Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chicken & Mushroom Pot Pie

When it comes to comfort food, who doesn't like a good chicken pot pie? Unfortunately, the pre-packaged frozen ones are loaded with fat and sodium. I am not claiming that my version is healthy by any means. But it's definitely healthier. It has just a little chicken but lots of mushrooms and vegetables, which you can customize to your taste (green beans and corn work well too) . Also, the creamy sauce has, well, no cream. Granted there's plenty of butter in the crust but it's so deliciously flaky, it's absolutely worth it. Life is good!

Serves 4

For the filling:
  • 3 tablespoons butter = 40 g de beurre
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour = 3 cuillères à soupe de farine
  • 1 ¼ cup chicken or vegetable stock = 300 ml de bouillon de poulet ou légumes
  • salt & pepper (about ¼ teaspoon each) = sel & poivre
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme = ¼ cuillère à café de thym
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and cubed into small bite-sized pieces = 1 escalope de poulet, cuite et coupée en petits dés
  • 6 oz. baby bella mushrooms, diced = 170 g de champignons (de Paris), nettoyés et coupés en morceaux
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced = 2 carrots, épluchées et coupées en morceaux
  • 1 celery branch, sliced = 1 branche de céleri, coupée en morceaux
  • 1 small onion or shallot, diced = 1 petit oignon ou 1 échalotte, émincée
  • ½ cup frozen peas = 70 g de petits pois congelés

For the crust:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour = 120 g de farine
  • ½ teaspoon salt = ½ cuillère à café de sel
  • 6 tablespoons butter = 80 g de beurre
  • 5 tablespoons ice cold water = 75 g d'eau glacée
or/ ou
  • 1 pie crust or 1 sheet of puff pastry (thawed) = 1 pâte à tarte ou pâte feuilletée (décongelée)

Make the crust:
Pulse the flour, salt and butter in a food processor, fitted with the metal blade for 20 seconds (about 10 pulses). Add the ice water through the chute and process just until the dough begins to stick together. Turn the dough unto a floured surface and knead for one minute until smooth and pliable. Flatten the dough into a round and cover with plastic wrap.

Note: Dough can be made ahead and chilled in the fridge. When ready to use, leave to soften at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.

Make the filling:

Melt the butter in a saucepan, and stir in the flour. Stir a few times. Gradually pour in the stock, whisking constantly. Simmer the sauce over medium heat for 5 minutes until it thickens. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.

Stir in the chicken chunks, mushrooms and vegetables. Spoon the filling into a 10” deep pie dish.

Assemble and bake:

Preheat oven to 375°F / 190°C. Roll the crust or puff pastry out slightly larger than the dish. Place it on top of the filling. Cut out the excess dough and use the tines of a fork to press the dough against the edge of the dish. Cut a few vent holes with a sharp knife.

Bake the pie for 50 to 60 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Green Detox Soup

When my son was little, he used to call this the “Shrek” soup because of its color. It is quite green indeed. It's also very healthy, and happens to be vegan. I feel like it helps detox my body after all the splurges of the holidays. Plus it's ridiculously cold outside. Like below zero wind chill cold. So all I want right now is soup and tea, a blanket and a good book! 

Serves 4-6 (based on a recipe in Good Mood Food by Donal Skehan)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil = 1 cuillère à soupe d'huile d'olive
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and chopped = 2 poireaux, nettoyés et coupés en morceaux
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped = 2 branches de céléri, coupés en morceaux
  • 1 medium head of broccoli, stalk removed, cut into florets = 1 tête de brocoli, coupée en petits bouquets
  • 4 oz. fresh baby spinach = 120 g de jeunes pousses d'épinards
  • 2 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth = 475 ml de bouillon de légumes
  • 2 cups water = 475 ml d'eau
  • Black pepper & sea salt, to taste = sel et poivre

In a large pot, heat up the olive oil and sauté the leeks for about 2 minutes. Add celery, broccoli and spinach. Cook for about 3 minutes, until spinach is wilted. Add broth and water, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Use immersion blender (or transfer to a regular blender) and process until smooth. Season with additional pepper if you like. Serve right away!