Kate's Cuisine

Jan 06 2015

Chicken Pot Pie with Phyllo Dough

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is the dish I always turn to when I have leftover chicken on hand. I turn to it so much in fact, that sometimes I need to find different ways of playing it up, to keep me and my family’s taste buds from boredom. Using phyllo dough instead of pie dough definitely isn’t my own invention, but I used it for the first time just last night and, with pie dough being my least favourite part of any pie, I was very pleased with the results. I also divided the pot pie filling among four souffle dishes, giving us each our own individual chicken pot pie. That along with the phyllo dough substitution made the entire thing quite elegant, I must say.

3 cups chicken or turkey, cooked $4.49
1 large carrot, peeled and diced $0.17
1 onion, diced $0.47
1 cup frozen peas $0.37
3 tablespoons rosemary, chopped $1.50
1 tablespoon vegetable oil $0.03
3 tablespoons butter, softened, plus more for dishes $0.36
1/2 cup butter, melted $0.44
3 tablespoons flour $0.03
2 cups chicken stock $1.00
6 sheets phyllo dough $1.33
Salt $0.01
Pepper $0.01

Total cost $10.21
Cost per serving $2.55

1.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and grease the souffle dishes with butter.

2.) Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. When hot add the onion, carrot, and frozen peas. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes, until the vegetables are just softened. Then add the cooked chicken and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper, and cook just until everything is warmed through.

3.) Add the 3 tablespoons of butter to the frying pan. Let it melt, turn the vegetables in it, and then add the 3 tablespoons of flour. Stir the flour so that everything is perfectly mixed together and let cook for about 2 minutes to cook out the raw flour.

4.) Slowly whisk in the chicken stock. Bring up to a boil, then turn heat to low and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the entire mixture is thickened. Taste, and season with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Once the mixture is thickened, ladle it evenly into the four souffle dishes.

5.) Lay out the six sheets of phyllo dough and cut them in half. Place one half over top of one souffle dish. Brush with the melted butter, then lay another half sheet right over top. Brush this one with butter as well, and lay another half phyllo sheet on top. Brush this third one with butter and season with salt on top. Repeat this process of layering three half sheets, brushing with butter in between each layer and topping with a pinch of salt, until all souffle dishes have been covered. After each pot pie has been topped with phyllo, use a small pairing knife to cut a small “x” in the centre of each, just to let the steam escape.

6.) Place the souffle dishes on a baking sheet and place them in the oven. Bake for 18 – 25 minutes, until the phyllo is crisp and golden.

7.) Serve and enjoy!

Dec 29 2014

Mocha Nut Butterballs

Mocha Nut Butterballs

Of all the cookies I’ve made this holiday season, I have to say that these are my favourite, and not because they happen to be the most festive. They are soft and crumbly, full of chocolate and espresso, and the icing sugar they’re coated in can’t help but remind one of snow – even with the green Christmas that surrounds us this year. They come together quick, which is good, because you’ll want to make another batch soon enough.

1 cup butter, softened $1.94
1/2 cup white sugar $0.10
1 teaspoon vanilla extract $0.22
1 tablespoon instant espresso $0.12
1/4 cup cocoa powder $1.00
1/4 teaspoon salt $0.01
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour $0.17
1 1/2 cups pecans, finely chopped $1.65
2 cups icing sugar $0.66

Total Cost $5.87
Cost per cookie $0.09

1.) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the icing sugar in a bowl and set aside.

2.) Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low speed just until it’s completely softened, about 1 minute. Add the white sugar, vanilla extract, instant espresso, cocoa, and salt. Mix on medium speed until all ingredients are completely mixed together.

3.) With the mixer on low speed, add the flour in half-cup increments, waiting until the flour is mostly mixed in before adding more.

4.) Turn the mixer off, take out the bowl, and give the mixture a final stir. Add the pecans and stir again, trying to make sure the nuts are evenly distributed.

5.) Form the dough into one-inch balls and place them on the lined baking sheets. Place them in the oven and bake for 12 – 15 minutes, until they are completely set (some may start to crack on top, don’t worry about it.)

6.) Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.

7.) When the cookies are completely cool, roll them in the icing sugar. Do not try to do this when the cookies are still warm, as the sugar will become completely absorbed and make the cookie much denser.

8.) Serve and enjoy!

Dec 28 2014

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal raisin cookies aren’t your typical Christmas cookie. They don’t include any icing or chocolate, and you don’t roll them and cut them out into cute holiday shapes. But, when people heard that I spend many afternoons baking cookies at this time of year, I actually had quite a few requests for oatmeal raisin. Being that this is my very favourite type of cookie, I was happy to oblige. But I did want to do something different with them, just to make them a little more special than your average oatmeal raisin cookie. I mean, it is still the holiday season, after all.

My plan was to also add chopped pecans to them. But after all the cookies had already been spooned onto baking sheets, with some already in the oven baking, I realized I had left the nuts on my cutting board and not one had made into my cookies. Not one to give up so easily, I decided to make a second batch, this one with pecans in them. But, when it came time to make that second batch, I realized I had very few raisins left. Still deciding to forge ahead with the task at hand, I instead used some toasted coconut along with pecans, honey, and the handful or so of raisins. I was left with a culinary dilemma of the best kind – I couldn’t decide which batch I liked best! The moral of the story here is to use whatever sweet treat you have on hand. Butterscotch and chocolate chips work, as does candy such as M&M’s, or even small bits of fruit, like bite-sized pieces of apple.

1 cup butter, at room temperature $0.89
1 cup brown sugar $0.20
1/2 cup white sugar $0.09
1/2 cup honey $0.82
2 eggs, lightly beaten $0.40
1 teaspoon vanilla extract $0.22
1 teaspoon salt $0.01
1 teaspoon baking soda $0.02
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour $0.21
3 cups quick-cooking oatmeal $0.49
1/2 cup raisins, chocolate chips, or other sweet treat $0.49
1/2 cup nuts such as pecans, walnuts, or almonds (optional) $0.55
1 cup boiling water, if using raisins Free!

Total cost $4.39
Cost per cookie $0.12

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two (or more, depending on how many you have) baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.) If you’re using raisins, place them in a small bowl and cover them with boiling water. Let them sit for 10 – 15 minutes, until they are soft, plump, and reconstituted a bit. Then, drain and set aside.

3.) Mix the softened butter, the brown sugar, and the white sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on high until the three ingredients are thoroughly mixed and starting to become light and fluffy. Add the honey and beat on high again for two more minutes.

4.) Turn the mixer to medium and add the eggs. Beat until the eggs are fully incorporated.

5.) Turn the mixer to low and add the vanilla extract, salt, and baking soda. Mix well.

6.) Add the flour, half a cup at a time, making sure that everything is fully blended and incorporated after each addition. Don’t worry about being exact here. The main reason the flour needs to be added slowly is so that it doesn’t fly out of the bowl and end up all over you and your counter while you’re trying to incorporate it.

7.) Keeping the mixer on low, add the oatmeal, then the nuts and sweet treats.

8.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl, remove the bowl from the mixer, and give it a final stir by hand.

9.) Wet two tablespoons (so that the mixture doesn’t stick) and use one to scoop some of the mixture out of the bowl. Use the other spoon to scrape down the back of the first one, releasing it from the spoon. Continue with the rest of the mixture, placing about 12 tablespoons on each baking sheet, giving you one dozen for every sheet.

10.) Bake for 9 – 15 minutes, depending on how large you’ve made your cookies. The cookies will be done when they are fairly brown on the bottom and just beginning to brown on top.

11.) Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheets before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.

12.) Serve and enjoy!

Dec 27 2014

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

I think these might be the only cookies I’ve ever made that get better tasting the longer they sit after being cooked. I’ve experienced this a lot with savoury dishes, but don’t think I’ve ever come across it in a cookie. My mom was the first to notice, for instance, that the orange zest becomes much more detectable the day after these cookies have been baked so if you want to add more, just beware that they might end up tasting more like chocolate orange cookies than they do sugar cookies. And even though I do love the orange zest, the thing I love the most about this cookie is that one batch makes 7 or 8 dozen, which is perfect when it’s this time of year and you’ve got a lot of cookies to bake for a lot of people.

2 cups butter (1 pound) $3.49
4 ounce semi-sweet Baker’s chocolate (if you buy the kind that comes in two bars, this is one full bar) $1.49
2 cups powdered sugar $0.16
1 cup white sugar $0.19
2 eggs $0.40
2 teaspoons vanilla extract $0.44
1 teaspoon orange zest $0.58
1 teaspoon baking soda $0.02
1 teaspoon cream of tartar $0.75
1 teaspoon salt $0.01
4 1/4 cups flour $0.49
1/2 cup white sugar $0.10

Total cost $8.12
Cost per cookie $0.08

1.) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line two (or more, depending on how many you have) baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the 1/2 cup white sugar in a small bowl to use later.

2.) In a double boiler or a microwave, melt the butter and the chocolate together, stirring occasionally as you do. Once melted, stir the mixture smooth and transfer them to a large, cool mixing bowl. Add the 1 cup of white sugar and the powdered sugar and stir the entire mixture thoroughly. Set aside to cool.

3.) When the chocolate mixture is cool to the touch, add the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating them after each addition.

4.) Add the vanilla, orange zest, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Stir to ensure that the entire mixture is thoroughly mixed together.

5.) Add flour in roughly half cup increments, making sure that the entire is mostly mixed together after each addition. The main reason for doing this is so that you and your counter don’t end up wearing the flour after adding it, so don’t be too worried about getting the measurement exact when you add it.

6.) Once all ingredients have been thoroughly mixed together, use your fingers to roll it all into one-inch balls and then roll in the bowl of sugar you’ve set aside. Make sure the cookies are entirely coated in sugar and then place on your baking sheets. Flatten them slightly, just so they won’t roll off the tray or move too much when you go to put them in the oven.

7.) Bake the Chocolate Sugar Cookies for 10 – 15 minutes, until the bottoms just begin to brown. Remove from oven, let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack or plate to cool completely.

8.) Serve and enjoy!

Dec 23 2014

Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast Burrito

We make a breakfast burrito at the restaurant when we serve brunch on the weekends and I have to tell you, it’s delicious. I strongly suggest you use the larger 12″ tortillas, but if you don’t have them you can take the much longer, slightly more difficult route that I did – lay out two small tortillas so that they just overlap each other slightly. Place some cheese in between the portions that overlap and heat it slightly in a frying pan over medium heat. The cheese will act as a glue and will keep your shells together while you roll them up. Or, just make a quick trip to the store to buy large tortillas. I promise you it will be much easier that way.

6 eggs $1.20
2 tablespoons heavy cream $0.20
6 strips of bacon $1.80
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded $0.63
1/2 cup salsa $0.41
2 12-inch tortillas $0.69
1 tablespoon olive oil $0.03
Salt $0.01
Pepper $0.01

Total cost $4.98
Cost per serving $2.49

1.) Place bacon strips in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, turning every so often, until bacon is brown and crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. (Once some of the oil has drained from the bacon, you can choose whether to leave it as is or chop it up. I personally like to give it a rough chop, as I find it easier to eat and don’t end up pulling the entire strip out so that it hangs out of my mouth while I try to eat somewhat gracefully.)

2.) While bacon is cooking, heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. While heating, beat the eggs lightly with the heavy cream and add these to the frying pan when the pan and oil are hot. Make scrambled eggs by letting the eggs sit for a few minutes, then scraping and turning them until they are set. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

3.) Assemble the burritos. Lay the tortillas flat and in the centre of each place half of the scrambled eggs. Top each with three pieces of bacon, salsa, and Cheddar cheese.

4.) Fold one of the longer ends of the tortilla up and over the filling inside, tucking it in underneath the filling as you do. Then pull up both of the shorter ends as far as they will come without breaking the tortilla. Keeping your hands on the seams as best you can, roll the tortilla up as much as you can, keeping the burrito tight as you go. (Keep in mind that if you’ve used two smaller tortillas, you may not be able to roll up the shorter ends as you would be able to with a larger shell.)

5.) Once the burritos are made, you can toast the outsides of them a bit in a dry frying pan over medium heat, turning regularly, or you can simply cut them in half and serve.

6.) Serve and enjoy!

Dec 22 2014

Peasant Potatoes

Peasant Potatoes

Don’t let the term “peasant” fool you here. While these potatoes are very simple to prepare, they are also one of new favourite ways to make this root vegetable. They do also go by the name of boiled potatoes, but I think the addition of tons of butter and some fresh dill turns them from something that could be really plain to something that’s still simple, but spectacular.

3 pounds of any kind of potatoes (I used red new potatoes, and some russets cut in half) $1.49
1/2 cup butter $0.44
3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped $0.60
Lots of salt (you need some for the water, as well as for seasoning afterward) $0.02
Pepper, to taste $0.01

Total cost $2.56
Cost per serving $0.64

1.) Scrub the potatoes clean, place them into a pot large enough to hold them, and fill with enough water that there is about a thumb’s-length above them. Heavily salt the water.

2.) Place the potatoes over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water is rapidly boiling, turn the heat down to medium-high and keep boiling for 20 – 30 minutes, until you can pierce a fork right through to the centre easily.

3.) Drain the potatoes well, and then place them right back into the hot pot. Add the butter, dill, pepper, and a little bit more salt. Mix so that the butter melts and coats all of the potatoes.

4.) Serve and enjoy!

Dec 20 2014

Oreo Cheesecake Bites

Oreo Cheesecake Bites

Amid all the crazy Christmas stuff this week, we also had a very special occasion to celebrate in our house this week – it was Brent’s birthday! Oreo cheesecake has become kind of a tradition in our house for his birthday. This year, it was too little too late when I remembered – the day before his birthday and just as I was about to run out to work – that I no longer had a springform pan. It had gotten all bent out of shape during our last move and would have been useless to me even if I had kept it. But what was I going to do now? All the ingredients were spread out on my counter, they had all come to room temperature (a must when making cheesecake,) and there was no time (and no accessible car) to run out and buy another pan.

But guess what? You don’t need a springform pan to enjoy cheesecake! All you need is a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish and some parchment paper to help you lift it out when it’s finished baking. After enjoying this delicious cheesecake, which had turned into cheesecake bites, Brent told me that he actually enjoyed these better because he didn’t “get sick of eating it halfway through.” I don’t know what that means for the other cakes that I made him – that were actually cakes – but I know that it turned out well this year; and that I might be making him bites next year, too.

(If you want to make these bites as an actual cheesecake, springform pan and all, follow the instructions as they are but leave it in the oven to bake for about 10 – 15 minutes longer, until the centre is almost set and has just a bit of jiggle left to it.)

40 Oreo cookies, divided (1 package was more than enough) $2.99
1/3 cup butter, melted $0.30
3 packages cream cheese, softened $12.57
3/4 cup sugar $0.12
1 cup sour cream $0.60
1 teaspoon vanilla $0.22
4 eggs $0.80
1 cup chocolate (milk or dark, whatever you prefer), melted $0.99

Total cost $18.59
Cost per bite $0.58

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish with parchment paper, making sure that it sticks out the ends some to give you handles to take it out with once it’s done baking.

2.) Place 26 cookies, cream and all, in a food processor and pulse until they turn into fine crumbs. Coarsely chop about 10 cookies, and set aside in a bowl. Cut remaining cookies in half and place these in a separate bowl.

3.) Mix the cookies you’ve turned into crumbs with the melted butter. Press this mixture into the bottom of the casserole dish and up the sides a little bit, about half an inch or so.

4.) Place cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer with the sugar and beat until everything is well blended. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat the mixture thoroughly after each addition, making sure the egg is totally incorporated before you add another.

5.) Fold in the cookies that have been coarsely chopped (not chopped in half,) until they are also well blended with the rest of the mixture. Pour the entire thing over top of the crust in the casserole dish.

6.) Place in the preheated oven and bake for 35 – 45 minutes, until the centre is almost set and jiggles just a little bit. The rest of the cake should be entirely set.

7.) When the cake is finished baking, remove from the oven and run a knife along the edges to loosen it a bit. Let the cake cool completely at room temperature before placing it in the oven for 4 hours to let it cool and set completely.

8.) Remove the cake from the fridge and gently lift it out of the pan, using the parchment paper. Cut into small squares and using a spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate over top. Place half an Oreo cookie into the centre of each square.

9.) Serve and enjoy!

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