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Oct 8, 2009

Apple Crisp a la Mode

6 apples (or 6 cups of apple slices)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
Whipped cream or ice cream

1. To peel an apple safely, your child should hold the fruit in one hand, grip a vegetable peeler in the other, and push the peeler away from himself.

2. Heat oven to 375 degrees and lightly butter an 8 or 9-inch-square baking pan. Peel, core, and slice the apples and arrange them evenly in the prepared pan.

3. Place the oats, brown sugar, flour, spices, and salt in a sealable plastic bag, close, and shake until combined. Cut the softened butter into 1-inch pieces and add to the oat mixture. Close the bag again and knead or squeeze until the mixture holds together.

4. Instead of using a bowl to mix the crumb topping, use a sealable plastic bag. This will cut back on dirty dishes and let young bakers--even preschoolers--lend a hand.

5. Open the bag and crumble the topping evenly over the apples. Bake the apple crisp for 40 to 45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the juices begin to bubble around the edges. Cool slightly, then serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Serves 6

Chicken and Biscuit Pie


4 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
2 cups vegetables of your choice (left-overs or frozen ones that have been thawed)
Salt and pepper
Biscuit Topping
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup milk

1. Melt the butter on the stovetop in a Dutch oven or other oven-safe sauté pan with high sides. Stir in the onion and celery, then cover the pan and cook them for 7 to 8 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the flour, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes to lightly brown it.

2. Whisk the chicken stock into the pan. When it starts to thicken, whisk in the milk. Add the sage, thyme, chicken, and vegetables, continuing to stir until the mixture is heated through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Remove the pan from the stovetop and heat the oven to 375 F. Meanwhile, make the biscuit topping by combining the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and use your fingertips to rub it into the dry ingredients. Add the milk and stir briskly, just until the dough pulls together.

4. Flour your work surface and turn the dough onto it. Using floured hands, knead the dough two or three times, then flatten it to about 1/2 inch thick. Using a small round cutter, cut the dough into biscuits and place as many as will fit, barely touching, on top of the filling. (You can bake any extras separately, on a lightly greased pie plate, for about 15 minutes.)

5. Bake the potpie until the biscuits are golden brown and the filling is bubbly, about 20 to 30 minutes. Then let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving it. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Grandma Lulay's Chicken and Dumplings


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3-4 pounds chicken pieces (legs, breasts, thighs)
1 small onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
3 cups plus 1/2 cup water
1 bay leaf
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper, to taste
5 medium-size carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2/3 cup milk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1. For the chicken, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or other large covered saucepan. Add the chicken pieces and brown them on each side for 2 minutes.

2. Stir in the onion and celery. Sauté briefly.

3. Add 3 cups of water, bay leaf, bouillon cubes, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the chicken, covered, for 30 minutes.

4. Remove the chicken, add the carrots to the pot, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender.

5. Meanwhile, remove the chicken meat from the bones.

6. Whisk together the flour and the remaining 1/2 cup of water in a medium bowl until smooth.

7. Add the mixture and the chicken meat to the simmering saucepan. Cover and continue to simmer.

8. To prepare the dumplings, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and fresh parsley in a large bowl.

9. Make a well in the dry mixture and add the milk, egg, and oil. Stir briskly to make a batter.

10. For each dumpling, spoon a rounded tablespoon of batter into the simmering broth. Cover and simmer for another 13 to 15 minutes, without stirring.

11. Ladle into wide soup bowls and serve hot. Makes 5 to 6 servings.

Roast Beef, Carrots, and Potatoes


4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp. dried thyme
1-1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 to 6 lb. beef ribeye roast
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 lbs. small new potatoes, halved
One 16-oz. package baby carrots
2 medium onions, in 1-inch-thick wedges

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine garlic, thyme and pepper and press half this mixture evenly into surface of beef roast. Add oil and 1 teaspoon salt to remaining seasoning mixture; reserve. Place roast, fat side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Do not add water or cover. Roast in 350 degree oven approximately 1-3/4 to 2 hours for medium rare; 2 to 2-1/2 hours for medium doneness.

2. Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine potatoes, carrots, onions and reserved seasoning mixture; toss to coat. Arrange vegetables on 15"-by-10" jelly roll pan. During last 60 minutes of roasting beef, put vegetables in oven.

3. Remove roast to carving board when meat thermometer registers 135 degrees for medium rare, 150 degrees for medium. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees; continue roasting vegetables 15 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, stirring once. While the vegetables cook, temperature of roast will continue to rise 10 degrees to reach desired doneness. Carve roast into slices; serve with vegetables. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Chili Pie with Cornmeal Crust



1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cayenne pepper to taste
2 1/2 cups canned pink or red kidney beans, rinsed and well drained


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup ice water

1. For the filling: Brown the meat with the garlic and bell pepper in the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking up the meat with your spoon as you stir.

2. Add the tomatoes and seasonings and cook for 5 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly.

3. Reduce the heat to low, add the drained beans, and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently. Spoon the mixture into a 1 1/2-quart casserole or baking dish and let it cool while you prepare the crust.

4. For the pastry: Heat the oven to 400. Sift together the flour, cornmeal, and salt into a medium bowl.

5. Cut in the butter until the mixture looks like, well, coarse meal. Add the water and toss the dough lightly with a fork until it begins to come together.

6. Lightly gather it together some more, then press it into a disk. On a floured surface, roll it out until it's about 1/4 inch thick and slightly larger than your casserole.

7. Place the rolled-out dough on top of the casserole, as you would for a pie. Trim the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, turn them under, and flute.

8. Cut large slits into the crust to let the steam escape. If you're up to it, you can decorate the crust with any dough scraps.

9. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is well browned. Serves 4

Best Turkey Potpie


1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
3 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons cold water

Turkey and Vegetable Filling

4 tablespoons butter
1 medium-size onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cups chicken or turkey stock
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon crumbled or powdered dried sage
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups diced cooked turkey
2 cups leftover vegetables (If you don't have enough, you can substitute frozen vegetables)

1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk

1. Make the Piecrust Dough:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Cut the butter into 7 or 8 pieces and drop them into the flour. Add the vegetable shortening too.

2. With clean hands, lightly toss the mixture, breaking up the pieces of butter and vegetable shortening to about half their original size.

3. Now use a pastry blender to turn the mixture into coarse crumbs about the size of baby peas. When you're finished, the dough should be evenly moist.

4. Using a measuring spoon, sprinkle the cold water over the dough. With a big fork, stir the mixture, pressing down on it occasionally, until it packs together. If it continues to seem a little dry, add 1 or 2 more teaspoons of water.

5. Gather up the dough and pack it like a snowball. On a lightly floured surface, gently knead the dough once or twice. Then put the dough on a long sheet of plastic wrap and press it into a disk about I inch thick. If the edges of the disk crack, just pinch them back together. Wrap the disk and refrigerate it for 1 hour while you make the filling.

6. Prepare the Filling : Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Stir in the onion and celery. Cover the pan and gently sweat the vegetables for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then stir in the flour. Increase the heat slightly and continue to cook and stir the mixture for 1 more minute.

7. Add the stock to the pan, whisking to evenly blend all of the ingredients. As the stock starts to thicken, whisk in the milk, sage, thyme, and salt and pepper. Depending on the saltiness of the stock you've used, you will likely need about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Start with a little less, then taste the sauce and add more if needed.

8. Stir in the turkey and vegetables and simmer the mixture, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

9. Generously butter a 2-quart round, shallow casserole (about 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 inches with sloping sides). Transfer the filling to the casserole and smooth the top with a spoon. Let the filling cool for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees.

10. Roll the Crust and Top the Pie: While the oven heats, roll the pastry for the top crust. Put a sheet of waxed paper (about 12 inches long) on your work counter and lightly flour it. Put the pastry on the waxed paper and dust it and your rolling pin with flour. Roll the dough into an 11-inch disk. Start in the middle and push the pin out toward the edge of the disk, turning the paper as needed to roll the dough evenly.

11. Invert the crust, with the paper, so it is centered atop the filling. Peel away the waxed paper and gently fit the edge of the crust into the dish. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk and milk for the glaze. Lightly brush the glaze onto the crust. Then use a fork to poke 2 or 3 steam vents in the pastry.

12. Bake the potpie on the center oven rack for 40 minutes, until well browned. Slide an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet onto the shelf below the pie, to catch any spills. Transfer the potpie to a cooling rack and cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6.