Sunday, March 15, 2009

Week of March 15, 2009

Sunday: Leftovers/Cream of Broccoli Soup
Monday: Beth's Roast Chicken
Tuesday: Irish Stew
Wednesday: Chicken Pot Pie
Thursday: Slow Cooker Smoky Beef Tacos
Friday: Home - made pizza
Saturday: Fettuccine with Two Cheeses

After making several batches of Pureed Broccoli Soup, I wanted to try something that was a bit richer in flavour and consistency. I cooked up this cream soup from Martha, and have made it several times. We love it, and I served it at a potluck last night and all the guests (said they) loved it. I've done it twice with cauliflower too, with fabulous results.

Cream of Broccoli Soup
from Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Chef

5 T unsalted butter
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1/4 cup plus 1 T all purpose flour
4 cups basic chicken stock
1 head of broccoli
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute (the flour should not take on any colour).

Pour in stock, whisking to incorporate fully, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, whisking fairly often, to cook out raw flour taste and thicken liquid.

Add broccoli stems and season with salt and pepper. Return to a boil, stirring to combine, then add florets and return to a boil. Reduce heat and gently simmer until tender enough to mash with the back of a spoon, 10 to 20 minutes.

Working in batches (do not fill more than halfway), pour contents of pot into a blender and puree until smooth. Pass soup through a fine sieve into a clean pot, pressing on solids with a flexible spatula to extract as much liquid as possible.

Set pot over low heat and whisk in cream. (Thin with more stock or water, if necessary.) Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serve immediately or cool completely, then refrigerate in an airtight container.

Chicken Pot Pie
adapted from the Best of the Best of Bridge Series

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
2 T finely chopped onion
3 cups chicken broth
2 carrots, chopped in small pieces
2 celery stalks, chopped in small pieces
2 potatoes, cubed in small pieces
3 cups sliced mushrooms
2 T butter 1/2 cup peas
3 cups cooked and diced chicken
Pastry to cover 3L casserole or frozen puff pastry dough

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Blend in flour, salt, pepper and onion. Gradually stir in chicken broth. Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Add carrots, celery and potatoes. Cook until fork tender. In a small frying pan, cook the mushrooms in butter. Add mushrooms, peas and chicken to vegetable mixture. Mix well and pour into large casserole dish. Cover with rolled pastry and slash to allow steam to escape. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until pastry is golden. If pastry becomes too brown, cover loosely with foil.

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