Archive for November, 2009

Pate de Fruit

This recipe isn’t perfected, and I can’t find anybody who seems to have perfected it. I’m still working on it, but since the issue is one of consistency and not taste (oh, definitely not taste), I wanted to go ahead and share it with you. If you’re feeling up to a challenge, maybe you can work on this one.

Apple Pate de Fruit

She had an issue with it never really congealing properly, and I had the same issue. I decided to make mine into more of a fruit leather or fruit roll up than a chunky candy, hoping that the thinner layer of fruit would dry out better.

I followed the recipe pretty closely, but I did cook it on the stove for longer than the hour, determined to make it “mound,” and I eventually got close.

Then I spread it out on a jelly roll pan lined with parchment and cooked it on “warm” for an hour and a half. My oven doesn’t go to 150, so I figured “warm” was close enough.

It was still pretty mushy on bottom, so I actually turned the oven off and left it in there over night.

This morning the top is perfect, but the bottom is still a bit mushy. But it tastes SO good. Really like the best fruit roll up ever.

I think that if I’d had more time last night that I could’ve made it better by just letting it cook longer, thus letting it dry out more. Or maybe even flipping it over once the top got nice and dry.

I cut some extra sharp aged cheddar into chunks and cut out equal-sized pieces of the pate de fruit (if it can even be called that any more). Cheddar and apple? Always a winning combination.

I’m going to attempt this again soon, and will update you if I manage to get it to actually be the right consistency.

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White chicken enchiladas

This is yet another link to someone else’s blog, but there are just so many great bloggers out there making great food! And, of course, The Pioneer Woman is one of my very favorites.

I had a slumber party with Charlotte and Qais the other night, and we decided to make her white chicken enchiladas for dinner. They were so good that I went home and made them the next night for Zach and me.

The Pioneer Woman’s White Chicken Enchiladas

When Char and I made them we used cream cheese in the inside instead of heavy cream, because her heavy cream had gone bad. When I made them I used the heavy cream. I couldn’t really tell a difference.

We used flour tortillas (fajita sized) both times, as well as the Sargento artisan blend mexican cheese (which has quite a kick too it, and made the dish a bit spicy).

We also used chicken breasts instead of a whole fryer chicken. But you could use a fryer chicken and then use the bones for chicken broth.

Zach and I have been gobbling this recipe up for the past couple of days. We’ve paired it with a salad to balance out the amount of cheese and cream in these.

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Chicken Noodle Soup

Here’s what I made out of my chicken broth. I think it was one of the best things I’ve ever made. Adjust the ingredients based on your own personal preferences.

Chicken Noodle Soup

A few carrots, cut into thin slices.
A few stalks of celery, cut into slices, or diced if you aren’t a fan of celery
1/2 onion, diced
Chicken broth
Shredded or diced chicken meat
Egg noodles
Spices of choice
Salt

Put the carrots, onion, and celery into a large pot. Add chicken broth until you have a broth to veggie ratio that suits you (keep in mind you’ll be adding noodles and chicken).

Simmer until the veggies are *almost* done.

Add as many egg noodles as you’d like (remember that they’ll expand as they cook).

When the egg noodles are almost done, add the chicken.

Once it’s all cooked, add more broth if you’d like.

Then spice it up. I used some smoked paprika, a fair amount of salt, and a few dashes of garlic powder.

It was seriously delicious, and worth every minute.

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Chicken broth

I came to the conclusion recently that I wanted to make homemade chicken broth. It seemed daunting. A lot of food blogs have tackled this and they all have some “secret” that makes it the best broth on earth, and to try to cook broth any other way is going to taste terrible.

My only secret is that the crock pot is your friend.

This is definitely not an exact recipe sort of thing. You need chicken, veggies, spices/herbs, and water. That’s all.

Start with a whole roasted chicken. You can roast one yourself, but I cheated and used one of those rotisserie chickens from the grocery store.

Pull all the usable meat off the bones. I’m not a big dark meat fan, so I left some of that on the bone.

Put the chicken meat in a container and refrigerate for some other purpose (such as chicken soup!)

Place the chicken bones in the crock pot. Make sure to include the fat and skin and whatnot. You want it all.

Cut up a half bunch of celery (I discarded the leaves), a few carrots, an onion, and any other random veggies you want. I used a bell pepper, too. Throw them in crock pot.

Since it’s the end of the growing season for herbs, I went out and picked what was left of my various herbs. I think I had a few kinds of basil and some pineapple sage. I took them in and washed them thoroughly, and tossed them in the crock pot, too.

Then fill the crock pot to about 1/2 inch from the top with water (I used filtered water).

Turn the crock pot on low (if your chicken was cold, you might want to turn the crock pot on high for a few hours, if you can, just to get it up to safe meat temperature quickly).

I let the broth cook for at least 18 hours.

When I felt like it was done, I turned off the crock pot and let the broth sit for a while so it wasn’t too hot to handle. Then I used a big slotted spoon and took out the largest pieces of chicken/veggies. You’ll want to throw this stuff out, because it’s not going to be good for anything else. Then I strained it all through my big colander, and finally through my mesh sieve.

Then I put it back in the rinsed out crock pot and put the insert in the fridge until the next day (or just a few hours, is probably fine).

After it was completely chilled I just used my mesh sieve to skim off the fat from the top (or use a ladle and ladle the broth through the sieve).

And there I had it. Broth! You can add spices and salt/pepper now, or you can wait and add it depending on what recipe you’re using your broth for.

Separate the broth into freezer bags and freeze them flat.

Mmmmmmm.

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