I realize that I’ve been super slow to update lately! Well you see, I have to hook my lappy up to my TV to watch all my Who and Sherlock this weekend, so then I can’t do computer type stuff at the same time. And I’ve been doing nothing but watching Sherlock and Who hehehehe! OH and baking!!! ^_^
Ginger Pear Muffins
*Note: To improve this recipe next time around, I would increase the brown sugar and add candied ginger.
1 medium pear, peeled and finely diced (I used Bartlett here!)
½ teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons candied ginger, finely chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup old-fashioned oats
¼ cup brown sugar (increase to ½ or ¾ cup)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup sour cream
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 extra-large egg
½-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line or lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
Toss pear, lemon zest, and candied ginger together in a small bowl. In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, oats, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ground ginger. In a separate mixing bowl, combine maple syrup, sour cream, melted butter, egg, and fresh ginger. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Fold in pears.
Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
*While these did not look all that pretty and my oven sucks so baking things at 400 is a bad idea, they really were delicious! I’ll know that for next time though…I tried by only baking these for 15 minutes instead of 20, turning the pan around after 7 minutes (because I tend to over-bake muffins), but it didn’t really work as well as I’d hoped. BUT they tasted super great! Just the texture and fluffiness and photogenicness and all that could have been better.
Chicken Pot Pie
For the herbed pâte brisée
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup ice water
For the filling
1 whole chicken, 3 to 3 1/2 pounds
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 large red onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 1/2 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered (about 2 cups)
3 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/3 cups)
1 parsnip, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons brandy
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup frozen peas
3/4 cup frozen pearl onions (I did not use these)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Pinch nutmeg (optional)
1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
Added: 1/2 Avocado, pureed
Make the pastry
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and thyme. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube in a slow and steady stream, a little bit at a time, until the dough just comes together. You may not need quite all of the water. The dough should not be wet or sticky. If the dough is too dry and does not hold together, add a little more water.
2. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide in 2 and wrap each half in plastic wrap, shaping them into flattened disks. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Make the filling
1. Rinse the chicken. Place it in a large saucepan or small pot, just large enough to hold the chicken comfortably, and add enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat and skim the foam that is floating on the top of the water. Add up to 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot with a large slotted spoon and let cool. Pull the meat from the bones and shred it. Discard the skin and bones.
2. Strain the stock through a fine strainer. Measure 2½ cups and set aside. Refrigerate or freeze the remaining stock for another use.
3. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the red onion, mushrooms, carrots, and parsnip, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the brandy and simmer until evaporated. Add the flour, stir to blend with the butter, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the 2 1/2 cups reserved chicken stock, bring to a simmer, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the milk, bring to a simmer, and cook until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has reduced to the consistency of a thick white sauce, 7 to 12 minutes. Add the peas, pearl onions, thyme, parsley, nutmeg, and shredded chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Arrange a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone baking mat.
5. Roll the dough 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Cut rounds slightly larger than the diameter of your ovenproof bowls or ramekins. Place the rounds on another baking sheet and set aside in the refrigerator.
6. Ladle the chicken mixture into the ramekins. The mixture should come all the way up to the top of the bowl so that the crust doesn’t sink into the filling and soak. Top each bowl with a round of dough, tucking the excess around the edges of the ramekins. Brush with the egg wash. Use a knife or scissors to cut a vent in the crust. Set the dishes on the prepared baking sheet and bake, rotating the sheet about two-thirds of the way through the cooking, until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve hot.
*I used pureed avocado in mine for that extra creamy boost! It’s a little secret of mine! ~_^ The crust on this was FANTASTIC! You can see how flaky and perfect it came out! I still have more of it, so I will probably use it for a quiche at some point! I also baked my chicken instead of boiling it like it called for but there was still plenty of juices to put into it after baking it as well! I just had to also add a little more chicken stock separately. SUPERB!
I should probably explain that I took a nap in the middle of the day at the time I would have normally eaten lunch. So by the time I woke up and made myself this crazy meal, it was 6:00. The pot pie was also HUGE!!! I went to work out after eating and was just not especially hungry afterwards. I spent the rest of the night watching Doctor Who and around midnight made myself a small batch of cookies. That was the extent of my eating for the night. I forgot to take pics of my cookies, they were pretty, but the good Doctor distracted me and it slipped my mind! Ah well.
Tomorrow my husband comes home. I love him and stuff, I just don’t know when the next time I’ll get to be really alone is and that bothers me a little. I AM happy that I get to see him. I want to be married, I just don’t want to live with someone. Can I be married and live in my own place? That would rule.