Friday, April 22, 2011

Goyische Seder 2011

Last night was my goyische Seder, and once again, we had a great meal celebrating Passover, Easter, and Tony's birthday.

The menu hewed closely to a Seder – matzot  with homemade haroset, horseradish, and hummus to top them; matzoh ball soup; roasted chicken (this wasn't a 'lamb' crowd, so really not an option); oven-roasted potatoes, white and sweet, with herbs; broccoli rabe (our bitter herb); and tea, the iced variety.  Dessert was fresh fruit.  Oh, and an Italian rum cake from Isgro's in South Philly, for Tony's birthday.  OK, not quite kosher!

I have to admit, the homemade haroset was terrific, like a mince-pie filling.  On top of a piece of matzoh, with a dab of horseradish – dang, that's good!

1 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped figs
1 cup raisins (black, golden, or a mix)
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 large apple, peeled and diced
1 cup chunky applesauce
1/4 cup apricot preserves
3 Tbp port
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice

Cover the dried fruit with boiling water, let stand to soften 15 minutes.  Drain.  Combine with all the other ingredients.  Mix well.  Serve.

The leftovers will be turned into a mince tart, using a store-bought pie crust.  I should wait until Passover is over before doing that, huh?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chicken pot pie

I've been wanting to do a pot pie for a while, and this lazy Sunday afternoon was the perfect opportunity.  Serve this with a green salad, and you have a complete meal.  This is an excellent choice for inviting the gang over for Sunday supper.  

8 chicken legs, roasted with salt, pepper, herbs -- thyme, rosemary, sage

1 lb mushrooms, quartered
1/2 small onion, finely diced

1 large onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, diced

8 Tbp butter
8 Tbp flour
4-6 cups liquid – chicken stock + milk
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, to taste

8 oz frozen pearl onions
8 oz frozen peas
1/2 chopped parsley

2 Pillsbury pie crusts

Roast the chicken at 400°F until done, about 45 mins.  Let cool to room temperature.  Pick the meat from the bones, cut up into bite-size pieces, and set aside.  Save the bones and skin for stock. 

Sauté onion and mushrooms in 2 Tbp butter until browned.  Set aside.

Sauté chopped veggies in 2 Tbp butter until softened, about 10 minutes.  Set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan, and add flour, cooking for 2 minutes.  Add liquids – stock + milk – and whisk until the sauce is smooth and thickened.  This is a "velouté" sauce, cousin to the béchamel.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  I will often add a couple teaspoons Worcestershire sauce to bump up the flavor of the sauce. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped chicken, mushrooms, sautéed veggies, pearl onions, peas, and parsley.  Add the velouté sauce, and mix well.  Pour into a greased 12-cup baking dish (12" x 9" x 1.5").  Cover with pie crusts.  (You'll probably need most of two crusts, but might have a bit more than you need.  Just cut off what you do not need.)

Bake in a 375°F oven for about 45 mins until bubbly and the crust has browned.  Let cool slightly before serving.

 Hot and bubbly from the oven.

An excellent Sunday supper.