A friend of mine once commented that I should start a cooking blog.
Is my need for procrastination so apparent?
The amount of cooking I do does seem to be in inverse proportion to how much writing I'm getting done. That said, some tasty meals have been thrown down of late. I've fixated on this cookbook my Dorie Greenspan called Around My French Table. It was given to me as a gift, and in return I've gifted it a lot. The marvel of this cookbook is that it presents delicious, impressive-looking comfort food that isn't hard to make. At all. Greenspan has the knack of compiling recipes that are written from the standpoint of someone who is in a regular kitchen with a normal larder. Nothing is too difficult or esoteric. I've used almost a dozen recipes already and they've all been standouts. Most notable is her chicken recipes. She's got three variants on roasted chicken that are easy and produce fantastic results. Look at that cover recipe! Who knew making a dough to seal the dutch oven would make such a difference?
I cooked one such chicken recipe last week, and had an entire breast left over, so I decided to test my resolution not to waste food by making... chicken pot pies! And not just any chicken pot pie, but a riff off of the one made by Carla on Top Chef All-Stars (if you don't know who Carla is, well, you're probably not reading this post anyway).
It was awfully fun to make, and tasted EXACTLY the way I wanted it to. No cream, either, just a roux for thickening. Fresh peas, carrots, corn, onion and celery. Using just one breast yielded enough for 5 pot pies.
The rounded dome of the "lid"was made by draping buttery biscuit dough rounds over a greased ball of foil (recycled from other uses—bonus points!) Baked the leftover scraps of dough for the bottom of the plate, à la Carla, so that every bite had some biscuit with it. Had to run an extra three miles the next day to work it off.
Benj didn't eat his dome. Added another three miles in my head as I pounced on it.
Served the pot pies with some home made tomato soup with sherry, garnished with croutons and a chiffonade of basil. Soup was a little thin (had to skip the cream, as per Doug's insistence) but flavorful. And I had a disk of dough left, so, in true Quickfire Challenge mode, I whipped up some sautéed banana/nutella empanadas.
The dinner was great, although Doug and Benj insisted on calling it "booby pot pies." Heathens.
I guess I see their point.