Thursday, March 14, 2013

chicken pot pie casserole with homemade biscuit topping

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole with Buttermilk Biscuit Topping
(recipe from The Messy Baker Blog)

for the pot pie:
1 lb. split chicken breasts
4 tbs. olive oil
3 stalks celery, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 bay leaves
4 tbs. butter
½ cup flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Bon Appetit seasoning
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
salt & pepper

milk mixture:
4 cups milk
3 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig sage
1 head garlic, cut in half

buttermilk biscuits:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 tbs. sugar
½ cup very cold butter, cut into pieces
¾ cup cold buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a large casserole dish.
In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, add milk, thyme, rosemary, sage, and garlic. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes (do not let the mixture come to a boil). Strain.
While the milk is simmering, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Season your chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pot and brown on each side for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a sheet pan and finish cooking in the oven, about 15 minutes. When the chicken is finished, transfer to a cutting board and allow to cool before shredding. Turn the oven temperature up to 400 degrees.
Turn the heat down to medium-low and and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the chicken drippings. Add celery, carrots, onion, potato, and bay leaves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves and add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the flour to create a roux; cook for 1-2 minutes.
Stir in the strained milk, stirring until smooth. Add chicken stock, Bon Appetit seasoning, worcestershire sauce, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Allow the mixture to come to a gentle simmer and thicken. If the mixture gets too thick, stir in some more chicken stock.
Once the mixture thickens, add the frozen peas, corn, shredded chicken and chopped thyme. Taste the mixture to see if it needs more salt and pepper.

for the biscuits:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
Cut the butter into the dry ingredients, either using a fork or a pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk and egg and stir until just combined.
Transfer the mixture to a lightly floured surface and gently knead until the dough comes together, making sure not to over work the dough.
Roll out the dough to about a ½-inch thick. Cut out biscuits with a round biscuit cutter.
Place the biscuits directly on top of the chicken mixture, spacing them 1-inch apart. Place the dish in the oven and bake 20-25 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown and the casserole is bubbly.

bbq chicken wings

Barbecue Chicken Wings

  • 1lb skin on chicken wings
  • semi-homemade barbecue sauce
  • more sauce to baste wings while cooking

for the sauce:

  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, diced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup honey chipotle barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup of any barbecue sauce you choose (I used Sweet Baby Ray's for both sauces)

Cut up your chicken wings into wings and mini-drumsticks if they aren't pre-cut. Mix up your sauce and then add to a ziploc bag. Place the wings into the bag to marinate for a few hours or overnight.
Preheat your oven to 375° F. Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray. Place wings on cooking sheet and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and flip wings. Coat them with extra sauce. Place back in oven for another 10 minutes. Remove and flip again. Coat other side of wings and place pan back into oven for another 10 minutes or until wings look crispy and sticky.

homemade funfetti cake with professional buttercream

I'm hanging out with one of my friends and his girlfriend later today and since I'm actually meeting her for the first time, I wanted to bake her something! So I asked what her favorite dessert was and she said "funfetti cake or anything with pink frosting," and I decided to combine the two. I couldn't find food coloring anywhere so I improvised and used the juice from a bottle of maraschino cherries to color the frosting, but of course, it's easier to use food coloring. Surprisingly the frosting only has a slight taste of the cherries. The frosting tasted way too buttery and was a weird consistency after adding so much liquid so I decided to add confectioners' sugar until it looked more like frosting. This cake looks so 1950s-esque which makes me super happy. I hope it's yummy and liked and there may be more photos of it once we cut it later.

for the cake (recipe via What Katie's Baking)
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 ¾ cups flour
  • ⅛ cup cornstarch
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup rainbow sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray two 8" round cake pans.
Combine the egg whites, vanilla, vegetable oil, and whole milk. Whisk together and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl; sift the dry ingredients. Fitted with a paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients with the butter and half of the milk and egg white mixture. Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl, and then slowly add the remaining mixture and stop mixing once combined.
Fold in sprinkles and pour mix into pan. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

for the frosting (recipe adapted from Yammie's Noshery):
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
6 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb. COLD butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
about 1/2 cup juice from maraschino cherries (or a few drops red food coloring)
confectioners' sugar

Beat the egg yolks and vanilla for about 8 minutes until they're more than doubled in size and very pale.
Meanwhile, heat the water and sugar in a medium sized saucepan on medium high heat. Once the bubbles in the sugar start getting bigger you can start checking the temperature. It needs to be 234º-240ºF on a candy thermometer. If you don't have a candy thermometer, you can just take a spoon of it and dip it in ice water to cool it quickly so that you can check it. Once you can form a "soft ball" in your fingers with the syrup, then it's ready. Now, turn on the mixer that you were beating the eggs with and carefully pour a thin stream of the syrup between the beater and the side of the bowl. If you get it on the side it will just harden. Once all the syrup is mixed in to the yolks, just continue beating it until when you touch the bottom of the bowl, it's just slightly warmer than room temperature. Now take a small handful of your cold butter at a time and beat it in with the mixer on full speed. Do not add any more until the last handful is all combined. Beat it all until it's smooth and fluffy. Add the liquid from the cherries while beating slowly, then add confectioners' sugar until the frosting is of fluffy, spreadable consistency.
Frost your cake and decorate with more rainbow sprinkles and some cherries!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Chocolate Crêpes

The other day I remembered crêpes existed. No, really. My mother used to make them for me for breakfast constantly when I was younger but I haven't had them in ages. I was reminded thanks to tumblr and had an urge to make them immediately. Unfortunately that was when I realized we barely had any milk so I had to wait until tonight to actually make them (and upon doing so found out we actually had exactly enough milk to make one batch of them, meaning I didn't have to wait, whoops). I admit, I haven't perfected the art of crêpe making but if I make them more often, I hope to. I ended up topping these with some whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

Chocolate Crêpes (recipe adapted from Gourmade At Home)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Dash cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted & cooled
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except the flour and cocoa (the color of your crêpe will depend on the kind of cocoa you use; they may come out any shade from light brown to brownish-red to dark brown). Once thoroughly combined, gradually add in the flour while continuing to whisk. Make sure there are no lumps of flour in the batter. (Or simply place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.) Heat a large frying pan on medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Pour between 1/8 to 1/4 cup of batter into the pan at a time. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly. Cook each crêpe for between 10 and 20 seconds on each side or until bubbly and darker brown than the original batter. Use a spatula to carefully flip the crêpes. Repeat with remaining batter, spraying the pan with cooking spray before each new crêpe.

You can top / fill your crêpes with whatever you want, including fruit, whipped cream, or jam.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lunch @ H-Mart

H-Mart is this really awesome Asian market in Burlington, MA (they have other locations as well). Besides being your typical Asian food market, they have a food court with meals made fresh to eat, a bakery, and a lot of little sectioned off kiosks selling everything from toys and Kpop merchandise to beauty products.

I've been there to buy snacks before but they have a food court and bakery which I had never been to until yesterday. Walking around the store, it's hard to not want one of everything just to try (I had to resist spending all my money on candy, tea, and ice cream) and it's the same way when you go to the food court. They have Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese food of all types. While I was there I had some unagi sushi and red bean bubble tea. I love bubble tea so much and they make it almost smoothie like, with chunks of ice. I try to get a new flavor every time I try it somewhere and so this time it was red bean. The verdict? Delicious. The boba were the perfect texture as well. I also shared some dumpling noodle soup with my friend Elle since the portions are so large.

Afterwards I got a slice of sweet potato cake, which was really light and fluffy but also super filling at the same time. I think it actually had chunks of sweet potato in the cake, which might be why I couldn't finish it, despite how delicious it was.

Christmas Baking: Gingerbread Cake with Cinnamon Frosting & Chewy Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

I didn't get to do as much Christmas baking as I'd planned, being away for most of the time. But what I did bake, people seemed to really like, which is always good, especially since I tried something new this year. I usually make Snickerdoodles every year but we didn't have the right sugar so I opted out.

Gingerbread Cake
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (I didn't have ginger so I used 1/2 tsp of cloves and nutmeg)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup hot water
Grease a 9-inch square pan and pre-heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, and stir in the molasses. In a separate bowl, sift the remaining dry ingredients; add alternately with water to molasses mixture in 3 additions, stirring after each addition. Bake in prepared pan about 50 minutes or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Cinnamon Frosting

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp heavy cream

I'm just guessing on the amounts, I never write them down for frosting. I just add more butter and more sugar and more cream until the taste and consistency is what I want.
Cream butter and cream cheese. Slowly add confectioners' sugar and cinnamon. Mix until well blended. Add heavy cream and beat until frosting is fluffy and of spreading consistency.

Chewy Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies (from ohmyveggies)
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 c. mini chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
  • 1/2 c. crushed peppermint pieces (about 6 candy canes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and whisk until combined and any lumps are broken up. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together using a mixer on high speed. Add vanilla and egg and beat until combined. Set mixer to low speed and slowly add flour mixture. Beat until just combined and fold in chocolate chips and peppermint pieces.
Drop tablespoons of batter two inches apart onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 12 minutes or until set. (Don't overbake or the cookies won't be chewy!) Cook on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then finish cooling on wire racks.