Today’s Food Memory comes from fellow Big Summer Potluck attendee Jennifer of Bread and Putter. I had no way of knowing at the time that Jennifer and I would become bff’s on Twitter (@breadandputter). Don’t tell The Mistah but I think she knows more about me via my twittering than he does after 6 years of marriage. Is that bad?
Here’s a little of what Jennifer has to say on her About page:
My early cooking adventures were kind of pathetic. I once cooked a hot dog in a frying pan that was burned on the outside and still frozen in the middle. I could always bake – I can follow instructions pretty darn well, but cooking always seemed a little more loosey-goosey. There are things about cooking apparently you are just supposed to know instinctively or something, and I didn’t.
Yeah, I can totally understand that. Maybe she and I are kindred kitchen spirits.
If you still need another reason to skip on over to Bread and Putter and check out what’s going on in Jennifer’s kitchen, I give you this:
I really love cheese and bacon. I hate coffee, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, beets and anything that leaves orange cheese powder on my fingertips. Dark chocolate is the best chocolate but milk chocolate is good too if there’s peanut butter in it. There’s nothing quite like hot crusty bread fresh out of the oven with some good butter on it.
I’m going to pretend that she didn’t include coffee, brussel sprouts, beets, and cheetos on her list of dont’s.
Chicken Pot Pie
For our second date, my now husband invited me to his house for dinner. I didn’t know what to expect. I arrived with a bottle of wine in hand but he didn’t have any wine glasses. So, we drank it out of regular glasses but in retrospect, who was I to judge? It was white zinfandel.
When it was time for dinner, I was impressed when his creation came out of the oven – a homemade chicken pot pie! This guy was racking up points fast! For our first date, he had invited me to a play. Classy, right? And then he bakes up a pie for me. What wasn’t to like? When he cut open the pie and served me a slice, my excitement waned a bit. In addition to the chicken and gravy, there was a lot of broccoli in the pie. At the time, I really was not a broccoli fan. And all I could taste in that pie was broccoli. But, I was gracious and I ate up my whole serving and I complimented him on that pie.
I would later learn that the pie dough was from a box and the gravy was from a can, but I still give him lots of credit for that pie. There was still a lot of measuring, preparation and assembly involved. As the years passed and I confessed my non-love of broccoli, the pie took on other incarnations with carrots and peas replacing the wretched broccoli.
And then a funny thing happened. He was a single father and was doing his best to put food on the table for his two daughters and trying to set a good example. So, in turn, when I was dining with them, I tried to set a good example and not be fussy and eat what I was served. And over time, my palate grew in an unexpected way. I learned to like, if not tolerate, just about everything. Including broccoli! These days we even grow broccoli, in our garden at our home together.
Here is his original chicken pot pie recipe. These days I usually make my own crust and my own gravy if I am making it, but I promise, it is still pretty darn good with the boxes and the cans. And if you make it for someone else with love, isn’t that what really counts?
B&P Note: I’ve transcribed this exactly as written. It amuses me.
2 boxes –total of 4 Pillsbury or whatever pre-made pie crusts. Take out 15 mins before using
2 ¼ + lbs boneless breast of chicken, trim crap off – cut up, refrigerate
2 medium potatoes diced
1 bunch + broccoli crowns, trimmed of most of stem
3 or 4 carrots cut up diced
Boil veggies till soft (nothing falling apart.) Strain.
Open 2 cans Franco-American chicken gravy – cook till hot.
While cooking gravy, prepare two pie shells in pans.
Throw in chicken & veggies into hot gravy. Mix. Fill pies. Cover pies with remaining pie crusts. Baste with butter. Slit pie crust tops to vent heat before putting in oven. Cook covered in preheated 425 degree oven 20 mins. Remove foil cover & cook 25 mins more. Remove & let sit a minute before cutting.
Mr. Bread and Putter’s Chicken Pot Pie
BAH Note: I have to admit that I didn’t exactly recreate the original incarnation of Mr. B&P’s chicken pot pie. I was short on supplies and had a pie crust that was well past its prime. My loosey-goosey version went something like this:
- 1 rolled pie crust (premade)
- 1 jar chicken gravy
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- frozen peas and carrots
- diced rotisserie chicken (without the skin)
Heat oven to temperature called for on the back of the box of pie crust.
Combine gravy and cornstarch in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the gravy has thickened. Add the peas, carrots, and chicken and stir to combine.
Transfer the filling to a 9 inch pie plate. Top with the pie crust, crimping the edges as you go. Cut four small slits in the top of the dough for steam to escape. Place on a sheet pan and bake until the filling is bubbly and the top has browned.
If the edges of the crust are browning too fast, cover them with a ring of aluminum foil.