards working off those holiday calories. C’mon, let’s be honest, the holidays are delicious in November and December, but they’re also loaded with sugars and fats that we probably don’t need. So I’ll be forcing myself to indulge moderately,—compared to my usual binges—seek healthy alternatives, and get to the gym or yoga a few times a week. And, just in case you didn’t know, Retro Fitness is a large chain of gyms that are all over the country. If there’s one by you, maybe give it a shot and join me in the holiday challenge!

In the meantime, feel free to comment with any tips, questions or notes of encouragement. Any and all will be greatly appreciated.

Until next time,

Food Snob

Posted in Recipes, Soup, winter

Soup for the Soul – with a Kick 💥

 

The winter is coming and the little hints of darkness in the world sometimes seemingly become larger and more ominous as we lose hours of daylight and warmth. My heart goes out to all of those affected by the events that took place on the Ohio State campus on Monday morning. I could not express enough how important it is to create in times of the world’s troubles. Throughout my college and post-graduate education at Emerson College, I was constantly reminded by poets, novelists and memoirists of the 20th century that these dark times are ours for making beauty, ours for remembering and for brightening.

I have been attempting to make better habits out of submitting my works of poetry and have a selection of magazines I’d like to send individual pieces to. If you’re a practicing writer looking to submit, the Poets & Writers website is a great place to seek suggestions for submission. Once I’ve done a more substantial amount of submitting – and by substantial I mean some instead of none so far – I’ll be sure to share more about the magazines.

As the title of this post calls for, I have found a soul-encircling soup that is perfect for when the weather begins to deter our happiness. (I like to make the New England winters sound really ominous because I find it both interesting and humorous that I most definitely suffer from seasonal depression.) The bones of this recipe—not literally—originated in an issue of Bon Appetit magazine. The magazine is a personal favorite of mine and the subscription certainly keeps me interested and excited about adding new things to my kitchen resume.

Although I was not a huge fan of kale, I recently learned that it is much tastier when those pesky ribs in the middle are stripped away and the leaves are all that’s being eaten. Yes, I started eating kale before it was a huge trend and I did not know the ribs were supposed to be removed. Yes, I consider myself an intermediate-to-expert level home cook. Yes, I am OK with admitting this is silly and incorrect. I am mostly just excited that I can finally enjoy kale prepared at home because I couldn’t figure out why everyone else’s seemed SO good in comparison to mine.

In addition to the greens I am trying to fit into my diet, hence creating a soup that involves kale, I have been dying for a little kick. I’ve always been more comforted by a really good chili or tortilla soup than chicken soup when it comes to the coldest days of the year. This is because the spice that is typically included when it comes to chili or tortilla soup sort of extends the warming effect. If I eat something hot, brothy AND spicy, I feel like my chills will just go away and I’ll be able to focus on more important things. Instead of adding the obligatory hot pepper rings, cayenne pepper, jalapenos, hot sauce or other staple heat packing ingredients, I used my chili and garlic infused olive oil. I am obsessed with this olive oil. I used it on everything. I bought it over the summer at the outdoor Italian market in Philadelphia—I’m dying to go back—when I was visiting a friend and I need to either a) Venmo for more or b) order it from the website. The lovely little shop where I bought it is called Cardenas Oil & Vinegar Taproom and they have all kinds of wonderful goodies you might want to add to your pantry like infused oils, vinegars and different herbed salts, etc. It is absolutely magical and I need to find a place like this closer to me.

Now that I’ve rambled quite a bit, let’s get down to the recipe I have promised and thank you for your faithful readership until this big reveal.

 

Ingredients:

6 tbsp. olive oil (or 4 tbsp. olive oil + 4 tbsp. fancy infused Chili & Garlic olive oil)

1 lg. onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic (3 if not using garlic-infused oil), chopped

8 c. low-sodium vegetable broth (or 4 c. vegetable broth + 4 c. chicken broth for added flavor)

1 28-oz. can of diced tomatoes

1 c. pearl barley, rinsed (you can get this in bulk at Whole Foods without buying a package)

1 sm. bunch kale, stems discarded and leaves cut into small pieces (collard greens also an option)

1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed

2 pinches of red pepper flakes (optional KICK)

Salt & pepper

Grated cheese for garnish

 

Methodology and Execution:

  1. I usually eyeball my olive oil, but for the sake of the recipe, my instructions are 8 tbsp. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once you can see that the oil is moving around easily, you’ll know it’s hot. Add the onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper. (Hint: A friend of mine recently informed me after taking a culinary class in Italy that garlic need not be peeled to have the same effects. I crush the cloves, inside their casing, with the flat end of a large knife, then throw in. The casing also has nutrients that add some extra benefits to the soup. Remove the cloves—if you wish—when the soup is done.)
  1. Once the onion is tender and translucent, about 6-8 minutes, add the tomatoes (Hint: Use whole, peeled crushed tomatoes if you don’t like chunky soup) with their juices and the broth(s) and bring everything to a nice boil. Add the barley to the boiling soup, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the barley is tender, about 20 minutes.
  1. Add the kale, beans and red pepper flakes (optional) and simmer until the beans are heated through and greens are wilted, about 3 to 5 minutes. I ended up simmering the soup almost an additional 20 minutes to ensure the kale had cooked down and all of the flavors had developed. I also did a few taste tests to make sure my lips got a little tingly from the spice—or else I would have had to add more flakes.
  1. Serving suggestion: ladle into bowls and add freshly grated cheese, toast some Italian bread for dunking.

I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as I do—I wasn’t sure I would like it this much, but it is DELICIOUS! This is the desired result for testing out something new and developing along the way. I’m going to freeze some of this in small batches to have throughout the frigid winter. I’ll let you know how it works out.

Until next time,

 Food Snob

Posted in Food & Travel, Restaurant Experiences

Little Bites of Paradise

The positive side to my nearly three-year hiatus is the lengthy list of New England spots I have to share. Along with each item on the list, I’ll give some tips or a brief description of what was yummy or a reason why I might not go back (which rarely happens these days, thankfully). If you’re from New England or traveling in the area of Providence, RI or Boston, MA, I suggest you check out most or all of these places if ever possible.


Providence, RI

Ken’s Ramen (Japanese): I can’t begin any list of my favorite food in the entire universe without beginning here. This is a legitimate ramen shop, as authentic as it can get stateside. They serve amazing pillows of deliciousness (bao-style buns) filled with slabs of roasted pork belly and big, over-sized bowls of steaming hot soup. Be aware: for quality control, take out and leftovers are (mostly) not allowed.

Ogie’s Trailer Park (Comfort Food): I’ve been to this place a few times for drinks with friends and am unable to resist the food they crank out of Granny Boo’s kitchen in the back. After ordering, you’re given a license plate and orders are called by state. It gets pretty busy on weekends and they only serve beer in cans, trailer style. Their specialties are tater tots and fried mac & cheese bites. This is what bar food should look like.

Milk Money (New American): This year for my birthday, my mom joined my best friend and I for dinner at this amazing new gem on the east side of the city. The inside is rustic, the wait staff is excited to share the restaurant’s story and the food is off the charts. Specialty cocktails are made with local and organic alcohols, dishes change often but are made expertly with bold flavors and interesting pairings. We had some oysters with grapefruit ice pearls and cucumber mignonette, deviled eggs with smoked salmon, and baby back ribs with the most righteous mac & cheese I’ve ever had outside of my own household. I cannot wait to get back as their menu always offers something jaw-dropping.

XO Café (New American): A few years ago, Mike and I tried this place for a Valentine’s dinner and every time I want to have a slightly more romantic experience, we go back. The atmosphere is funky and artsy, the menu is locally-sourced and often changed with the season. Their bread is the only in the world I’ve had that is close to the fluffy stuff my uncle serves up at Culinary Affair on a daily basis. We’ve been for both brunch and dinner and the experience never disappoints. If they’re ever serving the brussels sprout hash with bacon, try it.

CAV Restaurant & Antiques (American): One of my closest friends recommended this place a few years back for restaurant week. We had ourselves a quiet girls’ night dinner as it wasn’t so busy and I had one of the most delicious duck dishes I’ve ever enjoyed. The sweet potato puree they serve with pan-seared duck breast and duck leg confit is unbelievable. A few months later, Mike, who never orders steak at restaurants, tried a filet mignon which was served with its own delicious mashed potatoes and a seasonal vegetan;e. We will surely be back.

Red Fin Crudo + Kitchen (Latin American): The menu here has been enticing me for quite some time and I always forget to try it out. For my first experience, I dined with one of my gal pals and all we had were oysters and wine. However, the service and overall experience was wonderful and we have been meaning to return. Since this is a newer spot, I am hoping the menu doesn’t change too much before I can make it back.

bocado Tapas Wine Bar (Spanish-style Tapas): Other than Ken’s, this may quite possibly be the first place I think of whenever I’m going out to eat. Especially if I want a casual experience in which I can control my portions. Dried chorizo and manchego cheese have become regular pieces of my diet as a result of visiting bocado so many times. The tapas plates occasionally change, but one thing is for certain: the Kobe beef burgers, stewed rabbit and mussels with sun-dried tomatoes are always on point.


I’m going to save the rest of the ever-growing list for now, as it’ll keep me honest in my promise to continue posting often. In the next edition, you can expect some spots in Cranston and Warwick as well as in Boston and Salem.

Until next time,

Food Snob

 

Posted in Chicken, Emotions, Hangover, Recipes

Good morning, America: My latest hangover.

“The opposite of war isn’t peace, it’s creation.” – Jonathan Larson, Rent

My head and stomach are in an extreme battle for who can make my entire physical being feel worse today. Things took a bad turn when Campaign 2016 commandeered all of the judgement left within my sound(ish) mind and forced my hand toward that last beer. It was the kicker, yet I’ll survive.

It’s not that I’ve never felt a hangover, a headache so overpowering I fear it may never leave, but this morning was different. This morning I recognized the opportunity to be a hopeful creative in a place that has turned not only against creativity throughout this presidential campaign (Though some of my fellow writers have gotten slightly more humorous of late and for that, I thank you.), but has given up hope entirely based on some ill-intended comments meant to incite a terrible nightmare. The gig is up and the trick only worked on half of us.

In my achy, fragile grey morning–though I swear I saw fire on the horizon!–I am able to only stomach some toast and a cup of English Breakfast tea. However, this feeling of mixed up confusion and slight hope that hope is still alive has lead me back here. Back to a platform I had created to incite my own destiny, to pump my life with my two favorite things whenever I so choose: food and snarky blog writing. And today I promise myself to force this practice into my routine and to give the Internet the Rhode Island Food Snob it deserves. If you’d like to be a part of the journey, please subscribe. Please comment or like and share anything you might like to add, see, learn, explore, laugh at, cry about. I’m game for all of it and I’m here to join a community of individuals I feel strongly about–those who use platforms like these to share what they love and look to connect, to heal. This is what we will need, now.

Please end the destruction, please stop tearing at a scrap that is already nothing, was already nothing before we began to divide it. Please, I urge you, go back to a place of creativity. Create anything: anger, humor, fear, animosity, excitement, light, hope–express what needs to be expressed in a constructive way. There are outlets all around us, please choose one and show us what you cannot live without.

In the meanwhile, for those of you seeking comfort, I have chosen an appropriate recipe for this post that I hope you’ll enjoy. Wake up with me and give the day enough time to ease your headaches.


Crustless Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken, cleaned and quartered

6 stalks of celery, halved

6 carrots, peeled and halved

2 small white or sweet onions, quartered

2 c. potatoes

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 sprigs fresh thyme

3/4 c. flour

1 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. heavy cream

salt & pepper (additionally peppercorns, optional)

 

Methodology & Instructions:

For this particular recipe, I pulled from some strong sources. One being my mother’s experimental style of knowing how food should taste and messing around a little bit to create deep flavors and comforting feelings in my food. Additionally, as it was my first time making pot pie, I referenced some basic online recipes–specifically one from the Pioneer Woman because she offers multiple suggestions throughout the recipe. Thus, the below steps should be followed somewhat strictly by a beginner, referencing additional tips for certain prep work as needed, and loosely but with attention to detail for a pro.

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine garlic, thyme (remove from sprigs–Tip: There are tools for herb stripping.), 2 tbsp. olive oil or canola oil, 3 tbsp. salt, 2 tbsp. pepper. Toss chicken, half of the celery, half of the carrots, half of 1 onion in mixture to coat.
  3. Place in a deep roasting pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through, celery and carrots become tender.
  4. Remove all ingredients from the roasting pan including any accumulated fat or juices and place in a bowl to cool. Once cooled, pull chicken meat from bones (Tip: Use two forks to shred the meat most easily.) and dice carrots, celery and onion. Toss together and let sit.
  5. Broth: Place chicken bones with remaining carrots, celery and onion in a large pot. Add 4 tbsp. salt, 3 tbsp. pepper or a pinch of black peppercorns. Fill pot with cold water before placing on stove to bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
  6. In the meanwhile, place potatoes in a small pot, cover with cold water, add 2 tbsp. salt and bring to a boil on stove top. Boil 5-8 minutes or until just tender. (Tip: Poke with a fork to test for tenderness.) Once cooked, dice and mix with roasted chicken and vegetable mixture.
  7. After broth has simmered to full flavor, drain and discard bones and vegetables. Set aside broth and make the rue/pot pie filling.
  8. Rue: Place 2 1/2 cups chicken broth in a medium sauce pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add butter and cream, mix together until smooth. Begin to slowly add flour while whisking constantly. Once rue runs smooth, begin to stir in roasted chicken and vegetable mixture, coating with rue. Add additional salt and pepper to taste and chicken broth for desired consistency.
  9. Serving options: Serve in bowls, or over toast or with buttered biscuits for dipping in place of crust.

 

Until next time,

Food Snob