Sunday, December 19, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

This is one of those perfect comfort foods.

1 cup shredded chicken (I like to use a pre-cooked rotisserie)
4 red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 bag frozen mixed veggies, thawed
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
4 cups chicken broth
4 Tbs. butter
4 Tbs. flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 box puff pastry, thawed
Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 375.

Add the butter to a large pot and melt. Whisk in the flour until smooth then slowly add broth until thickened. If it isn't think enough, just whisk in some more flour until it is what you want. Stir in the chicken, veggies, and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes over medium high heat and season with salt and pepper.

Grease a 9x13 inch oven-proof casserole with nonstick spray and pour in chicken mixture. Cover the dish with the puff pastry, sprinkle on a little Parmesan and put the casserole on baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake for 50 to 55 min., or until the crust is thoroughly browned and puffed.

Best Grilled Cheese EVER!

This grilled cheese is outrageously good. Sinfully good. It goes great with tomato soup, but I probably didn't need to tell you that. The Havarti is super yummy and creamy and melts perfectly and the caramelized onions will rock your world.

1 onion, very thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 or 2 tbs butter
salt and pepper
About 8 slices of Havarti cheese (2 slices per sandwich)
8 slices of sour dough or other good quality white bread (again, 2 per sandwich, as if you have never made a sandwich)

Heat a pan to medium high heat. Melt the butter and add the onions. Turn down to medium low and allow the onions to cook slowly, stirring often. Do not let them burn, but do let them get a yummy, brown color (hence the "caramelized" label). When they begin to brown, add in the garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Meanwhile preheat a panini grill to medium or 300 or whatever your grill does. You can also use a pan, but we will talk about that later. Lay out half the slices of bread and butter one side of the bread. Put on slice of cheese on the bread and top with the caramelized onions, one they have reached peak brown-ness, about a 1/4 c of onions per sandwich. Then lay down another slice of cheese and top with another slice of buttered bread. Put the sandwiches on the grill, more than likely you will only be able to do 2 at a time, so put the first batch in a low oven (think 200) if you are making more than that. Cook in the panini grill for about 8 minutes or until cheese is melty and bread is browned.

If you are using a pan, heat it over medium and lay down your sandwiches. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side. Make sure you keep a close eye on your pan or you sandwiches might burn, and nobody wants that.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Quick Pita Pizzas

Here is a quick and easy dinner. Instead of making my oh so delicious, but admittedly time consuming pizza crust, use pita bread! Pitas make a much better easy crust than the Boboli crusts, in my opinion, and they are the right size for personal pizzas, so everyone can make their own. Plus you can always use whole wheat Pitas to healthify it a bit.

Of course, the options are endless as far as toppings, but for these I made my usual mushroom, olive, onion, sausage, and garlic pizzas.

Preheat your oven to 375. Start by brushing both sizes of a pita with olive oil and place on a cookie sheet. Spread about a half a cup or so of sauce on your pita and then top with desired amount of cheese, about a half cup of shredded mozzarella. Then toss on your toppings and bake for about 20 minutes or until your cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. YUM!