Saturday, March 23, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie with Butternut Squash

Category: Main Dish
Difficulty Rating: Medium-Hard
Somewhat Healthy--lots of vegies

It seems everyone is eating more vegetables these days.  However, making some (especially pint-sized)) people eat vegies is hard. Try this recipe. Your persnickety eaters will love it.  And if you ever want to show off for your mother-in-law, or treat your favorite friends with a luncheon, make this. It's pretty! Adapted from a 2013 Bon Apetit magazine recipe "Skillet Chicken Pot Pie With Butternut Squash".  Yield: 4 servings--260-300 calories each.


1/4 C olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
3 heaping t. Herbs De Provence
1 small bunch kale, center ribs and stems removed
1/4 C all-purpose flour
3 C low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 rotisserie chicken, meat torn into bite-size pieces
3/4 C frozen peas, defrosted 
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (such as Pepperidge Farm...god bless 'em)
1 large egg
salt and pepper

Place a rack in the upper third of oven; preheat to 425 degrees. Heat oil in an 8" heavy skillet over medium/high heat. Add onions; cook stirring occasionally until they start to brown. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add garlic to skillet and cook just until garlic begins to brown. Add kale and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing often, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle flour over all. Cook, stirring occasionally,4 minutes.

Stir in broth--1/2 C at a time. Add squash. Bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer until is just softened and broth is thickened--8-10 minutes. Add chicken and defrosted peas to skillet and season to taste with salt and pepper. YUM! It's fine to serve this creamy chicken and vegies over rice and stop here if you like, but topping it with a puff-paste crust  makes it really special...

Crust: Fill 4 greased ramikens or one large greased soufflĂ© dish with chicken mixture.  Unfold pastry and smooth any creases. Cut out squares that will fit on top of whatever baking dishes you are using. The squares should be large enough that the corners will hang over the sides of the dish(s). Whisk egg with 1 tsp. water in a small bowl. Brush pastry with egg wash and cut 4 small slits with a sharp knife in the top to vent. Bake until pastry is beginning to brown 15-20 minutes. Then reduce temperature to 375 degrees and bake until pastry is brown and crisp about 15-20 minutes longer. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. This is also fine made a day ahead--saving the baking for just before dinner.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Italian Sausage and White Bean Stew

Category: Main Dish
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Healthy if you use chicken Italian sausage

I thought I was done blogging...but then I tried this recipe. It was just too darn good not to include in my collection. Adapted from a 2013 Bon Apetit issue it will knock your winter socks off your cold little feet. Double the recipe and freeze some!It can be made with Chorizo if you like a spicy sausage--but personally I prefer a really good Italian. Common Sense Tip: get a good chicken Italian sausage at your local specialty store (like WholeFoods).  Yield: 4 servings


2 T. olive oil
1 lb. fresh chicken Italian or Chorizo sausage links
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves,minced
1/4 t. dried thyme
2 15 oz. cans white kidney beans
2 C low-sodium chicken broth
Salt (kosher or sea-salt is best) and pepper to taste
5 oz. baby spinach (about 10 cups)
Smoked paprika (optional)


Heat 1 T oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook whole. Cook until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel on a plate to drain. Note: you can use blobs of sausage that is not in links. It's often less expensive.

Reduce heat to medium. Heat remaining 1 T oil in the same skillet. Add onion garlic and thyme. Cook until onion is softened 5-8 minutes. Add beans and broth and cook. Crush a few of the beans as you go to help thicken the sauce as you stir. Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach  by handfuls and cook just until wilted.  Slice sausage and fold it into stew. Add water to thin if needed. Divide stew among bowls and sprinkle with a bit of smoked paprika if desired.