Individual Chicken Pot Pie

I roast chicken thighs on a bed of fall vegetables about once a week during the Autumn. It’s about the easiest dinner you can make. Just cut up some carrots, Brussels sprouts, small potatoes, leeks and whatever else you have on hand. Toss them with some cloves of garlic, fresh rosemary and thyme, and olive oil. Put them in a baking dish. Top with the chicken, a little more olive oil and salt and pepper. Everything cooks up nicely in a 400 degree oven you get moist tender chicken with crispy skin and flavorful caramelized vegetables.
We always have more than we can eat though. And I loathe to waste food, especially meat. But sadly when cooking for two it happens more than I would like. So I decided to repurpose the leftovers. I made a quick roux with flour, butter, and chicken broth (side note: I love friends who give you homemade chicken broth), chopped up the remaining chicken (sans skin), chopped the vegetables a little more finely, hit the whole thing with a splash of red wine and ended up with this.

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Into the freezer it went until today when I needed a quick hearty dinner. I defrosted it, heated it in individual ramekins, topped with puff pastry and viola chicken pot pie and no wasted leftovers! Huzzah.

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Lighthouse Tofu

I love Korean tofu soup. I love it. In areas where there’s more than one Korean restaurant in the whole city (thank goodness for Mandu when I can’t drive to VA) there are restaurants, like Lighthouse that specialize in making it and little else. None in DC though. Sadly, I’m not great at making soon doobu at home either (and even if I were there’s no close-by source for extra soft tofu). But occasionally I can convince Bob that driving to VA so I can eat a steaming bowl of tofu is a good idea. Lighthouse is great. Simple, cheap, spicy and nice big hunks of smooth custardy tofu.

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They also make an excellent kimchi and pork pancake. More crunchy and fluffy than many other places in the area.

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And if your husband balks at the idea of tofu there’s some fairly edible LA style kalbi.

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Borough Market

The Bob and self had to cancel our vacation in September because he was busy with work. Well, we had to reschedule it to next April anyway.  So when his case settled last week we decided to get out of Dodge and two days later we were on a plane to London and then off to Paris.  It was a blast, even though we didn’t get to stay as long as we would have liked.

Ever since I moved away from London every time I visit Borough Market I think, next time we come I’m getting and apartment and we are going to cook with all of these beautiful ingredients. I feel the same about the Boqueria in Barcelona.  Maybe one of these times it will actually happen.  But see if the below pictures don’t have you thinking the same thing! 

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Sous Vide Short Ribs

The Bob recently discovered just how easy it is to sous vide beef short ribs. All you do is season each piece liberally with salt and pepper, toss them in the machine for 48 hours, and broil them with some sauce (balsamic, bbq etc.) to finish.  What you end up with is the texture of a braised rib with meat that is still pink in the center and some crackling charred fat on top.  It’s pretty much amazing. Our last iteration involved a butternut squash risotto cooked in duck stock, with roasted carrots and Brussels sprouts (I wanted to deep fry these to test my thanksgiving recipe but ran out of time) and a maple and rosemary glaze. The only thing more delightful than the meal was a two year old dinner guest with excellent manners and a palate for sophisticated cheese plates! 

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The what’s in the House Version of a Shrimp Dinner

Last Saturday we had talked about trying the new and much acclaimed Rose’s Luxury but then got too lazy to venture out.  We didn’t have much in the house, but I dug up a head of cauliflower, some Brussels sprouts and some frozen shrimp. I decided to boil the cauliflower down in some whole milk and stock. When it was cooked I hit it with a stick blender and stirred in some goat cheese.  This wasn’t difficult, but it did take a long time so I’d skip it on a week night (though I did end up with enough to freeze). I chopped some bacon and put it in the oven.  When it was rendered added the sprouts and roasted until they were deeply browned. Then I sauteed the shrimp in some butter and garnished with pomegranate seeds, some chives and some Maldon sea salt. It was a lovely fall meal that just sort of came together out of what was lying about the house, but could easily end up in the regular rotation. Image