Tag Archives: potatoes

Portobello or Chicken Pot Pie

22 Jan

Recipe Source: Adapted from allrecipes.com

For my first recipe of 2011 – albeit a bit tardy – I want to share with you my last meal of 2010. (Boy, that sounds morbid!) After New Year’s Eve plans with friends fell through and our enthusiasm for celebrating increasingly waned, the prospect of staying in with a home-cooked meal and fire in the fake electric fireplace became increasingly attractive. We decided to perfect our pot pie-making skills.

I originally made a portobello version of this pie for a group of my best friends, which includes a vegetarian. But the recipe can easily be adapted for meat-eaters by substituting chicken and chicken stock for the portobello caps and vegetable stock.

I also made a number of modifications based on consistent reviews from allrecipes, such as increasing the amount of flour for the gravy, using stock in place of water, and adding a splash of wine. The proportions here are half of what they were in the original recipe, since we made two pies with it!

filling pot pie

Part I: Make your own crust. It’s worth it.

My go-to recipe for crust is David’s go-to recipe, which he and his mother have perfected after years of baking amazing apple tarts. If you’re pressed for time, the crust can be made partially or entirely overnight.

Are you ready for the Golden Proportion?

200g all-purpose flour
100g cold butter (or 1 stick)
100g cold water

This will make enough crust to fill the bottom of an 11-inch tart pan. For the pot pie, which uses a 9-inch pie dish and needs a top and bottom crust, we used 1.5 times the recipe, so 300g flour, 1.5 sticks butter and 150g of water. (Yes, you need a scale. Every real cook should have one, and if you want to make your own crust, you are a real cook! :))

There are a couple of ways to accomplish mixing the dough together. The easiest method is to beat the flour and butter in a food processor while slowly pouring in the water. Be careful not to overbeat the butter – coarse crumbs will result in a flaky dough. It’s better to undermix than overmix, at this stage.

Or, for a more “rustic” method, you can cut the butter into the flour in a large bowl using a pastry cutter then form a well in the center, pour in the water, and continue mashing the flour mixture to incorporate. Note: you’ll want to avoid using your hands during this process, as their warmth will melt the butter and reduce the flakiness of the finished crust. And when it comes to crust, it’s good to be flaky!

Form a ball with the dough and turn it out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten the ball into a disk, wrap it tightly, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight. Then remove the dough from the fridge and, on a smooth, floured surface, roll it into a thin strip, about 5 inches wide, 10 inches long and 1/2-inch thick. (If the dough has been chilling overnight, let it sit out for about 5 minutes so it will be easier to work with.)

rollling dough

Fold the top and bottom ends over to meet in the center, then fold in half. Roll the dough out again, repeating this process twice. You’ll want to do this step quickly, so the butter does not melt. Wrap the dough again and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

folding dough

At this point, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Finish the crust with one more round of rolling and folding, then cut 1/2 off the end to save for your top crust. Wrap and refrigerate this portion.

cutting dough

Roll the dough into a thin disk large enough to fill your pie dish on the bottom and up the sides. When the dough is about the size you want, let it “relax” for a minute or two. The dough will shrink slightly, then you can roll it a second time. You don’t want it shrinking in your pie dish!

Finally, fold the disk into quarters (a dough scraper can be a great help with this, if you have one, otherwise use the thinnest scraper you have) and place it in the pie dish. Unfold the dough and gently adjust it as needed to evenly fill the dish.

quartered dough

Lightly prick the bottom of the dough with a fork. Cut a piece of parchment paper (not wax!) into a circle the size of the bottom of your pie dish, and place it onto the dough. Over that, pour enough pie weights to cover the parchment paper. Large, raw beans such as black or pinto are great to use as pie weights and inexpensive – but avoid small legumes such as lentils, and especially avoid popcorn!

pie weights

Bake the crust for 15 minutes, remove the parchment paper and weights, and bake for another 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Part II: Make the filling.

To make the filling, start by boiling three potatoes. I like red potatoes for this, but you can use any kind you like. (If they are larger, account for the difference by using two.) Lightly steam the peas, if frozen. If you are making a chicken pot pie, lightly salt and pepper both sides of a chicken breast, and cook through in a pan over medium-low heat. Cut into bite-size pieces and set the meat aside for later.


Next, chop the onions, celery, carrots, and shiitake and portobello mushrooms (if using). I like everything in this pie to be a fairly fine dice, slightly smaller than bite-sized.


Saute the carrots and celery for about five minutes, then add in the all remaining veggies except portobello mushrooms and saute another 5-8 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. If you’re making the portobello version of this pie, add the portobellos last. Otherwise, add in the chicken here. To make the gravy, whisk the flour into the stock and wine in a medium bowl, then pour into the vegetables and stir to incorporate everything. Finally, pour the filling into your pre-baked pie crush.

pot pie filling

Remove the reserved dough from the refrigerator, roll it into a disc large enough to overlap your pie dish by about one inch on all sides, and gently drape the dough over the pie.

baked pot pie

Part III: Bake, eat.

Bake for 40 minutes in a 350-degree oven, until the crust is golden brown. Then chow down on that baby!

pie slice

RECIPE – Portobello or Chicken Pot Pie

For crust:
300g all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter
150g cold water
OR 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts

For the filling:
3 small red potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, cubed
1/2 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms (or a blend)
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 portobello mushroom cap or 1 small chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup peas
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Press one of the pie crusts into and up the sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Prick holes into crust with a fork, cover with parchment paper and Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, and cut into cubes. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, and shiitake mushrooms, cover, and let the mushrooms sweat for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk flour into stock and pour mixture along with wine and soy sauce into saucepan. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add portobello or chicken pieces and sauté briefly until mushrooms are browned on the outside or chicken is cooked through. Add to the gravy mixture along with the peas and potatoes. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with thyme, oregano, salt and pepper.

Pour the mixture into the prepared crust. Cover with the other pie crust, and crimp edges to seal. Make a few slits in the top crust to vent steam.

Bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until crust is golden brown.


Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes

21 Jul

Recipe source: The Gilded Fork

I have universal, type O+ blood. I have never had malaria, never traveled Africa, never engaged in prostitution or shared needles. All this and more makes me a good candidate for donating blood, and I believe passionately in donating as long as I can. The downside is, like a lot of women, I have a tendency to be anemic. So rather than getting a painful finger prick for nothing, I always make a point to eat red meat a few days before donating.

This last time, I decided to go all out and make a steak, mashed potatoes and garlic-sauteed mushrooms. Because I am from frou-frou Southern California, I could not be satisfied with just ANY mashed potatoes – no, I went with chipotle mashed sweet potatoes. This blog is about the potatoes.

mashed potato texture

For the record, I originally found this recipe while looking up options for Thanksgiving last year. I fully expect you to keep this blog in mind for the next four months!

What gives these potatoes their chipotle kick is a can of chiptole chiles in adobo sauce. I used Embasa brand, which is easy to find in any grocery store (Hispanic foods aisle). A word of caution, it is kick-your-ass hot. I made the not so bright move of sticking my tongue onto the can lid to taste it and subsequently coughing and hacking and reaching for water and crackers. So don’t do that.

chipotle sauce

To make the sauce, all you do is finely chop the chiles and mix them with their sauce.

To begin the potatoes, peel and coarsely chop them, then cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until tender when pricked with a fork.

boiling potatoes

Drain the potatoes and return to heat briefly, to evaporate any remaining water. Then remove from heat, add half-and-half, butter, and lime juice, and mash with a potato masher (or if you’re me, a dough cutter). Return to low heat and add brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Lastly, add chipotle sauce to taste. I used around 2 or 3 tablespoons – enough to counteract the sweetness of the brown sugar while still being palatable. I’d recommend adding and tasting gradually, so as not to overpower the dish or overwhelm your tastebuds.

mashed potatoes

And in case you’re curious, the steak I had with this was a New York Strip simply marinaded in olive oil, fresh-ground black pepper and fresh rosemary. To prepare, I seared it in a smoking-hot cast iron pan, then finished in a 400-degree oven. The sliced crimini mushrooms were sauteed with butter, minced garlic, salt and pepper. That’s a HUNGRY MAN meal!


RECIPE – Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes

A Southwestern twist on a holiday classic, we think our sweet potato dish beats the heck out of any version topped with mini-marshmallows! The chipotle paste is a great accompaniment that will kick up any side dish (Our kitchen elves like to put them on scrambled eggs and chilaquiles). Just be careful to add the paste in small increments, as it can be very hot. Any extra will keep well in the refrigerator for a few weeks. The slight hint of lime here brightens the dish to keep it from being heavy.

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
½ cup half and half
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick

For the chipotle paste:
1 small can chipotle chiles en adobo

Prepare the chipotle paste:
Remove the whole chiles from the can and chop them finely. Mix them with the remaining adobo sauce and mix well. Set aside. [Chef’s Note: This will keep for a few weeks if you keep it tightly covered in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. The vinegar in the adobo sauce acts as a natural preservative.]

Prepare the sweet potatoes:
Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into evenly-sized cubes. Put the sweet potatoes in a pot and cover completely with cold water. Bring to a boil. [Chef’s Note: When boiling root vegetables or tubers, it is essential to start them in cold water, so that they cook through without the outside cooking too quickly and getting mushy. A good rule of thumb is that any vegetables grown below the ground should be started in cold water, and any that grow above the ground should be started in hot water.]

Reduce the heat and simmer the sweet potatoes for about 15 minutes or until they are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain the water and return the potatoes to pan. Set the pot back on medium-low heat for a minute or two, stirring constantly, to evaporate any remaining water, then remove from the heat. Add some of the half-and-half, the butter, and lime juice, and mash to the desired consistency. Cook over medium heat for another 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly. Stir in the brown sugar, salt to taste, and ½ tsp. of freshly grated cinnamon into the mashed potato mixture. Add some chipotle paste to the mixture, to taste, and stir thoroughly to blend. Reserve the remaining chipotle paste for another use. Sprinkle the top with another ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon just before service.

Serves 6.

Rosemary Chicken & Potatoes

4 Apr

As I mentioned in my Rosemary Popcorn post, thanks to Giada De Laurentiis’ sinful snack, I now have a rosemary plant. But sadly, I almost never cook with rosemary. A while back, I found a recipe for rosemary chicken and tried it, but it somewhat bombed. My boyfriend and I did a lot of reading and hypothesizing, and I made a lot of notes in the margins of the recipe. Then I put it in a binder and forgot all about it.

Well, posting about the popcorn made me think, “how sad that I never use my plant,” then, “I should find a rosemary recipe,” then remember that I’ve been through this same thought process before. So last night we broke out the recipe again for Round 2. I think it turned out better. Hopefully the third time will be a charm.

SO. This recipe calls for chicken thighs. I bought bone-in, with skin. Last time we made this, I bought boneless skinless thighs, no doubt motivated by laziness, but there wasn’t much to crisp and it was just sort of a soggy mess. I have learned my lesson.

Here’s David de-boning the chicken. Thanks, David!

The chicken will be mixed with cubed red potatoes and a dressing of olive oil, rosemary, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. This is my favorite part. This is what makes this recipe so ridiculously easy, yet so delicious, and so worth perfecting. I just toss all of this in a large Ziploc bag.

Next, arrange the chicken and potatoes on a pan for baking. We used a standard cake pan, but in hindsight, I think I’d use a roasting rack, like in the Almost Tandoori Chicken recipe. The chicken and potatoes will probably crisp better if they’re not soaking in their own juices. Oh well, next time.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes, then move the pan to the top-most oven rack and broil for an additional 10 minutes, to crisp. The chicken should reach around 160 to 165 degrees. (As you can see, mine got to 170.)

The potatoes might need to crisp even longer, but we were pressed for time since we had a concert to attend. All in all, the flavors were delish. I will keep working on this one. If you try it, let me know how it goes! 🙂


4 chicken thighs, with skin
3 small red potatoes, cubed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary
3/4 teaspoon oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, rosemary, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper; set aside.

In a large bowl or plastic bag, toss chicken and potatoes with rosemary oil mixture to coat thoroughly. Bake chicken and potatoes for 20 minutes, uncovered, on middle oven rack. Then move pan to top oven rack and broil for an additional 10 minutes, to crisp. Internal chicken temperature should reach between 160 and 170 degrees.