Thursday, January 13, 2022

ROTISSERIE CHICKEN POT PIES

Old-fashioned chicken pot pies are one of the southern comfort foods for cold evenings. Using rotisserie chicken and already prepared pie dough makes this recipe super fast and easy!  If there is only two for dinner, cover with plastic wrap and freeze the other two for another night.


Pot Pie Filling

6 T unsalted butter
2 stalks celery, diced
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
½ t poultry seasoning
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
½ cup whole milk
1 t dried thyme
2 T chopped fresh parsley
1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and cut into bite-size pieces
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 box pie dough (2 in a box) kept at room temperature on the counter

In a large skillet, melt butter and add the celery, potatoes, and onion.

Cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes; stirring often.
Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Add the peas and carrots, poultry seasoning, and flour and continue to cook and stir about 2 minutes.
Gradually pour in the chicken broth while stirring.
Partially cover and slowly simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the milk, thyme, parsley, and chicken pieces.
Season generously with salt and pepper.
Stir to combine and simmer for another minute.
Set out 4 individual oven-proof bowls on a baking sheet.
Ladle in the skillet ingredients and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  


Cut each pie dough into 2 circles, about 1 inch larger than the pot pie bowls. 
Place dough on top of each bowl and cut slits on top of dough, to release steam.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

Serves 4  

LOWCOUNTRY SHRIMP & GRITS

 Shrimp and grits started in the Lowcountry of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. Traditionally grits were served as a breakfast dish, but now they are served with seafood and considered a brunch, lunch, dinner, or supper dish. Lowcountry grits contains bacon, andouille sausage, and a medium dark roux.

Cut the recipe in half to serve 2.



Roux
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour

Grits
4 cups water
2 cups whole milk
½ t sea salt
1½ cups stone ground yellow or white grits (not instant)
2 T unsalted butter
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Shrimp & Sausage
1 T avocado oil
12 oz andouille sausage, cut in half, lengthwise and sliced ¼-inch
4 slices bacon, finely diced
2 T unsalted butter
½ sweet Vidalia onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1½ lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups chicken broth
½ cup white wine (optional)
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias

In a large cast-iron skillet, melt the butter and whisk in the flour.
Cook 7 to 8 minutes, until roux turns a medium brown in color.  
Watch it carefully and don't let it burn.  Spoon roux into a large bowl and set aside.

In a 2-quart saucepan, bring water, milk, and salt to a boil.
Slowly whisk in the grits.  
Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring every 4 to 5 minutes.
Simmer for about 25 minutes.  Stir in butter and cheese to completely combine.
Turn off heat, cover and set aside.

In the same large cast-iron skillet, over medium heat, add oil and cook the andouille sausage and bacon until brown then remove with a slotted spoon to the bowl with the roux, and set aside.
Add the butter to the skillet and slowly cook the onion for 5 minutes.  
Add the garlic and cook another minute.

Add the shrimp and cook, while stirring for about 4 minutes..
Add the chicken broth and wine to deglaze the pan.
Add the roux with the andouille sausage and bacon, cayenne, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer a couple more minutes, to heat through.

Ladle the grits into 4 warm bowls.
Evenly divide the the skillet ingredients over the grits.
Garnish with scallions and serve immediately.

Serves 4





Sunday, January 2, 2022

CHEDDAR-GARLIC DROP BISCUITS

When I was a young bride, I would make these drop biscuits with Bisquick, which was super easy. These biscuits are also easy to make. Making them with either White Lily flour or Southern Biscuit flour (not self-rising) makes these biscuits so light and fluffy. If you can't find these flours, by all means, use all-purpose flour. 



2 cups all-purpose White Lily or Southern Biscuit flour 
1 T granulated sugar
1 T baking powder (preferably aluminum-free)
1 t baking soda
2 t garlic powder
½ t paprika
½ t fine sea salt
¼ t cayenne pepper
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup (8 T) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 T snipped chives

Butter Topping
2 T unsalted butter, melted
¼ t garlic powder
1 T minced Italian parsley

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place rack in center of oven.

Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, and salt.

Slowly mix in the buttermilk and melted butter with a wooden spoon.
Gently fold in the cheddar cheese, and chives.

Using a medium ice cream scoop or a large spoon, scoop out batter and place on baking sheet.

Bake in oven 10 to 12 minutes.

Brush with Butter Topping as soon as you take the biscuits out of oven and serve immediately.

Makes 20 biscuits



Saturday, January 1, 2022

SUNDAY POT ROAST WITH POTATOES, ONIONS & CARROTS

My mom always had a rosemary bush in her backyard. She would ask me to cut a few sprigs for her when she made a Sunday roast beef or pot roast dinner. Rosemary and beef go so well together. She would thicken the broth into a delicious gravy by adding softened butter mixed with flour. She didn’t know the fancy French word for it was “burre manié”, which translates to kneaded butter in English. This is definitely a traditional Southern Sunday pot roast dinner.



1 T avocado oil or peanut oil

One (3 to 3 ½ lb) boneless chuck roast, untied
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup red wine, such as Merlot
2 cups beef broth
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 t granulated garlic
2 bay leaves

6 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
8 to 10 red potatoes, scrubbed clean, eyes removed and cut in half
½ bag frozen pearl onions or 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped

3 T unsalted butter, softened
3 T all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Season meat with salt and pepper on all sides.
In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat.
Brown meat on all sides.

Remove meat when browned and set aside on a platter.
Add wine to deglaze the pan and stir up the browned bits with a wooden spoon.
Add the beef broth, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, and bay leaves.
Stir to combine and return the meat to the pan.

Bring to a boil then cover with a lid and transfer to the oven and cook for 3 hours.
Remove from oven and add the carrots, potatoes, and onions.
Return to oven and cook another 2 hours.

Remove pot from oven and place on top of the stove, remove roast from pan and place on a platter and keep warm in a 200 degree F oven.
Remove potatoes, carrots, and onions from the pan to a bowl and keep warm along with the roast.
Discard sprigs of herbs and bay leaves.

In a small bowl, add the softened butter and mix in the flour with a fork.
Add to pan and over medium heat, bring the liquid to a boil.
Boil for about 5 minutes, to thicken.

Remove platter and bowl of vegetables from oven and break apart some of the roast.
Surround roast with vegetables and drizzle meat with a little of the gravy.
Pour the rest of the gravy into a warm gravy boat to take to the table.

Serves 4 to 6


Friday, December 31, 2021

NEW ORLEANS-STYLE SHRIMP CREOLE

 Shrimp Creole is a traditional recipe from New Orleans (N'awlins). The origin of Creole is a combination of French, Spanish, and Italian heritage. Creole cooking does not use a dark roux as Cajun cooking does, but they both start with the Holy Trinity (onion, bell pepper, and celery). Serve this with crusty French bread, hot sauce, and a green salad.


1 ½ lbs medium shrimp
1 T avocado oil 
2 T unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T Creole Seasoning (recipe below)
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 8-oz bottle clam nectar or seafood broth
1(14 ½ oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
3 T tomato paste
2 t Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
2 T finely chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Diced scallions, for garnish

Hot sauce, for serving (optional)
Cooked white rice

Peel and clean your shrimp and place in a bowl and refrigerate.
In a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, add the oil and butter.
Add the diced onion, bell pepper, and celery. 
Sauté for 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté another minute.
Add the Creole Seasoning, cayenne pepper, clam nectar or seafood broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire, bay leaf, and chopped parsley. 
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Stir the shrimp into the sauce and cook uncovered for another 3 minutes.

Turn off heat, remove the bay leaf, stir in parsley, cover and let sit a few minutes.

To serve, use a coffee cup and place a mound of cooked rice in center of each bowl.

Spoon sauce with shrimp around the rice and sprinkle with diced scallions. 

Creole Seasoning

3 T paprika
2 T sea salt
2 T ground black pepper
2 T garlic powder
2 T cayenne pepper
2 T onion powder
2 T dried thyme
1 T dried oregano
1 T dried basil

Pour above ingredients in a jar fitted with a lid. 

Shake well and store in a cool dark place for up to one year.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

ANNIE LOU'S CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS

Chicken and Dumplings is a southern comfort dish and my absolute favorite, especially during autumn and winter's cold months. This is a version of my grandmother's recipe. I remember her making this for lunch for my sister and me.

I updated it by taking most of the skin off the meat before cooking and meat off of the bones after cooking. My grandmother used only drumsticks and thighs, with the skin on.
If you prefer all white meat, use 4 to 5 bone-in chicken breasts. If you prefer all dark meat, use 7 to 8 thighs and drumsticks. You can also use a combination of both white and dark meat.



2 T avocado oil or oil of your choice
4 to 5 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
8 cups chicken stock or broth
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed or 1 t freeze-dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Heat oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven.  
Brown chicken, in two batches, until light golden brown on both sides. 
Return all chicken to the pot and add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.  

Reduce heat, add the bay leaves, thyme leaves, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Partially cover and slowly simmer for 30 minutes  
Remove chicken to a bowl or platter and let cool.  
Remove bay leaves and discard. 

To the broth add:
1 medium onion, finely diced 
4 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
4 stalks of celery, cut in half lengthwise and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

Simmer, covered for another 15 minutes.
When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin from chicken, pull meat from bones and tear into bite-size chunks.
Return chicken pieces to pot.

Herbed Dumplings
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder                                                           
1 t sea salt 
1 t fine ground black pepper
2 T minced parsley
1 t minced chives
1½ cups milk or buttermilk

In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. 
Gently mix in the milk.
Drop mounds with a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop into the simmering broth.  
Cover tightly and simmer 15 minutes.
Ladle into bowls with a few dumplings on top and garnish with some minced parsley.

Serves 4 to 6

Saturday, December 18, 2021

LEMON-BRANDY SYLLABUB

Syllabub is a wonderful Old English mousse-like dessert. It was also popular in the colonies in the 18th century. Originally it was made with some type of alcohol, such as cider or wine, and then taken outside to the barn where the cow was milked straight into the bucket. Then it was whipped to a froth with a birch whisk and allowed to separate before eating. The alcohol would settle to the bottom of the glass and the frothy milk was on the top. Here is a more appetizing way to make syllabub and you don't have to wait for the mixture to separate. I am fortunate to have my mom's iced tea spoons which are perfect for dipping deep into the tall Irish coffee glasses to get every last spoonful. 



½ cup white wine
¼ cup brandy 
2 T grated lemon zest
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Blueberries or raspberries, for garnish

Pour wine, brandy, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar into a large bowl and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Let sit on counter for about 15 minutes and whisk again.

In a large bowl, pour in the heavy whipping cream and beat with an electric mixer until medium stiff peaks form.
Fold the whipped cream into the bowl with the wine mixture until well combined. 

Spoon into 4 to 6 wine, champagne or Irish coffee glasses.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, up to 8 hours.

When ready to serve, garnish with a couple of blueberries or raspberries and a mint leaf.