Posts Tagged ‘peas’

Alton Brown’s Rice Pilaf

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

This one’s a weird one for me to write.

I love rice. I love rice pilafs. I love Alton Brown, and am almost never disappointed in his recipes.

But I was kind of disappointed in this recipe.

On the plus side, the directions were clear, and it wasn’t really difficult at all to make. I just didn’t think that the result tasted like much of anything. Kind of a waste of saffron and all the veggies and other ingredients, if you ask me, because I didn’t think it tasted much better than plain rice. The texture was good, though, so I think there’s something to this method. I will probably give this another chance, especially since David liked it just fine. I didn’t dislike it, I was just…underwhelmed.

IMG_2104

Alton Brown’s Rice Pilaf

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, minced
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 2 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 strips orange zest
  • Pinch of saffron strands, steeped in 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • Golden raisins and pistachios for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a heavy, wide, lidded pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onion, red pepper, and kosher salt. Sweat the onions and peppers until aromatic, stirring constantly. Add the rice and stir to coat. Continue stirring until rice smells nutty. Add chicken broth, orange zest, saffron and water, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Stir once, then cover pan with moistened dish towel (or tea towel). Place lid on pan and fold towel corners over lid. Bake for 15 minutes. Then rest at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes without removing the cover. Meanwhile, simmer peas in salted water until heated through or heat in a microwave. Remove lid from rice and turn out onto a platter. Add peas and fluff with a large fork. Add raisins and pistachios.

Note: I followed the directions almost exactly, but I used about 1/2 cup white wine in place of part of the chicken broth–we didn’t have quite as much chicken broth as I thought (oops!). I also skipped the raisins and pistachios, only because I served the rice with Chicken Kiev, and I didn’t think raisins went so well with garlic-herb butter.

Spinach Fettuccine with Proscuitto, Peas, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

This was the third dish we made at my pasta making class, and it was the one I liked the best. Of course, it being a pasta making class, we made our own fresh spinach pasta, but you could certainly use a store-bought variety here.

This was a really quick and tasty dish, with bright, fresh flavors. I was impressed with how delicious it was, especially for how quickly it came together. I’m sure you could add grilled chicken, but I didn’t feel it was necessary at all. The original recipe called for roasted red pepper strips in place of the sun-dried tomatoes, but I like the sun-dried tomatoes, so that’s what I used.

Spinach Fettuccine with Proscuitto, Peas, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

  • 1 lb spinach fettuccine, preferably fresh
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces diced prosciutto
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh peas
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil to cook your spinach pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain, and keep in a warm place.

2. While pasta is cooking, brown proscuitto in 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the edges begin to get crispy, add the cream and simmer until reduced by half–about 10 minutes. The cream sauce will be considerably thicker.

3. Add tomatoes and peas and continue cooking until heated through, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Toss with hot pasta and Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Note: Ideally, you want to finish the pasta and the sauce about the same time. The timing will depend largely on whether you use fresh pasta, which will only take about 3-4 minutes to cook,  or dried pasta, which will take at least 9-11 minutes to cook. If your timing is off, don’t stress–just keep the pasta as warm as possible, and keep the whole dish over heat for a bit once you add the pasta to the sauce.

Also, I bought some kind of weird dried/fresh pea hybrid meant for soup instead of fresh peas. I won’t make that mistake again.

Teri’s Own Chicken Pot Pie

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

This chicken pot pie recipe is one of the few recipes that I’ve invented on my own, and it’s both simple and delicious. It was more of a sucessful experiment than anything else. I shared the recipe with my mom once, and now it’s a part of the regular rotation at my parents’ house. It’s very simple, but surprisingly delicious, and can even be made ahead and baked fresh. The way I make it now really relies on canned and prepared ingredients, but I do play with the idea of stepping it up a bit and making my own pie crust or using fresher veggies from time to time. But then I remember that one of the things I like best about this is how simple it is, and I just keep making it like this. Not everything has to be fancy, especially on a weeknight!

Teri’s Own Chicken Pot Pie

For the chicken:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

For the filling:

  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup (if you want to lighten it up, the 98% fat free version works just as well)
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 can of mixed vegetables (like Veg-All) or if you prefer, a can of peas and carrots
  • 1 small can of mushrooms (optional–my “test kitchen” doesn’t do mushrooms, so I skip them, but my parents include them)

For the crust:

  • 1 box 9-inch ready-made refrigerated pie crust (such as Pillsbury; you’ll need both crusts in the box for a bottom and top crust) at room temperature.
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place one half of pie crust in the bottom of a thick pie plate (we have this awesome stoneware one) or an oven-safe skillet. A 9-inch cast iron skillet works well here, but I’ve also made this dish in a nonstick skillet as well (the bonus pan, pictured here). You just want it to be deep enough to hold all of the filling. Dock the pie crust by poking it several times with a fork and bake for about 10 minutes, until light brown. This helps to keep the bottom crust crispy.

2. While the crust is baking, sprinkle chicken pieces with salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and garlic powder. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, until it the surface begins to shimmer. Add the chicken and cook through, about 8-10 minutes. The edges will begin to brown and the chicken will be hot and white all the way through.

3. Once the chicken is cooked, add the soup, milk, vegetables, and mushrooms and continue to cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble at the edges. Once heated through, pour into the prepared bottom pie crust. Carefully cover with the second pie crust to form the top.

4. Tuck the edges of the pie crust so that the bottom and top crust meet, and cut four slits in the top to allow steam to escape as the pie cooks.

5. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Bake the pie for 30-40 minutes, or until crust is crisp and golden brown. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into the pie.

Note: As I said, this recipe for pot pie is quick and tasty. The pie can be prepared ahead through step 4, and then regfrigerated until ready to be baked. If making the pie ahead, bring it to room temperature on the counter before baking. This method is actually pretty versitile. You could make just about any pot pie you’d like, just by changing around the ingredients. I’ve successfully made Beef Pot Pie, with just a few substitutions, but I plan to try others. I’ll let you know how they turn out!