Family Style Chicken Pot Pie

Somewhere on this blog, there already exists a recipe for individual chicken pot pies! The following recipe will be very similar in many ways, however what makes this twist unique is that it presents as one large pie that you serve family style! It’s complete with all the trimmings you’d find on your holiday dinner table including tender roasted chicken, buttery peas and carrots, creamy corn and mushroom dressing; all baked inside a flaky crust! What’s best is that it calls for pre-made pie crust and rotisserie chicken which makes your life easier for sure and can be adapted to include any leftover (or holiday favorite) veggies you have on hand!

Ingredients: Serves 6 – 8

  • 2 pre-made pie crusts
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup sliced/chopped mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp Trader Joe’s Umami seasoning or similar spice blend
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 2/3 cup frozen corn (I used fire roasted)
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, picked

Directions:

  1. Remove pie crust from the fridge and let come to room temp. Meanwhile pick the white and dark meat from your rotisserie chicken and set it aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook (stirring occasionally) until onions are no longer opaque and mushrooms begin to soften.
  3. Add the flour and Umami seasoning and stir with a fork until a thick paste forms. Slowly add and in the chicken stock and milk and whisk until incorporated. Mix in the salt, pepper, thyme and sage. Allow mixture to begin to boil, then reduce heat and let sauce simmer until it thickens, stirring often.IMG_9812
  4. Once mixture is thickened, add in the frozen veggies. Let cook for a few minutes until they defrost and then add the chicken. Stir until all ingredients are well mixed and then remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes.IMG_9805
  5. While mixture cools, prepare your pie crust and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay one crust on the bottom of a large (preferably glass/ceramic) pie dish and gently press dough into the sides and over the top edge.
  6. Take cooled mixture and pour it into your pie dish and spread evenly. Top with the remaining pie crust and use a fork to crimp the edges all the way around. Use the fork to poke a few holes into the center of the crust to allow some heat/steam to escape while it cooks. This will prevent the crust from cracking.
  7. Place pie on a large cookie sheet and into the oven. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, until crust is golden, edges begin to brown and sauce oozes from the vent holes!IMG_9815
  8. Let sit 10 – 15 minutes prior to serving. Present your masterpiece to your family/guests before cutting with a sharp knife. Use a pie spatula to transfer slices to your plates.IMG_9819

Loaded Broccoli Mac-n-Cheese

As I was prepping this dish I came to the realization that I have never posted a mac-n-cheese recipe!? That kinda blew my mind considering what a cheese-head I am, coupled with my love of pasta! Anyhow, my recipe for mac-n-cheese is a derivative of Alton Brown’s original recipe. I discovered it years ago and use his rue as a base for many of my sauces, most notably the cheese sauce in my mac-n-cheese. This version of the classic incorporates goat cheese for added creaminess, broccoli for veggie power (and a pop of green) and bacon… just because everything tastes better with a little bit o’bacon on top! Enjoy!!

Ingredients: feeds 6

  • 12 oz of your favorite pasta (I used orecchiette)
  • florets from 3 medium broccoli crowns
  • 5 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • 6 oz shredded cheddar jack, plus extra
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs
  • 4 slices precooked bacon, diced

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  2. Steam broccoli florets in an inch of water in a covered, microwave safe dish for 5 – 6 minutes or until they are tender yet bitey.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the sauce; in a large shallow pan, melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat.  Add the diced onion and sauté until translucent. Add the mustard and flour to the pan and whisk to incorporate the ingredients. Slowly add the milk and then half and half while continually whisking. Whisk until there are no longer any lumps.
  4. Reduce heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally as sauce begins to thicken. Add the goat cheese and then the cheddar jack and mix. Season to desired taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Using the empty pasta pot, combine the cooked pasta and steamed broccoli. Gently fold in the cheese sauce.
  6. Transfer mixture to a greased 9×13 casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350.
  7. In a small saucepan melt the remaining 3 tbsp of butter over medium – low heat and add the breadcrumbs. Stir to coat the breadcrumbs and allow them to cook long enough to start to brown.
  8. Top the casserole with a sprinkle of cheddar jack cheese, the toasted breadcrumbs and the crumbled bacon. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and broil for an additional 3 minutes.

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

‘Tis the season for Jambalaya with it being Lent and all! Searched far and wide for a slow cooker version to make my life easier and found a great one by Robin Miller. I tweaked it a bit to meet my tastes and needs and voila! Enjoy!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless chicken tenders, cubed
  • 1 lb large frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 lb andouille sausage, chunked
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes (fire roasted, preferred)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large bunch Lacinto kale, shredded
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp canjun seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Directions:

  1. Lightly grease your slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the chicken, shrimp, sausage, tomatoes, onion, pepper, kale, celery, stock and spices in the slow cooker.
  3. Cook on High for 3 1/2 – 4 hours (stirring occasionally) until meat is tender and kale is wilted.
  4. Discard bay leaves and thyme stalks.
  5. Ladle jambalaya over cooked rice.

Comments:

I added kale just because I wanted my jambalaya to be more green, lol! Keep in mind, this weekend is St.Patrick’s Day!! I also nixed the hot sauce that the original recipe called for, but of course you can add it in if you want your jambalaya to have a kick. Lastly, I don’t mind shrimp tails in my soup but some people do, so you can swap out the frozen shrimp for precooked (tails removed) and add them in 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve. You could also repurpose left over shrimp cocktail in the same manner.

 

Pastrami Spiced Salmon

I recently served this dish at a baby shower brunch that I catered and it got rave reviews and several recipe requests! I can’t take credit for the original recipe, however I did make a few tweaks to make it my own. It’s best prepared the day before and served at room temperature*. The fennel and dill sauce is a must! Enjoy!!

Ingredients: Easily feeds 10 – 12 people

  • 3 – 4 lb salmon filet, skinned and pin bones removed
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp coriander
  • 2 tbsp + 2tsp ground fennel
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

Directions:

  1. BRINE THE SALMON: Mix together the soy sauce, sugar and kosher salt. Combine it with the salmon in a large ziplock bag or shallow dish, making sure the filet is coated evenly. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes but no more than 3 hrs.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the RUB by combining the paprika, coriander, 2 tbsp of fennel and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Remove salmon from the brine, rinse and pat dry. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Place salmon on the paper and carefully rub mixture into both sides. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes depending on the thickness of the filet.
  5. While the salmon bakes, make the GLAZE by mixing together the molasses, cayenne and bay leaves. Bring to a boil then allow mixture to cool slightly.
  6. When salmon is done cooking, remove from oven and glaze. Not all of the glaze may be used. Let salmon cool and then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, allowing sufficient time for the filet to come to room temperature first (3 – 4 hrs)*.
  7. To make the SAUCE mix together the sour cream, horseradish, 2 tsp fennel and dill in a small bowl.

Original recipe courtesy of Paula’s Pantry

Serving:

To display and serve the salmon, I use kitchen shears to trim around the parchment paper and then transfer the filet (with parchment underneath to prevent it from falling apart) to a serving dish. You can try and cut the salmon into thin slices but in my experience, it tends to flake apart. I use a small spatula when serving and break off “slices” and serve it with a dollop of sauce on some kind of small toasted piece of bread.

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Great for a Brunch!

Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

Kill two birds with one stone when you feed your peeps this delicious cheesesteak sammie that tastes like it’s straight outta Phillie but looks more like a Sloppy Joe! The best part is that your slow cooker does all the work so you don’t have to; and I made it even easier for myself by using frozen, diced green pepper and onion! You can prep this dish before work in under 15 minutes, turn it on Low and Slow and come home to a tasty, toasty, beefy, cheesy (you get the idea) meal that the whole family will devour! Enjoy!!

Ingredients: Makes 6 – 8 sammies

  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup beef stock
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus extra
  • 8 round sandwich style buns, toasted

Directions:

  1. Brown ground beef in a skillet on your stovetop.
  2. Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray. Transfer meat over using a slotted spoon to drain the fat.
  3. Add the diced green pepper, onions and mushrooms. Pour in the beef stock, Worcestershire and ketchup and fold to combine. Add the corn starch and seasonings and mix well.
  4. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 5 – 6 hours. Mix in the cheese just prior to serving. Divide cheesesteak mixture evenly among the bun bottoms. Sprinkle with additional cheese if desired!

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*Recipe adapted from slowcookergourmet.com

Chicken Enchiladas (with pumpkin purée)

Always looking for clever ways to sneak extra veggies into my family’s diet! This is a no-brainer and went completely under the radar until the end of the meal when I came clean! Not only does pumpkin pair well with enchilada sauce, it makes the dish so creamy and rich, you may never make enchiladas without pumpkin again!

For Bridget!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • cooking spray
  • 1, 15 oz can pumpkin purée
  • 1, 19 oz can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of salt
  • 10 whole wheat flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • fresh cilantro
  • sour cream
  • guacamole

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl combine pumpkin, cumin, garlic and salt. Mix well and set aside.
  2. In another bowl, mix half the pumpkin mixture with half the can of enchilada sauce.
  3. Lightly spray your slow cooker with cooking spray and add the chicken and the pumpkin/enchilada sauce mixture. Cook on low for 4 – 6 hours (stirring occasionally) until chicken is tender and falls apart.
  4. Remove chicken and remaining sauce from slow cooker, shred with a fork and let cool.
  5. Lightly spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Coat the bottom of the dish with a spoonful of cooking sauce. Place a tortilla on a flat surface and schmear a dollop of the remaining pumpkin mixture down the center. Top with a generous portion of the shredded chicken and some of the cooking sauce. Roll the tortilla and place length-wise in the casserole dish. Repeat until all tortillas, pumpkin and chicken is used.
  6. Top enchiladas with remaining enchilada sauce and the cheddar cheese.
  7. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes covered, 5 minutes uncovered or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve with chopped cilantro, sour cream and fresh guacamole!img_8105

*adapted from allrecipes.com

 

Deconstructed Big Mac Salad Bowl

Craving a greasy fast food burger but trying to stick to those New Year’s Resolutions you just made to eat healthy? Give this Big Mac Bowl a try and satisfy your itch! It’s easy, low carb and tastes just like the real deal!!

Ingredients: Makes 4 servings

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp pickle relish
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 8 cups lettuce of choice
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 12 dill pickle slices

Directions:

  1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. Half way through, add the chopped onion and continue to cook until onions are soft and translucent. Drain the fat, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the mayo, relish, mustard, vinegar and spices together to make the special sauce.
  3. Combine lettuce and half the sauce in a large bowl and toss to coat. Divide the lettuce among 4 salad bowls or plates.
  4. Top each with a generous spoonful of meat. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and garnish with pickle slices. Drizzle additional sauce over each salad bowl if desired.

*Adapted from homemadeinterest.com