Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

No picture tonight, sorry, but this was an easy dinner that just turned out amazing, so I figured I'd share it.  And of course, you can do same thing with homemade pie crust and gravy, if you like, this was just a relatively simple dish when I didn't feel like putting a lot of time in the kitchen

Simple Chicken Pot Pie
1 9" deep dish frozen pie crust
1 9" refrigerated pie crust
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1.5 tsp coarse black pepper
1.5 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 jar chicken gravy
1/2 cup canned sweet corn

Preheat oven to 425F
1.  Put oil in a pan over medium heat.  Saute onion and garlic until onion is translucent
2.  Add spices, carrots, celery and chicken to pan.  Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly
3.  Turn off heat, and stir in corn
4.  Put hot mixture in frozen pie crust, and cover with gravy
5.  Put refrigerated pie crust over top.  Crimp edges and cut off excess.  Cut slits in the top of the pot pie
6.  Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
7.  Remove from oven and let sit for ten minutes before serving
8.  Enjoy!

This turned out SO good.   I could have eaten the whole thing myself, if I didn't have to share. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Missing in Action and a New Project

So the last year has obviously been crazy busy with various projects, and my posts have been way down.  I'm working on fixing that, but while you wait, you can see one of the new projects I've been working on.  Joel's Food is now on Etsy.  I will be posting some of the most popular recipes (or at least, ones that can survive shipping) on Etsy.  Have a cookie recipe from this blog that you love but don't want to make yourself?  You'll be able to order a batch.  Curious about some of the other projects or food I make?  Beef jerky and bath bombs, straight from my kitchen, are there too.  Take a look and let me know what you think, but bear in mind, this is very much a work in progress.  I felt it was important to get items out there for my readers first, and then "pretty it up" afterwards.

Anyway, visit my shop and let me know what you think.  Of course, you can also feel free to order something, too!

Joel's Food on Etsy

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lamb and Cress Salad

Lamb and Cress Salad

3 cups upland cress
1/8 cup mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup sliced almond
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 lb lamb chops
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp dry mustard

1. Put cress, mint, almond, shallot and cheese in a large bowl and toss.
2. Apply salt and pepper to lamb chops (I used shoulder chops), and cook to medium rare in a hot pan with a bit of vegetable oil.  This should take about 2 and a half minutes on each side, getting a good sear.  Set aside to let the meat rest.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil and mustard.
4. Serve the salad mixture out on two plates.  Divide the sliced lamb between the two plates.  Add dressing to taste, but be rather sparing, as it is a sin to overdress a salad.
5. Serve this salad with a nice pinot noir, and enjoy a healthy, delicious meal

Friday, June 10, 2011

Only in Canada

If you're not from Canada, you may never have heard of the dish poutine.  At its most basic, poutine is french fries, cheese curds and gravy.  If you're like me, the very idea sounds unappetizing.  But as I was visiting Canada for the first time this week, I felt that I had to at least sample the dish.

Once I'd made that decision, it was a matter of deciding where to try it.  A friend had actually told me where to go, but I foolishly forgot to write down the name of the place (interestingly, I ended up going there anyway through my own methods), so I had to try to find a good place myself.  To do this, I went with one of my tried and true methods of sampling a regional dish.  First, via google, recommendations of friends, coworkers, etc, find the restaurant that they all agree is the best place in area for said.  Then, choose their house specialty or the item that your waitstaff recommends.  Simple, and always seems to work well for me.

Following this route, I ended up at Elgin Street Diner in Ottawa.  At first glance, this place is nothing special, just a rather typical small diner.  But I've found that places like these are often hidden gems, with some of the best food I've ever tasted, so I went in.  Looking at their menu, they had one whole section for poutine, with at least 5-10 variations.  Rather than get plain poutine, I got their house specialty, the ESD poutine.  This adds carmelized onions and crumbled bacon to the basic recipe.  Served with a cold Canadian beer, of course.

To get the best experience, I made sure to try just the fries, cheese curds and gravy by itself, and then with the additional toppings.  I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed this dish, but I do think it was better with the onions and bacon.  The fries were hand cut and crispy, the onions perfectly caramelized without being burned, and the bacon nice and crispy.  The combination of flavors with all of the items together was perfect.  The serving size was also large enough that I had it for dinner one night, and then ate the leftovers again the next. 

All in all, I highly recommend that you give poutine a try, no matter how hesitant you are about the idea.  If you happen to be in Ottawa when you decide to do it, head to Elgin Street and try it at the Elgin Street Diner.  You won't regret it

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spiced Iced Tea

This recipe is another simple one, and while it is definitely not chai, both because of the spices I used, and the lack of milk, it was inspired by various chai recipes I've looked and at drinks I've had over the years.

Spiced Iced Tea
2 black tea packets of your choice (I used Bigelow Constant Comment)
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole peppercorns
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 whole cloves
1/2 cup sugar

1.  Put all ingredients in a small sauce pan with 2 cups of water and simmer for 15 minutes
2.  Pour through strainer into a 2 qt pitcher.  Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
3.  Top off container with cold water and put in the fridge
4.  Wait until tea has cooled and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Homemade Ham Salad

I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't think I've ever been to a meal where ham was served and there wasn't leftovers, no matter how many people were attending.  One use for leftover ham that I love is ham salad sandwiches, but I'm really not a fan of most premade ham salads.  Here's a pretty basic ham salad recipe that you can alter to match your own tastes.

Ham Salad
3 cups cooked ham, chopped
1/2 cup onion, minced
1/2 cup sweet relish
1/2 cup mayonnaise (add more if needed to make salad spreadable)
2 tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 tbsp sage

1.  Put ham in a food processor and chop to desired consistency
2.  Put ham and rest of ingredients in a bowl and combine.
3.  Serve in a sandwich, preferably on fresh sliced bread.  Garnish with tomato, lettuce, or anything else that strikes your fancy.
4.  Enjoy!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chicken Biryani, aka, What can I do with these Leftovers

Earlier this week I was looking around for a new recipe to try.  We had some leftover rice in the fridge, and I had some cooked chicken, and I wanted to come up with a way to use them.  Stir fry has been done to death, and of course I've already done burritos here for the blog, so it was definitely time to try a different tack.   In my search, I came across biryani.  Every culture has their own version of this, but generally is a dish made with rice, meat or veggies, and some kind of spiced sauce.  I based mine loosely on a variety of chicken curry recipes I've tried.

Chicken Biryani
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup almond slivers
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tbsp ginger paste
2 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp madras curry powder
2 large Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 can chickpeas
1 cup cooked chicken
1/2 cup chicken broth
2-3 cups cooked rice

1.  Preheat oven to 300F
2.  Put oil in wok or pan over medium-high heat.  Saute onions, almonds, garlic and ginger until onions are golden brown.
3.  Turn heat down to medium and add garam masala, curry powder and tomatoes.  Cook until liquid from tomatoes had evaporated.
4.  Turn heat to medium-low.  Add chickpeas (with the liquid), chicken and broth to pan. Simmer 3-5 minutes, or until all ingredients have combined into a nice, smooth sauce.
5.  Take a baking dish (I used a regular 9x13 dish), and begin layering the ingredients, starting with the rice.  Continue until you have used all the ingredients (I was able to get one layer of each, but in an 8x8 pan, you might get two layers of each), making sure to end up with curry on the top (so the sauce cooks down through the rice).
6.  Cover with foil and cook for 30 minutes.
7.  Mix the layers together before serving.  Enjoy!