Blue and Yellow Kitchen

Friday, December 24, 2004

Chicken Pot Pie

I have always loved chicken pie. It is my ultimate comfort food. So for our Noche Buena, I decided to make Chicken Pastel, just so I can satisfy my craving. I originally wanted to make them and give them as gifts to friends (read the story here). I ended up making just two of 'em. One I gave to Mike, the other stayed behind for our dinner.

I was so excited while I was preparing the filling for the pies -- the kind of excitement children get as they tear up wrapping papers while opening gifts. I didn't have a recipe for this -- I just threw in all the good stuff I can think of. Didn't include mushrooms though because Mike can't have them. I added corn kernels, carrots, potatoes, onions, cream, cheese and the chicken of course. Put in some pepper and salt to taste. And since I love thyme with chicken, I added in some as well. I added a bit of flour too, to thicken the sauce up a bit.

Chose not to line the pie with a bottom crust, as I really didn't have time anymore. Besides, I always have a difficult time handling the crust. I placed the cooked filling in a Pyrex dish, and allowed it to cool a bit. After a few minutes, I placed the pie crust carefully on top of the filling, brushed egg wash over it, and placed it in the oven (425oF).

For the pie crust:
1 1/2 c all purpose flour (chilled)
1/2 c butter (cut into cubes)
1/4 t salt
3 T ice cold liquid

1. Cut butter into flour with pastry cutter. Or, if you don't have one, you can use your hands (as I did). I imagine that was how pie was made during the olden times. Dip your hands into the flour first to avoid melting the butter.

2. Sprinkle cold water, 1 T at a time, until dough holds together. Do no sprinkle too much water as this will toughen the crust.

3. Shape the dough into a disk and let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. I personally like to leave it overnight, para sigurado.

4. After dough has rested, beat with rolling pin. Roll out till dough is 1/4" thick. Carefully place dough over filling.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Cheese Rolls

Liza told me that her brother Louie loved the cheese rolls from Mary Grace's. So I tried their cheese rolls, just to see if they're really that good. One bite and I was hooked -- they really are THAT good! =) Fluffy bread with cheese inside, and a generous sprinkling of sugar on top. I am not sure about the type of cheese... cheddar I think.

I have been craving for Mary Grace's cheese rolls ever since. Since I couldn't afford to keep buying them (pricey at P24/piece), I searched my cookbooks for a cheese roll recipe. Just so I can have them anytime.

1 T yeast
1 T sugar
1/3 C lukewarm water

3 eggs and 2 egg yolks
1/3 c water
1/2 c oil

4 1/4 c all purpose flour
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c powdered milk
1 t salt

1. Mix together yeast, sugar and water. Let mixture rest for 10 minutes, until you see bubbles or "scum" forming on surface of mixture.
**Make sure that the water is warm enough. Otherwise, the dough will not rise properly. Warm means that the water is hot enough to stick your finger in it, but not hot enough to burn you.

2. Mix together eggs, yolks, water and oil. Add this to the yeast mixture.

3. Mix together the remaining ingredients. Make a well in the center, then pour in the liquids. Blend well and knead until smooth and satiny.

4. Let the dough rise in room temperature until double in bulk (approximately 1 1/2 hours.) Punch down.

5. Divide the dough into 40 pieces (25 grams each).

6. Flatten each piece by rolling it out with a rolling pin then spread with soft butter.

7. Place a slice of cheese stick (1/2 inch wide) on the center and fold each end over, like rolling lumpia. Pinch the ends together to seal.

8. Arrange on a well-greassed cookie sheet and let rise until double in bulk.

9. Brush with milk. Bake at 325oF for 15 minutes.