Sunday, March 16, 2014

16 March 2014






Where do I start? Last week was chaotic to say the least. Jeff and I took our annual road trip to the Charleston Food and Wine Festival last week. We ate our way through the charming city and attended a couple of the events. As always, we had a blast and came home with a little extra weight. While there, we enjoyed some amazing culinary experiences, including: McCrady's, Cru Cafe, Edmond's Oast, Rarebit, The Grocery, Peninsula Grill and Poogan's Porch. We had lunch at Poogan's on Monday as we begin to make our way home. Much to our surprise, Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey (Matthew Crawley) fame, was sitting next to us. The long weekend was as memorable as ever. While there, we attended the Grand Tasting Tent and scored some great new Le Creuset's mini cocotte's in the new palm color, so I took them on a test run in tonight's Sunday Supper.

The long drive home from Charleston was filled with work issues from my two jobs: Grant Design Collaborative and Canton City Council. With dueling cell phones, I navigated the drive with grace and gratitude, issue by issue. When we finally got home, I had a conference call with clients from Hong Kong and San Francisco about a new multiple brand identity campaign. Later in the week, the same clients and their colleagues gathered in Grant's office on Friday for a group presentation. The meeting went great, and we had a great time. Of course, my team at Grant Design Collaborative rose to the occasion to impress everyone with their stellar design thinking, and I could not be more fortunate.

After a hectic week, it was nice to relax a bit this weekend. We enjoyed the Spring weather on Friday night with dinner on the patio at Riverstone Corner Bistro, and Mike and Shelly's hospitality was as warm as ever. Afterward, we sat outside at One Britt with a couple of fire logs and great music. Dusty Springfield waxed poetic, and all was right in the world. Saturday night was equally enjoyable as we attended a great dinner and bonfire at our dear friend, Laine Wood's, house. Some of her Sweet Potato Queens were visiting from Louisville, and we talked and laughed as John Clark tended the most artistic bonfire known to man.

Our rainy Sunday morning began with thyme and smoked Gouda eggs, toasted bagels and New England coffee. After catching up with CBS Sunday Morning, we ventured to Cherokee Market to gather provisions for tonight's supper. Lisa Meyer was as fabulous as always and shared the fact she sold out of Brussels sprouts after my mention of them in my last blog. They are the best around! We got to say hello to John, and Bull shared a slice of his delicious chocolate cake. How much do I love Cherokee Market? Let me count the ways.

When we returned home, I retreated to the kitchen to cook the afternoon away. I put the new Le Cruest cocotte's to good use with both the entree and dessert. The entree consisted of individual chicken pot pies with a side of blistered radishes and roasted cabbage. I also used the new palm colored vessels to prepare molten chocolate cakes for dessert. Of course, the most meaningful course consisted of meaningful conversation with our friends, Cory and John, for different reasons. Life is a highway...

The Menu:

- Personal Chicken Pot Pies

- Roasted Cabbage Steaks

- Blistered Radishes

- Molten Chocolate Cakes with Orange Scented Whipped Cream

The Recipe – Personal Chicken Pot Pies in Mini Cocottes

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts
7 oz (1 ¼ sticks) sweet butter
4 carrots
3/4 cup pearl onions
4 cups chicken stock
2 tbsps unbleached flour
3/4 cup half and half
3/4 cup of peas
1 tsp parsley chopped fine
1 frozen pre-rolled puff pastry dough
2 egg yolks beaten with 1 tsp of milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper.

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Put the chicken breasts on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and baste with 1 oz of softened butter. Salt and pepper generously. Bake for 20 minutes. When the chicken is cooked through, cut it into large chunks.

Peel the carrots and cut them into small dice. Peel the pearl onions. In a small sauce pan, bring the chicken stock to a boil then set aside.

In a large casserole, melt the remaining 6 oz of butter. Cook the pearl onions for 10 to 15 minutes slowly over a low flame, until they are translucent and caramelized. Add the flour and continue cooking for 2 minutes stirring continuously. Add the hot chicken stock. Let it simmer for 1 minute till the sauce begins to thicken and loses the taste of flour. Add the half and half, 1 teaspoon

of salt, a half teaspoon of ground pepper, the chunks of chicken, the diced carrots, the peas, and the parsley. Give it a good stir.

Increase the oven temperature to 400°F.

Divide the chicken filling into 4 mini cocottes. Cut 4 circles of puff pastry dough slightly larger than the mini cocottes. Moisten the edges of the cocottes with the egg wash. Place one circle on each filled cocotte, pressing down around to seal the dough circle. Cut a small hole in the center to make a steam vent.

With a pastry brush, coat the dough tops with egg wash. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until
golden brown.


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