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Entries in guest post (9)

Wednesday
Nov142012

Ad Hoc's Chicken Potpie

We're big fans of Thomas Keller. One of the country's world's most respected chefs, famous from his restaurants The French Laundry, Per Se, and Bouchon, but still restless, he decided to open Ad Hoc, a temporary-restaurant-turned-permanent, which focuses on a single daily menu featuring dishes inspired by his working-class upbringing.

Being a huge potpie fan, as soon as I saw this recipe in the Ad Hoc At Home cookbook, I knew I was going to make it. I will warn you however, that although this is the most delicious potpie you'll ever make, it takes dedication, requiring about two hours of active cook time, as well as some inactive cook time. This is a recipe best left for the weekend, when you can give it the proper attention, although I imagine it could be assembled beforehand to be thrown into the oven on a weeknight.

Pie Crust
1 cup butter (2 sticks), cubed and chilled
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 to 10 tablespoons ice water

Filling
1 cup 1/2-inch pieces red-skinned potatoes
1 1/4 cups 1/2-inch pieces carrots (cut on the diagonal)
12 white pearl onions
3 bay leaves
3 thyme sprigs
24 black peppercorns
1 1/4 cups 1/2-inch pieces of celery (cut on the diagonal)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken

Béchamel 
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
Pinch of cayenne

1 egg, beaten

Pie Crust Directions
Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl, then add the butter and toss to coat with flour. With your hands or a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour, tossing and incorporating and pieces of butter that have settled at the bottom of the bowl, until the butter pieces are no larger than a pea. Drizzle 1/4 cup of the water over the top and, using a fork, mix the dough until it just holds together when pinched; add the remaining tablespoon of water if the dough is very dry. Knead the dough until it is completely smooth and the butter is incorporated.

Divide the dough in half, with one piece slightly larger that the other (the larger piece will be for the bottom crust). Shape each half into a 1-inch-thick disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or for up to a day (if the dough does not rest, it will shrink as it bakes).

If the dough is too hard to roll, let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes or pound it a few times with a rolling pin. Lightly dust the top of the larger disk of dough with flour and roll it out to a 13-14 inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Roll outward from the center, rotating the dough frequently and adding a little flour to the work surface or dough as needed to prevent sticking. Fold the dough in half and transfer to a 9 to 10 inch pie plate, gently easing the dough into the corners and up the sides.

Roll out the second piece of dough in the same manner, to a 12 inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate both doughs.

Makes one 9 to 10 inch double crust pie.

Pot Pie Directions
Put the potatoes, carrots, and onions in separate small saucepans with water to cover and add 1 bay leaf, 1 thyme sprig, and 8 peppercorns to each pan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and simmer until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Drain the vegetables, discard the bay, thyme, and peppercorns, and spread on a baking sheet. Cut the onions in half.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a medium bowl with ice water. Blanch the celery until just crisp-tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Drain, transfer to the ice bath, and chill just until cold. Drain and add to the baking sheet with the other vegetables.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes; adjust the heat as needed so that the mixture does not brown. Whisk in the milk, lower the heat to keep the béchamel at a gentle simmer, and cook, whisking often, until the sauce has thickened and reduced to about 2 cups, 30 to 40 minutes; move the whisk over the bottom and into the corners of the pan to be sure the béchamel doesn't burn.

Position the oven racks in the lower third and center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Strain the béchamel through a fine-mesh conical strainer into a spouted measuring cup. Season with salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, and cayenne.

Remove both doughs from the refrigerator.

Scatter the vegetables and chicken into the pie shell. Pour the béchamel over them. At this point, if the top crust is too hard to shape, let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes. Moisten the rim of pie shell with some of the beaten egg. Cover the filling with the top crust and press the edges of the dough together to seal. Trim away the excess dough that overhangs the rim. Brush the top crust with the egg. Cut a small vent in the center of the dough with a small cutter or the tip of a paring knife to allow steam to escape.

Bake on the lower oven rack until the crust is a rich golden brown, 50 minutes to 1 hour. If necessary, move the pie to the center rack during the last 10 minutes of baking to brown the crust. On the other hand, if crust is browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 10 minutes

Wednesday
Sep122012

Chorizo, Herb and Arugula Pizza

 

This pizza is another basic recipe using local, seasonal ingredients. I used the same dough and tomato sauce recipe as featured in this previous post. The pizza was amazingly simple, and tasty.

1-2 cups of Basic Tomato Sauce
1 Ball of Pizza Dough
1 Link of Chorizo
1 Cup Baby Arugula 
1 Small brick of mozzarella cheese (Not fresh)
1 Tbsp parmesan cheese
1 Handful of fresh herbs (I used Basil, Oregano and Rosemary), chopped 

Place pizza stone in the cold oven. Preheat oven to 500ºF, and 10 minutes before cooking time, switch the oven to broil. This gets the ambient and stone temperature to the proper level.

Remove chorizo from casing, and along with half of the fresh herbs, fry on medium heat until slightly browned. Shape the dough, and spread 1-2 cups of the tomato sauce on the center of the disc. Sprinkle the chorizo sausage evenly on the pizza, and top with mozzarella.

Using a peel, slide the pizza onto the stone, and cook, about 3-5 minutes, until crust is browned and cheese is bubbling.

Remove the pizza from the oven, and sprinkle remaining herbs before the cheese cools and stops bubbling. Top with arugula. Cut pizza and serve immediately.

Friday
Sep072012

Blueberry Biscuit Cobbler

Ok, I lied. I didn't come up with this recipe. It's from my favorite magazine, Bon Appetite. I did slightly modify it however, by cutting the amount of sugar by about a quarter, I like my teeth as they are, thank you very much.

I don't usually eat dessert in our house. Surprising, right, considering the amount of desserts and sugary treats made and posted on this site? Once in a while though, I like to surprise Melissa by pulling off something like this, something I know she'll enjoy, and something that I'll enjoy as well- because it doesn't require chocolate. View the nutritional information on Bon Appetite's website at your own risk.

This recipe was a great use for a box of blueberries bought from the farmer's market. It's easy to make, tastes great, and serves four-six depending on serving size.

1 1/2 cups plus 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons plus 1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sour cream
6 cups fresh blueberries (about 2 lb.)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 375°

Stir 1 1/2 cups flour, 3 Tbsp. sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add butter; using your fingertips crush and knead it until it forms small pea-size nodules. Mix in sour creme. Knead, using your hands until a thick dough forms, but be careful not to over-knead.

Add the remaining 1 cup of sugar (cough), remaining 3 Tbsp. flour, berries, juice, and zest in a large bowl. Toss to coat. Spoon the mixture into baking ramekins. Crumble the biscuit topping evenly over the bowls.

Bake until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling and molten.

 
Thursday
Sep062012

Grilled Garlic and Herb Bread

I made this recipe as a side to a pasta dish, and couldn't have been happier with how it turned out. Grilled bread, fresh garden herbs and garlic make for a winning combination. It can also be used as a springboard for your imagination: tomato and olives would taste great, and fit in perfectly. If you make the bread yourself, and use your garden for everything else, this recipe can feed about four people as a side dish for around thirty cents.

8-10 garlic cloves
Olive Oil
Handful of Fresh Herbs (Rosemary, Parsley, Basil), chopped
1 Loaf of Bread

Wrap garlic cloves and olive oil in a foil packet and grill until soft and browned, flipping the packet periodically.Cut the bread in half along the long axis so that you have two sections of loaf. Drizzle olive oil on the newly cut surface of both sides. Place the two slices of bread loaf face down on the grill, until slightly browned and charred, but not burnt. Smash the softened garlic cloves with a fork, and spread them along the entire surface of the bread. Sprinkle the chopped herbs on top of the garlic-smothered bread.

 

Wednesday
Sep052012

Tomato, Chorizo, and Goat Cheese Open-face Sandwich

Welcome to Round two of Joel's guest post series. This week, I'll be featuring summertime recipes that were put together on the fly, with little planning. Most dishes were concocted while walking around the weekend farmer's market looking for fresh, ripe ingredients. Everything shown this week can be made in minutes flat, and requires only a few ingredients.

Tomatoes in August can't be beaten. I'm always drawn to discolored, misshapen heirlooms, because their flavors are so complex, unlike anything available at a supermarket. Add local chorizo, goat cheese, bread and garden herbs and I'm in heaven.

I put together this summertime open-face sandwich using my farmer's market haul, and Melissa and I were blown away by the flavor and simplicity of it. Using the ingredients below, I was able to make two medium sized sandwiches, but the recipe can easily be upscaled to feed a large group.

1 loaf of bread (I used an "everything" bread with herbs and spices, although a plain Italian would be just as good).
1 Tomato, sliced
1 Link of Chorizo, grilled and sliced
1 Handful Various Fresh Herbs (I used Basil, Thyme and Rosemary because I had them. Use whatever you have, or experiment)
4 scoops (~4-5 Tbsp) of Goat Cheese
Olive Oil for seasoning bread

Cut the chorizo into thin, slightly-diagonal slices and grill or cook in a frying pan. Then, cut the bread into slices, slather some olive oil on it, and grill until slightly toasted. Chop or slice your herbs, and put about a quarter of them on the toasty side of the bread. Next, layer the sliced tomato and chorizo. Top off the sandwich with dollops of goat cheese and the rest of the herbs.