Chicken Pot Pie

Sometimes what’s left in the sink can showcase the story more beautifully than the final dish.

CHICKEN POT PIE

Buy a rotisserie chicken and peel off the breasts. Dice them into one inch squares. They don’t need to be perfect. Meanwhile put one carton of chicken stock and one cube of chicken buillion (optional) in a saucepan and bring heat up gently. In a large frying pan, fry 2 finely diced white onions in a big knob (2 tablespoons of butter) on medium/low heat until the onions are translucent. Add a third cup of flour and mix it in. Pour in the carton of chicken stock (and one cube of chicken buillion) to the flour/onion mix and stir slowly through. Add a handful of whole peeled pearl onions and 2 carrots- sliced thin (that you have blanched quickly in boiling water, just to take the edge off) one handful of peas and one teaspoon of salt. Stir until the entire mixture becomes think. Fold in the diced chicken breasts and divide entire mixture in a 2 small overproof bowls. Cover with store bought frozen puff pastry (or your own homemade pastry) and secure the edges. Cut slits in the top and brush with egg wash (one beaten egg and one tablespoon of water) and put in the oven for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Check it as it’s cooking. Once the pastry is glowy brown, it’s really ready to be brought out. Serves 2

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Pics by the wonderful Squire Fox. (Concept and Art Direction: Dimity Jones) 

Hojaldras de Jamon y Queso

The first day in Mexico I slept all day in the Hotel. The Hotel I booked, on the strength that it had, excitedly, among other things, magnificent food.

The second day in Mexico, I rode to the nearby village and ate my way around town, discovering a wonderful Bakery and lots of road-side women, selling incredible taco’s from make-shift carts and precarious card tables.

On the third day in Mexico I crave the salty sweet Ham and Cheese pastry (Hojaldras de Jamon y Queso) that I’d had the day before, while cycling around town, from Pan del Carmen.

You see, that was the problem; I’d tasted the crunchy, flakey, sweet baked items and the flavorful local porky morsels (like pungent fatty pork—and chorizo with potato) from the little women at the street stalls in the village so that nothing any ‘well-meaning’ Hotel conglomerate could offer me would suffice. (No matter how many stars, no matter how good the food was) Breakfast had always been a dilemma for me. Salty or sweet.. (waffles or eggs?) Today I’m craving this pastry, which is both of those things, so I get on my bicycle and head back to the village.

Hojaldras de Jamon y Queso is a ridicuously flaky pastry, with a hard shell of baked-on chunky sugar that’s had a chance to caramelize. I’m eating it off a faded red plastic table (a gift from Coco-Cola, it seems). The Ham is slightly salty and I detect a hint of smoke. The cheese is soft, oozy, yellow. Possibly too yellow. Which might imply chemical enhancement, but I don’t care. Within moments I’m bathed in crumbs. Big delicious flakes —so thin, you can see-through the jagged shards.

I want to scream my joy from the bakery balcony! Re-direct (by hand, like a Traffic cop) the hoards of optimistic Caucasian faces alighting from the nearby Tour buses and urge them to move away from the Pizziera. (I mean; I’m sure it’s fine, but who goes to Mexico for the Pizza?) And then, advise them too, to avoid the places with English translated breakfast menus with their earnest and perfectly cut papaya squares, and their ‘health’ cereal containing just the right flax seed for colon control. Come to the bakery people! Pan del Carmen! (and the little lady around the corner who sells the best taco’s ever)

I hold court there, at the Bakery, for quite sometime. (On my plastic Coco-Cola table, with my mess of flakey shards) saying a cheery ‘hola!’ to the people entering the Bakery who I have never met before and I will never meet again. While the baker himself brings out tray upon tray of small intricate goods (while Gangster Rap thumps in the back room) They get arranged, tier by tier, on rough-hewn wooden racks with Neon signs; Cinnamon bark— candied and sprinkled on small fried dough pieces, Churros, Cookies shaped like slices of watermelon, a curious bread roll with a stick of green jelly (who’s name is smeared and I can’t read) and the Budin, a triangle dough seeped in caramel syrup, like raisin bread pudding, but denser.

Then I go across to where the little lady with the incredible taco’s is, but she’s gone. Magnificent dining really means being able to access the same street stall or local bakery, two days in a row and unfortunately, sadly, I’m a day short.

3 dishes I’m obsessed with right now

THE BBQ HUNAN FISH DISH AT HUNAN KITCHEN: This dish will blow your head off. Have it spinning around the room, punching the walls even but then when you calm down, swill iced water (which will do nothing for the heat, by the way) you won’t want to stop eating this, until you will. Then you’ll take most of it home to look forward to eating it the next day. The tinge of spicy cumin with crunchy nuts, warm yellow potatoes and succulent fish is divine.

NOTE: If you show up at the restaurant and don’t remember what the dish is called, just ask for ‘the fish dish’ and they’ll know what you mean.

Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan, in Flushing, Queens. NY


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


THE ‘MARTHA’ PIZZA AT OVESTMozzarella, Prosciutto, Truffle’ Pate’, Basil… (with no tomato sauce base). I love the way the truffle oil clings to the prosciutto, like a warm fragrant blanket. I tried to get this delivered but it’s not as good. You just have to go there.

Ovest Pizzoteca, Chelsea, NY

 

THE LENTIL SALAD AT HARTWOOD. I think of most lentil dishes as heavy (Winter-like even) but this salad manages to be refreshing and weightless. It has lentils, wide slivers of ricotta salata, plums, lentil sprouts and the key ingredient: pickled grapes.

Hartwood, Tulum, Mexico

Whale Spotting!

“…the flamboyance of another era contrasted with the simplest of seafood… an older couple takes high to the seaside cliffs (think Dover, or the Scottish coastline) to whale watch, listen to the local horse races on the transistor (she does love a flutter!) and eat the simplest, purest of seafood. Caught fresh and brought up to them by the local mariners from the icy waters below…”

INDIVIDUAL MUSSEL PACKETS

(Recipe courtesy of food stylist Simon Andrews)

12 Mussels
12 cockles or Little Necks
12 Razor Clams
Fresh Chili sliced
1/2 cup picked Parsley
1/4 cup chopped Fennel fronds
Garlic Clove minced
option of a 1/2 cup of halved cherry Tomatoes
1/4 cup White Wine
Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Scrub and then distribute an assortment of razor clamscockles and mussels on 4 large pieces of parchment paper.

Add the fresh chilifennel fronds and parsley drizzle with olive oil and pour a splash of white wine over each pile of mussels

Gather the edges of the parchment paper together, and fold to close or tie into a bundle with twine.

Bake in the oven for 12 -15 minutes. Unwrap the pouches, and serve with frites or crusty bread to mop up the juices and a farmhouse beer like Saison Dupont!

SERVES 4

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“WHALE SPOTTING”
PHOTOGRAPHSDavid Malosh
FOOD (RECIPE CONCEPT AND STYLING)Simon Andrews
PROPS: Tara Marino
(Art direction/visual concept: Dimity Jones)

Child’s Play

Mmmm, what’s for dinner…? Steak, maybe- or fish?

My 6 year old son is obsessed with white food. He would happily eat boiled pasta or white rice, hot or cold, with a pat of pale white butter and a thin shaving of Mozzarella, although mostly he’d ask you to hold the cheese. But he’d insist on salt. (Sometimes he eats it straight out of the container) He frowns at the thought of a fresh Orange, or god forbid a bright colored Clementine.

This dish allows you to sneak in seasonal and plentiful Winter citrus fruits and get bonus points for creating a somewhat ‘healthy’ version of white food. (Tofu!) This recipe also enables you to do a Vegan riff on the classic old-school Chinese restaurant dish of Sweet and Sour Pork. This dish does contain sugar though, (you need it to get the sweet-and-sour taste) I use unbleached cane sugar or dehydrated and granulated cane juice but you want to make it Vegan you could substitute agave nectar or maple syrup and thus avoid sugar entirely, it’s up to you.

Sneak in seasonal Winter citrus with a somewhat ‘healthy’ version of white food. (Tofu!)

TOFU STICKS in STICKY SWEET-AND-SOUR CLEMENTINE SAUCE

Put three quarters of a cup of regular vinegar in a heavy based saucepan. Add half a cup of sugar and whole segments from 3 peeled clementines. Bring to boil then reduce to simmer and sit for 20 minutes or more, stirring occasionally until the liquid reduces and becomes syrupy. Use the back of your spoon to squeeze the segments against the sides of the pan to release their juice. Meanwhile slice an Extra- Firm pack of 14 oz Organic Tofu into same size sticks. Put half a cup of regular all purpose flour and half a cup of cornflour into a clean dry bowl with some salt and pepper. Mix. Dredge the tofu sticks liberally with the flour mixture and fry in olive oil or vegetable oil in a hot saucepan till browned on both sides. Place on paper towels to drain. Check your sticky clementine sauce. It should have reduced, almost to half, most of the clementines should be pulped and will have thickened to a marmalade-type syrup. Pour some straight onto a plate, and place sticks of tofu on top, serve.

NOTE: The sticky clementine sauce will be scalding hot once it leaves the saucepan so wait considerably for it to cool before serving it to small mouths. Also, make sure you make enough for yourself. This dish is highly addictive. You’ll be dipping the crunchy logs (the addition of cornflour makes the outside coating crunchier than usual) into the sweet and sour syrup and scooping up the marmalade clementines readily. To round out the meal you could serve it with a little steamed brown rice and broccoli.

Spring is here! Poached Rhubarb with Elderflower Sabayon

Here is the first of six food stories that I art directed in the current (April) issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine. This one (above) is for Rhubarb Sabayon.

To get the recipe for this, click here.

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Photographed by Johnny Miller.
Food concepted and styled by
Charlotte March.
Prop styling:
Liz Adler.

When in a pickle: Experiment!

4 PICKLES: (1) Black and Watermelon Radish, (2) Crispy Sunchoke, (3) Purple Snow Pea (4) and Rhubarb. Make a few up and serve them with the best crunchy and succulent Fried Chicken, (above) from New York City’s Dirty Bird


4 PICKLES > FROM 1 PICKLE BRINE

This brine is flavorsome enough that you don’t need to store these for weeks before eating, infact they’re ready to eat straight away. The key is Pickling Salt. You might need to go to a specialty food store to find some. Iodized salt, Kosher salt, in my mind, won’t really do the trick. The other thing to remember with pickles is that like soup, or stew, you’ll need to build up a flavor base, but that’s where the fun begins and you get to experiment.

THE BRINE: Put half a cup of Pickling Salt to 4 cups of Water in a bowl (or a few bowls if you’re doing more than one type of pickle). Put into the bowl whatever you would like to pickle. (Rhubarb tends to bleed pink, so it’s better in it’s own bowl. Sunchokes need to be sliced coin size and Beans can go straight in whole) You need to leave them sit in the salty water for 4-6 hours. After letting your pickles sit, drain them and rinse well in water, drain again.

THE PICKLING LIQUID: In a heavy based saucepan add 1 and a third cup of Apple Cider Vinegar and two thirds cup of Water. That’s your 2 cups. Now you can duplicate those 2 cups to fill up as many jars as you like. To every 2 cups add 5 tablespoons of Dark Brown Sugar if you’re doing rhubarb or another condiment that needs extra sugar. If you are doing regular sliced Sunchokes, 3 tablespoons of Dark Brown Sugar will do just fine. Add a teaspoon of Pickling Salt regardless. Then heat up the apple cider vinegar, water, brown sugar and salt over the stove, on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves. Turn off your heat and set aside, that’s your pickling liquid.

THE FLAVOR BASE: Into small clean 8 oz jars put your drained (cut or whole) pickles. Don’t fill them up too high in the jar. Leave a good inch at the top. In front of you place several small bowls that contain the following:

Whole Coriander Seeds

Whole Fennel Seeds

Whole Cumin Seeds

Red Pepper or Chile Flakes

Thin slivers of Fresh Ginger

Thin slivers of Fresh Garlic

Now mix and match. Place half teaspoons of any or all of these to each of your pickles. Try Rhubarb with a half teaspoon of Coriander Seeds and Ginger, try Sunchokes with all of the ingredients here listed above. Try fresh Green Beans with a whole teaspoon of sliced Garlic and a touch of Chili Flakes. The combinations are endless and up to you. What about LemongrassPink Peppercorns… sprigs of fresh Dill, or Whole Dill Seed, thin slivers of Horseradish Root? You could crush some Lemongrass or even add a stick of Cinnamon, or some Whole Cloves to the Rhubarb. Add the whole Pink Peppercorns to the Beans. What about some Wasabi Snow Peas? Experiment!

COMBINE THE TWO: When are you done experimenting with ingredients, pour the pickling liquid into jars containing pickles and screw the top on. Shake and refrigerate. I don’t bother to sterilize anything or boil anything because quite frankly the pickles in my fridge usually get eaten up in a couple of weeks.

NOTE: You can pickle whatever you want. I usually go to the Farmer’s Market and just pick up whatever’s there. Admittedly in February, the market can be particularly bleak. But don’t be afraid to try the ugly root vegetable. Give it a go! You’ll be surprised at how easy it is. A tip for when you’re experimenting; I’d avoid using any ground spices as they tend to make the liquid cloudy, so stick with whole elements.

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