Classics, Comfort food, Food, Meat

“Winter is Coming” Meat Pie

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I recently jumped on to the “Game of Thrones” bandwagon. Yes, I know I am about 8 years late, but I am here now, completely obsessed and can’t wait to see how the story wraps up.  This past week has been everything “thrones” especially with the HBO marathon going on.  In Season 4, there is an extensive description of a particular “Steak and Kidney Pie” made by the character “Hot Pie” at the “Inn at the Crossroads”.  As Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne hungrily tucked away large bites of the pie, I couldn’t stop thinking about how delicious it must be.  Decision made.  I am was to make a classic English Meat Pie to celebrate the premiere of Season 8.  Yes, the weather is warming up, but I hope you choose to make this recipe soon, we only have Game of Thrones on till the middle of May !!!

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds stew meat, cut into small bite-sized pieces

Chopped button mushrooms, carrots and onions – cut them small enough so that they are the same size as the meat.  You can change up the ratio, but I went meat heavy since that is the way my husband likes it.  I would reckon about 1/4-1/3 cup for each veggie would be sufficient.  

1/4tsp of dried rosemary, thyme, and sage

3tbsp of flour

2tbsp of good red wine, you know what to do with the rest of the bottle

1tsp of Worcestershire sauce

1tsp of paprika

1 can of chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil for frying

Store bought pie crust

Method:

In a heavy bottom pan (I like my dutch oven), heat olive oil and brown beef in batches, seasoning it salt and pepper.  Once browned, set aside.

 

 

In the same pan, add a little bit more oil and add all the veggies and saute till pale brown.  Once browned, added dried herbs, salt and pepper and saute for 5 more minutes.

 

Add the beef back in with all the veggies.

Add flour, and saute till all the meat and veggies are coated with the flour and browned (5-7mins)

 

Add 1 can of chicken stock, paprika, wine and Worcestershire sauce.  Cover and simmer on medium low heat till the gravy thickens, the carrots are soft and the meat is fork tender.  This is a pie filling, so it has to be nice and thick.

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Divide the filling into individual “pot pie” dishes (OR one big pie pan) and cool the filling completely.  In the past, I have made a meat and potato version of this in muffin tins, with a double crust.  You can find that recipe here

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Cover the filling with thawed pie crust.  Crimp the edges to seal in the filling, add a slit on the top for steam to escape.

 

 

Brush the top with egg wash–this will ensure a deep golden crust.

 

 

Bake in a 375F oven for 40-45 mins till the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling underneath.

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Serve Hot !!!

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Classics, Comfort food

Meat Pies

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Happy New Year! It has been a while since I have posted.  Life in graduate school can be all consuming and with the holidays and traveling back to India, I have hardly been cooking or eating right.  So, I will try to be better this year and what better way to start off the year with a delicious, savoury and very English Meat Pie.  The recipe is pretty straightforward.  It is rich and comforting and pairs perfectly with Downton Abbey or Sherlock ! Enjoy a night on british teli with this recipe !

Ingredients:

1.5lbs of cubed stew meat

0.5 tbsp of minced garlic

1 cup diced onions

1 cup chopped mushrooms

0.5 cups of chopped carrots

0.5 cups of chopped red-skinned potatoes

1 cup chicken broth

Winter herbs of your choice, I used a spice blend from Raw Spicebar–use what you like! (Thyme, rosemary sage etc)

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Salt and Pepper to taste

2 tbsp of olive oil

3 rolls of store-bought pie crust

Method:

Heat olive oil in a pot and brown meat in batches till dark brown. Set aside.

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In the same pot add onions, garlic, mushrooms, carrots and potatoes and saute for 10mins till the vegetables start to soften.  The key here is to make sure the vegetables are fine chopped and relatively the same size.

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Add salt, peppers, herb mix and saute for another 5-10mins

Put back the meat and add the chicken stock.

Simmer till meat is tender and the filling has a thick consistency.  You do not want too much liquid since it will make for a wet and soggy pie–nobody wants that!

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Cool filling completely.

Take a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan and grease with cooking spray.

Cut out pie crust to fit into the muffin pan and leave a little bit of an overhang.

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Spoon in a generous amount of the meat filling.

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Cover with another round of cut pie dough and crimp the edges to seal thoroughly. Cut a slit in the top crust so that the steam can escape.

Bake in a 375F pre-heated oven for 45-6omins till crust is golden

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Serve hot !!!

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Comfort food, Soups, Stew

Winter Minestrone

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Ingredients:

Olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions

1 can of peas and carrots

2 cups (1/2-inch) diced celery (3 stalks)

1 acorn squash, roasted, peeled, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)

2-3 Tbsp thyme, rosemary and sage

2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, with juice

4 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp of red pepper flakes (optional)

1 15 oz can of red kidney beans, drained

1 package of Swiss chard.

 

Directions:

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onions, carrots, peas, celery, garlic, red pepper flakes and herbs and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.

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Meanwhile, in an oven preheated to 375F, roast 1 acorn squash

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Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, chicken, the bay leaf, 1 Tbsp salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

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Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and Swiss chard and roasted, cubed squash. Continue to cook till the chard wilts and soup comes to desired consistency.

Serve hot with crusty, buttery bread !

 

Dinner, Fish & Seafood, Lent

Cod in Cartoccio

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I first saw Mario Batali make this on “The Chew” and I new that this was a meal I had to make for my mom.  The recipe was meant for four portions but I had to scale it down for two people.  The beauty of this meal is that the packets can be made in advance and can be refrigerated.  Just bake it prior to dinner and a simple weeknight can be turned into an elegant supper !

2 filets of cod
Salt and freshly ground Pepper
1/2 small Yellow Squash (julienne)
1 Carrots (peeled and julienne)
1/2 bulb fresh Fennel (julienne)
10 leaves Swiss Chard (trimmed and chiffonade)
Dried Oregano and Parsley
1/2 cup White Wine
1/8 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut 2 pieces of parchment into 12 inch squares.

Season each fish with salt and pepper.  Mix the vegetables and herbs in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Divide the mixed vegetables and herbs into 2 and place 1 portion in the center of each paper. Place 1 fish filet over the vegetables.

Generously drizzle of the olive oil and white wine. I topped the fish with two lemon slices.

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Fold up each packet and seal the edges by folding them over several times.

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Bake in the oven for 12 to 14 minutes, and serve hot, taking care of the steam that will blast from the hot packet.

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Classics, Comfort food

Corned Beef and Cabbage

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  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 3 carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into 1-inch wedges (root end eft intact)
  • 1/2 pound small red potatoes, halved if over 21/2      inches long
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 1 beef brisket (about 3 pounds)
  • McCormick’s Pickling spice–about 4tbsp.
  • 1/2 head Savoy cabbage or 3/4 head common green cabbage, cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges
  • For serving: whole grain mustard

Procedure:

1. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, place celery, carrots, onion, potatoes and thyme. Place corned beef, fat side up, on top of vegetables and sprinkle with pickling spice; add enough water to cover meat (4 to 6 cups).

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2. Cover and cook on high until corned beef is tender, 41/4 hours (or 81/2 hours on low).

3. Arrange cabbage over corned beef, cover and continue cooking until cabbage is tender, about 45 minutes (or 11/2 hours on low). Thinly slice corned beef against the grain and serve with vegetables and cooking liquid. Serve whole grain mustard as an optional condiment.

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Dinner, Poultry

Chicken and Carrots with Orange, Thyme and Wine

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With just a few fresh affordable ingredients dinner is ready is an hour!  Bright orange zest with the earthy flavors of thyme turn your average chicken thighs into the star of your dinner table.  And best of all, that bag of frozen carrots can finally come out to play from the back of the freezer ! Enjoy this simple and easy chicken dinner.

1 lb of boneless skinless chicken thigh

1 lb bag of frozen carrots

1 tbsp of orange zest and fresh thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

½ tbsp of olive oil

½ tbsp of garlic

A dash of red pepper flakes

½ cup white wine

¼ orange juice

Method:

Heat oil in a pan and sauté the salt and pepper seasoned chicken till golden.  Set aside.

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In the same pan, sauté garlic and carrots with thyme and orange zest.  Add more salt and pepper to season the carrots.

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Return chicken to pan and sprinkle red pepper flakes.

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Add the wine and orange juice and simmer on medium heat till most of the liquid has evaporated and chicken is cooked through.  If the chicken is still undercooked, add a little bit of water or chicken stock and continue simmering till chicken is cooked through.

Serve hot with butter noodles or crusty bread !

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Classics, Comfort food, French, Meat, Stew

Beef Daube Provencal

There are a lot of types of beef stew.  This is by far my favourite.  I love the richness of the wine and the heartiness from the beef and mushrooms.  This is another fall/winter staple in my kitchen, so when the temperature fell below 45F today, I decided that it was a good day to turn on the oven and make stew !

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons olive oil

12 garlic cloves, crushed

1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes

1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

1 cup red wine

2 cups chopped carrot

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

8 oz mushrooms

1/2 cup less-sodium beef broth

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Dash of ground cloves

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 bay leaf

Method:

Preheat oven to 300°.

Heat a small Dutch oven over low heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic; cook 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add beef to pan; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides.

Remove beef from pan. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add reserved garlic, beef, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, mushrooms, carrot, and next 8 ingredients (through bay leaf), and bring to a boil.

Cover and bake at 300° for 3 1/2 hours or until beef is tender.

Serve with buttered egg noodles or crusty bread !

 

Appetizers

Mini Vegetable Patties

Another way to get your kinds to eat vegetables.  If something looks deepfried and does not resemble vegetables, I have a feeling kids or even adults who behave like kids will eat it.  The beauty of this recipe is you can use any vegetables you like, I used cauliflower, carrots, turnips and beets.

Ingredients:

1 lb of frozen carrots and cauliflower

1 14oz can of beets.

Frozen, pureed turnips ( southland brand)

1/4 cup finely ground almonds

olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin and coriander–use accordingly.

Method:

In a blender, blend together all the vegetables, you might need to add some water to get the blender moving but the idea is that the whole vegetables will look like smushed baby food.

Pour the blended vegetable in a pot and cook it with salt, pepper, cumin and coriander, till all the water evaporates and the vegetables turn into a thick spreadable paste.  During this process, if the blend starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a little bit of olive oil and stir and scrape the bottom of the pan.

Cook till dry and has the consistency of thick peanut butter.

Let the mixture cool and in the meantime preheat the oven to 375F.

Once the mixture is cool, stir in the almonds and shape into mini patties.

Bake the patties till golden brown for about 20 mins.

Serve warm, with a side salad, or turn it into mini veggie sliders !