I have a terrible cold right now, which means I will be a terrible person for at least three more days. I’ve also given it to Brian because I’m just generous like that – and who wants to wallow in feverish self-pity alone?
Of course all I want to eat is chicken noodle soup, because it’s the only thing that will make me feel better (It’s science.) And none of that salt-bomb canned stuff with soggy noodles. I want homemade chicken noodle soup.
Well, you can see the conundrum.
So I made a big pot of this soup to last us a few days. It tastes way better than canned – but doesn’t expect miracles from a cook who can barely get out of bed. I’m filled with rage when I see ingredients like “finely chopped parsley” in a chicken soup recipe (It’s 5 p.m., and I just managed to shower. You seriously expect me to have parsley right now?).
Adjust the following “recipe” (if you can call it that) to your circumstances. Send the healthiest person in your house to the grocery store to pick up a rotisserie chicken and all of the NyQuil. Skip all the vegetables if you don’t have any, or throw in a bag of frozen veggies right before the noodles are done. Whatever it takes to get this soup in your belly.
- Vegetable or olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 carrots, cut into chunks
- 2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
- 1 rotisserie chicken, meat pulled off and shredded into pieces
- 8 cups (2 quarts/ almost 2 liters) chicken broth
- Dry pasta (I used 1 cup corkscrew noodles)
- Salt and pepper
- Dried oregano, crushed red pepper and/or poultry seasoning (optional)
- In a large pot, cook the onion in oil for a few minutes until it starts to soften. Add the carrots and celery; cook for another 5 minutes, until they are slightly more tender. Add garlic and cook for a minute.
- Add chicken broth; simmer for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are starting to get tender. Season with salt and pepper (and other herbs and spices, if using).
- Add noodles and chicken pieces, and cook till noodles are al dente.
I love artichokes. I get a huge kick out of seeing their symmetrical little shapes all stacked up at the market this time of year. Growing up in California, I gorged myself on them… and I burned the roof of my mouth more times than I can count because I can never wait for them to cool down before digging in.
Until recently, I would order fresh artichoke dishes in restaurants, but I would never prepare them at home. They just seemed like too much work, and canned artichoke hearts are pretty fantastic. But it’s artichoke season, and we keep getting beautiful artichokes in our CSA basket. I am racked with guilt every time I neglect them and they go bad, so I started playing around with this pasta.
The ingredients are simple, but they complement each other so well. The artichokes are earthy and buttery, and the lemon adds a touch of brightness. And cream and Parmesan are always a good idea; use just a little for a lighter dish, or be heavy-handed for a decadent, creamy sauce.
To be clear, you can make this pasta with canned artichoke hearts, and it will be delicious. But if you have some in-season artichokes just begging to be used… well, here you go.
Lemony Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts
- Olive oil
- 3-4 T. butter
- 8 oz./226 g dried spaghetti
- Zest of 2-3 lemons
- 2 T. lemon juice (plus more for cooking artichokes)
- Generous splash of cream
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- 6-8 whole artichokes (or 1 can artichoke hearts)
- Cook artichokes. If using whole, fresh artichokes, roast them with garlic, salt, olive oil and lemon juice according to this recipe. If using canned artichoke hearts, rinse and drain them. Sauté the hearts with 1 T. of butter, a spoonful of minced garlic and a splash of lemon juice. Roughly chop and set aside.
- Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook pasta until just shy of al dente.
- Meanwhile, melt 3 T. butter in a large skillet. Add lemon zest and cook for a couple minutes. Pour in cream. Use tongs to add the cooked pasta, lemon juice, artichokes and Parmesan. Toss, adding a few spoonfuls of pasta water to thin the sauce if needed.
- Season with salt and pepper, and a splash of olive oil. Serve with additional Parmesan and lemon zest on the side.
It’s that time of year when I get a little more homesick than usual. We haven’t lived in the U.S. for six years, and it’s been even longer since we’ve spent Thanksgiving with family. I miss that a lot – but we are cultivating our own Friendsgiving tradition that I also love. We host and make the staples: turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce; our friends bring sides, desserts and many bottles of wine. This past Sunday, we celebrated our third Thanksgiving since moving to Barcelona (a little early because tomorrow is just another Thursday here).
Our first year, we prepared a 5 kg. (11 lb.) turkey for a large crowd; it was the biggest bird we could find, and I don’t think we could have fit anything else in our modest stove. Everyone had enough to eat, but we had no leftovers… which made me very, very sad.
So last year we made two turkeys. One in the oven and one on the barbecue. Problem solved! (Also, grilled turkey is amazing). We did the same this year, and now we have an abundance of leftover turkey.
Which brings me to these leftover turkey pot pies. Aren’t they adorable?
You should make them with your leftover turkey this Thanksgiving. They are the definition of comfort food. They’re individually sized, so you don’t have to share. And the crust-to-filling ratio is so much better than a regular pot pie. Everyone wants more crust.
For this recipe, I used four ceramic baking dishes that hold 8 oz./1 cup. You could use ramekins or any other small, ovenproof dishes.
Pot pies with double crust always seem like a lot of work … until I take a bite and I remember that single-crust pot pies are not even worth your time. I use Joanne Chang’s easy and tasty pâte brisée recipe from her Flour, Too cookbook (do yourself a favor and buy it immediately); one batch is perfect for four mini pot pies. Or buy pre-made pie dough. Whatever it takes to get this deliciousness in your belly.
Leftover Turkey Mini Pot Pies
- Pie dough, enough for 2 regular pie crusts (store-bought or homemade)
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cups diced veggies (I used a mix of carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms and leeks)
- 2 1/2 cups chopped leftover turkey
- 4 Tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups turkey or chicken stock
- A few splashes of whole milk or cream
- Salt, pepper and herbs (poultry seasoning, thyme, oregano, etc.)
- 1 egg, beaten
Prepare the dough
- Roll out chilled pie dough and line each baking dish with a round of dough that extends about 1/4 inch beyond the rim. Press the dough gently onto the bottom and sides of the dish. Refrigerate the baking dishes for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Line each of the pie shells with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool.
Make the filling
- Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add chopped veggies and cook until they start to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add leftover turkey.
- Stir in flour until everything is evenly coated. Gradually add broth while stirring; cook for a few minutes until the filling has a thick, stew-like consistency. Add salt, pepper and herbs to taste, as well as a few splashes of milk or cream.
Put it all together
- Divide the filling evenly among the baking dishes.
- Cover each dish with another round of pie dough, trimming any excess and crimping with your fingers around the rim to seal.
- Brush the top of the crust with the beaten egg. Poke a few small holes in the center to let steam escape.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool slightly, and enjoy.
We hosted our first big EatWith event last night and had an absolute blast. We had more than 20 guests, and it was such a great mix of interesting, cool people from all over.
Brian made his amazing slow-cooked BBQ pork, setting up the grill on our wee balcony and tending to it lovingly all day. We also made crudité, tzatziki, bulgar salad, coleslaw, bourbon-chipotle BBQ sauce and a new version of mac and cheese we’re experimenting with.
True to my American roots, I love mac and cheese in all its forms, and I’m always looking for my new favorite recipe. This one turned out really well. A few people asked for the recipe, so here it is! You can be flexible with the kinds of cheese you use – feel free to play around with combinations and see what you like. I’m not sure there’s a wrong way to make delicious cheese sauce.
- 4 cups dried macaroni (about 400 g)
- 5 tablespoons butter (about 70 g)
- 5-8 tablespoons flour
- 2 - 2 1/2 cups whole milk (500-750 ml)
- 2 teaspoons dry ground mustard
- 1 1/3 lb. cheese, grated (about 600 g) - I used aged white cheddar, Grana and a semi-curado Spanish cheese that reminded me of Monterey Jack
- 1 egg, beaten
- 6 yellow onions, sliced thinly
- Panko bread crumbs
- Grated black truffle (optional)
- Salt, pepper, other spices/herbs to taste
- Olive oil
- Extra butter
- Heat a small amount of olive oil and butter in a non-stick pan on medium-low.
- Add sliced onions and cook until golden brown and caramelized, stirring frequently, about 30-40 minutes. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, adding a generous handful of sea salt.
- Cook macaroni for a few minutes less than the cook time on the package (it should be too firm to eat, not yet al dente). Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta water is boiling, melt 5 tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan on medium-low heat.
- Add 5 tablespoons of flour, whisking constantly to remove lumps and to keep from burning. The consistency should be a slightly thickened liquid (I added a few more tablespoons of flour here to make a bit more dense). Cook for 5 minutes, whisking constantly.
- Stir in milk and dry mustard slowly. Cook for 5-10 minutes on low heat, stirring often.
- Add a small cup of the sauce to the bowl holding the beaten egg, whisking constantly.(This is called tempering and gradually raises the temperature of the egg without scrambling it.)
- Mix in cheese, reserving a small amount of Grana for the topping. The consistency should be thick and creamy.
- Taste sauce and add salt, pepper and other spices or herbs to taste.
- In a small pan, toast a few generous handfuls of panko breadcrumbs in a little butter for a few minutes.
- Add macaroni and caramelized onions to cheese sauce and mix well.
- Transfer mac and cheese to a casserole dish. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture and leftover Grana on top.
- Bake at 375 degrees F/ 190 degrees C for 20-25 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.
- Sprinkle a little grated black truffle on top if you're feeling extra fancy.