Leftovers, minus the monotony

Frankly, I hesitate of leftovers.

To wit:

Howie (standing at open refrigerator): "There's absolutely nothing to consume."

Izabela: "Look in the fridge."

Howie: "I am. There's absolutely nothing in here."

Izabela: "Don't begin that once again. There's the chicken from yesterday, the pasta from Monday. Look in the containers."


Howie: "I do not wish to open any containers."

Izabela: "Then, do not consume."

Howie (sigh): "OK.".

That's quite much verbatim. I know due to the fact that I have the conversation with my partner a number of times a week. If something is being stored in the fridge in a container or enshrouded in crinkly plastic wrap, you'll be hard pressed to obtain me to check under the cover. Who knows exactly what smells or tiny danger awaits?

Yes, I am a little insane about food that was on yesterday's menu. That's why I've never been among those individuals who excitedly await the post-Thanksgiving leftover engorgement. Save the turkey and cranberry sauce sandwiches for somebody else.

There are things you can do with all those leftovers that mask the truth that they have actually been growing old in your fridge. They're tasty, too, if you do not inform me exactly what they are. My preferred: the casserole.

I've been consuming casserole considering that I was old enough to grab a Swanson's-- presented in 1951-- from the grocery store freezer. I believe it's the combination of the crust and gooey filling. It's ended up being the supreme home cooking.

There are a variety of recipes for pot pies online and in well respected books: Cooks.com, Fannie Farmer, "The Joy of Cooking," "James Beards American Cookery" and "American Home Cooking," to name several worth a look.

I wished to try a new one, from a trustworthy source: the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the place where a number of the best American chefs get their education. Their newest book is "One Dish Meals: Flavorful Single-Dish meals from the World's Premier Culinary College." The dish is for chicken casserole, but replacing turkey will be simply as great.

my response Don't be deceived by the "one-dish" name. This is no Rachael Ray 30-minute offer-- it took me and Izabela two hours to make ours, not including the crust-- cooking time alone is about 45 minutes.

If it's store bought or it can set you back at least an hour in the refrigerator if it's homemade, the crust can take no time at all. I wanted to buy those simple bake biscuits, and, Izabela, well, let's simply say she did not approve.

" What do you mean? What do you indicate?" Izabela asked incredulously. "The dough recipe I utilize is simple. Why would you ever desire to purchase one?".

We made the crust.

Izabela has actually adapted a Julia Child dish for dough that she always utilizes and is actually easy. The essential thing to understand about making your own is that it needs to be chilled prior to managing-- there is a great deal of butter in the recipe. Chilling enables the dough to firm up in order to be rolled more quickly.

The goal is a flaky, fragile, crispy crust. , if the dough is too soft to work with you'll have to add flour to firm it up.. You'll have a chewy and hard crust. And Izabela will be angry.

When you're all set to start shaping the dough, ensure you have the rolling pin prepared: Try asking your 18-month-old son what he finished with "the round wood thing" while the ball of dough sits on the counter, getting softer and softer. We used a bottle to roll out our dough. Time is of the essence: Fast equates to flaky.

I chose the recipe due to the fact that it looked simple adequate and due to the fact that of the CIA's reputation. Izabela, on the other hand, was uncertain. She was won over.

There are two things about the recipe to be mindful of. We had no idea what that suggests and Izabela has never seen the word utilized that way. Exactly what you're looking for is the butter to get frothy, white with tiny bubbles.

As a neophyte, the other problem I had with the recipe was the stir "up until thick" command. How thick? They do not describe. Eventually in the 15 minutes of stirring you will discover the sauce gets thicker, sort of like comparing water and oil. By the time 15 minutes passed, the mixture wasn't much thicker than that. If it gets pasty then you've probably used excessive flour or insufficient liquid.

The great thing about making this meal is that you're making pie. In handling my food neuroses, pie is an excellent leveler. If it's a tasty pie made from leftovers, even.


Chicken Pot Pie.

From The Culinary Institute of America's "One Dish Meals: Flavorful Single-Dish meals from the World's Premier Culinary College.".

Makes 4 to 6 Servings.

3 tablespoons butter or grease.

1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion.

2 teaspoons minced garlic.

3 tablespoons flour.

3 cups chicken broth.

salt as needed.

newly ground black pepper as required.

1 cup diced carrot.

1 cup diced celery.

2 cups diced red or Yukon gold potato.

4 cups diced prepared chicken meat (or replace turkey).

1 cup green peas, thawed if frozen.

2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf (Italian) parsley.

2 (9-inch ready pie crusts or puff pastry sheets.

Add the onion and sauté, stirring regularly till tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Include the flour and cook, stirring continuously, until pasty and thick, about 2 minutes. Bring to a boil and them immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, till thick, about 15 minutes.

3. Include the potato, carrot, and celery and simmer till the veggies are tender, about 20 minutes. Include the chicken and peas and remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the sliced parsley.

4. Spoon the filling into individual crocks or a baking dish. Cut pie crust or puff pastry dough to the approximate size and shape and cover the filling. Cut vents in the crust and press the edges of the dough onto the baking dish or crocks to seal.

5. Bake the pot pie up until the pie crust or puff pastry is flaky and golden, about 45 minutes for a large casserole and 25 minutes for specific crockeries. Serve right away.

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